Vintage Revival: Unveiling the Power of the 1995 Mazda RX7 FD
Explore the timeless beauty and power of the iconic 1995 Mazda RX7 FD featured on Stance Auto Magazine. Witness the perfect blend of style and performance, embodying the spirit of automotive excellence
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Vintage Revival: Unveiling the Power of the 1995 Mazda RX7 FD
Photographer: Marvin Recinos
My name is Johnny Mayorga. I reside in Los Angeles, California. I grew up in a little neighbourhood called Silverlake. I’m currently a Truck driver for Coca-Cola. Some of the things I tend to do during my time off are hitting the gym, biking, swimming, running, spending time with my son Matthew and making sure he gets to his gymnastics class which he currently loves.
A time that can be aimed towards the FD is and has always been therapeutic for me. She’s my baby. Early morning drives like taking curvy roads on Kanan Drive that lead to PCH are incredible. The performance of this car eloquently shows its true potential up there.
What got you into cars?
My interest in RX7’s came to me in my early teens. In high school, my older brother had this friend with a ‘79 Rx7. It was copper tone in color and he used to pick my brother and I up in it. It had an interesting sound (brap brap brap) which I loved. Five of us would squeeze into that thing to get to school. Ha ha.
So the day I turned 18, I decided to buy his neighbor's 1984 RX7…with no motor or transmission. Hey, at $500 bucks it was a steal! I learned so much from having that car. From dropping the little itty bitty 1.2-litre rotary engine, hooking up the transmission, bolting up the racing beat headers onto a dual-pipe exhaust system into a primo flow muffler. It sounded amazing to me. Oh yeah, that same friend of mine had an extra motor and transmission, which I got from them for a hefty three hundred smack-a-roos.
Fast forward a few years and I found myself mesmerized by the 1995 Mazda RX7 / FD. It had such an amazing presence, the curves/stance and it was so ahead of its time. Until now it still drives exceptionally well, like new actually. I would see it in car magazines fixed up and all but what drew me to it was it’s stock factory look. I felt Mazda hit a home run just as it sat. This car amazingly still has that new car smell. (maybe the 90’s smell just stayed in there) haha.
Most people think it was the fast & furious movie that made me want to purchase one, little did they know it was that old ‘79 RX7 which some folks called “The Lawnmower”. F&F came out in 2001 but years prior to this movie, I was set in owning one. I had made up my mind and was determined to make my dream a reality in hopes one day it’d come true.
Sharing that dream with my friends caused some laughter or they just gave me the old “Yeah, sure buddy!” I began my hunt for the FD and struck out with every car. Either it was beaten to hell, salvaged, turbos leaking, not the right color or raced out. I knew what I wanted! 1995 Mazda RX7 with all the bells and whistles. Red with tan leather interior. This was a tall order and I still didn’t know how I was going to pay for this thing once I found it. So then I started looking outside of California. New York, Florida, Chicago…nothing. Then one day this gem popped up in Texas.
The first thing that popped into my head was that I could drive it back to California. Lol. Looked at all the pictures the guy posted and was speechless, zoomed into every picture and just kept saying to myself “YEP! This is it! This is the ONE!!!” Red, tan leather interior, 1 owner, with every bell and whistle. The original owner had informed me that this particular RX7 was the showroom floor model. It was and had everything he was searching for. I reached out to Jeff at RotaryPower in Gardena, CA. To go over any questions or pictures the seller shared to see what he thought. He was always highly recommended by most rotary guys I had spoken to. Never had the intention of racing it or beating it on the track.
I just wanted a car so I can enjoy driving up PCH on a Sunday morning, alone. Just me and the car. It also included a price tag that was way over my budget. This is where my friend Eric came into the picture. He was a car salesman for this Cadillac dealership in Mid-Whilshire, one day he called me and said “Hey, you really want this car huh? Well, get your ass down here Saturday evening and I think my friend can make this happen!”
Mind you that I really didn’t have the credit to make a purchase like this. I had no business owning a car of this calibre. I was a Chef fresh out of culinary school and was working for a small café called Surfas in Culver City. The pay wasn’t great but it was steady. So here comes Saturday and immediately after work I drove to Eric and met with his buddy. Turns out not only was the guy a good friend of his but was also the finance manager for the dealership. If there was anyone that could make this happen, it was this guy!
I gave him all my information including my mother's info, because he said she would have to cosign for this purchase. Mom wasn’t happy and sceptical that they would approve me for such a loan. But after about 1.5 hrs of waiting, Eric received a phone call from him in which he just looked at me, shared a subtle grin and gave the thumbs up! “Go get your dream car!” he said. I was so excited that I forgot nor did I even ask what the interest rate was… lol
Now came getting in touch with the seller and working out the logistics of purchasing my dream car. I called Gene and said that I got approved for his asking price. I still to this day could hear his voice saying “Wow, you really are going to fly out here for this car huh?!”
We both agreed that I would fly out of LAX to Texas where he would pick me up from the airport. I bought my plane a week in advance but then mom being a mom asked me if my intentions were really driving it back to Los Angeles alone. I said “Yes, of course!” she shook her head and walked away as she covered her face with both hands.
The next morning as I was getting ready for work I found this envelope on top of my desk. Inside had $500 with a note that read “plane ticket money for Jose”. My mom was always so supportive of me and my hobbies. For that, I will always and forever be grateful. We Flew to Texas, bought the FD and it took us 24 ½ hours to get back to Los Angeles. She drove like a dream. No squeaks or creaks of any kind.
For the following 3 years, it was my daily, took it to work, the grocery store, and friend's houses. Now that I think about it as I sit here typing this I can hear so many saying “Why???” I bought a car to drive and enjoy. Which is exactly what I was doing. Then came a time when I bought myself a little beater and parked the FD. It sat for an entire decade. Life had caught up with me and seeing someone played a factor as to why it sat. Before I knew it, mistakes happened.
A broken heart and too big (Fat/Fluffy) to fit into my own car was something I never knew would happen. I was so embarrassed to tell anyone the true reason I wasn’t driving it. But as the saying goes, everything happens for a reason. Got a new job working at the WB studios, and joined the gym and that is where I would find some great friends and coaches. Coach Jeff suggested I join the WB Triathlon team. Soon, I had made a new life, shed over 100 lbs and was thin enough to get back into my FD without any struggles.
“For goodness’ sake, I couldn’t even turn my head to make a turn back then… Yeah, I got that big”
What’s next for the FD?
For a long time, I wanted to do so much but didn’t really have the funds for it. But now that I’m much older and able to do so… that itch to modify it kinda disappeared. So much so, that I’m really glad it worked out the way it did. It’s a true time capsule and so many car enthusiasts really appreciate its stock factory look.
My passion for these cars hasn’t changed, in fact, it has created invaluable friendships with fellow car enthusiasts. Cars in general have a great way of capturing the attention of a 5-year-old or even an 80-year-old. I truly love that. Sharing this car by taking it out to meets so others can see it is pretty cool. Kids are always welcome to sit inside.
There’s a large rotary community, like VJMU and the events they put on have been getting bigger and bigger. SevenStock is another epic event put on by some fantastic people! Most of them volunteer their personal time which is just astounding. Car folks simply helping car folks.
The camaraderie amongst other gear heads is how can you put it, COOL. My FD is currently sleeping next to a blue Mini truck. Ricky was kind enough to allow me to park it there while the garage is being worked on. A perfect example of car dudes helping car dudes out.
“I feel it’s our responsibility to keep inspiring the future generations that follow.”
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