The owner of this RX-3 is an MMA fighter who loves himself some cars

The love affair between man and car has once again been captured by the fine folks over at Petrolicious. This time, the spotlight focuses on mixed martial artist Savant Young and his 1973 Mazda RX-3. Fans of Jay Leno’s Garage might remember this exact car appearing in an episode back in August 2015 and though some months have passed since we last saw it, the car hasn’t lost its appeal whatsoever.

First, here’s a little refresher about the car. The Mazda RX-3 Savanna was sold in the U.S. from 1971 to 1978 and was regarded as the rotary-engined version of the 808 Grand Familia. It was also considered as a quality race car in its day, thanks in large part to its ability to crank out as much as 105 horsepower, a number that was pretty high at that time.

Young’s RX3 still exudes that same 70’s hatchback spirit, even if the MMA fighter himself admitted that it’s been through extensive upgrades and modifications. He’s dropped the car’s engine entirely, instead fitting a rotary engine running gear from the second-generation Mazda RX-7 and installing a turbocharger. He also made changes to the body, specifically the rear end, which was actually taken from a Toyota Hilux half-ton pickup. Even the wheels and tires are new, as are the brakes, which are now made from aerospace components. Even the car’s color was lifted from Lamborghini’s color palette.

As many changes as the car has undergone in the 15 years that Young has owned it, what remains is the driver’s affection for his one-of-a-kind ride. It may not be the fastest car or the most-modern looking. It doesn’t even handle quite well on tight corners as Young himself admitted. But, in his eyes, it’s the only car worth caring about. That’s the kind of love affair between man and car that really transcends the traditional relationships between the two.

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