Lucky-Chan's rx7 fc3s: the lightweight monster

A car with a lot of history.. and boost

4y ago

As an automotive journalist living in Japan, my Sunday routine normally revolves around attending one of the following: heading to one of the many events that are held in Japan’s race tracks, heading to a car meet in the underground scene, shooting a car I have lined up, or searching for potential cars to feature. This Sunday was no exception to these rules as I found myself heading to Daikokufuto PA after filming Shingo-San’s B4 Legacy

Upon arrival, I instantly spotted this FC3S among a crowd of modified FD’s – one resembling the famous FD from Initial D that Keisuke Takashi drove. The FC3S wasn’t the prettiest of the bunch by a long shot and It had clearly seen better days but none of that mattered.

The car screamed to me that there was a great story behind it and I had to know more! Thus I let the gravitational pull of the FC3S pull me towards it and before I knew it, I was scheduling a shoot the following week with Lucky-Chan after one look under the engine bay- and yes that is the name he goes by!

T the ripe age of 2 his grandfather, who was a truck driver by trait and loved cars, would take Lucky-Chan along for rides as he traveled all across Japan. It was those rides that sparked the love in Lucky-Chan for not just only cars, but would eventually lead him to follow in his grandfather’s footsteps and become a truck driver himself.

Fast forward 18 years later and the desire to be around cars still coursing through his veins, he decided it was time to buy his very first car, this FC3S with the overall goal of being able to take it to some track day events.

T wasn’t even 2 months before he had entered in his first track day event and realized that he and the FC3S had a lot of improving to do as driver and machine. The first thing to change besides getting more seat time was to overhaul the 13B-VDEI underneath the hood.

We all know the kind of rabbit hole we can fall down when it comes to overhauling or swapping a motor. Always chasing the elusive definition of perfection. Always trying find another way to squeeze out a few more hp from the motor or to shave a few milliseconds off the clock. 5 engines later, Lucky-Chan has become satisfied with his current setup – for now

6mm bridges were added to the both the primary and secondary ports for increasing airflow and top end power. Along with the top end power increase, the famous lawn mower noise that the rotor engines are famous known for increases 8 fold.

The ignition coil system have been upgraded to Mercury coil system and the primary injectors have been increased to 1000cc where as the secondary injectors have been upgrade to 1600cc

Wanting to focus mostly on track racing, Lucky-Chan moved the fuel system to the trunk of the FC3S. The tank itself contains an inboard R34 Nismo pump which happened to fit perfectly inside.

The star of the show however has to be the large T51R kai turbocharager.

The 76mm turbine pushing around 19 PSI of boost to the 13B-VDEI raises the overall power figures to 513 whp, which may not seem like that much to some, but with the dry weight of around 1,300 kilograms, the power to weight ratio around .18. For reference the power to weight ratio of a 458 Italia is around .17.

Translation – this car hauls ass!

Of course since Lucky-Chan has designed his FC3S with the purpose of attacking the track, it is highly impractical for daily use. Thanks to the 3 MSD ignition system taking up most of the passengers leg space, one would say his passengers will not be comfortable for long rides.

The cacophony of music the car makes is both pleasant and painful even to a petrolhead. Thanks to the fuel system being moved inboard, you are always listening to the soundtrack of the R34 Nismo pump working.

At 3,000 rpm, you begin to hear the T51R spool up and the cabin becomes full with induction noise. From 5,000 rpm, the full 19 PSI of boost kicks in and stiff arms you to you your seat while you hold on for dear life.

Even at idle, the signature barp barp barp of the rotary engine comes screaming out of ERC one off custom exhaust at decibel levels one would call nuts loud thanks to the bridge port modification. Since the engine has solid engine mounts, the FC3S also vibrates mimicking the barp barp barp of the rotary.

With the engine work more than sorted out, suspension and increasing braking performance was a must.

PCR suspension firms up the ride quality whereas the 324mm PFC 3D racing rotors scrub off the speed that the FC3S is now capable of.

17” Work T7R Emotion Wheels light weight characteristics not only help reduce rolling inertia which improve braking performance, but also matches the styling lines of the car.

With an obvious push for function over form, carbon fiber pieces in the form of front splitter, canards, sidesteps, rear diffuser, and vortex generator diffuser all help to generate down force to keep Lucky-Chan planted on the track.

Oh, also that large wing! You can’t forget the wing.

The interior hasn’t been stripped to the bare necessity for track racing, but not much of the original creature comforts remain. For example, the AC has been removed to save weight.

Custom roll cage and Recaro SP-G driver seat both protect Lucky-Chan and keeps him firmly in place as the FC3S rockets around the track

A momo race EVO wheel replaces the original wheel and an array of digital gauges outputting valuable information now takes up most of the center console.

After owning this car for over 19 years, Lucky-Chan doesn’t plan on getting rid of it anytime soon. It may not be the prettiest looking and it is starting to show its age, but it wears its age with pride. Plus with the type of performance potential it currently has, this FC3S has to apologize to no one.

With the new modifications done to the engine and the bigger turbo, Lucky-Chan is planning to enter in the next TC2000 time attack race at Tsukuba Circuit to try and improve on his 1:08 second time.

Join In

Comments (1)

  • Very well written. Great read.

      10 months ago