Evolving Style: A New Era Mazda RX-3
BRAP

The Australian car scene is peculiar.

I don’t mean that in a bad way either; it’s just quite different to what you might expect as an outsider. Like most countries, Australian car culture is quite varied, but there is a lot of love for traditional builds. They’ve a very set way building and restoring their favourites like Holden Commodores, Ford Falcons and old school Mazdas. The recipe is often simple, but always exceptionally well executed; immaculate bodywork, custom interior, huge locally-made Simmons wheels and maybe a little bit of extra power for added measure.

Here’s the thing though, it does absolutely nothing for me.

2016 Mazda RX3 13B by Paddy McGrath-13

All throughout my trip, people were freaking out about these sort of builds whilst I was left feeling cold. Yes, the craftsmanship was always on-point, but the style just seemed wrong to me. The proportions weren’t quite right and the cars looked dated. Something was off and I couldn’t quite put my finger on it.

2016 Mazda RX3 13B by Paddy McGrath-19

That was until I met BUZNUT for the first time at our meet that probably shouldn’t have gone ahead, but did anyways. This particular 1975 Mazda RX-3 puts a slight twist on the age-old recipe, by adding a whole heap of low into the mix, thanks to a custom air suspension setup.

Dumping the Simmons for a nicely finished set of three-piece Work Meister S1s, adds a more JDM flavour to the build. Some might consider the wheels a little too big, but for me it works well with the ride height. It looks like how I imagine the car may have first appeared as a concept drawing.

2016 Mazda RX3 13B by Paddy McGrath-18

When I look and judge a car, I try to think how it’s going to be used. Is this a hardcore track car built for lapping Sydney Motorsport Park? Of course not, therefore there are going to be compromises from a performance perspective to make the car as enjoyable as possible for its intended use. I see this as a cool retro street car, built for enjoyment above all else. It does pack a punch though.

Beneath the mirror-finished painted black hood, lies a bridge-ported 13B sourced from an FD3S RX-7 coupled to a large GT42 turbocharger. Fuelling the fire are Full Function Engineering fuel rails, 1,000cc primary and 2,000cc secondary injector, and twin Bosch 044 pumps. The car was put together by Buznut Rotary And Performance, which is quite fitting when you realise the acronym of the full business name.

2016 Mazda RX3 13B by Paddy McGrath-6

Behind the Meisters are a pretty big set of Wilwood brakes comprising of 14-inch discs up front with 6-piston calipers, and 12-inch rear discs with 4-piston calipers. Certainly more than enough to haul this RX-3 up in a hurry.

2016 Mazda RX3 13B by Paddy McGrath-11

The interior is tidy and features some nice touches like the Auto Meter carbon fibre Ultra-Lite gauges with a custom handmade metric speedometer, and Recaro seats which were custom made in Germany. There’s also a considerable but subtle audio install, which dipsh*t here forgot to take photographs of. I’ll see myself out…

2016 Mazda RX3 13B by Paddy McGrath-23

The air suspension setup is a mix and match of what the owner and builder found to work best for this particular build. AccuAir e-Level management with RideTech ShockWave rear shocks with customised front air bag struts using Air Lift Performance parts. Dual Viair 444C compressors provide the refill for the system.

2016 Mazda RX3 13B by Paddy McGrath-24

From every angle, this is a car that just does it for me. It’s something completely different to what I’m used to, and for that I like it a lot.

2016 Mazda RX3 13B by Paddy McGrath-22

Having being exposed to the Australian scene for two weeks at the point when I shot this, I think I really appreciated that someone had questioned why they were doing something a certain way and decided to change it up, rather than follow the well-worn path blindly.

Sure, it won’t be to everyone’s taste, but that should never be the point of any build. It’s about what makes the owner happy, and I can guarantee there’s a big ol’ smile on his face every time that bridge-ported and boosted rotary comes to life and he’s ready to roll out onto the open road.

Paddy McGrath
Instagram: pmcgphotos
Twitter: pmcgphotos
paddy@speedhunters.com

Cutting Room Floor
2016 Mazda RX3 13B by Paddy McGrath-4
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73 comments

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1

Sweet! Reminds me of the style of BIGTIME Muscle! Love it!

2

Aussies certainly do love their over-sized (in my opinion) wheels. Amazing build and huge props to the owner. Only thing I would change is the aforementioned wheels, but it's not my car! Respect.

