FEATURE STORIES

Pistons not included: Celebrating 7's day in Manila

Pistons not included: Celebrating 7's day in Manila image

Text: Aurick Go / Photos: Aurick Go, Alec Mendez, Jose Altoveros | posted July 07, 2016 16:30

RX-7 owners from Manila gather to celebrate the pistonless sports car

Unbeknowst to many, some enthusiasts around the world dedicate special days on the calendar to commemorate their beloved vehicles. Examples such as World 86 day (August 6th, or 8/6) as well as Skyline day(s) (March 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and even 5th) would be the days when meets, races, and festivities would revolve around the cars in question. For folks who run cars without pistons, that special day would be the Seventh of July, or 7/7.

Manila-based RX-7 owners celebrate annual 7's Day

July 7th  has long since been reserved for the die-hard owners of Mazda’s Rotary-powered vehicles – especially those of the RX-7 variety. Affectionately called 7’s day, RX-7 owners around the world would organize meets, track events, and festivities all revolving around the magic triangle that powers these vehicles. Now that we have a small community of RX-7 owners in town, 2016 marks the first year wherein Manila will partake in 7’s day festivities.

Manila-based RX-7 owners celebrate annual 7's Day

Being that the RX-7 community in Manila is small enough to count with both hands and all your toes, we started out with a simple meet in a somewhat non-descript home in Quezon City for this year’s celebration. What appears to be a modest home with a sizeable driveway to most is actually ground zero for majority of Manila’s RX-7 owners; Call it a secret base for rotaries, if you will. This humble home pretty much churned out all of the RX-7s that showed up during the meet, which makes it a somewhat fitting venue to pack all the cars into its driveway.

Manila-based RX-7 owners celebrate annual 7's Day

With a total of eight third-gen RX-7 FDs present, what the celebration lacked in quantity it made up in the quality of each car that was present. Sharp-eyed RX-7 fans will notice several widebody kits from various famed Japanese aftermarket tuners were well represented in the lineup. RX-7s running full bodywork from RE Amemiya, Fujita Engineering, and the instantly recognizable ‘Tokyo Drift’ Veilside Fortune have graced us with their presence during the meet.

Manila-based RX-7 owners celebrate annual 7's Day

While majority of the FDs had some aesthetic changes done to them, someone had to represent the original factory lines that the RX-7 rolled out with from Hiroshima. In this case, it appears that someone had to be yours truly. My Deep Green Metallic ’99 RX-7 sports a full factory Series 8 exterior. Save for an aftermarket hood and the factory option Mazdaspeed wheels, the car is straight out of 1999 in terms of its exterior.

Manila-based RX-7 owners celebrate annual 7's Day

Most if not all of the rotaries in attendance are dedicated street cars with track-ready performance. Built with a tried and tested setup for our climate and conditions, these cars defy the notion that rotaries always break and sit in the shop – they really do see time on the streets regularly. One of these cars however isn’t like the rest, as it was built with an even more aggressive motor for circuit use.

Manila-based RX-7 owners celebrate annual 7's Day

The ‘Baygon Green’ RX-7 at the far end of the garage is a fully dedicated track car. Having a gutted interior, a full cage, seam-welded chassis, and a host of other race-prepped items, the build of this particular seven is currently ongoing – with hopes to complete it soon so it can be shaken down with some proper track time.

Manila-based RX-7 owners celebrate annual 7's Day

For a vehicle with a rather niche and cult-like following such as the RX-7, it’s nice to see and belong to a community dedicated to keeping these quirky cars running. Hopefully at next year’s 7’s day more rotary enthusiasts would reveal themselves and their cars to join in the festivities. It would be nice to see other generations of RX-7s or other rotary-powered cars present in more years to come!

 

The author would like to acknowledge Lito Salva, Ryan Lee, and Leo San Juan for keeping these oddball sports cars running.