Since the 90’s, Ernie Perez has been immersed in the car scene and has become known for keeping his builds simple yet eye catching. Like most of us, Ernie had a humble beginning – building a beautifully well rounded second generation Monarch Green Pearl, Mitsubishi Eclipse GST. From buying the car brand new off the showroom floor, to building a beautiful show stopper/autocross racer, Ernie owned his Eclipse for 16 years! Along side his GST, Ernie had a matching Monarch Green Pearl, Eclipse Spyder. Both well built and sitting, almost identically, on a set of Volk Racing wheels. After going through a divorce, it was time to part ways with both vehicles. With the Spyder in the Netherlands and the GST in Dallas, TX, Ernie set out to find his next ride.
Having owned his GST for 16 years, it was safe to say that Ernie wouldn’t be parting with his next car for a long time. This brought on a 9 month process of research and test driving all different platforms, trying to find exactly what he wanted. After test driving the Infiniti G37S, he was sold. It wasn’t that easy though, there was a specific platform he wanted, a Lapis Blue hardtop convertible. This brought on another 5 months of searching the entire country for the exact car he desired. At long last though, the perfect car was found!
Ernie had a vision for his G37: keep it simple. He did just that. Within 5 months of owning the G, Ernie had taken it over to Malihini Customs to have a D2 Air Ride kit installed. Owning a hardtop convertible brings on new challenges when applying air ride. Instead an elaborate trunk setup with twisty hardlines and a shiny tank, everything was hidden away so the top could still lay in the trunk. They tucked the air tanks neatly behind the bumper and the compressors cozy in the spare tire well. With his new air ride suspension, Ernie was able to lay the car down, tucking a set of, what else, staggered Volk Racing GT-7 with Lapis Blue color matched faces.
While the Volks looked outstanding on the car, Ernie got curious about possibly changing things up. After some time discussing things with the guys down at BC Forged, the trigger was pulled to start. However, there were some requirements: same width all around, no stretched tires, no insane camber, must tuck and still be able to turn full lock in both directions. The guys happily took the challenge and the measuring begun. Once the numbers were dialed in, Ernie was floored at what was accomplished. His G was now tucking a square set of 20×11 wheels wrapped in 305/25 Toyo tires with full contact patch.
Ernie has taken his G37 up and down the east coast. From Tail of the Dragon to Louisiana to South Florida, he’s never scared to take a nice long road trip. Although, road trips and car shows/meets are his preferred choice now, the G has seen an autocross day before just how it sits…20×11, bags and all. Ernie said the car handled shockingly well but he will probably just stick to cruising from now on.
Just before Ernie and I ended our shoot, I asked him if “1RAWG” actually meant something? He just smiled and replied, “Ironically enough, RAW is the paint code for Lapis Blue.” A nice subtle touch there, Ernie.