The RX-7 Convertible Mazda Never Built Looks Clean in FD Rotary-Chopping Rendering

Just yesterday, we discussed the Dodge Challenger Convertible, a car that should be on sale, but isn’t, with buyers having to turn to uber-expensive aftermarket conversions. However, that situation seems fortunate if we compare it to that of the Mazda RX-7 Convertible.

Sure, the Japanese automotive producer did offer the second iteration of the RX-7 (FC) as a cabriolet, with this being introduced late in the model’s life (1988). But, when most people think of an RX-7, they imagine the FD produced between 1992 and 2002, which never got a drop-top version.

And while we explained where one could buy an open-air-converted Challenger in the story mentioned in the intro, similar aftermarket work for the Mazda is in a different scarcity league.

And, before we get to the details of the highly hermetical real-world FD RX-7 Cabriolet conversion world, we’ve brought along a render that shows everybody what such a car can deliver.

This FD-generation Mazda RX-7 Convertible CGI looks clean

There’s no widebody to play with how we perceive the car. So, we can focus on the visual impact brought by losing the top, even though the vehicle has been lowered. Judging by how deep the custom, massive-lipped wheels are burried in the factory fenders, it would appear we’re dealing with air suspesnion, so the standard ground clearance could be restored at any time.

The digital label behind the pixel work, which is dubbed kjl_3d_automotive_cgi, has chosen an uber-sleek windshield frame, which may or may not be feasible in real life. This delivers a slimmer overall apearance and also visually distances the vehicle from one of the greatest arguments naysayers might throw at it, namely that it could look like a super-sized Miata.

Speaking of which, this is the only element bringing the RPM (real project in the making) Potential of the rendering down to a 9/10. After all, FD Mazda RX-7 Convertibles do exist in the metal.

American RX-7 Convertibles are rarer than hen’s teeth

Seeking out a topless FD RX-7 online won’t take one too far, with only a few cars of the sort having been documented. One of them is of particular interest to us and you’ll find in the first YouTube below (via Vladimir Barr). That’s because an old ad for the car sees a supposed previous owner of the 1993 example dropping a spicy, if unverified aspect.

This is a custom made convertible made by the same folks that did Mitsubishi 3000 GT Convertibles,” the seller explains.

And we presume he’s refering to ASC (American Specialty Cars, aka American Sunroof Company). This was a Kentucky-based Michigan-based specialist with operations in Kentucky that provided OEM-quality convertible transformations, sometimes even serving major automakers, with their names ranging from Mitsubishi and Porsche to American brands such as Ford or Pontiac.

Founded by the late Heinz Prechter in the 1960s, ASC went as far as aquiring British F1 specialist McLaren’s American arm, thus diversifying its portfolio to also include engine developments. For one, the company was responsible for the unconventional muscle car icon that is the 1987 Buick Grand National GNX.

However, despite the diverse nature of ASC’s body and technical operations, we couldn’t find any link to the Mazda RX-7. Instead, we noticed that the only tangible legacy of the company comes in the form of a San Diego shop that handles more basic work like installing other producers’ sunroofs.

Japan’s RE Amemiya’s Super GReddy 8 and Tamos Design RX-7 are extreme examples

Meanwhile, in Japan, some of the tuners who have taken on the task of removing the roof of a third-generation Mazda RX-7 took the projects way beyond that. Then again, the sheer introduction of this paragraph prepped one for such eccentric work.

And this is how we ended up with all-custom widebody creations such as RE Amemiya’s Super GReddy 8. This is a Speedster conversion—no roof at all—that comes with ludicrous features like 993 Porsche 911 headlights and scrissor doors.

Created for the 1999 Tokyo Auto Salon, the vehicle has evolved meanwhile and you can check out out in the second video below, which shows the vehicle at a 2021 Japanese car meet (lens tip to Auto Culture).

Another example is delivered by Tamon Design’s 1994 RX-7, which also debited at the Tokyo car show in the 2000s. This contraption skips the somewhat retro appearance of the car above, displaying the kind of custom look made famous by the original Fast and Furious movie of 2004, which is coming back these days. However, it packs a removable hardtop and you can check it out in the second clip below (courtesy of Mazdas247).

The bottom line (or is is the top one?)

The pair of JDM customs mentioned above give the open-top Mazda RX-7 distinct auras, straying far from the production coupe, which brings the toys into a league of their own.

However, when simply discussing a convertible RX-7 like the U.S. unit described above or the the one rendered here, purists will be quick to point out that messing with the structural rigidity of the rotary sportscar is a no-no.

Even when leaving that view behind, the idea of reinforcing the chassis to make up for the open top’s said drawback is a highly complex job that will add serious weight to the car.

Then again, so will swapping the Wankel engine for a V8, a move many owners perform—at least in America—due to the rotary motor’s less-than-ideal reliability and the somewhat limited costs of the transformation (LS swap, anybody?).

Besides, the open-air experience would allow the occupants to fully enjoy the Brap-Brap soundtrack of the Wankel engine, which would make for one of the rarest experiences in the car world.



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