Curbside Cartoon Character: Mazda RX-7 FD Drift Racer

FD Drift

Mazda’s RX-7 FD was developed during the heady days of the Japanese real-estate bubble. The Japanese were flush with cash and their domestic automakers catered to this new-found affluence with a slew of supercars. Many of these cars would go on to become legends in their own right, but the curvaceous and low slung FD is – in my eyes – the iconic image of those times.

The subject of today’s article, a highly modified RX-7 FD, seems more cartoon character than icon. Although it only arrived in my neighborhood a couple of weeks ago, it has been a regular sight ever since. I see it everywhere but it was only last week that I was finally able to snap the photos you see here.

FD Drift 1

Unfortunately, I was unable to speak to its owner but I can say that, on the road, this car is hard to miss. It makes more noise than a swarm of bosozoku motorcycle gangsters and, like other drift cars I have come across, sits bare inches above the pavement. I am absolutely compelled to look every time it goes past and its owner should probably be thankful that I am not an officer of the law.

Drift FD 3

Given the strict standards of the Japanese “shakken” inspection system, it’s a mystery to me how highly modified cars like this stay on the roads. In the US, this car would be a police-magnet. As it sits, it seems capable of generating endless reams of “fix-it” tickets and would likely end up providing a steady stream of revenue to some fortunate municipality. The Japanese police, however, seem surprisingly disinterested in enforcing vehicular standards.

Drift FD 3

I can’t decide how I feel about this car. I have been involved in street racing in the past but, in my world where you take the same car to you race on Friday night to work on Monday morning, the desire to modify a car was always checked practicality. In Japan, where most people use the train every day, however, practicality can go straight out the window. The end result is, for better or worse, what you see here. Cool or not? I’ll leave it to you to make up your own mind.