October 1969 doesn’t seem much to many, to the fans out there this was the year the most memorable letter in the alphabet would take shape on the road. Built in the small nation of Japan the Z33 took shape in 2003. Starting with a V6 producing(287 hp)(274 lb-ft). The vehicle took great and bad reviews. Many bashing on its poor interior which to be frank was nothing short of plain and boring. The 3 center stack center console united the 350z with its older brothers as this turned out to be a great Rear Wheel drive sports car. With its engine tucked behind the front axle this was no muscle car. The 350z lived a good life as year per year the enhanced the performance and engines. Starting with a VQ35 DE and slightly tuning it to provide a maximum up 300 hp.
But in 2007 Nissan changed the engine to a VQ35 Hr. This engine was bullet prof and provided a good horse power boost top end and gave the vehicle 306HP with 268 lb-ft. Sure the torque was down but the Hr proved to be quicker then the old engines and also provided to be very tunable and received amazing horse power upgrades with just bolt-ons. This is where my story begins.
Young and still driving a Sentra SER 2007(auto) I learned of the Z as I got further into the motorsports. It was march of 2008 and I remember when I first saw my Z being displayed right in the front of Universal City Nissan. I was drawn to it like a magnet as I looked at the rear spoiler the giant diffuser and the lower front lip. I wondered what this vehicle was and when I came back home I searched online and was blown away at the specs. 306 Hp with actual functional spoiler and diffuser.(this is big as most car stock diffusers are useless). Months passed by and I drove by and there it was the same car. I stopped yet again and looked inside past the glass. Of course the standard sales man joked about me driving it and teased me of owning the car. I left with a vendetta just to show those sales men that I will own this car. It was end of 2008 and I yet haven’t saved enough to be able to purchase my Z or be able to afford any payments on it. By this time I learned of its history and the previous Nismo Zs in existence but only as an after tune and bolt-ons. This was the first 350z Nismo that was true to its name. Well kinda since the car wasn’t built by Nissan at all. The car was taken from the assembly line and Autech became the creator of the 350z Nismo. They seem welded the body to improve rigidity and added front and rear dampers to stabilize body roll as this was no light weight. The car had many tiny changes people wouldn’t even care about but all of those added up created a Nismo built for the track. You won’t feel much difference in the 350z Nismo at all in city driving, but once you hit a track or a canyon run you find out that there is something special about this car. Yet I haven’t learned any of this since I was still Z-less and desperate to be able to purchase it as it became one of the last Z Nismos that Universal City Nissan would ever sell.
It was 2009 and I knew I had not achieved my goal of purchasing the 350z Nismo. With the ending year of the 350z the 370z was getting ready for its debut. I only manage to save about 2k an the car vanished from the showroom. It was over I had no dream car and decided that this was over. Faith would have it that the car still was in stock but well hidden from customer’s eyes within the Service cars. I took a chance and asked my parents to help with the purchase and well they said no so I was out of luck. One week passed by and I got a response from a sales man working at Universal. He asked me if I was interested in purchasing the 350z as I had become quite a joke to the sales men except one. I go in and give it a shot. I look at the car and say I want it. The sales man ask for a credit run and of course I didn’t have much but I had 2k to put down. I try my parents one more time…. phone rings and they pick up. Few moments of silence and I have a yes. I was so excited that I got ready to do the paperwork. I was in such an ether that I forgot to test drive the vehicle and then kinda became shy to the sales man as well I didn’t know how to drive stick and this was a 6mt only. I felt kinda stupid but happy. The sales man took me on a block spin an said that ok 14 miles if all we are going to put as we parked into the wash area. Parents arrived and dad looks at the car saying why are you buying a toy. I didn’t understand his wording at the time and replied this isn’t a toy its my car. I would later remember this and it turns out this is my toy. I’m just a big kid with a freaking ZZZZZz.
With the paper work completed, my dad says enjoy and leaves. I’m left here with a 350z Nismo and im just ready to burst. I go in clutch in and turn the key as this was my first ignition but I knew this wouldn’t be my last. I thank the sales man and asked him why he helped me. He just replied I knew you where attracted to this car the first day I saw you looking at it. I thanked him and said thank you Ulysses. I backed up… well after stalling a few times and drove home… I mean tried to drive home. My first drive wasn’t great as I stalled and took slow side streets. Once home, I parked it took a photo and wished it a good night. Today I’m still the proud owner of 350z Nismo 1477. I hit my 21k miles after soon to be 5 years. I drive it through canyons and tracks and the occasional Panda Express runs. I had many memories but before I can share any I would like to thank Nissan for letting Autech create the greatest sports car I will ever own. Its very pure as it uses very little assist and I learned to love the 6 speeds.(6th gear is cruising only) I love my Nagaro Red and I love the fact that I just put new rubber. But I hope that I will retire this in a year or two as I wish to save it for when I’m much older. Why you say. Well to remember that I had my mid life crisis at age 21 and that those where the best times of my life. Me the Z and the road.
350z Nismo (Nagaro Red 2008) 1477.