Import Tuner: Seibon Carbon ‘93 Mazda RX-7 – The Outcome

“Is there such a thing as not modifying a vehicle?” That rhetorical question from Jonathan Whiting of Fayetteville, NC, conveys his perspective as an automotive enthusiast in a simple, concise fashion. There is just no other option than to build a car, and when Jonathan proceeded with this build he decided to mix worlds to create his idea of the perfect street car.

Mazda RX7 running Seibon Carbon DS-style hood. Photo credit: Import

Mazda RX7 running Seibon Carbon DS-style hood. Photo credit: Import

The purpose of the build was simple: “To own something unique that is fast, loud, and fun.” To achieve that goal, Jonathan chose the beloved FD RX-7 as the chassis to build upon.

Photo credit: Import

Photo credit: Import

Now, I know that some—if not most—of you who have a special place in your heart for the beloved FD RX-7 are purists. But hey, it is what it is and these combos are far from rare these days. The swap can be found in more than a few chassis, ranging from FD RX-7s to 240SXs, so, love it or hate it you might as well take the time to at least know what it is about the motor that makes it so appealing.

Photo credit: Import

Photo credit: Import

Jonathan opted for a T56 transmission to pair up to the LS2 motor. For those of you unaware, this transmission was quite impressive, especially given when it was first introduced to the market. The T56 trans is a six-speed manual that was originally designed and built by BorgWarner for the Dodge Viper back in 1992. Companies, ranging from GM, Dodge, and Ford, have utilized it over the years in cars like Pontiac GTOs, Mustang Cobras, and even Aston Martin DB7s and the V12 Vanquish—impressive, right?

Photo credit: Import

Photo credit: Import

How about this fun fact: The entire case, including the bellhousing is made entirely of aluminum. Additionally, it uses a hydraulic clutch and features internal stops, which make stop bolts typically needed on shifter mechanisms unnecessary. Its various versions came from the factory able to handle anywhere from mid 300 lb-ft of torque all the way to mid 500 lb-ft.

Finally, Jonathan decided on the Hurst Billet shifter assembly to make gear changes when he decides what power to drop and when to drop it. Specifically designed for the T56 transmission, it offers a high pivot ratio mechanism that reduces shifter throw. The point is, if you haven’t figured it out yet, the parts selection in this build makes it an absolute blast to drive.

Photo credit: Import

Photo credit: Import

“I really just wanted something powerful that handled well and was easy on the eyes,” Jonathan says. Producing 448 whp and 403 lb-ft of torque, this street cruiser has all the power it needs.

1993 Mazda RX-7 (FD3S)

Output: 448 whp / 403 lb-ft of torque


’06 Chevy LS2; COMP Cams custom grind camshafts, valvesprings, retainers; HMS urethane mounts; custom intake with K&N filter; Stainless Works 17?8- to 3-inch headers; Vibrant Performance catalytic converter and custom exhaust system; Mishimoto radiator and hoses; Flex-a-lite radiator fans; Walbro 255-lph fuel pump; Aeromotive A1000 FPR; GM Camaro oil pan; K&N oil filter; AMSOIL motor oil; Dextron coolant with water wetter; NGK spark plugs; MSD spark plug wires; Optima RedTop battery; minor wire tuck

Drivetrain T56 GTO transmission; HMS mounts; The Driveshaft Shop steel driveshaft; Hurst shifter


TEIN Monoflex coilovers (14K front, 12K rear), rear strut bar; Racing Beat front and rear sway bars


Work Meister S1R matte bronze with polished bronze lips (front 19×9.5 +0 offset, rear 19×10.5 +0 offset), RS-R lug nuts; Falken FK452 225/35-19 front and 255/35-19 rear

Brakes Hawk front and rear brake pads; StopTech drilled and slotted front/rear rotors and front/rear brake lines; Motul RBF600 brake fluid


North Shore Blue Pearl paint; Vertex front bumper with canards, modified side skirts, rear bumper; Shine Auto fenders, rear spoiler; Seibon Carbon DS-style hood; RE Amemiya fender mirrors, carbon-fiber-look door handle trim; Hot Water Labs headlights and HID kit; Mazda ’99 taillights


Bride Gias front seats; custom seat rails and brackets; Vertex 10th Anniversary steering wheel; NRG steering hub, quick release; Hurst shift knob; Autopower rollbar; custom-paneled trunk by Master Audio Creations


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