Modified cars are a passion; ask any true enthusiast and they'll whole-heartedly agree. You see owning, modifying and then enjoying the fruits of your labor, or at least your bank account is what it's all about for most automotive enthusiasts, it's like a drug and once you're hooked, it sure is hard to turn a new leaf...
Baldwin Dias knows this feeling all too well and for the past 17 years he's been through the struggles, the highs and the lows that are damn near always associated with building and owning a modified car, but like so many car nuts before him, he saw and chased down that light at the end of the project car tunnel and has emerged with a smile on his face and a wicked-cool car.
It's a common story heard around the scene, a young impressionable lad catches the bug after going for a ride in a mates car... That's exactly how the story of Baldwin and his Mazda 808 wagon began back in 1997.
After finding the then pascal yellow, unregistered wagon in Warilla it was towed home and the project car build process began with Baldwin admittedly having no idea what he was getting himself into.
A budget on $12,000 was set out to get the car re sprayed, sort out the engine and get it onto the road. He thought he had it all planned out and once he found the guys to help get the job done it would just be a matter of sending the car out and paying the bill a few weeks later...Yeah right, like that ever happens...
To cut a long, and we mean a LONG story short; two paint jobs, swapped panels, two interior trims and two engines later and the result is what you see here.
First up the boys threw together a basic 13Bt turbo combo and decided to play around with ethanol fuel which at the time was only just starting to pop up in the Australian performance motoring scene. This combo produced some impressive figures on the dyno, 480rwhp to be exact, however after a long hard day of thrashing at Powercruise it decided it no longer wanted to live...
Ready to give up and move on from Rotaries all together (an all to familiar feeling that most rotary guys go through at some point in their lives) the car was parked in the shed and covered up for the next six years while Baldwin and his very understanding wife started their family.
Fast forward to 2014, after a a long chat over beers with his mate Rolando it was decided that rather than let the car waste away in the shed they'd dig it out, get it running again to sell off and be done with it.
The car was then shipped off to Rolando's place where a fresh bridgport 13B was built, the bay was decked out with a few new bling parts and a new under car fuel system was fitted. The problem was though, as everything started to come together Baldwin's love for his little yellow wagon once again begun to flourish.
Once the car was back on the road it was near impossible for him to even entertain the idea of selling his pride and joy. This feeling became even stronger after meeting a group of like-minded local enthusiasts to share his passion for cars with.
After the short lived fun of the last engine it was decided this time to get the car tuned by someone with a reputation for delivering results and once the car was sent off to Rocky at Pac Performance, Baldwin knew it was in good hands.
The result with the new combo was a solid 400rwhp on regular old pump fuel, with half the boost it was running before and even though the numbers may not have been as impressive on paper, the car drove and felt stronger and better than ever!
So after a long hard journey Baldwin finally got what he was after and he's now set on getting it out and enjoying his toy with the family... A truly happy ending!
Want to see more of this super-tidy wagon...? Head over to the Feature Car page here for a full run down on the cars setup as well as a gallery of snaps