PECE’S INFAMOUS PANNIC RX3// JULY FEATURE

Photos by: Ricky Rigutto | Words by: Ian Lee

With the exception of the last iteration of the “RX” series (what was Mazda thinking with the RX8?), the cars that Mazda produced adorning the RX badge were some of the most iconic cars that came from Japan for over three decades. Like other early 70’s JDM cars, the original R100, RX2 and RX3’s share common styling with American muscle car’s although they didn’t quite share the same v8 rumble (Note we are not opening the can of worms that is LS swapped Mazda debate in this post).

Back when the RX3’s hit the shores of Australia, they were an instant hit with the car community, they had a boxy, muscle car look to it, they sounded awesome and were relatively cheap to buy; in the mid 70’s you could fetch one brand new for under $5,000! RX3’s made their way quickly onto the walls as poster cars for a lot of teens growing up and for Pece, he was lucky enough to have older cousins who owned rotaries. He says he remembers riding to his cousin’s house on his pushbike and always being intrigued by them tinkering with the car and that one day, he had to own one.

Building on from his obsession with rotaries, Pece came to purchase his RX3 around 6 years ago to add to his collection saying that it was always the dream rotary he envisioned to own. Stock examples of RX3’s interestingly are not that easy to come by with the majority of them taking on heavy modifications. For Pece, this wasn’t a problem as he had an end goal to build one up for occasional drag duties and after searching for a while, he picked up his RX3 that you see today.

The heavily modified 13B turbo motor was already producing mid 8 second passes but after many drag runs, the car was in need of some TLC. Pece said that his initial priority was actually to bring it back to street duties with some tidy ups to the engine bay and to the body. As with many well intended ‘tidy-ups’ one thing led to another and he felt that he just wanted to go bare bones and get everything redone.

One quick look from the rear and you instantly know that this thing means business with the rear tyres consuming almost what looks to be half of the width of the entire car. To accommodate for this, some major surgery had to be performed to the rear of the car to cater for the massive 295 rear tyres that wrap around the drag spec Weld Racing wheels. Up front the Rx3 has received the opposite treatment with a pair of front runner’s to help reduce rolling resistance.

To refresh the exterior of the Rx3 Pece knew there was only once place he could take the car to do the job properly, Custom Bodyworks. The vibrant blue of the car is actually a custom colour that was based off an original Mazda factory paint code. What’s pretty neat is to see splashes of the custom blue throughout the car such as the roll cage, seat stitching and various parts of the engine bay like the alternator and throttle body.

Looking into the rear of the cabin, you can see that the tubbing that was done has attempted to be non-intrusive to rear passengers but you can’t help but try to work out how two people would physically fit there without being circus contortionists. Some minor practicality aside, there’s no arguing that the interior work for Pece’s RX3 has been finely put together by Top End Interiors. Small things that add together such as the custom upholstery, colour matched stich lines, rotary seat emblems and seamless roll cage integration provide a well formed cabin.

Finally the dash of the car is one that caught my attention as something that was built purely for the purpose of functionality and nothing else. Instead of retrofitting the original trim by adding an assortment of modern gauges, it has been replaced entirely with a colour matched sheet metal dash that gives almost an industrial factory like finish to the car’s interior.

Completing the interior is the centrepiece gear setup that is responsible for ensuring power is delivered smoothly to the rear massive tyres. Pece opted for a C4 auto transmission that had been custom built for drag duties by Al’s Race Glides which when sitting in the cabin looks more like the thrust lever in a Boeing 747.

The big engulfing rear tyres, latches for a chute and roll cage had my curiosity peaked for what was under the hood although from the cars other mods, I had a fair idea. When I finally got to look at the engine bay of Pece’s car, it was nothing short of what I was expecting – incredible. The perfectly cut hoses and lines that have no slack, the various PAC rotary emblems, rotor oil cap, Cosmo 13B intake manifold, and the turbo that’s bigger than the actual engine itself create a show car spec bay.

The motor itself is a fully rebuilt Pac Performance 13B and before you ask, yes it’s bridgeported. I mean, is it really an RX3 if it isn’t bridgeported? Sucking in more air than a jet engine is the massive Garrett turbo that together with other supporting mods helps the car produce a whopping 760hp at the wheels.

For many who are fortunate enough to own a car they’ve dreamt about as a child, it is truly a surreal experience. Pece says he has to pinch himself every time he steps into his garage just to remind himself of the reality of an RX3 being there for him to drive. While the car was built for the dragstrip, Pece says he’s happy to enjoy the occasional weekend cruise for the time being to remind himself of why as he kid he wanted one so badly.

Pece would like to personally thank all his friends and family for making his childhood dream a reality. He’d also like to give a massive thanks to Pac Performance, Al’s Race Glides, Custom Body Works, Top End Interiors and West Side Mufflers for their various support with the car.

