The Golden Years: Phil Sohns RX7

Photos by: Mike Kuhn Racing
Words by: Jamison Casey

It’s funny how the littlest things can have an everlasting impact on our lives, such as picking up a magazine. How does picking up a magazine affect our life? Very simple, When Phil Sohn picked up an automotive magazine over 20 years ago it featured an RX7, he instantly fell in love. It wasn’t until after Phil graduated that he got his first taste of what all the hype was all about and finally got a chance to ride in one of these beautifully engineered vehicles. That piece of the puzzle cemented his faith and from that point forward the goal was to own one someday.

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Phil’s passion continued over the past decade and has become one of the largest Rotary enthusiasts in the game today. Phil is always giving back to the automotive community several examples include having upcoming photographers shoot his car for practice and even hosting an annual Rotary Meet “Deals Gap Rotary Rally” on the famous Tail of the Dragon for over the past 10 years.

The passion Phil has for rotary vehicles is unthought-of of he has owned numerous of rotary’s to include a handful of RX7’s, RX8 and a RX3 just to name a few but out of all those this one is his baby. The pasti dipped RX7 has been Phil’s partner in crime for 11 years sharing plenty of fond memories and even grazing the pages of Modified Magazine and ImportTuner. Now you think a man would have some war stories when it comes to the building this exquisite ride but the hardest part of the build is always coming up with a fresh look. Other than the plasti dip look that switches from event to event the ride has had numerous of face lifts and body work.

The RX7 was one of the first to run a 99+ bumper on the FD back in 2001, one of the first to run the FEED type 2R bumpers in the US, he was the first person to run the current bumper (R-spec replica) in the US.

Phil is not one to let his car just sit and looking pretty. His first taste of track experience began with his first FD at Putham Park, IN Putham Park and now attempts to attend at least one track day a year. Actually right after Formula Drift Atlanta this year a couple of buddies and him drove several laps on the track the next day.

Phil may have bought the RX7 for its looks but when it comes down to it he fell in love with the performance. The monster of engine is powered by a ported 13B-REW complimented BNR Stage 3 Twin Turbos and Adaptronic ECU. Everything about this motor is pure beauty featuring Polished Efini Y-Pipe, Upper Intake manifold, 90mm Rotary Works Throttle body, Greddy Elbow w/ Injector Ports, and Hardline Intake Pipes.

They say the littlest things make the car such as the FEED oil filler cap and coolant filler cap, Unorthodox alternator pulley and power steering pulley, all the vacuum ports have been welded shut and cleaned up to reveal a nice fresh look for this well built ride.

The FD3S is one of the best rides built for carving corners with a 50/50 weight to power distribution very few cars have the ability to challenge it. Phil only contributed to Mazda’s success by adding FEED Coilovers and Racing Beats Sway bars. He also just installed new Delrin bushings for all his suspension parts. The Golden beauty is rolling on a nice set of BBS Forged wheels praised by Toyo’s T1 Sports. Behind the wheels also features a nice treat with Racing Brake Rear Brake kit with Hawk HP+ pads.

Life on the inside needs to be just as good on the outside. A nice set of Mazdaspeed seats were added to give a more comfortable ride locking you in with the famous Takata Drift 3 belts. He put his own touch personalized steering wheel equped with Works Bell Short hub, Quick disconnect, and hub lock. The RE-Amemiya cluster gauges houses the Boost, A/F, Fuel, Boost, and Oil temp gauges giving a race car feel inside.

Now to the thing that captured Phil’s true passion, the exterior. It’s Plasti Dipped Gold thanks to the folks at (www.DipYourCar.com). The aggressive body features FEED carbon fiber canards and sideskirts, FEED Wide front fenders and rear wide flares, Mazdaspeed R-spec front bumper and carbon fiber hood, RE-Amemiya Pro Carbon rear diffuser, and topped off with menacing R-Magic HID headlights.

