One of the most well done Mazda’s I have ever seen.

Once upon a time at the very first Riverside show in Chattanooga, TN, I met Alex Perrucci. We got to ride around my hometown in his slammed 2002 Mazda Protege with some friends for a photoshoot. We ended up getting some pretty exclusive photos. Alex and I have been friends ever since. These photos have stayed in my archives for 5 years, time to show the car off properly.

Slammed Protege Sunset


The car is very OEM+, sporting an OEM lip & side skirts alongside Mazda 3 side splitters. The tail lights have been through a couple iterations, first all red, then all clear custom ones. Other subtle features include a shaved trunk and a D2S Morimoto headlight retrofit.

Riverside Protege


The car has an incredibly sporty ride thanks to Ksport coilers & Swift springs. Alex has also fitted a set of AAC adjustable end links and SPC camber bolts to achieve perfect alignment & stance. Speaking of stance, the wheels are 17×9 Enkei RPF1’s fitted to Ohtsu 205/40R17’s. This combo really sets off the car and further proves RPF1’s look good on just about anything.

RPF1 Protege


While I don’t have any photos of the engine bay, Alex has gone above and beyond. His bay is both shaved and tucked and sports a 5 speed Mazdaspeed manual swap. Bolt on mods include an Injen CAI, Corksport Power Series 60mm exhaust & AutoExe 4-2-1 header. To keep it cool, Alex fitted a Mishimoto radiator with CR3 radiator stays, a Hydra cooling panel and Samco sport hoses. Holding everything to the car is a set of AWR motor mounts.

Slammed Protege Side


Alex kept the interior mods very tasteful & OEM+ to match the exterior. He’s got a MOMO E-brake handle, AutoExe carbon fiber shift knob and a carbon fiber gauge bezel. Towards the floorboard, you’ll find a set of Mazdaspeed pedals, and in the dash, Dave B style polished gauge rings.

Alex has recently made a video highlighting ALL of the mods on his car – Click HERE to view it. And check out the full gallery of photos below.

Words & Photos By Ben Battles