With the engine complete, Bacon's next step was to conceptualize the factory RX-7's body. Focusing much of his time and effort in building a potent powerplant, it's no surprise Bacon revamped the original factory body parts to a newly revised '99-spec RX-7.
Achbach Auto Industries of Westerville, Ohio, supplied the paint and fitment of the aftermarket aero kit. The front-end transformation includes a FEED Type II fascia, Scoot carbon-fiber vented hood, '99-spec front turn signals and FEED vented headlight cover. Bacon also opted for a '99-spec Mazda rear wing combined with a trick, carbon-fiber air foil piece. Rear-end modifications include Mazda rear fender flairs, '99-spec taillights and a set of Wings West side skirts.
For a subtle look, Bacon swapped out the factory rims with a set of Volk TE-37s in racing gloss black. The tarmac-gripping 17x9-inch rims residing in the front are wrapped in 255/45-17 Bridgestone S0-3s, while the rears are wrapped in a pair of 275/40-17 Nitto 555R Extreme II gumballs.
Bringing more than 400-plus hp to a screeching halt are Brembo slotted and dimpled rotors, in conjunction with Hawk HP+ semimetallic pads that reside on all four corners. Although the RX-7 has excellent handling capabilities, a 10-year-old car tends to lose its responsiveness due to the inevitability of blown shocks. Bacon replaced the factory dampeners with the popular Tein HA coil-over system.
To increase chassis rigidity, a Cusco (D-bar) strut bar is bolted up front and a dual-purpose M2 strut/racing harness bar is in the rear. Since the car serves as an occasional weekend vehicle, Bacon chose an ACT six-puck unsprung clutch.
"There's a myth that rotary engines won't last for an extended period of time, but I beat the crap out of my RX-7 every time I drive it and it's been rock solid so far," says Bacon.
Bacon thanks his fiance, Kelly Gheesling, for putting up with his obsessive wrenching and engine tuning and the smell of pungent exhaust fumes. He also sends a shoutout to his unwavering RX-7 support team, Tony Tuklu and Mike Holand. Finally, he thanks his neighbors, Dan and Bob, for the many tools he borrowed but forgot to return. Thank you!
Update: Latest dyno figures show the car made 450 whp!