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Anthony Nazzal’s MAZDASPEED3

Like many enthusiasts Anthony Nazzal’s tuning odyssey starts with the infamous line “the car was originally only destined to be a daily driver.” It’s inevitable that modest beginnings evolve into impressive results, but this MAZDASPEED3 is really trick.

Anthony was looking for a commuter car because he had a BRS wide-body kitted, supercharged chameleon Nissan 350Z that was getting prepared for the 2009 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) trade show in Las Vegas. Remembers Anthony, “Originally I was going to just pick up something cheap with lots of interior space, but then I test drove the Mazda and fell in love with the way it handled and drove.”

Eventually Anthony got bored with the Z and decided to sell it to help pay for a new condominium. The Mazda became his only car and was soon also his sole focus and the only way to feed his tuning addiction.

Anthony planned to keep it real because the Mazda needed to remain a viable daily driver, so engine builds, larger turbos, and other things like that were unfortunately out of the equation.

The first set of mods was cleaning up the interior and enhancing the sound system. “My old Z was a show car and I dumped thousands into that stuff and I never got it sounding quite right. It was okay, it looked great, but it just wasn't pleasant to listen to.

“The first thing I did with the Mazda was take it to Reus Systems in Anaheim, Caifornia to get a custom stereo installed. It’s a low-key system; the head unit remains stock and all the components are stealth. You cannot tell at all that there is anything custom done, but it sounds amazing.

“Reus uses its own patented crossover and amplifier technologies to really pull a wonderful sound from any car they build. Hands down, the stereo is the thing I focus on most, regardless of what car I'm in. So I'm extremely happy with the MAZDASPEED3 and always look forward to spending time behind the wheel.”

Tuning is another important part of the build. Sure the exterior has cool carbon fiber pieces and looks the part, but this dog can back up its bark.

“I was sick of having all the bolt-ons and power mods and still feeling like the car hiccupped here and there or stuttered periodically. I had already re-flashed the car using the Cobb AccessPort using their out-of-the-box maps from their web site, but every car is different and takes to mods differently.

“Church Automotive did an outstanding job of making this car's potential really shine while still being a very capable daily driver. I have no worries about turning the key and driving anywhere and long distance trips are welcomed. The car feels completely different with the correct tune and I strongly urge anyone doing this level of mods to their ride to get a professional tune by a good shop. It's money well spent.”

“We initially pulled 327 horsepower and 368 lbs-ft of torque at an approximate peak boost pressure of 21psi. I had to re-tune recently because it was running heavily rich and sluggish and we found that the intake air temps were very high. We did a high-power run just to see the exact limits of the heat soak from the turbo and were able to bump it up to 352 horsepower and 378 lbs-ft, but the configuration was on the edge so we dialed back the boost. The car now produces 311.3 horsepower and 357 lbs.-ft.”

“The Mazda has been really good to me, and it's a bombshell to drive. I am pleased I built this platform but must admit I never even considered a MAZDASPEED3 until I drove it. The car sold itself. But I am the kind of person that likes the journey, the build process, and once you reach the end of that road it becomes time to focus on something new.”

Is Anthony going to abandon ship altogether or is he hinting he will add another ride to his stable? Either way he will have a hard time topping this seductive MS3.

MODIFICATIONS SUMMARY
Anthony Nazzal‘s 2008 MAZDASPEED3 GT

Engine & Accessories
Corksport Intercooler and top-mount filter kit
Denso Iridium spark plugs
Buddy Club voltage kit
Custom Grounding kit by Nathaniel Fuentes
Cobb downpipe
Modified straight-through Greddy TIC 3” exhaust piping
K&N filter
Street Unit engine & transmission mounts
Custom black painted valve cover
High-performance fuel pump
Custom gold heat shielding
COBB Access Port with custom tune
Custom shifter weight
Titanium dress-up bolts
DG Motorsports carbon-fiber grille intake vents
DG motorsports carbon-fiber engine cover

Suspension & Brakes
KW & MAZDASPEED custom coil-over suspension
GT Spec trunk cage
GT Spec full under-car chassis brace package
MAZDASPEED rear control arms
Brembo GT front big-brake kit
Ferodo Street brake pads
Stainless steel brake lines
Motul RBF600 brake fluid

Wheels & Tires
18x8.5 +50 Advan RS wheels in custom gold finish
Custom 3mm spacers
Kumho XS tires
Lightweight forged lug nuts

Exterior
DG Motorsports version 2 hood, carbon front lip, side skirt extensions, rear wing, rear bumper diffuser, front grille, side mirrors and front bumper nose insert
Custom carbon fog light surrounds
3M Carbon-look roof overlay
Custom Clear Bra installed
Yellow fog light upgrades
Painted to match headlight eyebrows
Rear wiper delete

Interior
Reus Audio custom digital stereo system
Sparco Evo XL racing seat
Takata harness
Custom harness bar
CPE triple gauge pod
ProSport gauges
Red & black carbon dash kit

Sponsors & Thanks
David at DG Motorsports, Andrew at Street Unit, Nathaniel for the grounding kits, Victor at Invisible Edge, Team Ar-Kan, my wife Rebecca, Rick Reus at Reus Audio

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