With modern car and especially SUV designs being much less diversified than in the past, enthusiasts sometimes look at older models through these uniformization lenses and start seeing similarities. Then again, some tuners have always bet on this card, which is why Japan’s Top Fuel produced a body kit that makes the Mazda RX-7 look like the Dodge Viper.
Even with Top Fuel being an important aftermarket player in Japan for a few decades now, their presence in the US is arguably limited, so you’ll only find this kit in a few corners of the internet. One of those corners is the Instagram page of a Japanese parts and vehicle exporter dubbed Stacked Exports, which shows this Viper-impersonating RX-7 is currently up for grabs.
The red vehicle, which you’ll find in the gallery below, doesn’t sport the full Top Fuel aero, as it’s missing the hood and has different side skirts (more on this in a moment), nor does it have the Viper-like longitudinal stripes seen on other such RX-7s in the past. However, it certainly gets the message across, probably to the shock of some die-hard fans from both camps. Hey, I bet you never thought you’d see a Viper with pop-up headlights!
With 79,000 km (49,000 miles) on the clock, this Viper-impersonating 1993 Mazda RX-7 has an auction start price of 1.2 million yen (around $8,025 at the current exchange rate), but you can expect it to sell for two or three times the money. And that’s before importation costs—however, since this vehicle is older than 25 years, you can legally bring it to the US.
Speaking of which, if we compare the original US market prices of these machines (not adjusted for inflation), we’ll find out that, back in 1991, the Dodge Viper, with its 8.0L V10, used to cost around $50,000, while the twin-rotor, twin-turbo 1.3L Mazda RX-7 was sold for about $30,000. Interestingly, if we look at the situation in 2023, you can get both an FD RX-7 and a Gen I Viper for around $50,000. Or maybe you’d like to follow the path of this ex-Tesla engineer who’s putting together an off-road Viper build…
Top Fuel’s Mazda RX-7 “Viper” body kit
When complete, the Top Fuel package that makes the FD-generation Mazda RX-7 look like the Gen 2 Viper starts with the front bumper packing a Dodge-like crosshair grille and the large round fog lights. It goes on with a NACA duct-packing hood, small (partial) side skirt add-ons just after the front wheels, and a ducktail spoiler at the rear.
Yes, the original Viper and the final-generation RX-7 both entered production in 1991, but it took a few years for Top Fuel to develop this body kit. Strangely, while the said NACA duct on the hood and that rear spoiler make the connection to the Gen II Viper introduced in 1996, a Best Motoring video showcasing the “Super Tuner Battle” of 1994 already shows the Top Fuel Mazda RX-7 with these elements.
How is Top Fuel Japan doing these days?
Now, back in the late 1990s and early 2000s, one of Top Fuel’s top assets included its modded Hondas, chief among which is the S2000 Type-RR, a time attack monster that was highly influential for its era. But how is the shop doing nowadays?
Fortunately, Top Fuel has adapted and modified a wide range of machines these days. And you can get a tour of the shop in the clip below thanks to Joey Lee, who visited Top Fuel’s headquarters in Matsusaka (Mie Prefecture), Japan last year.
Of course, you can always keep an eye on what the company is doing via the Top Fuel website, even though you may have to handle the transition on your end.