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1993 & 2000 Mazda RX-7s - Let Your Soul Glow

Car Shop Glow is known for LED lighting, but we discover they're about much more

David Ishikawa
Dec 21, 2017
Photographer: Sam Du

In the '90s, changing your taillights for a set of clear or Altezza-styled ones was easy and pretty affordable. Installation was a simple plug-and-play matter requiring a minimal amount of mechanical knowledge and that made the segment grow rapidly. Aftermarket taillights became available for almost any type of car, import or domestic. There are some cars, however, whose taillights people feel are their signature mark and would never change them. Cars such as the Nissan Skyline and 180SX Type X, along with the second-and third-generation RX-7 are just a few examples. However, there is one guy that thinks a bit differently and we set out to meet him. And with Melon Soda in hand, we hopped on the Fukutoshin subway at Shibuya and took a short trip to the northwest suburbs of Tokyo and pay a visit to Car Shop Glow.

  |   1993 2000 Mazda RX 7S

After a short walk from the train station, we finally arrived at Car Shop Glow. Started back in '07 by Yukimitsu Hara, the shop started out by selling HID kits and LED taillights. By far, Hara's most popular product has to be his taillights for what he considers the coolest car in the world, the FD3s Mazda RX-7. The taillights replace the signature circle design from the factory with a full set of custom LED ones. The new design creates a red outline, which serves as the brake light with the centers reserved for the turn signals. Even though the RX7 has aged, the lights add a modern, if not futuristic appearance to the car.

Most Japanese car enthusiasts know of Car Shop Glow, not only from the lights but also Mr. Hara's personal love for the third-gen RX-7, demonstrated by his project cars. Parked in his showroom were two prime examples which included Mr. Hara's personal FD and also one of his good customers, Zenji Hirai. Of course, both cars are equipped with Car Shop Glow's lighting and appear to have similar styling and color, but when you look closely, they are quite different.

  |   2000 Mazda RX 7 Volk Racing TE37

Starting with Mr. Hirai's '00 RX7, the first thing that grabs your attention has to be the color, which is no surprise since Mr. Hirai works for a powdercoating company. Even if you are not a fan of brown, you have to admit that seeing a Maziora Trapezium finish in person is pretty amazing. The shift to purple and green tints highlight the lines of a very aggressive design thanks to a mix of RE Amemiya, TCP Magic, and Scoot Sports aero parts. Green accents can be found throughout the car including on the Volk Racing TE37s, Saito rollcage and various goods under the hood. Even with its styling and engine pushing out 380 horsepower, it is still road legal as well.

Moving onto Mr. Hara's Car Shop Glow FD, seasoned RX-7 enthusiasts might mistake this current FD as his original competitive time attack which ran a 56-second lap time at Tsukuba Circuit's TC2000 road course; however this one is built for the street. It features Car Shop Glow's signature pearl brown finish. And while Mr. Hara's RX-7 may not be as aggressive as his customer's build, it still gives off a GT vibe from the RE Amemiya aero, Vortex GT wing, and plenty of diffusers. The interior remains pretty much stock except for the Recaro seat and OMP steering wheel.

  |   1993 Mazda RX 7 RE Amemiya AD Facer N1 Front Bumper

Albeit intended to be a street car, Hara still wanted it do be able to take on occasional track duties and achieve a sub one-minute lap around Tsukuba. He reached his target time with a 59.636-second lap-an extremely impressive considering the rotary is still running the stock sequential twin turbos. According to Mr. Hara, the majority of the time reduction came from suspension tuning.

Overall, Mr. Hara is satisfied with the RX-7 projects he has built; however, he plans to build a third one for '18 with 54-second target in mind. We'll be waiting in anticipation, but until then we're firm believers of Car Shop Glow and that they're more than just about fancy lighting.

  |   Mazda RX 7 Car Shop Glow Front Combination Lamp
  |   2000 Mazda RX 7 RE Amemiya Front Bumper
By David Ishikawa
33 Articles
1993 & 2000 Mazda RX-7s - Let Your Soul Glow
Tuning Menu
'00 Mazda RX-7
Owner: Zenji Hirai
Hometown: Tokyo, Japan
Occupation: powdercoating extrordanaire
Power: 380hp
Engine: TO4S turbo; V-mount intercooler; R33 Skyline fuel pump
Drivetrain: Cusco Hyper single clutch; RE Amemiya quick shift kit
Engine Management: A'PEXi Power FC; HKS EVC 6 boost controller
Footwork & Chassis: Cusco ZERO-3 coilovers; Satoru Works knuckles; JIC reinforced tie rod
Wheels & Tires 18x10.5" +18 Volk Racing TE37 wheels; 265/35R18 Dunlop Direzza ZII Star Spec tires
Interior: Bride seats; Saito Racing rollcage
Exterior: TCP Magic Type GT widebody fenders; RE Amemiya front bumper, GT wing, rear diffuser; Car Shop Glow LED front combination lamp, LED tail lamp, rear duck tail; Scoot Sports hood; Mazioria Trapezium five-stage paint
'93 Mazda RX-7
Owner: Yukimitsu Hara
Hometown: Tokyo, Japan
Occupation: Owner of Car Shop Glow
Power: 343hp
Engine: balanced rotors; Fuji WPC-treated 3-piece Apex seals; HKS Racing Suction; V-mount intercooler setup with Knight Sports radiator; Zest Racing piping; Trust front pipe, air separation tank; R Magic mid pipe; RE Amemiya Dolphin Tail rear pipe; Super Now pulleys, power steering cap; Car Shop Glow oil filler cap; Cusco catch tank; Sard fuel pump; 850cc injectors
Drivetrain: OS Giken 5-speed cross mission; Exedy metal single clutch; 4.1 final gear; Mazdaspeed 2-way Zest Racing-spec limited-slip differential: Zest Racing reinforced plant frame
Footwork & Chassis: A'PEXi Power FC; HKS EVC 6 boost controller
Footwork & Chassis: Car Shop Glow GT Spec coilovers; Swift 16kg/mm front, 18kg/mm rear springs; Super Now upper and lower links, rear long arm, stabilization brackets, tie rod ends, front upper reinforcement plate
Brakes Endless pads; Zest Racing lines
Wheels & Tires: 18x9.5" +22 front, 18x10.5" +18 rear Volk Racing TE37SL wheels; 265/35R18 Yokohama Advan tires
Exterior: RE Amemiya AD Facer N-1 '05 front bumper, GT-AD widebody, headlights, Pro rear diffuser, AD carbon-fiber hood, side steps; Garage Kagotano front under panel; Car Show Glow LED front combination amps, LED tail lamps, rear duck tail, rear diffuser, 310mm wing end plates; Vortex 1700 mm GT wing; Zest Racing GT wing stands; Craft Square side mirrors; Super Now tow hook; Pearl Brown paint
Interior: RE Amemiya 300km speedometer, shift knob; HKS Circuit Attacker lap timer; Recaro SP-G seats; OMP Superturismo steering wheel

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