Senshi: The Black Warrior

Welcome back fans! Today we are visiting Tom S. the owner of Senshi. I met Tom a couple months back at a local car meet, where I found myself hovering around his car with about 20 other enthusiasts. With it being so hard to shoot around other peers, I was left with a mere couple solid shots. I found Tom on Facebook and contacted him for an exclusive shoot and interview. The day we ended up shooting turned out to be a rainy cloudy day. Considering how much fighting I did with the weather, I believe these images are top notch! Hope you enjoy and like always, visit my Facebook page for the full feature shoot! Just a heads up for all you fans out there, I will be featuring Rachele Leah right after Tom! Rachele is the gorgeous model you see in these photos.
Here is what our good friend Tom S. had to share with us!

My name is Tom Scalese. I currently have a BFA in Graphic Design from Kutztown University with strong concentrations in advertising and illustration. I utilize my illustration skills in a variety of ways but have been tattooing for a number of years now. I have always had a vision of a multi-car garage with a nice little studio above so in the future I hope to see this play out. I recently launched a new product to the market called Quotewall™ ( Quotewall is a re-positionable interactive peel & stick wall decal created to capture the best words and moments of life! Think of it as a running yearbook but better! Great for schools, college, apartments or parties of any kind. This was a college idea that took off between a large group of people and is slowly spreading. It was created and designed by me about a year ago and is planned to hit stores in the coming months as well as branching off into the social networking scene.

Looking on to the RX7. I was always into cars since my first car, an 1987 Volvo 240DL. I was forced to buy at 15 from a family member and did what I could to enhance it. It was a hideous display of styling but it got the job done. I later bought my high-school/college car, a bone stock 1996 Jetta and started the whole "project car" thing, learning much through the process. I completed this project, doing almost everything I could think of, all the way thru to fitting a BBM Supercharger on it. After college and a few car shows, it placed but would never be a stand out as a daily, so I looked onward. My dream car was always an FD. I shopped but realized it wasn't a practical option at the time. I landed on an E36 M3. I played with this car a bit, adding some bolt-ons but wanted to keep it as the perfect daily. This car is seriously the "Ultimate Driving Machine" and since its suites my needs well, I still daily this car.

Since middle school, the FD was always that car I lusted after. For years I would shop it and realize it was still out of my price range, but then after more serious research and trips to see a few, I was sold. I looked at 4 before landing on the one I currently have. I wanted an RX7 that wasn't highly modded or beat on but also one that was worth making a project car out of. Since the 13B and rotary motors are notorious for needing seals and such at relatively low miles, I didn't want anything with over 80k miles. My demands didn't stop there. I had always told myself that I wouldn't buy a red RX7. I hate being cliche and that's mostly all you see around. So I knew it couldn't be red and I knew I wanted leather but finding the right combination wasn't easy as these cars are more and more rare. Then oddly enough after driving up towards NY and almost into Virginia, my perfect car showed up on Coincidentally it was a mere 5 miles from my house. So that summer, I went to see it and that was that. It was a Brilliant Black 1993 Mazda RX7 with only 37,500 miles on it with only an HKS exhaust, Apexi PowerFC and FMIC on it. The mods were not extreme but what sold me was the mileage. The car was in great shape for the year and looked to be well maintained. The paint needed just some TLC and the interior beige leather and in decent shape as well. The only issue that held me back was it being an automatic trans. After setting up the pros and cons list I determined I liked knowing the mileage was low and that it most likely wasn't beat on or red-lined, etc.

I researched the trans swap and started piecing together the project. My buddy Matt Gross and I tackled the job during the winter and after a long 3 day weekend had it up and running. The car went from there, a lot of research on what other people had done, as I didn't want to have the same FD as someone else. The car has near showroom condition paint and is one of the cleanest FDs I've seen in a while. The one thing I see the most at shows is the love of the bamboo. Growing up in the Volkswagen game you see a lot of creative mods as well as a few that make you say, "Why?". While working on the RX, I really started playing into the whole black and tan look and didn't want an over the top show car. I wanted a smooth combination of form and function with nothing that distracting. I was thinking of going the VW route and fitting the trunk with a wood floor to be different and in brainstorming with the pops, he said, "Wouldn't a bamboo floor match the tan interior well, especially since its a Japanese car?!?" That was all it took to go out and start the trunk. We customized the trunk with color matched 'tongue and groove' bamboo flooring. Once completed it needed something more, but I wasn't about the spend the money on a sound system that I will never use. My buddy Matt jokingly was making comments about ditching the spare and how that probably wasn't the best idea. This conversation lead to him saying, "A full size spare would be different" and with that I was on the phone ordering it. This complimented the trunk which later lead to buying a matching bamboo Fiat Abarth shift knob. I just recently fit the car with a 4 point rollbar with, yet again, a touch of bamboo. In the coming months I may do more motor work and try to boost the twins a bit more but since it's more of a show car now I'm holding off. It was base tuned after the trans swap so it just hasn't been a strong priority to work on the numbers for me just yet.

Make: Mazda
Model: RX7
Year: 1993
Mileage: 38,000 original miles
Built by: Self Built 
Location: Doylestown, PA
Engine: 13B Twin Turbo 1.3L 2 Rotor
Horsepower: 300rwhp (@12lbs boost)
Torque: 249 (@12lbs boost)

 Senshi The Black Warrior

Engine Modifications:

Polished Greddy FMIC, Polished Greddy Intake Elbow and Polished HKS SS-BOV
APEXi Power FC Stand-alone engine management & custom fit commander
2004 BNR Stage 3 Twin Turbos and Polished HKS Intakes
Turbo XS Dual Stage Boost Controller
Emission Block Off Plates and full non-sequential turbo setup
Polished intake manifold and throttle body
Polished 99’ Spec Y-pipe and Crossover pipe
Polished Unorthodox Racing Pulley Kit with smog delete
Relocated polished Catch can
Polished Koyo R1443 Aluminum Radiator and Optima Redtop relocation to rear bin


Magnaflow 3" stainless exhaust with Vibrance Mid Muffler Resonator
Cat-less with custom downpipe


Manual transmission swap w/Clutch Masters FX300 stage 3 clutch 
B&M Style short throw

Chassis / Suspension: 

Apexi N1 Fully Adjustable Coilovers
Polished Greddy Strut bar
Custom Kirk Racing 4 point RollBar

Wheels / Tires / Brakes: 
Konig Private Legends f.18x8.5 r.19x9.5 w/FALKEN FK 452
5th Wheel Spare 18x8 w/FALKEN FK 452
Cross drilled and slotted front and rear rotors

99’ Spec Round Tails and 99’ Spec R1 Lip
99' Spec Custom Smoked Front Turn Lights
Custom front bumper with side marker delete
Australian Smoked rear side markers
FEED Side skirts 

500 Madness Fiat Bamboo shift knob
Custom match Bamboo trunk and rollbar connectors
Momo Faster Steering Wheel
Custom leather shift boot and ebrake boots 
Autometer Sport Comp II Boost & Voltmeter
Autometer Sport Comp narrowband air/fuel
99’ Spec JDM Door Sills

Sponsors/shout outs/ Links/Facebook
Custom front end and fender rolls done by Kirban Customs ( )
4UDrew Foundation
Import Face-Off at Kil-Kare Raceway in Xenia, OH 6...
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