February 2, 2023

When I initially saw Takumi-san’s yellow FD3S Mazda RX-7 on Instagram, I wasn’t sure how I felt. I was attracted by the intense colour and the big rear wing, and delighted by the muscular, Dodge Viper-esque front end. However I was likewise puzzled by the Mazda RX-8-esque rear arches. I could not choose whether an automobile I starve after for its aesthetic appeals had actually been beefed-up or butchered.

There was just one method to settle my stress and anxiety– I welcomed Takumi-san out for an enjoyable drive in the mountains where I might see the cars and truck face to face.


This is the picturesque Lake Miyagase, about an hour’s drive from my location. It’s the biggest synthetic lake in the Kanto area and was produced by damming the Nakatsugawa River.


There’s a ring roadway around Lake Miyagase, and although the roadway surface area is not the very best and there are corrugations on much of the corners, it’s still quite great for a Sunday drive. Thus why the primary lookout point– which has a huge details centre and dining establishment — is a fantastic location for meeting buddies and doing some car-spotting.


The very best time to see remains in fall when the foliage is ablaze with scarlets, clarets, ambers and gold shades. However, in spite of the freezing temperature levels, wintery silvers, terracotta and auburn colours are similarly stunning. Aside from the driving element, it’s terrific to simply have the ability to leave the urbanised sprawl of the terrific Kanto Plain, which is broadening the Tokyo megatropolis out into Kanagawa.


Now that the rebuilt engine in Project GC8 is running efficiently, I’m going to make more of an effort to go out and check out locations like this. Not just for the happiness of driving, however likewise to get some tranquility and charge my batteries.


Up here in the mountains, you can discover real peaceful, cut off just by wildlife– more on this in a minute– and the sweet noises of customized vehicles like Takumi-san’s.


His FD3S is a little bit of a mongrel, with bits from here and there. The wide-body package is from Panspeed, the aero bonnet is from Scoot, and the rear bumper and tail light surrounds are from RE Amemiya.


The web states the Panspeed package makes the FD RX-7 look a bit like a Dodge Viper, which was my very first idea too. The method the fenders swell into the boat-like front end and the different mad vents and grills shriek American muscle. I enjoy the method the front fenders circulation into the side skirts and into the rear quarter panels.


The back, I’m not so sure about however. It likewise includes width to each side (around 50mm), however unlike the front does not stream into the Mazda’s factory lines. It integrates a blocky vented area which does let air circulation through, however likewise does a great task of gathering stones.


Walking the cars and truck, there are a couple of information that Takumi-san has actually personalized himself. He’s fitted his own LEDs into both the headlights and the M&M Honda rear brake light box, and produced custom-made stems for the JGTC NSX-style side mirrors. Takumi-san likewise developed the stays for the Esprit 052 1,800 mm adjustable GT wing.


The wheels are stunning BBS RI-As in a 18 Ă— 10.5-inch fitment at all 4 corners, covered in Dunlop Direzza ZIII semi-slicks.


Although the outside looks quite wild, Takumi-san informs me there’s no instant strategies to go bananas with the mechanical side of things. In the meantime, the FD3S’s initial 13B twin-turbo rotary engine stays stock, conserve for a GReddy consumption elbow, Blitz blow-off valve, stainless exhaust system and an A’PEXi Power FC engine management system. However that’s still 300+ PS in an automobile that does not weigh a lot.


From the Bride-to-be Xero RS chauffeur’s seat you’ll discover an OMP guiding wheel, GReddy Profec increase controller, a myriad of Defi assesses and the FC Leader for the ECU. There’s likewise a clever digital rear-view electronic camera which shows radar sensing unit information.


With Panspeed coilover suspension and a low seating position, it was a quite wild drive around the twisties.


The picturesque environments were a reward, however they weren’t the only factor I had actually coaxed Takumi-san out into the mountains. I had another intention– monkeys. Even over the rasp of the FD3S and the burble of my GC8, I might hear them searching through the forest along the roadside.


From an isolated parking lot, you can stroll down a closed roadway and along a forgotten location of the lake where silence cleans over you, till you reach a tunnel.


Strolling through the tunnel you instantly get in a Japanese monkey kingdom.


There’s a various sort of traffic here, soldiers of monkeys playing, leaping and climbing up without a care worldwide.

My very first encounter with Japan’s fury little primates was back in 2015 when I tracked deep into the mountains of Nagano to check out the snow monkeys. They invest their winter seasons taking in the warm springs, and are an outright must-see for any animal enthusiast.

These monkeys at Lake Miyagase are much wilder than the snow monkeys– who are so utilized to flocks of travelers that you can solve up close — so you do require to keep your range.


Great business, enjoyable driving roadways, a wide-body Mazda RX-7 and wild monkeys all on the exact same shoot — this is why I enjoy residing in Japan!

Toby Thyer
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