As stock as my car’s exterior is, I am very content with it. ’99 front bumper, mud flaps, FEED spoiler… that’s all I wanted. Well, except for one more thing – the FEED hood. I have a soft spot for this hood’s design as I find it striking yet subtle. From certain angles, you can barely tell that it’s any different from a stock hood. The dual vents are highly reminiscent of the Jaguar XJ220. The fact that this kind of hood is available for the RX-7 made it a must-have, with skepticisms notwithstanding. I’m sure the alternative hoods that are more aggressively vented perform better, but this is one of the rare instances where I will favor form over function. The FEED’s vents will provide additional heat relief, which is sufficient for the cause.
Shine Auto Project used to make a FRP & Carbon version of the FEED hood, but no longer do so. Regardless, I’m not a fan of any composite material hoods. Even though the FEED hood is the only aftermarket variant I’d purposely install on my car, I still didn’t want to go aftermarket, per-say. I was keen on retaining exact OEM fitment and also obviating the need for hood latches. This meant I was left with one, more interesting option of “procuring” this hood – make my own hybrid. You gotta do what you gotta do…
I hit up my man Ken @ Shine and was able to convince him to make me a copy of just the dual vents. I then brought this over to William and had him work some magic into my stock hood. Needless to say, the molding and bodywork process was quite difficult and intricate ($$$). I asked William to take pictures along the way, check it out.
Here is what the vents look like placed over the stock hood, for reference.
In order to transpose the vent accurately into the hood, very precise and measured cuts needed to be made.
Inserted into position:
Next came the task of bonding everything together.
And then a lot of filling and smoothing.
The holes for the vents were then cut out. Only the center sections of the vents were cut because this was a balance of compromising structural rigidity. Furthermore, the framework of the stock hood actually impedes the vents on the side areas, so it wasn’t worth it.
The job took about 3 weeks to complete. Here is the hood painted and installed.
Looking good! And I’m glad to finally have a hood back on the car.
I will be taking the car and hood back to William again soon for touchups. The backsides of the vents will be painted flat black to add contrast. William is also going to add in vents and mesh material on the undersides to help increase the rigidity.