William Terry was kind enough to send us his article covering the 7s and 8s Meeting held at Central Circuit in Hyogo prefecture a while back. Due to certain circumstances we couldn’t post it up immediately after the event but like we’ve said before, better late than never!
I wouldn’t identify myself as a rev head, I’m not interested in burnouts, huge power or who can go quickest around a corner. I would rather identity myself as an enthusiast. Japanese sports cars coupled with genuine parts gets my blood pumping. Its Mazda’s that I really have a fascination with. After driving old cars for many years, and little knowledge of cars, I purchased a Honda Prelude BB4 when I was 19. Compared to the medieval “Flintstone” vehicles I had driven in the past, I felt at the time that this car was the epitome of cars. It had everything a driver could want, power steering, power windows, cruise control, even a powered sunroof!
I used to work in a restaurant just outside of the Australian city of Melbourne and would drive home every night. It was late one night, the roads were empty. As I entered suburbia, I was met by my first set of traffic lights. I pulled the Prelude to a halt. A moment later, smaller, dark colored car rolled to a stop beside me. It looked old with boxy shaped flip flop head lights. We waited for a few moments in silence before the went green. Without thinking, I slammed my foot on the accelerated, pulling the car out with a loud screech of the tires. I was sure that I had shown the mystery car that I was the king of the road. All of sudden, the small car beside me flew past and into the darkness it disappeared, only giving me quick chance to get a glimpse of its mark of identification. This was my first encounter with an Rx-7.
Years later, I am now in Japan. My interests in Mazdas and Rx-7s in particular has matured significantly. I have been living and working in Japan for four years now. I have owned a couple of cars, a FD3S Rx-7 with a full Mazdaspeed GT-concept kit and currently a Subaru GT-B. I live in the Chugoku region of Japan, and recently had the chance to check out 7s/8s day at Central Circuit in Hyogo Prefecture. The festival is timed to be on the 7th day of the 7th month of the year. However, as the 7th was a working day, it fell to the next weekend day.
We made the trip along the highways to Central Circuit. Highways are very different to the ones where I come from due to the construction costs of them which included the production of many large tunnels, they now all cost money to use. As I neared the destination we saw no Rx-7s on the roads and fear that the event was cancelled entered my mind. However, as soon as we arrived at Central Circuit, located in a mountain valley, I was thankful to see a vast array of rides had made the journey. It was great to check out the cars at the festival, with just as many interesting cars in the car park as there was in the workshop displays. Throughout the day, there were several small events to keep it entertaining, such as a dyno power check, workshop family cruises around the track, and a D1 car did some drifting demos. It was great to see the time attack battles and some of the famous workshop cars in action.
While events such as the Super GT series racing events in Japan attract a crowd of motor sport enthusiasts and rev-heads alike, special events of this type attract more enthusiasts. Sleek design lines, unique body designs, the sound of the Wankel engine and the popping of the exhaust is what gives Rx-7s a personality that so many other cars lack and is a big reason why these have such a large following in Japan.