PECE’S INFAMOUS PANNIC RX3 // JULY FEATURE

With the exception of the last iteration of the “RX” series (what was Mazda thinking with the RX8?), the cars that Mazda produced adorning the RX badge were some of the most iconic cars that came from Japan for over three decades. Like other early 70’s JDM cars, the original R100, RX2 and RX3’s share common styling with American muscle car’s although they didn’t quite share the same v8 rumble (Note we are not opening the can of worms that is LS swapped Mazda debate in this post).

Back when the RX3’s hit the shores of Australia, they were an instant hit with the car community, they had a boxy, muscle car look to it, they sounded awesome and were relatively cheap to buy; in the mid 70’s you could fetch one brand new for under $5,000! RX3’s made their way quickly onto the walls as poster cars for a lot of teens growing up and for Pece, he was lucky enough to have older cousins who owned rotaries. He says he remembers riding to his cousin’s house on his pushbike and always being intrigued by them tinkering with the car and that one day, he had to own one.

Building on from his obsession with rotaries, Pece came to purchase his RX3 around 6 years ago to add to his collection saying that it was always the dream rotary he envisioned to own. Stock examples of RX3’s interestingly are not that easy to come by with the majority of them taking on heavy modifications. For Pece, this wasn’t a problem as he had an end goal to build one up for occasional drag duties and after searching for a while, he picked up his RX3 that you see today.

The heavily modified 13B turbo motor was already producing mid 8 second passes but after many drag runs, the car was in need of some TLC. Pece said that his initial priority was actually to bring it back to street duties with some tidy ups to the engine bay and to the body. As with many well intended ‘tidy-ups’ one thing led to another and he felt that he just wanted to go bare bones and get everything redone.

One quick look from the rear and you instantly know that this thing means business with the rear tyres consuming almost what looks to be half of the width of the entire car. To accommodate for this, some major surgery had to be performed to the rear of the car to cater for the massive 295 rear tyres that wrap around the drag spec Weld Racing wheels. Up front the Rx3 has received the opposite treatment with a pair of front runner’s to help reduce rolling resistance.

To refresh the exterior of the Rx3 Pece knew there was only once place he could take the car to do the job properly, Custom Bodyworks. The vibrant blue of the car is actually a custom colour that was based off an original Mazda factory paint code. What’s pretty neat is to see splashes of the custom blue throughout the car such as the roll cage, seat stitching and various parts of the engine bay like the alternator and throttle body.

Looking into the rear of the cabin, you can see that the tubbing that was done has attempted to be non-intrusive to rear passengers but you can’t help but try to work out how two people would physically fit there without being circus contortionists. Some minor practicality aside, there’s no arguing that the interior work for Pece’s RX3 has been finely put together by Top End Interiors. Small things that add together such as the custom upholstery, colour matched stich lines, rotary seat emblems and seamless roll cage integration provide a well formed cabin.

Finally the dash of the car is one that caught my attention as something that was built purely for the purpose of functionality and nothing else. Instead of retrofitting the original trim by adding an assortment of modern gauges, it has been replaced entirely with a colour matched sheet metal dash that gives almost an industrial factory like finish to the car’s interior.

Completing the interior is the centrepiece gear setup that is responsible for ensuring power is delivered smoothly to the rear massive tyres. Pece opted for a C4 auto transmission that had been custom built for drag duties by Al’s Race Glides which when sitting in the cabin looks more like the thrust lever in a Boeing 747.

The big engulfing rear tyres, latches for a chute and roll cage had my curiosity peaked for what was under the hood although from the cars other mods, I had a fair idea. When I finally got to look at the engine bay of Pece’s car, it was nothing short of what I was expecting – incredible. The perfectly cut hoses and lines that have no slack, the various PAC rotary emblems, rotor oil cap, Cosmo 13B intake manifold, and the turbo that’s bigger than the actual engine itself create a show car spec bay.

The motor itself is a fully rebuilt Pac Performance 13B and before you ask, yes it’s bridgeported. I mean, is it really an RX3 if it isn’t bridgeported? Sucking in more air than a jet engine is the massive Garrett turbo that together with other supporting mods helps the car produce a whopping 760hp at the wheels.

For many who are fortunate enough to own a car they’ve dreamt about as a child, it is truly a surreal experience. Pece says he has to pinch himself every time he steps into his garage just to remind himself of the reality of an RX3 being there for him to drive. While the car was built for the dragstrip, Pece says he’s happy to enjoy the occasional weekend cruise for the time being to remind himself of why as he kid he wanted one so badly.

Pece would like to personally thank all his friends and family for making his childhood dream a reality. He’d also like to give a massive thanks to Pac Performance, Al’s Race Glides, Custom Body Works, Top End Interiors and West Side Mufflers for their various support with the car.