On my recent trip to Nelson, I was driving around with my friend, and The Motorhood contributor, Mikey Mayers whilst scouting locations for the day's shooting. When we were driving around near the airport, Mikey asked if I’d like to check out an impressive shed full of potential feature content. I went along with it, not thinking too much, until James Wilkinson of WS Imports opened the doors to his importing home base. 

I stood back in awe as I took in the various turbocharged imports that lay before me. I’d hit the jackpot. I won’t get into the details too much, as I’ll be doing a complete shop feature in the near future, but what did catch my eye was a pair of Mazda RX-7 FDs; one in purple, and one in white. The two couldn’t be more different as I soon found out, which excited me even more. 

The purple RX-7 was mechanically factory, and a recent import from Japan; its 13B yet to be toyed with by a local rotary enthusiast. It was, however, extremely low. Wound down on a set of Crux Engineering coilovers, sitting on Work Emotion 18x10.5-inch CR Kiwami's, it looked perfect — the purple-and-white colour scheme a timeless combo. 

The more serious RX-7 of the two had to be the white example. What first caught my eye was the extremely dished Work Emotion D9R wheels in black, measuring 18x10.5 inches. The tyres seamlessly slide into the guards when cruising — not an easy achievement at this static height. 

James purchased the RX-7 when it was in a very bad way. It had been outside soaking up vitamin D for the better part of 20 years, so upon arrival in Nelson it was sent off to the painters to have a complete respray in gloss white, and a complete S8 facelift, which includes the front bar, rear wing, tail lights, and Mazdaspeed side skirts. Although only a gloss white, not a metallic, it works really well with the contrasting D9Rs. 

“Wait until you see under the bonnet, she’s got about 500hp at the wheels,” James excitedly told me. He wasn’t joking either — the 13B has had some serious work done over in Japan. It’s had its factory sequential twin turbos removed in favour of a large single Trust T78 turbo, with a GReddy Type R blow-off valve, HKS external wastegate, HKS mushroom air filter, 720cc injectors, and a GReddy cast-aluminum throttle-body elbow to cope with the 18psi of boost pressure.

It’s safe to say that the 13B has had some serious porting too, which was instantly evident as James turned the key and took off down the street. We were told the porting was carried out by R Magic themselves whilst in Japan. This combination has been tuned locally by James’s good friend Brian Ingham at NDT developments.

As a vehicle importer, James does get to choose from a wide variety of cars to keep for his own fleet. He tells us the white FD is one he’ll keep for a long time, whereas the purple one is currently for sale. 

René Vermeer

Dutch, French, or just a Kiwi, René isn’t quite sure, but he does know he has a passion for Japanese vehicles like no other. A well-seasoned Gran Turismo player dating back to his single-digit days, René has a comprehensive knowledge of a wide range of performance vehicles and has owned more than 30 performance cars here in New Zealand, ranging from Nissans to Hondas. A lover of photography, you’ll find him either peeping under someone’s bonnet to snap a detailed shot, or on the side of the racetrack, perfecting his panning.