SPECS
Horsepower
260 HP
Torque
255 LB-FT
Curb Weight
3080 LB
Drivetrain
RWD
Engine Size
3.5 L
Transmission Type
6MT
Top Speed
155 MPH
MPG (City/Highway)
20 MPG
VEHICLE STORY

Once upon a time I bought a 350Z to be a daily driver. Then I thought, "Hey, it would be kinda fun to go do track days every once in a while." Then I thought to myself, "Hey, drifting seems kinda fun. I should try it.". Next thing I know I'm daily driving a completely thrashed race car with no air conditioning, a full Formula D spec roll cage, no interior, no sound deadening, all aluminum bushings, super stiff coilovers and a crazy aggressive differential. I think some call that "escalating quickly." So I bought this thing bone stock around 2008ish, it was my first real car  purchase.  My whole intent with the car was to have it kind of street spec; bucket seats, cool steering wheel, a little bit louder with bolt ons, then some nice suspension. Nice and easy. I got into drifting thanks to some friends, and after learning how to drift by playing video games with a simulator set up at home, I decided to start building it into a drift car. That's when everything went horribly wrong. The motor blew up while street drifting one night, and since motor swaps are a cool thing or whatever people convinced me to put a V8 in it. Not a smart V8 either, like an LS or a VK56; they thought a VH45 from an Infiniti Q45 would be the coolest thing ever. Since I didn't really know much about cars I went ahead and stupidly agreed, and we found some sketchy dude in Austin, TX who was going to do it for me. That started the year from hell, which ended with me many thousands of dollars out of pocket and the car in a worse state than it was when the engine blew up; with a blown VH45 that wasn't even fit into the car correctly and never even finished. I had to buy an entirely new front end, motor, engine harness, ECM, transmission and drive train, and with zero mechanical experience I put the entire car back together myself with the help of some friends. From there things started to smooth out until I left for a business trip. I had put full bolt ons on the car while I was swapping the engine, and so while I was gone I had it taken to UpRev tuning in Austin, TX to get tuned. However they're across the street from SPL Parts, the maker of truly bad ass suspension arms and bushings. SPL was right next door to my friend who was a fantastic fabricator. Needless to say since I was gone for 8 months, while it was in that area it wound up with a full cage, tune, and when I got back I decided to buy full SPL suspension arms and bushings for good measure. I now had a race car. Oh joy. So when you're young and think daily driving a race car is cool and you find yourself with a race car and the charm hasn't worn off yet, what else do you think is a good thing to do? I know! Let's throw out all of the remaining interior and take out the sound deadening! Sound deadening is for suckers, anyway! After I had comprehensively ruined the car (it drove really well and was pretty fast though!), I started thinking about instead of just driving at drift events to start competing as well. From that moment on I wound up daily driving it / competing for 3 ProAm seasons, finishing up my first season inside the top 10 in points; followed by a 6th place points finish (with missing the final event of the season) and then finally a who-cares finish because I didn't finish the final season. Joking aside, this car absolutely ruled and I am extremely proud of it, and still miss it very much. Yes, it was a haggard pile of junk in reality but I'm extremely proud of how capable a car I was able to build. For being put together by some idiot who has never worked on cars before who gained his knowledge from his friends and video games, this thing ripped super hard. Even though it only had 255whp it was able to keep up with cars with double the horse power with no problems; all while being reliable enough to drive it 5 hours to an event, drive all day, then drive it 5 hours back home. Everyone who drove it complimented how balanced it was and how it helped teach whoever was driving it  how to be a better driver.  I wound up out-growing having a race car (mostly when I met my wife), and traded it for a pretty stock street car 350z that was a lot more tame than this thing.... which I promptly sold because this car has forever ruined Z's for me (I can't own another one again unless I'm going to build it, it's a weird rut I'm in now). This car currently is owned by Rolando Alfaro, who was able to use it against 500hp cars in the Midwest Drift Union series to win his Formula D license. He keeps me updated on the status of it and it's currently undergoing another build, so I'm super psyched to see how that turns out!

Discuss this build

[]Matt Bengston

It's going to take me like 500 years to add all of the parts that were on this car. In the mean time, this is a full list from when I was trying to sell it: zilvia.net/f/showthread.php?t=530725

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