SevenStock is the annual gathering of the Southern California Rotary Club. The combination car show and track day is one of the largest American assemblages Mazdas both old and new, held at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California with official support from Mazda North America.
As JNC‘s resident Mazdafarian Dave Yuan points out, SevenStock is more of a rotary fan fest than a show of Mazda appreciation. As such, the cars lean towards the power-at-all-costs end of the spectrum, but there are still a great number of classics that show up and gems to be found.
Various SoCal rotary clubs filled the corrals with pre-7 rotaries. RX-2s dominated, and RX-3s were oddly better represented in wagon form than coupe.
Our friends at JustRotary.com brought a li’l red RX-3 wagon, which might hold some kind of record for least amount of wood-grain paneling while still having some wood-grain paneling.
If you ever wonder why I love wagons so much, this gorgeously mint RX-3 wagon is why. It’s a JCCS regular, but we never get tired of gazing upon its beautiful originality. With stunning silver-blue paint and the correct chrome roof rack, it’s one of the best and last examples of the breed.
We loved this early RX-3 in all its brutish glory. The angry grille and black wheels are the perfect complement to its period-appropriate dark orange. The original white decal stripe was probably dealer-added for flair when new, but now it hints at at a racier purpose.
We even kind of like the black fender, which makes it looks like a battle wagon from Interstate ’76. We can hear the cries of hypocrisy now — how dare we enjoy a mismatched body panel when it seems like we’ve been deriding them all year. The key is restraint. All clues point to a car that has been kept as original as possible, with the exception of a blacked out grille and headlight trim. Of course, we don’t know the owner’s intention, but from the squarish USDM door mirrors to the decal stripe, it doesn’t read as a car that was purposefully “modified” to look like a drift rat.
Another favorite was this post-facelift RX-3 coupe with US safety bumpers. Though a set of custom staggered Epsilons hints at something sinister underhood, the body is beautifully stock, complete with correct USDM safety bumpers and factory ride height.
Rare examples of the elusive RX-4 made an appearances as well. We picked this as one of our Editors’ Choices from JCCS this year, simply because it is a well-done restoration of a very rare and beautiful car.
This completely tube-framed RX-4, on the other hand, was a work-in-progress that probably began life as a shell that was too far gone to restore. A ton of custom fabrication has already gone into the build, with and with a quad-rotor motor sitting halfway behind the firewall, it will probably be a fairly serious monster when it’s done.
We usually don’t like to post cars whose owners simply came to a show to plop a For Sale sign in the window in hopes of getting a bite, but RX-5s are so rare we’ll make an exception. Hopefully this will find a good home.
SevenStock is also home to the largest gathering of Rotary Pickups in the world. Sure, not all of them are museum quality, but it’s good to see such rare machines represented in any appreciable numbers.
Cars that weren’t originally Wankel-powered but who have seen swaps later in life are accepted into the show as well. There were at least a couple of 510 wagons and a very clean B110 Datsun 1200.
Mazdafarians of all kinds came from all over the country, some even arrived modeling custom Mazda-themed jewelry.
Of course, as the name of the show implies, the largest concentration of cars comes in the form of Mazda RX-7s. FDs are pretty rare in the wild nowadays, but a large contingent poured into the venue for the show.
Our booth neighbor was a Rocket Bunny FD on air suspension. Our buddy Richard Fong at DSport shot this car after the show so look for it in an upcoming feature. The riveted flares are a throwback to the modernized bosozoku style that’s all the rage these days, but the addition of RE Amemiya fender mirrors threw us for a loop. What do JNC readers think?
The show consisted of about one-third FDs, one third FCs, and one third first-gen and miscellaneous old school cars. However, only a small handful of FCs were in truly decent condition, we are sad to report. As a highly regarded sports car of the 80s that once roamed these plains in large numbers, in recent years they’ve been hunted to near extinction for their lovely 13Bs.
One of the finest examples we saw was this Series 4 Turbo II, which was just about as clean an FC we’ve ever seen. It was a bit surprising to see one sans spoiler, but somehow its subtlety only enhances its appeal.
1980s Mazda blues were some of the best colors of the era. Again, clean FCs seem to come primarily in Series 4 guise.
It was the first time in years Allan Rodgers brought out his FC coupe with the classic Racing Beat aero nose.
As is tradition, Mazdaspeed brought out several race cars from their collection and actually ran them on the track. The 787 was sister car to the green and orange Le Mans winner but decked out in its original Mazdaspeed white and blue livery. The cars took turns lapping the NASCAR banks of Auto Club Speedway, both delighting and deafening spectators as the exhaust spit flames on downshift.
Though the IMSA GTO RX-7 and RX-792P may be most familiar to Mazdafarians, Mazda also brought out its lesser known MX-6 IMSA racer. Though it resembled the FF sport coupe, under the skin it was essentially an RX-7, with a two-rotor engine and rear-wheel drivetrain. It won the 1989 IMSA GTU manufacturer’s championship.
Privateer racers also got to join in the festivities as well. This FC was among our favorite, with a simple but beautiful livery and a serifed “7” as a very appropriate calling card. It must have been quite an honor to run among Mazda’s greats.
Other cars didn’t fare as well. Backfire can be a bitch.
Plenty of SA22s and FBs attended as well.
We happened to catch this classic first-gen on Epsilons while a reader modeled a JNC Daytona shirt behind it. The rules are, if you wear a JNC shirt to a show, come to the booth and get a free inkan decal.
A Limited Edition SA22 came all the way from NorCal driven by its original owner and his wife. It was so rarely driven that they crossed 25,000 miles on the way to SevenStock.
A Savanna RX-7 made the cross-Pacific journey as well. I cannot express how much I love plaid seats, and the JDM version had two rows of them.
An FB with a bit of shakotan flair turned heads. The ultra-low stance on Rota Hayashi lookalikes, tsurikawa, and upturned exhaust implied the owner was a student of Japanese street culture.
One of the coolest FBs was an off-white example wearing a set of rare SSR MkIs. The color and wheel choice were very Japanese, and it’s not hard to imagine a car exactly like this prowling the streets of Tokyo.
Someone even brought a Suzuki RE5 modified in cafe racer style. The RE5 was a single-rotary motorcycle manufactured in the mid 1970s. A total of about 6,000 were built.
As the sun began to set, other random cars began to filter into the show area. This incredibly mint Datsun 510 coupe on Libres had just the perfect amount of simple mods to make it a great cruiser. We don’t think this one had a rotary, but you never know.
We’ll have more from SevenStock coming up in another article, so stay tuned. To be continued…
Photo Editor: Ryan Senensky.