SEMA360 Feature Vehicle Showcase: John Ubalde's 1993 Mazda RX-7

John Ubalde's father is the main contributor for his passion of cars. "He loved working on his Mustang," Ubalde remembers, "and taught me along the way." Growing up in the 80’s playing with Hot Wheels and watching CannonBall Run, Smokey and the Bandit, Dukes of Hazard, Knight Rider, The Wraith, Mad Max, and James Bond (to say the least), really made a huge impact on him. "I remember having these movies on BetaMax and I just kept repeating the car scenes," he states.

In early 2008, Ubalde bought his friend's Mazda RX-7 and fell in love with it. In 2018, the car caught on fire. Fortunately, Ubalde already had another one, this 1993 Mazda RX-7 you see here, lined up for purchase years prior. Once he received it, Ubalde let all his plans for it go into motion.

After having a nicely built 13B rotary FD for a decade, Ubalde always wanted a LS version of the car. "I wanted to have both versions, rotary and piston, in my the garage," he mentions. This FD was professionally-built by Hinson Supercars in Alabama. It’s a low-mileage aluminum LS1 with Patriot heads, cam and pulleys, and the full installation and complete painting of the car was meticulously done at the same time.

One major thing Ubalde loves about this car is how different it is to all modern cars that are currently out there. The FD really sticks out of the crowd yet still looks modern to today’s designs.


Competitor: John Ubalde
Location: Menifee, California, USA
Vehicle: 1993 Mazda RX-7
Horsepower: 450 whp
Club: Team Hybrid


Facebook: /jubalde
Instagram: @jubalde


  • Aluminum 5.7 LS1, built, installed and tuned by Hinson SuperCars AL: 450 RWHP / 410 Torque
  • Patriot 706 64cc Stage 2 Heads
  • Ported & Polished
  • 650” Lift Springs
  • Titanium Retainers
  • 2.02” Intake Valves
  • 1.57” Exhaust Valves
  • Patriot Cam 225/229 .580 .590 114+4
  • LS6 Intake Manifold
  • Auto Specialties under-drive pulley
  • Hinson Custom Headers
  • MSD 8.8mm Wires w/ jackets
  • Walbro 255 Fuel Pump
  • AeroMotive FPR
  • Micron Inline Fuel Filter
  • Battery Relocation kit to Passenger Rear
  • LRB Aluminum Cooling Panel
  • AFe Filter w/ Custom Cold Air Intake Piping
  • HOWE Custom Aluminum Radiator
  • Volvo 740 Radiator Electric Fan
  • Fully working A/C and adjustable HEID Power Steering


  • Custom 4"" Exhaust Piping
  • ReinHard Titanium Double Cannonball Exhaust


  • Custom Tuned PCM by HinsonMotorSports
  • ProSport Premium EVO 60mm Digital Gauges
  • Oil Pressure Peak/Hold
  • Oil Temp Peak/Hold
  • Water Temp Peak/Hold
  • Custom Modified and tuned GM ECU


  • T56 6-Speed Transmission w/ Hinson Transmission Mounts
  • Hinson Motorsports T56 Short Shifter
  • Cobra 8.8 Differential (3.55 gears) w/ Hinson Dif. Mounts


  • Blitz BRW Type03 Wheels, Custom 17" to 18" Step-lip Build Conversion - 18x10.5 High Face (f), 18x11.5 Low Face (r)
  • Custom Gold Bolts
  • Wheels built by @ChamorroBoy86


  • Wilwood Stainless Steel Braided Brake lines
  • Wilwood BBK 6 Piston Calipers w/ X-Drilled and Slotted 2 piece rotors
  • ABS Delete w/ WILWOOD Proportioning Valve
  • Wilwood Clutch Cylinder
  • Hurst Line-Loc


  • Fortune Auto 500 Coilovers - 12k Swift Springs
  • Fortune Auto Air Piston Lift System (APLS) 4-corners
  • Dual VIAIR 444c Compressor setup
  • Cusco Strut Tower Brace
  • Adjustable Updated Tie Rods


  • Custom 50th Anniversary Red Metallic Candy paint (Complete including engine bay, frame, door jams, etc.)
  • Avery Dennison "Roaring Thunder" Vinyl wrap
  • Ceramic Coated 10H IGL Kenzo
  • 1999 Spec OEM Mazda JDM Front Bumper
  • GroupA Motoring AD9 Carbon Fiber Hood
  • GroupA Motoring FEED Style Wide body kit
  • MazdaSpeed Carbon Fiber Front Lip
  • LegSport Carbon Fiber Front Canards
  • LegSport Carbon Fiber Side Deflectors
  • 1999 Spec 3 Piece Rear Adjustable Spoiler
  • ODULA Carbon Fiber Center Spoiler
  • Shine Auto Carbon Fiber FEED Side Skirt Extensions
  • Re-Amemiya Carbon Fiber Pro Rear Diffuser
  • Carbon Fiber Rear Diffuser Vortex Generators
  • AeroCatch Flush Hood Pins
  • RE-Amemiya Side Mirrors
  • Car Shop Glow V2 LED Front Turn Signals
  • Car Shop Glow V1 LED Rear Tail Lights
  • Griffith Racing Rear Tow Hook


  • Car Shop Glow V2 LED Front Turn Signals
  • Car Shop Glow V1 LED Rear Tail Lights


  • Custom Seibon Carbon Fiber Door Panels
  • Carbon Fiber Center Console
  • Carbon Fiber HVAC frame
  • Carbon Fiber Gauge Dash Frame
  • Carbon Fiber Triple Gauge Pod
  • Carbon Fiber ProCar Evolution Seats
  • ProSport Premium EVO 60mm Digital Gauges - Oil Pressure Peak/Hold, Oil Temp Peak/Hold, Water Temp Peak/Hold
  • Corbeau Seat Rails and Brackets
  • Works Bell Steering Wheel Hub Adapter
  • NRG Quick Tilt System
  • Nardi Deep Corn 350mm Steering Wheel
  • Weighted Neo-Chrome Shift Knob
  • SakeBomb Passenger Foot Rest
  • Custom Aluminum Dead Pedal


  • Alpine ILX-W650 Stereo
  • Alpine SPR-50C Type "R" Speakers


"The Blitz Type-03 were one of my favorite wheels back in the late '90s. I actually had one of the first sets in the U.S. on my 300ZX! The Type-03 is such an iconic '90s era specific wheel meant for a '90s JDM car. They were discontinued in the early-2000s and it took me years to find a perfect set. Once I found a set of 17s, I wanted to make the wheel have the same personality as the Phoenix7, updated for the new millennia. My wheel builder "ChamorrowBoy86" gave it an updated 2020 flare enlarging them to an 18-inch with step lips, gunmetal faces, black gold center caps, and gold hardware."


  • Reinstalling the NX Nitrous system to 100shot bringing the car back to 509hp
  • Installing FEED GT front and rear fenders


  • GrandMasters Paint-care
  • ChamorroBoy86
  • Fortune Auto Suspension
  • GroupA Motoring
  • BFGoodrich
  • Amsoil Lubricants
  • Wilwood Brake Systems
  • FinalSpeed Garage


  • FinalSpeed Garage Corp. - Cyrus Martinez, Murrieta, CA

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