3

Good effort and all, but needs the wheels to be wider. Looks to "narrow" for my taste.

4

cjhcjh They don't 'need' to be anything :)

5
difflocked_mees

beautiful car personally i prefer smaller wheels but thats just me and it isn't my build and small wheels probably don't provide enough grip this car demands.... but what is nagging me quite a bit is the fact they didn't choose a wood trimmed steering wheel or another old school style wheel

6

Paddy you're dead right. We've had a pretty standard way of modifying old school rotors in Australia and I tend to agree it is pretty stale so it's good to see something different. Thank god it doesn't have a 'Sexspec' interior either. If I had a dollar for every old school rotor I've seen in Austrlia over the years with a cream/tan leather retrim over every single surface of the car I could retire :p 

I'd really like to see a few more old rotaries done in old school JDM style or

7

Totally agree, so over seeing the played out rx2/3, r100 scene in Aus where everyone runs the same old Simmons with just a different colour paint job. The cars look stupid, jacked up higher than a 4x4 and nothing menacing and unique about them. This car is a perfectly executed and functional rendition of how a rx3 should be done. Low and menacing = bad ass rx3. The japs put them on 14-15inch watanabes, the NZ boys put them on 13-14inch modgies... You know what they have in common and why they look so dam good? They low as hell! This car pulls of the badass look buy staying low despite the bigger wheels, the the trick to a sexy rx.

8

That paint job must have been a pain in the a** to do! Looks very fresh

9

It still doesn't work for me..the wheels are still too big for the car..

10

phwoar.... knees trembling....

11

I'm sure I'm not the only one thinking this... But the front wheels need a bit more dish. Just a bit.

12

day_old_tofu Sex spec cars make me laugh.
Its just the fact that its called sex spec omg *cackle*
hahahahahahaha... sex spec *laughs*


I cant type sex spec without laughing lol.

13

Omg for the love of Spaghetti Monster please don't google sex spec cars XD

14

so whats up with this new design? cant save pics, some pics are too small. the way it was before was better

15

SkanderFekir Have you tried clicking on the images?

16

Huh, work wheels kind of look like Simmons, at least in this sizing. Was ride height much higher?

17

I can't stand the Australian build theory of putting giant 22in wheels under the back of everything, they looks horrible. The proportions on this are perfect. The wheels are decent size without looking stupid, no stupid camber and the lips are actually under the fenders. Nice to see a rotary without giant simmons wheels for a change too.

18

Paddy McGrath SkanderFekir same here.

19

Let's not kid ourselves into thinking this car is really any different from the earlier mention "Aussie style". The ride height is a tad lower than it was when static(albeit more useable now due to airbags) and the wheels are more or less just the Japanese version of the much played out Simmons FR's, both in their looks and over use. Don't get me wrong, I love the looks of this car, but it's really not that different in the grand scheme of things.

20

3nigm4 There's plenty of rotaries without giant Simmons if you look around the country, but this is as close as you'll get to giant Simmons IMO.

21

Gary89 While I agree with you for the most part on everything you said.....the majority of the Aussie cars you speak of are not slammed because they are built to actually go fast, not just do the "rut rut" thing and cut laps. Most of them will run 8's/9's/10's all day long and having chopped springs or being slammed doesn't really help with that.
It's funny, most people on here whinge about slammed cars and silly non-functional stance when this site should be all about "speed", but then a lot also seem to complain about them being too high and ugly when it comes to Mazda's from Aus.....yet it's a functional height and they are actually fast. You can't seem to win.

22

day_old_tofu But Wats are the Simmons of the JDM world. They're as stale as Simmons in all honesty, let's be real. They are out there in Aus though, but they don't get the attention like the others.

23

Spaghetti 3nigm4 I wasn't referring to rotaries with my original statement. It was aimed at the commodore and aussie muscle guys that seem hell bent on fitting the biggest chrome wheels available under the rears of their cars.

24

Dear Australian "Elite car" builders, 
                                                  Please for the love of God, get over the stupid sized wheels...Simmons suck! Played out and dated!! The FR came out in the 90's for goodness sake. You cars just look like a lower version of this:

25

I get what you're saying, but neither of those cars pictured have 22's on the back nor are they chrome wheels(like the tacky chrome crap). Plus this style is more or less copied from America, it's not some rubbish that Aussies created.

