So where have we been lately? That’s a good question… and I have a one word answer: BUSY!!
Not that we’re complaining whatsoever, but sometimes the blog suffers a little when things get crazy around here. Business is better than ever and we’re working on so many great projects I don’t even know where to start. How about for now,we pick up on where we left off with our SA22C project and our trip to the 8th annual Japanese Classic Car show in Long beach California.
If you read PART 2, we had just sent the car out for paint with less than 1 month to get it finished up before we had to have it finalized for JCCS. Needless to say it’s been a roller coaster ride to get everything taken care of in that amount of time, not to mention we had to finish up our latest 3.0L KGC10 Skyline and get my KP61 Starlet and Ryan’s GC10 Skyline roadworthy to make the 1,400 mile round trip.
So while the RX-7 was at our painter’s shop looking like this:
We decided to get to work on our latest and greatest export from Japan. Like I mentioned before, this one is a 1972 Nissan Skyline 2000 GT with one of the most immaculate chassis we’ve ever come across and a built 3.0L L-series to boot. It’s quite possibly one of the best examples we’ve ever imported but in true JDM-L fashion there’s always room for improvement. This is what it looked like straight off the transporter after a quick wash.
Some may have left good enough alone but I felt the entire car would have a more consistent look to it if we made a few changes. I liked the black over-fenders but I prefer a more matte or satin look over the glossy finish and if we’re going that route, the wheels and mirrors also needed to have the same satin finish as well. My OCD always gets the best of me and I decided the headlight surrounds and grill also needed to refinished to complete the look so off they came.
And everything received a fresh coat of satin black.
If there’s something that always irritates me, it’s when the factory fenders aren’t cut enough for the over-fenders and you can see the original fender underneath it which is especially obvious on a white/black combination. It’s not much, but it’s enough to make a difference. (The Works are only in the picture for fitment testing that was going on that day)
We also added a Rubber Soul chin spoiler because in my opinion if your doing the flares, the front spoiler is a must. We decided to leave the trunk lid wingless for now and let the customer make the call on that, and to be honest, I really like the look on this one. We didn’t have to put much into this one because we picked it up mostly completed but I feel the minor modifications make all the difference.
Another area that Ryan and spent a lot of time on was the engine bay. If you’re packing a built 3 liter, you might as well be able to show it off right? After powder-coating the valve cover wrinkle red, re-looming and cleaning up the entire wire harness and completely redesigning the fuel system and some major cleanup we felt we now had something we could be proud of.
Believe it or not, this is actually the first car we’ve had with Weber carburetors instead of the Mikunis that I’ve become rather fond of. I must say though, these 48mm DCOE’s are pretty impressive although it will take me some time with them before I decide to switch teams.
There’s plenty more detail to get into with the Hakosuka but that will have to wait for now because at this point, we had just received the RX-7 back from paint and with only 1 week left to get it fully assembled, time was of the essence.
We still had to get the suspension sorted so the first task was to fabricate a custom set of JDM Legends spec coilovers using short-stroke Tocikos with a combination of Eibach springs, T3 camber plates and roll center adjusters along with RE-speed adjustable rear spring perches.
I also wanted to get a custom built exhaust on the car so it was time to break out the TIG. In a nod to rotary legends RE-Amemiya, I decided a section-cut turndown tip that is commonly used on a lot of their builds would suit the 7 well.
As this was meant to be a trackable street car, I made this exhaust as straight as possible and decided to forgo the muffler to let that 12A turbo Rotary be heard loud and clear. Once I finish up the full turbo-back section I might change my mind on that though.
Now all that was left was some re-assembly…. and lots of it.
Our main man and painter Mauricio even showed up to do some final detailing and help with the installation… would your painter do that?
We had asked for a more “basic” paint job that we wouldn’t mind taking out to the track for some abuse but “sub-par” isn’t in this guys vocabulary so I guess this will have to do… it will just make those first few rock chip a little more painful **wink**
I’ll have to admit, when we finally got this car fully assembled it looked so good in black that I was really second guessing adding anything else to it. This was one of those moments when you pull your creation outside for the first time and sit and stare at the completed form and all of the hard work and long hours invested truly pays off.
We decided to stick to our plans though because I really felt is was important to pay tribute to Jun Imai and Brandon Ozaki for doing us the honor of getting our shop on the Hotwheels car. It really is something that means a lot to all of us here and something I still can’t even believe is a reality. That being said, with 2 days left it was off to the guys at Envision to get the graphics done.
Instead of building a Hotwheels “replica” we decided that it would be better (and keep us out of any copyright infringement with Mattel) to do more of an IMSA/Hotwheels inspired build that incorporated the color scheme of the HW car and the graphics scheme of the 79 Daytona winning IMSA RX-7 with the stripes that wrap completely around the car. And I must say, the addition of the graphics completely transformed the car.
(Photo taken by Sean Klingelhoefer for Speedhunters)
We were still applying stickers literally 5 minutes before we packed this car into the trailer to make our way out west for JCCS.
The convoy was now ready to roll… more to come from our trip to JCCS in part 2 so check back!