Throwback: 5 Vehicles from PASMAG in 2003

Throwback: 5 Vehicles from PASMAG in 2003

The times have certainly changed in the automotive world over the lifespan of PASMAG. Trends and styles have come and gone, with some of them sticking around for good, and others resurfacing in cycles. Those in our audience old enough to remember the haydays of the '90s and early 2000s are sure to know exactly what we mean. And while we may look down on some style eras with hindsight, it's important to remember that many of these modifications and styles we consider to be extreme or "too much" paved the way for a lot of the aftermarket automotive world we know and love today.

As part of an ongoing series, we wanted to take some opportunities to dig into the PASMAG archives - all 25 years of it - as part of our 25th anniversary celebrations, and isolate certain eras to appreciate, evaluate, or even reminisce. This week, we're looking at the year 2003 in all its glory.


1. Anthony Tseng's 1993 Mazda RX-7

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This RX-7 was a cover car back in 2003, and for good reason! It's hard to find a better example of period-correct rotary goodness from this era. The RE-Amemiya wheels are an awesome touch that are still highly desireable to this day. Decals all the way up the center of the hood and continuing over the windshield are a sure indicator of the time period, and an intercooler spray kit cheekily poking out of the front bumper lets you know it's not all for looks.

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Blacked out lights were a tell-tale sign of a modified - and often fast - car, back in these days.


 2. Bill Kohl's Polk Audio E46 M3

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This E46 M3 would be the envy of many collectors today, seeing as its decked out in nearly every AC Schnitzer catalogue option available for the platform, with the decals, exhaust tips, and center caps to prove it. In addition to being a clean and borderline timeline style, this E46 M3 also got the full Polk Audio treatment in the trunk, in a style that reflects the era well.

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 3. Kevin Ferris' Datsun 510

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On the outside, this Datsun 510 owned by Kevin Ferris looks like it could have rolled off the assembly line in the last 365 days. Inside, however, it's a time capsule of the early 2000s and the car modification culture around Japanese classics in North America like this at the time. The interior has been reupholstered with green and black velour, and various trim pieces were painted in the same color scheme.

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Will there ever be another Datsun 510 with a Playstation 2 hooked up to a flip-out head unit? It's hard to say.


 4. The Marc Ecko Team Racing Civic

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Has there ever been a more perfect encapsulation of early 2000s swagger? Inspired by urban streetwear designer, Marc Ecko, this Civic was given the full treatment to Ecko-inspired design, complete with the matching livery and no shortage of homage pieces throughout the car. The Civic was also heavily modified, with almost no components remaining from the OEM. Love or hate it, this car was built to impress, and it landed itself a PASMAG cover shoot in 2003 for the efforts.

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 5. Lite Glow Lexus IS300

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This is what many of you clicked on the article looking for right? Underglow! All things considered, this Lexus IS300 wouldn't be considered that "dated" by today's standards. Some aggressive aero and the carefully placed decals would make this look right at home on the track at a local drift event in 2024. Of course, the underglow had to be shown off for the shoot, even if the photography could barely keep up at the time.

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