HI! I'm looking to relocate this RX7 I built. Last I heard it was in Louisiana.
I built this RX7 back in 1993, after a year of autocross racing, when the stock 13B rotary died. At that time, rebuilding a stock rotary was expensive, and making one that had any sort of power was VERY expensive, and not very reliable (things have changed lately, as rotaries have gotten a bit cheaper to build and a bit more reliable when built). My primary goal was cheap power than didn't affect the handling (the car was already a winning slalom racer, and I'd been slalom and road racing for years before that). Plus, with it dead, I wanted to do something that was different, unique, and a tribute to the old hot rod hybrids like Cobras, Tigers, and the like.
While the rotary was out, I realized just how much room was in the engine compartment. The V8 fit perfect, with no cutting of the chassis or firewall.
At the time, NO ONE was doing this conversion. Now there are hundreds of them, because they work so well. the only way they are hick redneck drag racers is if someone intentionally makes them that way (and yes, there are some of those out there. Sad, really. But then, there are nasty, riced out, beater RX7s with rotaries, and drag race versions of same that ALSO don't go around corners. Mine, at least, kept all the handling traits of the RX7 intact).
The Ford 302, with aluminum intake on it, added 150 lbs overall to the car, but only 50 lbs to the nose. The balance of the car went from approx 51/49% f/r to 49/51 f/r with the driver in it! I had originally set the car up on road race corner scales, and found that after the conversion, without having to change springs or shocks, the car was better balanced than stock! Handling was more neutral and forgiving, with plenty of torque for attitude adjustment at any speed...
Total weight had risen to 2720 with all fluids, making it over 100 lbs lighter than a stock RX7 turbo II. The TIIs are considered perfectly balanced cars, and this car weighed LESS, and was identical to the TII from the firewall back. Therefore, the Ford engine weighed LESS than a standard 13B turbo setup ready to run.
As you see by the second picture, the engine sits far enough back that the front of the engine sits behind the centerline of the wheels as drawn through the strut angle. This means that the car is still front/mid engine, which is why V8 Rx7s retain their excellent balance. The heads may be higher, but they dont weigh much. The crank sits lower than the eccentric shaft in a rotary, and the cast iron housings of the rotary carry the weight farther up for a higher CG than the V8 (and the newer LS1 powered conversions have an even LOWER GC due to being all aluminum). The V8s have a lower CG than simply adding the intercooler and sunroof (way up at the top of the car) on a TII, which is why handling is not negatively affected.
This car cost me less to build than a stock rebuilt RX7 at the time, had almost 380 crank hp about 340 RWHP), ran low 12s in the quarter and pulled over 1 G laterally. It was still a successful autocrosser and outstanding street car for the next 4 years:
V8 RX7 autocrossing vid 1
V8 Autocrossing RX7 vid 2
Too many rotary fans think the V8 cars lack the balance of the stock RX7. I have direct experience to state that is not the case. I have the videos posted to prove it. This car has been duplicated and improved upon by many people over the years since I built it.
But I'd still like to find it again, and be reuinited with the original Rex. It is still unique.