This story’s long overdue – it’s about time we shared this one with you guys. Those of you who have called in the last few months might have spoken to one of our newest Mod Experts here, Jon Sackett, who owns and built the #GetLucky370 widebody 370Z. Everything about the car is custom, and today we’re going to get into the nuts and bolts of how and why this car came to be.
, we’re no strangers to Z-cars. Employees past and present have owned Nissan’s fairlady Z here, so we have a special place in our hearts for these cars – speaking from personal experience, the writer of this article used to be the coordinator for a Southern California Z-Car club back in the early 2000s.
When the 350Z first came out, the cars took the aftermarket by storm and made a big splash, but as time went on the car’s shortcomings and limitations started to show through. When the next generation 370Z debuted, it was a major step forward from the previous car in many ways, but some things persisted.
Nonetheless, the Z’s flowing curves and stylish body make it quite a looker, and the bones of the platform have the potential for greatness, if you can just see past the surface. Which brings us to Jon buying the 370Z
new. Jon’s vision for the 370Z was a simple one, to be the best road course car that it could possibly be.
The car is not without its flaws – the 370Z
is notorious for its on-track shortcomings – the overheating issues, the nearly worthless factory brakes that overheat and stop working after after a few hard laps – all the little nagging things wrong with this otherwise great platform made it exactly the thing Jon wanted to sink his teeth into. There were lots of things “wrong”, sure, but they were all fairly easy and “cheap” (in car guy terms “cheap” is always relative.)
When the 370Z came out, the aftermarket hadn’t quite caught up yet- many manufacturers weren’t making much for the car, so if you wanted something custom, largely, you have to figure out how to make it yourself.
It was around that time that Jon went to his first Redline Time Attack, and immediately knew what he wanted to do with the car. It’s worth saying that at the time, the majority of the “Project Car” or “SEMA Build” 370Zs that were being done out there were twin turbo builds – which isn’t to say the VQ37DE isn’t responsive to turbocharging, but the problem that Jon noticed was that for all their power, these dyno-queen cars were not appreciably faster than a well-tuned naturally aspirated car.
The decision was made to leave the engine breathing au-naturale, instead opting to get power out of the motor naturally aspirated, like Nissan and Mr. K had intended. We’ll start here in the interior.
The factory seats are long gone, replaced with a set of Sparco EVO II US Bucket seats, fitted with Sparco 5-point harnesses to match. Of course, you need a roll cage if you’re serious about your on track performance. Giving things a fun accent is a Custom Ronin Samurai shift knob. (For those who don’t know, a Ronin is a Samurai with no master – a lone wolf.) Making ingress and egress easier with a racing suit on is a Sparco R 325 Steering wheel fitted with a Works Bell Rapfix Quick release.
The exterior of the car is partly over-the-counter bodykit, the rest is custom work Jon did to adapt the thing. Since Jon’s specialty is vinyl wrapping cars, wrapping his own was no big deal. With the addition of a set of Tire Stickers to add some contrast to the black wheels, the car looks especially sharp. And it’s not just a looker. It’s pretty damn quick for a Z34, too.
Enkei PF01 18×95 ET15 / 18×10.5 ET15 with Toyo Tires R888 275/35-18 / 315/30-18
w/Permanent Tire Lettering from TireStickers on Swift Spec R Springs for Nissan 370Z
The VQ37 under the hood is fed by a Stillen Gen 3 Cold Air Intake
, which the VQ then dumps into a set of FI Long Tube Headers, then makes its way aft via a custom center exit exhaust by unique fabrication. Since the 350Z and 370Z both suffer from heat issues like the Z32 before them, Jon’s addressed the problem with a 34-row Oil Cooler and a CSF Racing Radiator. The overall result of the power mods on the car is a tuned output of 340 horsepower to the wheels, which is a major improvement considering the car is only rated for 300ish at the crank.
While most widebody cars we see these days tend to emphasize form over function, Jon’s build is totally functional. The car sits low on a set of Swift Spec R Springs for Nissan 370Z
to drop the suspension – Swift is renowned for their outstanding springs that seem to offer just the right progressive rate to deliver an amazing ride on the track and on the street.
So about that exterior. If it looks familiar, it’s with good reason. Up front is a custom Stillen Front Bumper paired with a 1-of-1 Get Lucky widebody kit, mated to a Amuse Carbon Fiber Rear Bumper. Rounding things out is an AeroJacket Type 3 Carbon Fiber Rear Spoiler, and to match the carbon details, Jon’s added Craft Square Carbon Fiber Wing Mirrors and Seibon Carbon Fiber B-Pillars. To give it the distinct look it has, it’s been wrapped with 3M Matte Blue Metallic wrap, and setting that off up top is Oracle Satin Black roof wrap, which ties all the car’s dark accents together.
The car looks great both in the sun or in the shade. Check out the rest of the gratuitous photo gallery below.
What really sets Jon’s build apart is the fact that when there wasn’t anything available, Jon made it himself or had it fabricated, and taking it a step further, this show-ready car is one of the few such vehicles that regularly sees hotlaps like the Redline Time Attack series.
Enkei PF01 18×95 ET15 / 18×10.5 ET15 with Toyo Tires R888 275/35-18 / 315/30-18 Enkei PF01 18×95 ET15 / 18×10.5 ET15 with Toyo Tires R888 275/35-18 / 315/30-18
Current Mod List for The #GETLUCKY370
F.I. Long Tube Headers
Custom Center Exhaust by Unique Fabrication
34 row oil cooler
CSF racing radiator
Tuned Output: 340rwhp
Enkei PF01 18×95 ET15 / 18×10.5 ET15
R888 275/35-18 / 315/30-18
Permanent Tire Lettering from TireStickers
Custom Stillen front bumper
Custom Amuse carbon fiber rear bumper
Custom 1 of 1 Get Lucky wide body kit
AeroJacket Type 3 carbon fiber rear spoiler
Craft Square carbon fiber mirrors
3M Matte Blue Metallic wrap
Oracle Satin Black roof wrap
Seibon Carbon Fiber B pillars
aerocatch hood latches
Sparco Evo II us bucket seats
Sparco 5 point harness
Fully gutted and custom fabricated roll cage
Custom Ronin Samurai shift knob
Sparco R 325 Steering wheel
Works Bell Rapfix II quick release