When written down on paper, this does sound a bit crazy: After all the work of sourcing, refinishing, and mounting the RegaMasters, I have decided it’s time for a change. What were once considered to be my dream set of wheels have now grown stale. The underlying reason behind my change of heart is that the RegaMasters simply looked too stock.
Most of what I’ve done so far, at least aesthetically, with this RX-7, I’ve done with the best intentions to preserve the stock look. I chose to err on the side of caution and play the conservative, mature card. All of that started to get boring, so it’s time to turn things up a notch. The RegaMasters looked great in their 17″ size and I was happy with the outcome, but again, they looked like wheels that could have come with the car from Mazda. While I don’t miss the XD9’s, I do miss the black-on-black look. I also wanted to go back to 18″ for the increased presence and appeal.
If I was going to retire the RegaMasters, it would have to be in favor of a setup that would be a worthy successor. After conducting my fair share of research and debating over what wheels truly compliment an RX-7, I ultimately pursued a set of wheels that I’ve always wanted… and by that, I mean since back in the days of my first RX-7. Finally, the time was ripe to bring to fruition a setup that had lingered in my mind for years – Dark Gunmetal Advan RS’s for the rear and RZ’s for the front. The mismatch is purposeful. To the untrained eye, both wheels will look indifferent at first glance. It’s this subtle dichotomy that adds an appreciable detail to the overall package of the car.
I called upon the same contact I used in Japan to buy me the RegaMasters for these Advans. They were out of stock from Mackin, the USA distributor, and ordering through a Stateside vendor typically takes months for delivery. I took a shortcut by asking my guy to buy these wheels directly from Advan Japan, and then DHL Air Mail them to me. Once they were shipped, they only took about 2-3 days to arrive at my doorstep!
Another reason why I chose to go with this Advan set is because the sizings available were PERFECT for the FD3S. And yes, staying true to form, I stuck with yet another 10″ wide, 255 squared setup. With each past iteration of wheels, I’ve adjusted the sizing incrementally. The rears on the XD9’s protruded too much for my tastes, and the fronts were too sunken in. I improved the fitment with the RegaMasters by bringing the rears in (they were +20 offset versus the XD9s’ +18). I also spaced the fronts to +35 effective. In summation, the RegaMasters sat 2mm inboard in the rear, and 3mm outboard in the front. However, to REALLY dial things in, I felt that the rears could still be more “flush” and the fronts could fill up the fenders slightly more.
Building upon all of this, I found the sizes Advan offered to be exactly what I needed this time around. The rears RS’s are 18×10″ +25 (5mm inboard versus the RegaMasters) and the front RZ’s are 18×10″ +35 (same effective). My tire choice is what ties everything together. 255/35/18 is a very good sizing for a stock body FD3S, and that’s what I stayed with… except in the form of beefier Toyo R888’s. I know better by now than to skimp on tires. Having proper rubbers will really spearhead a successful wheel package. Plus, I’ve always wanted to run R-Comps – treadwear and overkilling be damned.
Anyway, here’s a picture of the wheels laid flat to show their concavity. They are all the deeper, GTR faces.
And mounted with the R888’s:
There was no way I could resist holding out, I threw them on one side of the car as soon as I could. The anticipation when buying a new set of wheels and the expectant haste that follows is certainly interesting.
I forgot to take out the 5mm spacer in the front when I installed the wheels, so the front RZ is fitted more aggressively than it should.
Given my track record, I haven’t been the best at holding onto a set of wheels longer than a few months. I put maybe 200 miles on the XD9s, and only about 100 miles on the RegaMasters before moving on. Albeit, I have high confidence for this Advan set, so hopefully they will be the keeper!