The RE Amemiya booth at the Tokyo Auto Salon always gathers a special display of rotary-powered cars. The legendary Mazda tuner typically has a fleet of heavily modified RX-7s and RX-8s to display with one old school Hiroshima sled thrown in. This year that came in the form of a 1979 Mazda Familia Van, known in the US as a GLC Wagon, with a rotary engine swap.
The Familia was never sold with a rotary engine from the factory. However, the rear-wheel-drive platform’s commonalities with the RX-3 lend itself to easy rotary swaps. Around the world, from Australia to Puerto Rico, drag racers have been putting ported 13Bs into the compact and light GLCs for decades.
In the case of the RE Amemiya car, it’s powered by a bridge-ported 13B from an FC3S RX-7. Matched with an FD3S radiator, Racing Beat intake manifold, Weber 45s, and an oil cooler of RE-Amemiya’s own creation, output has been increased to 207 horsepower. Power is sent through an SA22C transmission with an Ogura clutch sandwiched between. Shocks come from the SA22C as well, while the brakes have been pilfered from an FD3S. Power Craft headers and exhaust and Enkei PF05s round out the mods.
The once popular Familia Van is near extinct these days and this isn’t the kind of heat you’d expect its cute pug face to be packing. The wagon joins RE Amemiya’s Chantez, SA22C, and more in a long line of classic rotaries that have made an impact at Japan’s greatest tuner show.