Dip ‘n Low: 2006 Mazda3


For the past two decades Honda has dominated the tuner scene in way of their model offerings with the drop-top S2000, iconic Civic, and legendary NSX. However, in recent years there has been a new car on the block that has gained much popularity and sales acclaim to the tune of 4-million units sold – the Mazda3. When first introduced into North America tuner enthusiasts weren’t hot for the hatchback from Japan, until (like always) parts became available. Some Mazda3 owners built their hatch with the concept of function over form, but not for Whitby local Ryan Schmidt. Schmidt wanted to be different with his ‘daily driver’ and after a number of versions, this matte grey beauty with green accents is what came of it.

Dip 'n Low- Mazda3 (GP_AMF) THUMBNAIL 2

The most notable thing about the car other than its super low stance is that stunning matte grey paint – correction, Plasti Dip. Yes it’s true, Schmidt did to his car what many have a love / hate relationship with more so than Justin Bieber – he sprayed a rubberized coloured substance and completely changed the look of his once white Mazda hatchback. It may not be for everyone, but it certainly is something to admire when done properly as is the case here. The exterior tweaks of this dip ‘n low ride are nothing major, but done in a tasteful manner starting with a GV front lip, open mouth grill, OEM Mazda CX-7 stubby antenna, blacked out markers / reflections, side molding delete, custom painted headlights and a nice 5% dark tint on the windows.

Dip 'n Low- Mazda3 (GP_AMF) THUMBNAIL 3

For rollers Schmidt went with a set of 18-inch by 9.5-inch XXR 552 wheels that were powder coated in Nuclear Green and definitely make the car pop – stationary or not. Rubber of choice are a super-stretched set of Falken 452 sized at 215/35. Providing that ever so slammed look (that obviously isn’t speed bump friendly) are a set of KW V2 coilovers paired with Dominant Engineering camber arms completing his stretch ‘n poke theme.

Dip 'n Low- Mazda3 (GP_AMF) THUMBNAIL 4

Roll into the inside and you see more of Schmidt’s Mazda3 charm come to life. The door panels and headliner were completely replaced with some custom wrapped plaid material that truly gives something to look at when peeking in the cabin. For controls, an Avenue Digital Camo driving wheel was mated to an NRG quick release and hub system tying everything together nicely. The final piece of the puzzle for cruising was the audio / visual setup consisting of a JVC head unit sending signals to JBL GTO door speakers and two 12-inch MTX JackHammer subwoofers in the trunk juiced by a 1,200-watt Pioneer GMD8500MM monoblock amp.

Dip 'n Low- Mazda3 (GP_AMF) THUMBNAIL 5

The side profile of this ‘Hyper Titanium Satin Pearl’ hatch is something to gawk at, regardless if you’re not a Mazda fan or part of the stance car scene. The combination of the bright green against the muted grey of the car, blackened accents, and that slammed curb appeal is a package that seems to work well – like magic, if you will. Under the hood there might only be an Injen cold air intake system and a raised engine, but function is not what this is about. Some might never get it and that’s perfectly acceptable, but there’s no denying that one cannot turn away from looking at it.

Dip 'n Low- Mazda3 (GP_AMF) THUMBNAIL 6

The back of this dip ‘n low Mazda is truly stunning. Here you won’t find a fart-can exhaust system or carbon fiber diffuser, but what you do get is an already great looking car from factory personalized just enough to truly break necks as the license plate says. The only major mods to the back are the deletion of the rear wiper, removal of all the badges, and a UK-spec rear fog. It’s surprising to know that not much is needed to make a rear-end of a car look this good, but then again it is a hatchback.

Dip 'n Low- Mazda3 (GP_AMF) THUMBNAIL 7

As if the point of Schmidt’s love for camber and being different isn’t enough, this is a clear example of how the Mazda3 sits. Despite going through various themes throughout the years, it is fair to say that this one hit the pin on the head. As always, it took a great team of supporters to make it possible and as such notable mentions must be given to Grounded Conceptz, Stripping Technologies, Paint-A-Car Collision, Exclusive Wheel and Tire, and Standard Auto Wreckers. The future of this build is uncertain, but there’s no doubt that a swap of rims and tires will be possible in the near future – it is a look-good, feel-good car after all. So for all those new into the tuner scene and looking to start your first project, take this as a lesson in the making that doing an engine swap, adding boost, or hitting big power numbers isn’t always the way to go. Start with a car you love, get to know people with a similar style, and in due time you too can build a personification of yourself – in car form that is.

Words & Photos: Giancarlo Pawelec

The Specs

Ryan Schmidt
Whitby, Ontario, Canada
2006 Mazda3
Club / Team Affiliation:
Attention Whores / Grounded Conceptz / 905 Rides


– Poly GV Front Lip
– Open Mouth Grill
– OEM Side Skirts
– OEM Mazda CX-7 Stubby Antenna
– 5% Tint All Around
– Blacked Out Side Markers
– Blacked Out Reflectors
– Side Molding Delete
– UK Spec Rear Fog
– Custom Painted Headlights
– 6000k HIDS
– Rear Wiper Delete
– BWR Bumper Quick Release
– Plasti Dipped Hyper Titanium Satin Pearl


– Avenue Digital Camo Wheel
– NRG Quick Release
– NRG Hub
– Piano Black Trim Insert
– Plaid Wrapped Headliner
– Plaid Wrapped Door Panels
– Custom Plaid Stitched Shift Boot
– Wink Mirror
– Dipped A,B, and C Pillars
– Pool Ball Shift Knob

In Car Entertainment

– Two 12 Inch MTX JackHammers
– 1200 Watt Pioneer GMD8500M Monoblock Amp
– 4 x JBL GTO 8628 Door Speakers
– JVC Double Din
– Volt Gauge
– Optima Yellow Top

Wheels | Tires | Brakes | Suspension

– 18 x 9.5 +38 XXR 522 Powder Coated Nuclear Green
– 5mm Spacers In Rear
– BWR 60mm Extended Lugs

– 215/35 Falken 452 / Nankang NS2

– Cross Drilled And Slotted Rotors

– KW V2 Coilovers
– Dominant Engineering Camber Arms
– Front Strut Bar
– Tri Point Rear Sway Bar
– Tri Point Endlinks


– Injen Coild Air Intake
– Raised Motor


– Stripping Technologies
– Exclusive Wheel and Tire
– Grounded Conceptz

Shout Outs

– Grounded Conceptz
– Stripping Technologies
– Paint-A-Car Collision
– Standard Auto Wreckers

Future Modifications

– Wheels and Tires!

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