Ah the Infms RX8 feature, this was done back in early 2014. From what i can recall, i had just briefly met the owner at the 100mm car show and was able to get a last minute shoot arranged before he left Australia, i was also lucky enough to have had Vien able to meet him and do the photo shoot in the middle of the day in Chinatown between his Uni study. At the time i was working in the CBD and was trying my best to come down for the shoot but missed out. I'm almost certain the boys came past my workplace and said hello after it was all done.
- Daniel Novak.
The INFMS RX8...
How often do you find yourself taking a second look at a modified car? Whether it be at a meet or on the freeway, it is something that we as enthusiasts are constantly doing. Checking out wheels and body parts, listening to the sound of a modified engine or exhaust – it’s a part of who we are, it’s in our blood. So naturally when the ESTBLSHD team caught a glimpse of this Mazda RX8, we took more than just a second look and it was for all the right reasons as we had seen this car a couple times before. Once at REBUILD (A community run event to raise money, food and clothing for those affected by Typhoon Haiyan in 2013) and more recently at the Certified 100mm event. With pure determination, we tracked down the owner and are we are proud to say we were able to catch up with Lee just before he headed overseas.
“The RX8 isn’t the most popular car in the scene. I’m always being asked why I didn’t get the RX7. Well, don’t get me wrong I love the RX7, but when the RX8 first launched, I sat in my friend’s older brother’s car and I fell in love instantly. Sure it may not have the most powerful engine or be the fastest, but I loved how the car looked, sounded and felt. So when I was older and able to buy my own car there was only one model I was looking for.” says Lee.
Once the car was found, the research into modification began. “I didn’t jump straight into modding the car because I wanted to change parts one by one so I could see just how much of an improvement these parts would make.” So one by one he upgraded parts; each modification completed with a specific purpose of how he wanted the car to look, feel, sound and perform. On the outside the VIS Racing Razor front bar adds aggressive lines to an already striking front, the Kei office eyelids add to these lines making the headlights that much more noticeable, the side of the car is assisted with Mazdaspeed side skirts and some fender stakes. It is all tied in together with some rear aero flares to complete the look.
With body styling sorted, the interior needed some minor additions. So Lee opted to replace the standard lights with some LED units to brighten things up a bit. This was closely followed up with a shift knob (a black Voodoo unit) and a matching red gaiter kit which rounded out the interior nicely. This interior styling has ensured that incorporated his own personal style within the car, without needing massive changes.
Performance has not been forgotten either; a Hymee cat back exhaust, K&N air filter and modified airbox all helped the engine breathe without making it too loud. The clutch, flywheel and counterweight were all replaced by Advance Clutch Technology units and the Knight Sports final drive set (which changed the ratio from 4.44 to 4.77) finished his drive line modification. “Low-end torque has always been a problem for rotary cars so this mod helped a great deal, ensuring a quickening in the acceleration by pushing the revs up faster to where the power of the engine is.”
The suspension and rolling stock had a makeover as well. Whiteline sway bars front and rear replacing the standards, an Autoexe underbody brace all added to the rigidity and the Bilstein coilovers which dropped the car to a level more pleasing to the eye which is in no small part due to the 18×9 TE37s with red anodized valves and lugnuts sitting under the guards. However, even with the car looking so good this low, there are drawbacks. “One of the first issues I had was driving home at 1am. My clutch line split and rendered the car undriveable. So I had to call for a tow truck and even with additional ramps, my car had a lot of difficulties getting on. Thank God, the driver owned a stance S15 so he understood the difficulty of having a low car. After 40 minutes and a lot of patience, we managed to get it on the truck. Then mid last year I got defected 3 times in 5 months, mainly for being too low. It was extremely annoying but never once made me give up that low life.”
Lee went on to tell us, “When I went to a car meet last year around August, I noticed that there was another RX8. This was the first time I had seen another RX8 at a meet, so of course, I walked straight over and started chatting to the supposed owner. It didn’t take long to discover that; it was not actually his car. Rather it was his sister’s. The first question I asked her was, ‘is it a manual?’ She was like ‘well yeah.’ I was blown away, a chick driving a manual RX8. So one thing leads to another and before we knew it we were together. It’s hard enough to find a girl, let alone to find one who actually understands and shares my obsession with my RX8.”
Unfortunately, Lee has had to leave Melbourne after he had finished his studies, however the passion for the car lives on and resides with his girlfriend who shares his enthusiasm and there it shall remain until he returns to both.
Photography by Vien Nguyen
(A very talented photographer and a friend, who now is apart of the RWB Australia team you should check his work out on Facebook - VienNguyenPhotography)