Just a few short years ago, this 350Z was a beat up, run down, thrown around, generally unloved car. Clearly a tough starting point for a project, but Rutger wasn’t looking for something easy when he took ownership, he was looking for potential.
The work began. Combining bodywork, entirely new body panels, multiple pieces completely re-painted, countless hours, and piles of new parts, Rutger’s vision brought this Z back to show room floor luster. It became a car that someone could be proud of owning, but it didn’t stop there. While this car gets shown off plenty, it also gets driven harder than a taxi cab in downtown Chicago.
Rutger bought the car 3 years ago planning to restore everything from the inside out. Back then the car was in rough shape with ripped seats and clear coat missing on almost every body panel. Within a week of bringing the car home, it was taken to a local buddy’s shop for some much needed love and a few aftermarket goodies. It wouldn’t be a fun project without adding a few touches to spice the car up, so in came a Chargespeed rear bumper, Powerhouse Amuse aero pieces, and a Megan Racing wing.
Now that the initial repairs were finished, the fun really started to begin – the next goal of a quality air setup and custom 3 piece wheels was in sight. A full Air Lift setup was installed to nicely set the wide WCI wheels and meaty tires inside the Z’s fenders. On the interior, a pair of Bride racing seats keeps Rutger firmly in place no matter the level of shenanigans he gets up to on the outskirts of town. The engine has been kept mostly stock so far to keep it reliable, but since the Z is no longer needed for daily duties, let the modifications begin!
In the next year we should be seeing a supercharger thrown onto the Z’s VQ35, nicely complimenting the already present Stillen ECU upgrade, ARP headstuds, K&N drop-in, and a Motordyne intake plenum spacer. A stock Z is plenty of fun, but I can’t imagine how many highway tunnels and country roads will have their decibel levels violated by the whine of that supercharger. Rutger’s car is still a work in progress, but a far cry from what he started with. A little love makes for a whole new Z.