Project RX-7 – Makeover Edition

Time to shed that old skin

I know in my last article I said that its whats on the inside that counts. While true, lets be honest here. The outside matters. You want the ‘look-back factor’ with your car. That draw that it has that makes your turn around and look back at it as you walk away. You want jaws to drop as your car rolls through and blurry highway pictures to show up on various enthusiast groups on social media.

While I love the performance prowess of the 3rd generation RX-7 chassis, its looks are other worldly. It is a car that was designed in an era when cars had personality to them. You could easily tell the difference between the Japanese halo cars from their silhouettes. It was this that got me to shun the modern offerings and go back to my beloved platform.

When I received the car, the body was not in the greatest shape. The paint had seen better days and the body needed to be smoothed over here and there. I knew that this was not a task that I wanted to undertake myself. A professional was the best course of action to make sure that she turned out exactly as I had imagined.

Choose Wisely

If you look at any of the car related forums or social media groups, you will find a host of horror stories of people getting ‘deals’ on their paint jobs. I like saving money just like the next guy but I didn’t want to sacrifice my vision just to pocket a little more money. Luckily, I knew the right man for the job. Enter Deon Nikolic, owner of Dejavue Autowerks in Phoenix, Arizona. Deon’s shop has done everything from classic restorations to modern muscle cars. A quick tour of his shop to view the projects he was working on and I was sold.

Low key Fast & Furious Remake

With my decision made, I sat down with Deon to go over what I was looking for with the car. At this point in my automotive life, I am over flashy body kits and flash-in-the-pan trends. With this car, I am more interested in accentuating the lines that I love so much rather than hiding them behind fiberglass and aero components. To really show of the lines, the paint job needed to be top notch.

Phoenix Summer. Some people are gluttons for punishment.

If you know anything about black paint, you know that everything shows. Any little imperfection will stand out to you like a pimple on your forehead right before prom. It will gnaw at you. With a good paint job, the devil is in the details. What you are paying for isn’t the paint itself, its all of the hours that go into prepping the car for paint. It is the endless hours of smoothing the car’s surface before a drop of primer even hits it.

This is why you must choose the shop who will be working on your beloved car wisely.

Please Take Care of Her

In my last article, I told you of how a job change had me moving back to the East Coast. With the RX-7 in her unfinished state, I had decided to leave her back in Arizona to get finished up. It is a pretty unnerving thing to realize that the car you spent so many hours on is going to be 2000+ miles away from you while it gets finished.

Deon’s paint work is top notch but his potato phone photography needs work

Deon was nice enough to show up with a truck and enclosed trailer to take the 7 for her makeover. Once she arrived at the shop, we went over the car and put together a list of everything that needed to be done while she was in his possession. Later that day, I received a photo from him showing the 7 safely tucked away while she awaited her turn.

Measure Twice, Cut Once

Prep prep prep prep

As I previously stated, the key to any good paint job is the prep work. This is doubly true if that paint happens to be black. I wanted this car to be perfect and Dejavue was up to the task. The team spent hour upon hour to get the body into line to make sure that it was smooth throughout. If Deon felt that there was even the slightest bit of an irregularity, it was completely redone until it met his standards.

The team at Dejavue labored through hot days, late nights, and many a weekend till they felt that the car was ready. Finally, it was time to put on color and see how the final product turned out. That, however, is another article….

It takes a lot of work to get a rear end this fine



Stay tuned to see her all put back together!


Special Thanks To

Dejavue Auto Werks

2516 E Jackson St.
Phoenix, AZ 85034

(623) 295-9902


White Lyte Performance

1835 W Willetta St
Phoenix, Arizona 85007

(623) 377-8753


Find RX-7 Project Part 1 HERE

Find RX-7 Project Part 2 HERE

Find RX-7 Project Part 3 HERE

Find RX-7 Project Part 4 HERE


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