Like any automotive enthusiast there’s always room for improvement. Keep an eye out because Phil is set to go over another makeover here in the near future. Follow him on Instagram @herblenny

Engine:

– Adaptronic ECU for FD PNP
– Garfinkle Delrin Custom mounts
– Pettit Polished AST
– Koyo N-Flow Radiator
– Custom Carbon Fiber Cooling panel
– Fast acting AirTemp sensor
– Remote Start/pager/alarm/turbo timer
– BNR Stage 3 Twin Turbos
– Ported 13B-REW engine
– Custom Grounding kit
– Polished Efini Y-pipe
– Polished upper intake manifold
– Polished 90mm Rotary Works Throttle body
– Polished Greddy elbow w/injector ports
– Apexi GT Spec FMIC
– Custom polished pipings
– Constant tension T-blot clamps for IC pipings and Intakes.
– HKS seq. BOV
– HKS twinpower ignition amp
– RE-Amemiya SS Dual Dolphin Tip Catback
– SS Pettit DP – Mazdaspeed ignition wires
– FEED oil filler cap
– FEED coolant filler cap
– Added R1 Dual oil coolers
– Braille light battery
– Braille Verticle mounting kit
– Unorthodox Alternator pulley (red)
– Unorthodox Power steering pulley(blue)
– Exedy Hyper Single Clutch Kit
– Simplified seq twin set up
– Polished hardline intake pipes for secondary intake.
– Ported JDM Upper Intake manifold and polished by David Garfinkle.
– Also all the misc. vacuum ports have been welded shut and cleaned up and polished for cleaner look.
– Pettit Racing water pump pulley
– 2 x 4 blade fan set up for better cooling
– HKS RS intake with KN filters
– Tweakit Racing tensioner pulley kit

Suspension:

– M2 launch kit
– FEED coilovers
– Racing Beat sway bar brace
– Racing Beat sway bars (front and rear)
– FEED front brace
– Racing Brake Rear Brake kit with HP+ pad
– Hawk HP+ pads rear
– Newly sandblasted A-arms and other suspension parts
– SakeBomb AP Racing Big Brake Kit with Ferrado pads
– Braided SS brake lines – Racing Beat sway bushings
– New Delrin bushings for all suspension parts
– Transmission brace
– Raceshop Rollbar
– Dragon’s diff brace
– BBS Forged wheels
– Toyo T1 Sports

Interior & Stereo:

– Works Bell Short hub
– Works Bell Quick disconnect
– Works Bell hub lock
– Personal Steering wheel
– Converted Black interior
– including, door panels, rear panels, head liner, seat belts, and black main carpet
– RZ floormats – Rare moon roof interior cover
– R1 rear speaker pods for 7 speaker system
-Boost, A/F, Fuel, Boost, and Oil temp gauges
– Mazdaspeed black seats
– FEED Shift knob
– Red leather stitching shift and ebrake boots
– LED interior lights
– RE-Amemiya steering column pod with 52mm boost gauge
– JKL Engineering Carbon Fiber Gauge cluster, hood AC panel, shifter,etc (Flattened look)
– JVC 7inch AV system
– RE-Amemiya speedo cluster gauge
– FEED Carbon fiber rear trunk add on.
– Base model hatch cover
– OEM fog light switch to turn FEED HID driving lights
– Carbon look oem door step
– Takata Drift 3 belts (street legal)

Exterior:

– Plasti Dip Gold exterior
– Mazdaspeed carbon hood
– Feed side mirrors
– One off Feed Carbon Gas door (Shine Auto)
– Mazdaspeed R-spec front bumper
– Feed Carbon fiber canards
– Feed Carbon Fiber side skirts
– Feed wide front fenders
– FEED rear wide flares
– Rotary Extreme hood dampers
– R-magic oil cooler ducts
– FEED front tow hook
– RE-Amemiya Pro Carbon rear diffuser
– Custom LED tail lights
– Custom rear bumper CF signal covers
– Rare glass moon roof
– LED signal lights in FEED signals
– HID FEED Signal lights
– Spirit R fender badges
– Efini front are rear badges
– Carbon look rear bumper lights
– Carbon fiber FEED gas door (one off made)
– APR Carbon Fiber side Mirrors
– Custom front canard add on
– Carbon Cooling panel (custom, made by me)
– LED Front bumper strips
– R-Magic HID head lights
– FEED door handles
– Carbon Fiber back of the door handle covers.
– Back Off 3rd light flasher
– ShineAuto rear tail light lip
– Feed carbon Fiber bumper guard by Shine Auto
Adaptronic Series 4/5/6/7 Rx-7 Plug and Play – Turblown Engineering

Photos by: Mike Kuhn Racing
Words by: Jamison Casey

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