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 |   |  2002 Mazda Protege Import Car - Fresh Squeezed
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2002 Mazda Protege Import Car - Fresh Squeezed

The Ballistic Unlimited Protege Import Car.

Rodger Lodge
May 1, 2002
Photographer: John C. Naderi

Orange. It is both an adjective and a noun. Both a descriptor and the described. It is two things occupying the exact same spot in physical space, taunting the space-time continuum, threatening to end the universe as we know it. It’s not possible! I scream with anger, can you hear me? “Aaaaah.” Shield your ears! Shield your ears!

John Malozsak. Owner of Ballistic Unlimited, a company that blankets the earth in stylish apparel. Chances are if you wear clothes—if you, like a mindless sheep, have hopped on the “wearing clothes” bandwagon, a trend that has swept the nation—then you may have worn the kind made by Ballistic Unlimited. John has been in the scene for 15 years, and now, as a business owner, he can take his compact-performance hobby to unheard-of levels. Except now you’re hearing about it, as this Protegé is too good to go unnoticed.

Four weeks. That’s how long it took John and his cronies to paste together this Mazda. Super Street can barely print a magazine in four weeks, let alone fabricate all the audio and video fixtures in this Protegé the way John did with his very own hands. But with a Kenwood system like his, you too would demand to install it yourself, raving and stomping around, knocking over expensive china, and throwing rocks at the sun. Speaker enclosures form islands of sound in the doors. The expert craftsmanship is most apparent in the trunk, where a Kenwood monitor and wave after wave of custom-built stereo enclosures greet you with four dB subs, like an orange juice flood, the vitamin C-shore at low tide. (Get it? C-shore!)

Do you like my body? We like the Protegé’s body. The kit on the Protegé is one of only a few in existence. Do you like the look of it and want to own one for yourself? Well, you’re SOL; the kit originates from a plaster mold that was made by Mazda strictly for a Protegé concept car. When John found it moldering in the Mazda dungeon, he saved it, defeated the evil dragon, and managed to squeeze one more kit from the fragile mold. The mold has since cracked and turned to crap, but the kit continues to live on in glory on John’s car, to taunt the rest of you Protegé owners out there. Fancy the wing? Similar story. It’s from an early MP3 concept car, meaning it’s as rare as an edible meal at Sizzler.

Party time. You may have seen this car at Hot Import Nights. You may have seen this car on the Super Street Tour. We have. And we like it. Ooh yeah. You also may have noticed the Mazda logos glowing in the seats. That showstopping effect comes courtesy of some “experimental” fiber optics from Federal Mogul. At long last, it finally appears that technology stripped from downed alien aircraft is finally being considered for consumer applications. Looks pretty tight, huh? That’s one tasty burger. The fiber optics also illuminate the door panels and center console. Talk about shedding a little “light” on the situation. Even under the hood, the party doesn’t stop; go ahead and admire the polished intake and valve cover and candy-blue powdercoating.

The future. Is it possible to top the awe-inspiring, electric-boogaloo–inducing Mazda Protegé that appears before you on these pages, trapped forever in the prison of photography? Well, John is sure as hell going to try, this time with a Mazda Protegé5. Expect to see lots of top-secret Mazda accessories and more of that trademark Ballistic ingenuity. Orange you excited?

By Rodger Lodge
1 Articles

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