Posted by Josh Mackey
Snaps and Words by Josh Mackey
First, we would like to congratulate Charles “CJ” Ramos and his family for having a beautiful baby boy, Avery. Being passionate about cars will now take a back seat to being passionate about having a son in your life; your world has forever changed. Hopefully, one day down the road when we’re all flying in our converted time machines, you’ll be able to show your son the correct way of building a car.
Before CJ even thought about bringing another human into his life, he was thinking about what modification he could possibly do next to his insanely popular 2008 Mazda Speed3. CJ likes to think of himself as the average tuner; standard in definition, he just likes to modify his car, tastefully. Everyone else sees him as this media monster who has been sweeping the forums and websites with features left and right. This is our conversation we had with the man himself…
NWMotiv- So what do you think of all the coverage on your car? Forum Winner, Feature on MazdaUSA.com, now us and possible print coverage?
CJ – I think it’s great. The Mazda 3/Mazdaspeed 3 doesn’t get a lot of attention in the media. I want to change that because it’s a great car.
NWMotiv – Why Mazda and what did you drive before?
CJ – I had a Scion tC before. It was a nice car, but its lack of performance bothered me. I was looking at cars from $18k-25k, like the Honda civic SI or the WRX but the MS3′s turbo, handling and hatch configuration won me over.
NWMotiv – Now that you have a son in your life, what do you envision for the car moving forward?
CJ – I’m thinking of toning down the interior a little bit, like putting back the stock seats that have airbags, removing the harness bar, and possibly a set of LCD monitors in the back to keep him and mommy entertained. All the performance and exterior mods will stay.
NWMotiv – We know you’re a wheel fiend, how many wheels do you have currently and how many have been on the car over the years?
CJ – I have 4 sets currently. 6 sets in total and I’m currently eyeing my 7th set. My favorites are the Enkei RPF1s. Lightweight (16lbs), strong, and look good on almost any car. I even bought them twice.
NWMotiv – Your car is borderline stance/flush, what do you think about the trend and do you see it staying around?
CJ – I’ve been a big fan of the movement since its early days. I like the look and I’ve flirted with going that direction, but it’s tough on the car. The undercarriage gets scraped, oil pans get busted, bumper gets damaged, and tires get chiseled by the fenders. I finally decided not to go that route because I like to go fast and take aggressive corners.
NWMotiv – You think it will last?
CJ – For a while.
NWMotiv – With winter around the corner, any changes to winterize? Or do you keep driving?
CJ – I just keep driving as is. My fiancé has a 05 Subaru legacy sedan and lends it to me on the really crappy weather days.
NWMotiv – Any other comments, shout-outs?
CJ – Thanks to my fiancé, Lanie for her support in my addiction. Love to Mom, Dad, and my 2 brothers and their families. And thanks to my sponsors, Corksport Performance Parts and Speedware Motorsports and additional thanks to NW-built.com and MazdasNW.com
|Engine & Drivetrain
Corksport turbo-back exhaust- Downpipe
- Race pipe
- Cat-back exhaust
Corksport front-mount intercooler kit
- relocated intake to the OEM top-mount intercooler location
- turbo inlet
- front mount heat exchanger
Corksport stainless steel brake lines
CPE motor mount
Devil’s Own meth injection kit
PTP fuel pump internals
COBB Access Port – Stage 2 OTS map
Forge bypass valve
TWM short shifter
Suspension & Wheels
COBB front & rear anti-sway bars
KW V2 coil-over suspension
SPC rear camber kit
GT Spec bracing
- mid-chassis brace
- ladder brace
- rear V-brace
Autoexe JDM front bumperCarbon-fiber OEM-style hood
3M Di Noc vinyl wrapped roof
Nextmod generic rear spoiler extension
35%/20% window tint
6000k HID headlights and fog lights
Angel eye kit
Clear corner lamps
Rally Armor mud flaps
Rear wiper delete
Corksport skid plate
Sparco R700 alcantera seats
Blox 490g Neo chrome shift knob
Redline Goods shift boot
Speedware harness bar
Pioneer AVH-P4000dvd in-dash DVD player
Alpine PDX1000.1 1000w subwoofer amplifier
Alpine PDX100.4 100wx4 multichannel amplifier
DLS up6i component front door speakers
Image Dynamics 5×7 rear door speakers
Six 6.5-inch Elemental Designs e3.6 subwoofers
Valentine 1 Radar Detector
Enkei NT03+m 18×9.5
Goodyear Eagle GT all-season 225/40-18