Cars & Croissants

My friend invited me to a cars & croissants event this past weekend (no, there are no croissants at the event, i think they just use that name to try and distinguish themselves from the usual cars and coffee meets). Unfortunately, my friend couldn’t make it himself, so i ended up going by myself. Isaac decided to come with me last minute, so i dragged him along for the ride as well. I wasn’t too sure what to expect since this was only my 2nd ever car meet, and first non-RX-7 meet. Turns out, i was the only RX-7 there. When i pulled in to the event, i found a nice spot next to a cool like R35 GTR. Since Isaac is currently really into Lamborghini’s, the first car we went to see was the nice Murcielago parked towards the front by itself.

From there, we just walked around looking at a few cars here and there. There were a lot more cars than i expected which was nice because there was quite a variety of cars.

This wouldn’t be America without some proper American Muscle

Another American muscle representative:

Here’s the new Corvette that i thought was really sleek. I gotta say, if i wasn’t so obsessed with Japanese sports cars, i would probably own a Corvette, which in my mind is a real American sports car.

The elusive BMW 1M. The reason i call it elusive is because it’s so rare and so few of them that the value of the car has actually gone up since they stopped selling the car. Definitely one of my favorite cars from the show:

This NSX, despite looking mostly stock, was actually sporting a nice Comptech Supercharger. I’m sure this thing hauls a$$ once you open it up. I’d bet it’d make a hell of a track car too.

And of course when Isaac is around, no picture is safe…

This being America and not Japan, most of the cars were mostly stock, so needless to say, my car stuck out like a sore thumb. Although, I was quite surprised by how much attention it got. Almost every time that i looked over, there were a few people gather around the car. Unfortunately, i didn’t clean my car before the event so it kind of looked like crap. To be honest, i was actually a little embarrassed by all the attention because of how dirty the car was. Anyway, eventually an NSX pulled up next to me, and a Supra behind. It was nice to have the company of some of my favorite Japanese sports cars. It’s too bad the Supra was next to the R35, then i would’ve been able to get some nice shots of all 4 cars together. Oh well, these will have to do:

Supra in the background

In the end, i’m glad i went. The people were generally friendly and there were plenty of cars to look at. Unfortunately, my time there was cut short because Isaac was bugging me to go home since the minute he stepped foot out of the car! Next time i have to remember to grab my D300 and leave Isaac at home!

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RE雨宮 Super Door Mirrors

I finally got my last package from Japan to complete my full RE雨宮 build. This package included the CF fender diffuser for the AD-GT kit and also the Super Door Mirrors. Unfortunately, i found out that to use the CF fender diffuser together with the side steps, i would have to cut parts of the side step closest to the front fender, which means i’ll never be able to go back to just using the side step without the diffuser. So i think for now, i’ll just swap the two on and off depending on which look i want to go for. I’m sure i’ll eventually just mod the side step, but for now, they’re safe.

When i first saw the mirrors, i was a little confused because the wiring harness looked like it was off a used car. For a second i thought maybe they sent me a set of used mirrors, but clearly the mirrors were never painted so it’s unlikely they had ever been used before. I later on found out from a friend that the way they make these mirrors is they source used OEM mirrors, then mod them into the shape of the super door mirror. That explains why the fitment/harness is OEM as well as the really long lead time to get them. I decided to take some comparison pictures of the super door mirrors vs. the OEM ones so anyone who might be interested in these mirrors can have something to reference.

Luckily, this time around paint matching wasn’t too big of a deal because it was plain old white plastidip. Since i had run out of the dip i used to paint the car, i bought some aersol cans from Home Depot to get the job done.

Here’s a comparison photo between the new door mirror vs. the OEM one installed:

And here’s a closeup shot of the new mirror:

I think the mirrors look great and complement the rest of the RE雨宮 kit nicely. Unfortunately, the mirrors are designed for RHD cars, so the adjustment of the driver’s side mirror (LHD) is limited. I can’t push the mirror as far out as i would like and i end up seeing a lot more of the car than i normally would. At first i thought this would cause some usability issues, but after taking the car out for a test spin in the highway, i found that the mirrors still work quite well even with the limited adjustment. By the time a car disappears from the mirror, i can begin to see the car appear in my peripheral vision, so by my standards, that’s good enough. I turn my head most of the time when i’m changing lanes, so it’s not really an issue for me anyway.

And here’s one last shot with both mirrors installed:

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I met up with a ともだち over the weekend who was gracious enough to take some pictures of my car for me. He’s a fellow RX-7 enthusiast, and he has an incredibly fast LS3 powered RX-7. Before meeting up with him for the photoshoot, i cut and applied some new stickers. This time i decided to try a slightly different look and didn’t go for the decal roll down underneath the mirrors. I thought it looked kind of bunched up last time, so i wanted to space out the stickers a little bit more. I also found a new “Volk Racing Wheel” sticker that i really liked as well.

We first went out and did some rolling shots which came out fantastic.

Afterwards, we came back, and we took some still shots. Mike, my ともだち, was gracious enough to take the time to go over with me some tips on how to take better pictures of cars. Luckily i remembered to bring my camera with me that day so i could shoot right along side of him. I’ll post his pictures first since they’re much nicer, and i’ll share two pics i took.

