Why? Because Mazda Protege rally car

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Just let that description sink in for a moment: Mazda Protege rally car. Yes. It’s a thing.

I love my automotive enthusiast friends. They always have the most interesting things on their news feeds. Such was the case with this Mazda Protege rally car that was spotted on the Grand Rapids, Michigan Craigslist.


A rally car is pretty cool. A Mazda Protege… well, not so much – usually. We’ll make an exception for the Mazdaspeed version, but in any other guise, they’re basically pretty bland economy cars. Except in Mazda Protege rally car trim.


According to the text in the ad, this car was designed from the ground up around a “brand new factory fresh Protege with zero miles.” Somebody took a brand new, factory delivered car… and made it a race car. I approve of this message. This is the type of biscuits and crazy we can get behind here at Auto Waffle.


This Mazda Protege has more mods than probably any other in the world. Aside from a whole slew of engine mods, including a new long block, exhaust, and much much more, the owner of this car knew what he was doing when it came to making a race car. A carbon fiber hood (reportedly weighing in at just five pounds – FIVE!) and Lexan windows for the rear doors and rear window help lighten it where it counts – and where no one else will ever probably go. The shell was completely seam welded and reinforced with a Racecraft cage, too. This thing is ready to take some serious abuse.

Mazda-Protege-Rally-Car-Engine-Underhood-1 Mazda-Protege-Rally-Car-engine-photo-1

And it has. Here’s what the owner has to say about the car’s history:

Over this car’s career it has amassed 5 National victories, earned 2nd place honors at 4 National rallies, and 8 3rds. It has a total of 23 rallies on it, and it has only DNF’d twice (once due to a broken wheel, and once to driver error.) It has been featured in Sport Compact Car magazine, and has had photos in that magazine as well as Men’s Health magazine, various calendars, etc.

So just how much does it take to own a Mazda Protege rally car that runs on 104 octane and probably handles itself on a track better than a $100,000 car? Only $17,500 – but keep in mind that this car is not for the faint of heart. The owner is very clear here, “Please, serious inquiries only. No tire kickers, gawkers, or kids thinking this is reasonable transportation for school…it is not. It is a competition vehicle that runs on 104 octane unleaded and requires the care and feeding that race cars do. Thank you.”

As for me? I want it. What about you? If you’re interested, it also comes with a whole slew of spare parts, including electrical bits, a complete gearbox, a spare engine that’s never been run in a car done to the same spec as the one in the car, and a few sets of tires. Should be plenty for you to have a ball, or go racing at least once or twice, I’d imagine. How can you go wrong for only $17,500?


HERE is the link to the original ad (still active at time of posting), which is where all of the re-hosted photos were sourced.

Ray Saez, Jr.

Ray is a lifelong auto enthusiast. His father worked on the dealership side of the industry for many years, and his passion for fast, fun, and unique cars has been passed on. Particularly fond of American cars and trucks, Ray is an avid General Motors fan. When not writing, he can be found with his dogs, or at a local car show.

View all contributions by Ray Saez, Jr.

Website: http://autowaffle.com

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