Abandoned Mazda RX-7 Rotting Away With Other Rotaries in Japan Was a Famous Drift Car

If you’re a car enthusiast, seeing a vehicle that’s been left at the mercy of the elements is quite the trigger. At first, there’s sadness, which is usually followed by the desire to take the thing home and give it the TLC it deserves. And when the situation involves not one (the RX-7 main actor), but dozens of performance cars that have been abandoned over in Japan, the situation gets even more intense.

And for those of us who don’t live in the Land of the Rising Sun, you can add an extra layer of emotion for those of us that don’t normally have easy access to such JDM goodies.

This visit to a Japanese car graveyard comes courtesy of YouTuber Sammit, an Australian who has relocated to the said country. The enthusiast has plenty of reasons to visit such places. Filming aside, he’s currently sourcing parts for an S15 Nissan Silvia built that he’s preparing for Formula Drift action (this Endless S15 left the country and went from a drag car to a stanced build in the UK).

The location is found in a valley near the city of Gifu and, as mentioned, holds a large number of forgotten machines, most of which are performance-oriented.

This Mazda used to be a D1 GP drift car

The most impressive vehicle on the premises seems to be the said FD-generation Mazda RX-7. As still visible thanks to its degraded livery, the rotary toy used to compete in the D1 Grand Prix—alongside Formula Drift Japan, this sits at the top of the country’s slip angle competitions.

Judging by what we can see in the clip, only the front fenders seem to sport some serious rust—while this is present in multiple places, it appears to be limited to a surface issue. As for the interior, this appears to be in proper condition (we’re obviously dealing with a stripped-out motorsport approach).

As the YouTube points out in the video—with a help of another YT clip—this RX-7 was run by pro drifter Ken Maeda back in the mid-2000s. Based on what we could see on his Instagram, the athlete no longer competes, but he’s obviously maintained his love of cars. For the record, most of his drifting days seem to have been spent manhandling Toyota Hachi-Rokus (not this uber-rare convertible)—alas, the location also holds at least one of these 86s, albeit with no apparent connection to the pro driver.

The rest of the spectacular lot

Much to nobody’s surprise, the 450 hp Wankel of the machine is no longer present, which happens to be the case for many of the vehicles suffering alongside it. Speaking of which, there are multiple Mazda rotaries in the said car graveyard. We’re talking about another FC RX-7, a pair of FC models (the ones that came before it), and even its successor, the RX-8, sporting a wacky flame color scheme.

The list goes on, ranging from the diminutive kei cars and JDM specials like the rare STI Type R at the 8:35 timestamp (kudos to kemuri kusari) to an S15 with a factory sunroof, a Honda S2000, and even a 997-generation Porsche 911.

There’s no info on why these cars were left to die. However, we’d imagine that some were simply abandoned once they exited the motorsport life, others were supposed to be somebody’s project cars, while some Toyota Aristo luxury sedans (the JDM equivalent of the Lexus GS) were hunted for their 2JZ-GTE hearts.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here