Staying Alive: Manila’s 7’s Day 2021
Slowly but surely, life is somewhat returning to what we once knew as ‘normal’ even amidst the pandemic. Last year it made perfect sense not to take any chances with going out for meets, but as human beings going on long stints without interaction with others isn’t too healthy as well. In the context of cars, this becomes a bit more difficult for the owner of a rotary vehicle. We may be able to chat with others at meets and spread the word of the magic triangle, but still there is a part of us that isn’t well understood by other folks - and that is why we must gather this year to celebrate 7’s Day in some capacity.
This small 7’s Day gathering was held at one of Makati’s more welcoming areas for sunday activities - Rada St. We’ve been seeing some folks hang out here, and considering the downtown district is somewhat of a middle ground between north and south it made a perfect spot to gather rotaries from around town. With shops opening for breakfast with outdoor seating, this made for a perfect spot to admire any cars that arrive.
7’s Day festivities around the world would see dozens of rotary cars in attendance, but here in Manila it’s already quite rare to see two rotary-powered vehicles in one event. For this gathering, we had a healthy sampling of 6 cars, with an FC, 4 FDs, and an RX-8 in attendance. Despite the relatively small number of attendance, there’s still something to appreciate in each vehicle’s build.
Andy’s red US version RX-8 is actually his second car, the first being a bagged gray example that’s under the knife again for more cosmetic upgrades. He instead brought his full Mazdaspeed-spec RX-8 - a rather rare kit even by global standards. To be able to build this, a full Mazdaspeed non-runner donor was sourced (found lying around somewhere in Quezon City) and the whole kit transferred to a perfectly running US model car. Perhaps the only missing piece to this is a prohibitively expensive set of Mazdaspeed MS-01s. Can’t put it past Andy to pull the trigger on one of those, being a diehard Mazda fan and all.
Jr’s yellow FD hails from Cavite, and this example prides itself with a thoroughly rebuilt REW that reliably runs with close to stock parameters and equipment. A project that’s been nine years in the making, this car has come a long way to get to working order. Even if he’s more known for building Mazda B6 motors for Miatas or other 90’s Mazdas, Jr taught himself to build and maintain a rotary - the mark of somebody who just really wants more knowledge about engine building.
This black FC3S was originally from Cebu, and it has since been brought to Manila last year by its new owner, Ej. Being an NA S4 unit, the route that this example will take is that of an all-motor screamer. Now sporting a bridge-ported motor, it made quite a racket for early morning breakfast. Nothing like a loud bridge port to sing the song of our people, right? This build ought to see more wrench time as it is still an incomplete project. We’re definitely looking forward to its progress.
That wingless red FD actually changed hands a couple times and is now owned by Nelanne, a guy who willingly traded a properly built S14 to take a crack at building his dream car. Compared to that Silvia he’s pretty much starting from scratch, but we’re sure he’ll slowly build it up to spec over time.
Goldwyn’s RE Amemiya FD has made its rounds here before, yet it’s still a sight to behold every time it makes an appearance. Sporting the iconic Amemiya light blue as well as the full AD GT kit with an N1 ‘02 bumper, it always gets everyone in a Hot Version/Gran Turismo mood whenever it turns up.
Y’all know too much about this green FD already. Let’s just glaze over this one and move onto the other cars that dropped by to celebrate Dorito Day with us.
Our builder Lito just recently sold his black FD, and he brought the reason why he sold it. 620+ RWHP on pump gas with methanol on a custom Garrett G-Series turbo kit by Profab PH. (730WHP with E85 and flex fuel as of publishing - Ed.) The car only recently had a new Pure Drivetrain Solutions transmission fitted so they could go big with torque, so once the car’s tuned for that we ought to see some crazier numbers. Still, he’s the only guy in Manila i’d trust with building a rotary, so he’s very much welcome to this gathering.
There would have been another silver FEED FD in attendance, but Stephen forgot to hook up the trickle charger after his last outing and the battery on his FD died. Ah well, C63 it is.
Some friends from Mazdatech also joined us with a solid trio of NA Miatas that sported a host of obscure JDM pieces that only Miata diehards would know of. It’s great to see that rotaries gather folks that share the same passion for building cars, and perhaps that is why these cars tend to make for a great centerpiece of car culture around the world.
The local guys brought their fair share of fine machinery as well, perhaps the E39 M5 being the most heavy-hitting among the set. We’d like to extend our thanks for letting us celebrate at your local spot!
It was quite refreshing to celebrate 7’s Day again this year. Hopefully with more projects coming out of the woodwork we’ll see more rotary-powered vehicles in the future. Trust that we’ll do our best to keep these things running in good order here in Manila.
Words and Photos by Aurick Go