In case you’re wondering why i have an “Attack” sticker on my car, it’s because i’m a big fan of the time attack scene in Japan, and “Attack” happens to be one in particular that i like because i follow DorAemon7′s blog. I wish i could watch some of the videos, but unfortunately, grassroots type time attack scenes aren’t easily accessible outside of Japan, so i just have to glean what i can off other people’s Minkara pages to get a taste of it. In the meantime, i figured i would help promote “Attack” here in the US. Besides, the logo does look really cool as well!

And finally, here are a couple of pictures i took myself after trying out some tips from Mike

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Reflections Thus Far

Now that i’ve finally completed the largest phase of my build, i thought it was appropriate to reflect back on the history of this build and take a look at how far it’s come. This is also for people too lazy to read through this blog but would like to see before/after pictures in stages.

Mar. 1, 2013

These pictures are from the day after i bought the car. I remember at the time it felt like i was driving someone else’s car because it didn’t feel very personal yet. But even so, i loved the car and couldn’t believe i actually got another RX-7.

Apr. 21, 2013

RE-Amemiya sleek headlights was the first real mod. I had always wanted real RE sleek lights for my old RX-7 but never got them, so this was a HUGE upgrade for me. Definitely something i was very proud of.

Jun. 12, 2013

The RE-Amemiya rear diffuser was my first real order from RE. With the addition of the diffuser and carbon side step, the car was really starting to feel like my own creation.

Jul. 19, 2013

These RE taillights were never part of my original design for the build, but that was because i never even knew they existed! Once i saw that RE had recently started selling these custom LED taillights, i knew i just had to have them.

Sep. 26, 2013

Probably the 2nd biggest phase of my build was done here. I installed a Brembo BBK, Ohlins Coilovers, and a Bride VIOS3 racing seat. Not really aero parts, but still they made a huge difference in the visual department, and obviously the performance department as well.

Dec. 21, 2013

The RE-Amemiya AD9 Hood was a treat to myself for my birthday. This was the true beginning of the RE-Amemiya transformation build. This is also when i converted from a front-mount intercooler to a v-mount intercooler in preparation for the RE-Amemiya transformation.

May 8, 2014

This was the beginning of all the chaos…kind of like the reverse of the calm before the storm…it was more like the storm before the calm.

May 24, 2014

And just when i thought i was finally done…

Jun. 2, 2014

Finally done! I can proudly say that i’ve finally built the car of my dreams. Even if i didn’t do another mod for this car, i would be perfectly happy with where it is now. Granted, i do still have future plans for this car, especially if i want to take it to the track, but i can honestly say that i’m content with what i have. Unexpectedly though, now that i have the car exactly the way i want it, i feel like i have a much greater appreciation for what the car looked like in the beginning. But still, if i had to do it all over again, i wouldn’t change a thing. Here’s to many more years of enjoying my RE-Amemiya RX-7 that i built with my own blood, sweat, and tears…バンザイ!!!! \(T∇T)/

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RE雨宮 Transformation Part 4

After taking the plunge and ordering 1 gallon of gunmetal grey and 2 gallons of white plastidip, i began prepping the car to paint…again, except this time i was painting the whole car and not just some body parts. Even though i really like my RX-7 in red, I’ve always wanted a white one as well, so i figured why not try it out since it’s temporary anyway. Plus i always thought red wheels go best with a white car.

Even though plastidip doesn’t require it, i masked off all the parts i didn’t want to get dip on, and since there’s a lot of areas that need to be painted behind the wheels, i jacked the car up and removed all four wheels.

Since the white plastidip goes on very thin, i was advised to spray the whole car with a gunmetal grey basecoat to ensure i got good coverage with the white. Here’s what the car looked like with 2 coats of the grey. Turns out 1 gallon of dip was only enough to spray two coats.

After i began spraying the white, i began panicking, because i started to see what they meant by the white going on very thin, and after the first full coat, i had nearly used up my first gallon. I thought for sure i was going to run out of paint before getting full coverage of the white, but i pressed on, knowing that worst comes to worst, i could just order another gallon of white, but the downside is i’d have to pay extra shipping costs and wait another week before i could finish the car. Here’s the car after one coat of white:

And here’s two coats:

In the end, i just barely had enough paint to cover the whole car. Luckily i didn’t have to paint the hood or i definitely would not have been able to get full coverage. As i mentioned earlier, the main benefit of plastidip is that it’s a temporary covering and it can be peeled off any time after it dries. I never bothered to tape the front turn signals because i knew i would be spraying enough dip on it to be able to peel it off once it dried, and sure enough, it peeled off like a charm:

Although the plastidip didn’t come out perfect and there’s a ton of imperfections, i’m just glad that i’m done and the whole car is a uniform color. I do plan to try to repair some of the imperfections at a later time, but for now, i’m just going to breathe a sigh of relief and sit back and enjoy being able to drive the car again. So without further adieu, here’s the finished product:

And here’s one last pic i took with my iphone and edited it through the iphoto app on the phone that came out pretty cool

So in the end, even though the car didn’t come out perfect, it was definitely a huge learning experience for me. Painting cars is definitely not something to be taken lightly, and i don’t want to have to paint for a long time. I think the car looks good in pictures, but definitely not good enough to win any car shows. It’s unfortunate that i couldn’t do RE雨宮 justice with my build. Hopefully when i get the car professionally resprayed, i’ll be able to better represent RE雨宮 here in the US. Now i need to go make amends with my wife and kids for having neglected them for the past month and a half!! じゃあまたね

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