Goodbye P5, it was a great run


Autox Junkie
Laser Blue '03 P5
After nearly 16 years of ownership, it is finally time to say goodbye to my Protege5.
I bought her in September of 2003 with 40 miles on the clock and she went to a new home last month with 187K on her.

Last day of ownership:

Over the years, she changed a lot from stock to modded and back to mostly stock.

I started modding her early on. I won some Sprint springs at a Spool meet and picked up a Kartboy shifter. Got an MSP blue grille, put on the AWR 21.5mm rear sway bar, Wagner shorty header, swapped to coilovers, put in an MP3 head unit and got a MSP axleback.

The MP3 HU was stolen at a car event, so I put in a carputer for a while before removing it for racing:

Then she was unmodded and raced:

Developed an obsession with 15 wheels:

Took her on some great road trips:

Over the years, there were a few issues, but never anything terrible and most were self-inflicted. However, she was starting to show her age but felt like that comfortable old shoe you cant bear to throw away. Last spring, I started test-driving cars, put together a spreadsheet to compare them, but nothing was really appealing to me. Winter came around and nothing was grabbing me, so we installed seat heaters in the car and I was on cloud nine for the first winter in a long time.

And then the rumors started, that Mazda was going to be releasing a 30th Anniversary Miata and it was going to be a bright color. For those who are not familiar, weve owned 7 Miatas, raced 6 over the years on both dirt and asphalt and love brightly colored cars. Since the ND Miata was announced and I got to autox one 4 years ago, Ive loved everything about them but the boring colors. So, come February when Mazda made the 30AE announcement, I got in my pre-order.

Say hello to 0070:

Not nearly as practical as the P5, and way too assertive when it comes to all the technology that was not present in my 16 year old car, but its so fun!!

I cant say what the Blue Book value is on a minisplit, but I think it was a good trade for the P5:

I am happy that she will enjoy her 2nd life with her new owner, Voodoofury:



Sorry to hear you had to go. I think my time may be nigh too. Ten year owner here. It seems this is the year that many P5s are finally seeing their last days :(

theres a sentimentality about it, is there not?

Were all, at minimum, enthusiasts here, and many are car professionals. And With a car thats been such a big part of ones life, personally or professionally, we are, in a way, finally letting go of all the memories and things that happened while we owned that car. All the family, friends and people youve known and driven in that car. The places youve been. The time I got the call at 5 AM that my grandma died, hopped in my P5, picked up my cousin, and drove 500 km back home. Those are the real days of our lives.

Its not the prospect of losing the car thats tough, its the reminder of all the special times that have passed and how much life has moved on. As much as I try to think of getting a new car as refreshed and renewed, a somber voice in my head always creeps in to remind me of the times gone by.
I know what you mean, my car is bigger but now I only get 21mpg if I baby it. If not I get 17mpg.

I average 17mpg and I drive easy. But I've got a V8 explorer now with full time AWD. But sooooo much more comfortable. I don't drive anywhere NEAR as much as I used to, so the mileage really isn't a big deal. I've had this for a few months now and haven't even gone 5k miles. Before I was driving 3-4k miles per month easy...

I didn't mind letting the P5 go so much. I had it for about 4 years or a little more, and it was a good car. I always liked it, but never really was "attached" to it. Guess I'm getting older and just don't care as much anymore, as long as it gets me where I need to go, and functions the way I need it to then I'm happy. I need to be able to tow a trailer so that's the biggest reason the P5 had to go for me. But my car customizing days are long gone... The only reason I even replaced the radio in my explorer was because the factory radio volume knob would go "up" but not back "down". Actually, "down" also made the volume go "up" LOL. I had an extra navigation radio laying around so I put that in and called it a day. No other modifications or plans in the future of this one...
Mazda P5
Yeah I loved the p5 the body was so sexy it wouldn't really go out of style and I spent so much money on extra parts, I was very attached but having a kid changed everything. I love the the new car and luxury it offers.


Autox Junkie
Laser Blue '03 P5
There definitely are a lot of memories associated with it, and life experiences. It was also the first car that I raced, the first car that I modified, and while not an ideal race car, it was a fantastic DD and I think it was a good one for playing with mods on as well.

Blue Pro5

Mazda Protege5
The circle of life. I've a similar story in that I bought my Blue P5 brand new off the lot in '03. Same color as yours.

I still have it, and I'm constantly debating about modding the crap out of it. It's remained mostly stock as it was daily driven on my sales route and drove 30,000 miles per year with it the first 4 years. Both of my kids learned to drive manual with it, and it's been to Arizona from California several times as my oldest son lived out there on campus at ASU.

The paint has just this year started looking like crap, the hood, roof, and tail wing losing all of the clear coat at once somehow. But I still love it and will likely keep it for a while longer.
Dallas, TX
2003 Protege5
Nice 30AE. Thank goodness they made a fun and non-metallic color. I'm looking at wrapping my ND in yellow. After 17 years, my one and only P5 regret is that I didn't get it in yellow. God, those were pretty. I'm still holding on to my P5 despite purchasing an ND. I can fit both cars in a single, long, underground parking spot at my apartment if necessary. I went to my first Miata meeting the other night at a restaurant and there was a nice, white P5 right out front. Never fails: I drive the Miata and see a P5. Drive the P5 and see an ND Miata. I'm guessing that your P5 and voodoofury will enjoy each other's company. :)

I managed to destroy my P5's back-right tire yesterday. I drive it so little that I forget about air pressure in the tires and I had a slow leak. I think I've damaged the sidewall and will need to pick up another Yokohama Avid Ascend. The one bright spot is that my friend Annie learned to change a tire by actually changing my tire. She's pretty handy and drives a manual VW.

Question for everyone here: My feed disappeared from Tapatalk which I use on my iPad and I can't get it back. Did something change with mazdas247 and Tapatalk? Also, on my PC I can't get pics to embed in-line with the web interface as I can with Tapatalk, so I'm simply attaching one.



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