There’s absolutely nothing “common” about the princely RX-7 known as Jealous Ahura
As a matter of respect, its owner must be addressed as T.M.R. These three letters are the abbreviation of “Tatah Mahkota Rawa”, which in English translates to “The Crown of Indonesia”. T.M.R. descends from the bloodline of the very first King of Malaysia. He is bona fide royalty, the man who himself will one day be the Emperor.
However, upon meeting T.M.R., a man of much importance to his people and state, you’re immediately struck by his low key nature. The quietly spoken VIP is somewhat of a Renaissance man, an elite singer and accomplished exponent of the erhu, a Chinese two-stringed violin. T.M.R. certainly has an eye for detail and with assistance from his team of loyal, royal servants – who are dedicated to the maintenance of the car 24/7 – has poured five years into the conception and creation of Jealous Ahura.
In Japanese, “Ahura” means “God of Light” and was the name given by the Mazda family to the first of its eponymous vehicles. “When the car was 70% completed, those who jeered became quiet and turned their backs on me. They never returned my phone calls again,” T.M.R. explained, “I assume they were probably jealous, hence the name for the car.”
Before its unveiling, this regal FD RX-7 was so shrouded in secrecy, it was transported to the Sydney Showgrounds – the site of Meguiar’s MotorEx – under the cover of darkness at 2am. “Most of the time, we kept Jealous Ahura covered,” said T.M.R, “but there was some spying going on.”
Jealous Ahura made history when it debuted in the House of Kolor Inauguration on Saturday 11th July 2009. It is the first international show car to participate in the prestigious event – for which it was specifically built – and the first time a vehicle from Malaysia has travelled abroad to compete. Even in the car’s infancy, T.M.R. knew his passion, belief and execution would eventually draw international interest: “It is not easy to make the cut for such a prestigious event. Some of my friends even mocked me, thinking that I would never have the drive to modify the car as the first Malaysian entry in the competition,” T.M.R revealed.
Importantly, the majestic RX-7 boasted the support and approval of government, including Tourism Malaysia, plus the Tunku Mahkota, His Royal Highness, the Crown Prince of Johor, who visited Team T.M.R.’s workshop upon the car’s completion. His Royal Highness is an avid car enthusiast with a fleet of exotica from the likes of Ferrari and Lamborghini. “Tunku Mahkota scanned the car in detail. He saw the bodywork, the paint, the electronics and popped the hood to see the engine,” said T.M.R., “he was smiling all the time.”
Jealous Ahura has been many years in the making, the job at hand made all the more challenging by the limited specialists in automotive modification and customisation in Malaysia: “My team and I had to search high and low for spare parts,” T.M.R. recalled.
Whereas a local fibreglass worker made the customised widebody kit, the automatic Lamborghini scissor doors were sourced from Canada. Internationally acclaimed Aussie airbrush artist Joe Webb of Bad Image was flown with House of Kolor’s Owen Webb to Malaysia where they spent a week in Johor working on the RX-7.
The bodywork’s “East meets West” theme features the Royal Kerawang motif of Tatah Mahkota Rawa’s own ancestry that normally adorns Indonesian and Malaysian architecture, royal clothing and handmade silver jewelery. T.M.R. was persistent that the vehicle reflect its Malay roots: “My culture is in the car.”
In a new interpretation on the traditional emblem, Webb incorporated tribal flames and pin-striping techniques throughout the House of Kolor Kandy Apple Red paint over Gold base. “I am proud of (Joe’s) work,” said T.M.R., “I must say he has done an exquisite job with my car.”
T.M.R. sourced local craftsman Nur Amynuddin who hand-made the Royal Kerawang motifs throughout the car from copper and sent them to Chrometech in Australia to be chrome-plated. The flower pods and leaves were then fully encrusted in brilliant red Swasrovski crystals.
The superbly customised interior sparkles, as does the exquisitely polished engine bay and immaculately prepared exterior, including those 19 inch Weds Sport rims.
While international recognition is reward for the crew’s hard work, T.M.R. hasn’t lost sight of Jealous Ahura’s opportunity to shine the spotlight on Malaysia and its people, who lent their support even while the project was top secret. To show their gratitude, Team T.M.R. will embark on a road trip upon returning to Malaysia, allowing the people to at last see Jealous Ahura in all its majestic glory. That’s before T.M.R. undertakes his next automotive project, which he simply described as “American Muscle”. Won’t all the naysayers be jealous now!
SPECS. Jealous Ahura – Mazda RX7
- Owner: Tatah Mahkota Rawa
- Vehicle: 1991 Mazda RX7 Series VI
- Engine: 13B twin-turbo rotary
- Gearbox: Factory five-speed auto
- Suspension/Brakes: Tein Super Street adjustable coil-overs with EDFC, VTTR six-piston callipers, cross-drilled (front) and slotted (rear) rotors
- Wheels/Tyres: Weds Sport Kranze 19inch rims, Yokohama Advan Sport 255/30 (front) and 305/35 (rear) tyres
- Bodywork: Custom bodywork and bonnet, automatic Lamborghini scissor doors
- Interior: Red and black leather re-trim (repadded seats, steering wheel, dash, door-trims, pillars, roof-lining, red Swarovski crystals throughout, Defi Blue Racer meters (USA) (boost, water, temperature, volts), GReddy turbo timer
- Audio/Visual: Pioneer touchscreen TV, 6inch speakers, custom Royal Kerawang covers, subwoofer cover with RX-7 logo
- Awards: Meguiar’s MotorEx 2009 Superstar and Kudos award
Story Elias Velis. Photography Ricardo Awadallah.