Since debuting to widespread acclaim at Meguiar’s MotorEx, Melbourne in 2014, John Saad’s incredible FATRX3 has undergone continual refinement. John and his build team have been burning many hours of midnight oil on the already amazing HOK Galaxy Grey 1972 Mazda, to transform it into one of Australia’s best show cars. Even after taking out Top Judged Elite at Summernats 28, the crew was still unhappy, taking the Mazda back into the workshop in preparation for the big one – Meguiar’s MotorEx Sydney 2015.
Their efforts were ultimately rewarded by snagging a spot in the coveted Meguiar’s Super Six, before taking out the inaugural Meguiar’s Superstars Grand Master. “I’m over the moon. The Meguiar’s MotorEx Grand Master is the biggest award that we have been working towards and to win is amazing,” said John.
John was also quick to point out that he had a great deal of help with the build, “I need to thank Chris from CS Engineering, Danny and Claude at Custom Bodyworks, my brother Michael from JT Performance , Mick from Sewtime Interiors, Al from Al’s Race Glides, Red from Craft Differentials, Ojay from Plazmaman, Mark from On Track Electrical, Gareth from Davies Towing, Zoran from Black Track Towing, Sam and John from Tempe Tyres, my brothers George and Nick along with good friends Rob, Paul and TJ.”
Looking at the sheer level of detail and quality of finish that abounds in this mighty sedan, it’s understandable FATRX3 is the inaugural winner of what is destined to become Australia’s most prestigious super-elite award. Let’s take a closer look at this extraordinary machine. From the earliest days of the four-year build, John set his sights on fashioning one of the best elite cars ever constructed in Australia, capable of conquering Australia’s biggest show car accolades. He was fully aware that achieving such a feat would require an extraordinary level of modification.
With this in mind he commissioned CS Engineering to undertake much of the fabrication work. The engine bay and underside have been completely smoothed, while the body has been lowered down over the chassis. The original strut front end has been replaced with a double A-arm design, while a triangulated four-link anchors the door-slammer style Mark Williams modular diff. Turning those massive 22-inch Simmons three-piece wheels (new for MotorEx Sydney) on the rear is a Cosmo 13B turbo that’s good for around 450 horses at the treads. Hauling FATRX3 back to a stop is colossal 16-inch discs and six-spot calipers all ’round.
Although John was adamant that FATRX3 remain instantly recognisable and not lose that classic Mazda look, every panel has been significantly massaged. Every edge has been radiused, there’s not a sharp edge or join in sight. The bonnet now opens forward (opposite to original), the bars are sucked into the body and the radiator support panel has been moulded in and around the radiator and intercooler, while the rear door frames have been reshaped to clear the wheel tubs. John also went to the extent of removing and smoothing over many of the factory moulds, while recessing or flush mounting many others – all without losing that classic Mazda RX3 look.
Custom Bodyworks was tasked with getting it all ‘straight as’ and laying on the sumptuous HOK Galaxy Grey and intricate graphic work. Considering FATRX3 took out Gold Champion Award for Paintwork and Silver Champion Award for Bodywork, the crew at Custom Bodyworks can justifiably give themselves a pat on the back. Rounding out the trophy haul at Meguiar’s MotorEx Sydney 2015, includes Gold Champion Award for Impact and Display, Silver Champion Award for Engine & Components, Bronze Champion Award for Undercarriage & Driveline and a spot in the Meguiar’s Super Six.
On top of FATRX3’s features in Fast Fours and Rotaries and Hot 4s magazine, it’s also attracted international attention with a feature in NZ Performance, as well as headlining on the US Car Crazy TV show. All in all, John’ sensational ’72 RX3 it’s arguably the best in the world and will undoubtedly become the benchmark against which all others will be judged.
All hail the 2015 Meguiar’s Superstars Grand Master!