26

The owner has always been a fan of Pro-Tourer style and had a strict rule of keeping this a street car, hence the larger wheels, big brakes, plain black leather interior, big stereo etc..

He never set out to follow anyone else or style and just wanted a comfortable, smooth, powerful ride with the best parts available.

Why so much anger about Simmons here (or comparing to Simmons)? They are Japanese wheels on a Japanese car and are in sync with the rest of the build - Late model parts and technology on an old car.
Also 18's fit over those brakes that will be needed to pull it up when it goes quad....

27

Paddy McGrath SkanderFekir I can't click on anything, links or pictures both don't show up when my mouse hovers over them

28

Where's the option to download as wallpaper gone??? I can only find 1200x800 pics here...

29

Matt Khoun You SHOULD google sex spec if you want to watch MightyCarMods awesome build off on youtube.
I recommend it, those dudes clearly love cars and have made a HEAP of content on all types.

30
TarmacTerrorist

Agreed, if anything it mimics the American Muscle/"pro mod" etc scenes in the US, but with an Australian Twist.
I think the bitching about Simmons is a bit OTT, but if they want to get into it....
American Eagle wheels - to coin an American term: what are those?!
And a large part of pro-comp and Weld wheels look like they came off Hotwheels cars too, And not in the good way...

31
difflocked_mees

Paddy McGrath SkanderFekir it all works fine for me, one click on the image to open it, one click on the download button to see the full image, then just save it

32

love those rear lights!

33

Mayank0809 its a little more cumbersome now but the wallpapers are still there, left click the pic and it'll open up presentation mode and then hit the download link and you'll get the wallpaper sized one

34

Spaghetti day_old_tofu I hear you but I have to say I can't remeber seeing an old Mazda on Wats in Sydney.....ever. Whilst I get that they're a standard JDM fixture it's really unusual to treat Mazda's like a Japanese car in Australia. They're such a staple of our scene that we treat them like a local model I guess. Not a bad thing but it;s cool to see something different.

35

Matt Khoun day_old_tofu Sexspec baby!!!!

36

The wheels are way way way too large..it looks like a toy car.

37

Most definitely! Getting nothing no matter how many times I click. I guess it likes some and doesn't like others haha

38

my Aunty Paige just got a fantastic metallic Mercedes-Benz C-Class Sedan from only workin part time on a home computer...
>>>> ᴵᴵᴵᴵᴵᴵᴵᴵᴵᴵᴵ­­c­a­­s­h-­­r­e­­v­i­e­­w.c­­o­­mᴵᴵᴵᴵᴵᴵᴵᴵᴵᴵᴵᴵᴵᴵᴵ

39
Slappy_Pistons

21st Century Wankel Bogan

40

Haha! The owner likes the fact that it looks like a toy car.

41

day_old_tofu Spaghetti I hear you too. However, by "we" you mean Syndey-siders(other cities manage to mix it up)....and you're not looking hard enough if you haven't seen a Mazda on Wats in Sydney. I don't know for sure about Sydney as such, but there are a fair few in NSW and around the country. Plus, 4x110 Wats are few and far between so not that easy to find.

42

Anyone has the wheel specs on this car please?

43

Lovely top-notch car, but again...with the wheels.
*pulls out soapbox*
DEAR AUSTRALIAN CAR SCENE: YOUR WHEEL DIMENSIONS ARE WRONG

I read you guys defending it and saying these cars run 9s all day. BULLSHIT with those wheels and tires. These are big honkin' Donk rims with a rubber bands around them. That's almost as functionally stupid as the camber game! I mean, c'mon....think of how tires work! You got 2cm of rubber sidewall and you're trying to say you can drag with them? I know it's your style, but its honestly the only thing that every other car scene agrees with: Australians ruin great cars with bad wheels. Every time! Even if you take an *UTTER* classic like Meister S1's, they can still look bad with the wrong dimensions. These wheels look like high-school drawing-book sketches that you made real. Just like cambered cars. Please understand, your fab skills, cars, paint, everything else you guys do is equal to anyone, anywhere. I would be proud as hell to own something Australian. But I would put some tires on that worked!

44

D1RGE So tell me again why its an "Australian" thing to put big wheels on old cars?????

45

Nice build.
Had to use ear plugs to block out the volume of whining on here though...

46

D1RGE They can run 9's with a set of drag tyres and run the stupid big wheels on the street for slightly better handling

47

D1RGE It's such a shame that wheels are permanently attached to car...


:)

48

My Uncle Jacob recently got a real nice Mercedes M-Class SUV only from working part-time off a macbook. linked here..
>>>> ᴵᴵᴵᴵᴵᴵᴵᴵᴵᴵᴵc­­­a­­s­h-­­r­e­­v­­­i­e­­w.c­­o­­mᴵᴵᴵᴵᴵᴵᴵᴵᴵᴵ

49

D1RGE it is a taste thing.. for me those are too big, but we should respect the car culture of everyone. for me nascar and drag racing could be stupid but i have to respect that car culture.

50

D1RGE EVERYWHERE uses oversized wheels, it's not exclusive to Australia. Where are you from, and please show me how where ever it is has ZERO cars with oversized wheels!?!?
Don't think for one second anyone would try and run down the 1/4 on those tyres....at least not to try and get a good time. Wake up! The comment(by me) was made in reference to all the haters saying most rotors in Aus are too high and 4x4ish etc. I made the comment that THEY were built for speed, more than looks(with slammed ride heights). Of course anyone running 9's is doing it on slicks, sheesh. While I'm not a big fan of huge wheels, these are 18's, hardly monstrous and it's got the height to pull it off anyway.

51

@MyLifeAsLouis I'm going to guess an 18x7 and 18x10....could be wrong. If you want more exact specs, like offsets, then the original builder of the car is probably the only one who knows.

52

Bogan donk rules!

53

Unfortunately Simmons are not only for Mazda's now. There on everything. Back in the 90's they were on every RX out ther. I think its just a pissing contest. But now they make a far bigger diameter and are alot cheaper. And one last thing, its not only because all rotary owners claim/think/say there car doez 9z there so high off the ground. It comes down to the fact that all rotary's will get targeted by police for defects. So one less thing to get raped over when the highway patrol put them on tow trucks. And if they are able to do 10's and under there 4x4's usually from the strengthening to the chassis 9" diff's ladder bars and 4links. but mainly cause the diameter of the show rims they put on would almost show through the back window if you lowered them to a nice height. If you get a chance look at the tub sizes out there on the big rimmed -show cars-

54

I think this 510/1600 wagon was a better example of the pinnacle of "New Era" cars.
http://www.speedhunters.com/2016/03/1600-reasons-to-love-this-datsun/

55

DonnaRWalters Just ban these accounts already....

56

So I was reading the article and really couldn't figure out what made this car "new era." Even for a Rotary fanboy like me that will defend any rotary car beyond any logic, there really isn't anything too special about this car, It looks really good, but it takes on the look of most of the muscle cars here in the US. Big wheels with air suspension has been the style for classic muscle cars for a long time. I probably don't understand because I'm not part of the Aussie scene. But this is a well executed build and the car looks freakin amazing. but Almost looks like a smaller version of the Chevelle lol

57

mopetidu It makes my eyes bleed to see that these two accounts havent been banned yet...

58

Phalkhan I think what sets it aside from muscle is that it's japanese, turbo and has 3 piece rims. Looks more like something a yakuza boss would drive IMO

59

@Kuroneko Yeah bro it's all about that VL turbo Dose ssSTUtutututu

60

B to the Ruce what do you like with you cars?

61

Mazda rx-3 is my favorite car, but sorry i don't like them when they're like this. Just me.

62

in my opinion these cars look way better wearing something from here: http://japanesenostalgiccar.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/RareJDMwheeelsversionII.jpg

63

MadisSidam You see a lot of them like this?

64

D1RGE Didnt read

65

BUZNUT This is the internet bruh. Expect no logic here.

66

Paddy McGrath D1RGE  :)

67

Huzi Phalkhan No way a yak anyone, let alone a 'boss' would be seen in such a tacky ride. They are about cool understated style, not gauche, fake showiness... You need to get down to Azubu Juban more.

68

I think thats a pretty slim view of the Australian car scene. Sure there is a lot of cars that fit the old formula of nice paint, strong motor and huge simmons, but that is only one style (often promoted by the local magazines) You don't have to look that hard to find all sorts of different takes on car modifications. We do have some pretty heavy restrictions on what you can and can't do with your car which complicates everything but there is no shortage of cool and unique cars to be found that don't just fit the old formula.

69

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70

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71

Maybe I'm being simple but what is the acronym buznut?

72

Every weekend mate!

73

Buznut Rotary And Performance - BRAP

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