David's – Nissan 350Z
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David Bell – Nissan 350Z - @3FIDDYZILLA
My name is David. I’m a 23-year-old Graphic Design Lecturer and freelance designer. I’m also a car enthusiast from Bedfordshire. You can find me on Instagram under @3fiddyzilla.
My Dad was a rally driver back in the day. He used to show me photos of his two Jaguar D-Types, two Jaguar E-Types and two Healey Silverstone race cars that he cherished. Sadly, they were all sold and a memory by the time I was born but despite that, I was always around cars with him. It wasn’t until the age of 11 or 12 that the love for cars began. It was like a lightbulb moment. I remember going on the computer and thinking that I should probably try and get into cars seeing as my Dad would usually talk about his experiences in life with them. I searched for the first car brand that came to mind and of course that was Lamborghini. It all began with one photo, that car was a Lamborghini Murcielago LP670-4 SV. From that day forward, my life changed completely. Sadly, my Dad passed away in 2010 when I was 14 so I never really got to really share my passion for cars with him, however I’m sure it’d make him happy.
Supercars were all I could think about and it stayed that way for years, up until I was around 19/20. Only at this point would I start to appreciate modified cars. Before then, I didn’t see the point. “Why would people modify their cars it’s stupid”, “they didn’t come out of the factory like that so why are they changing and adding bits on top”. That’s how I used to think. It was exotic cars or nothing. Now, I’m so different. It wasn’t until I owned my first sports car that I understood exactly why people were doing it. I started to understand that it was a lifestyle, began to expose myself to the culture around it and more importantly, I understood that it was all about the feeling of building something unique from more or less nothing. It’s a work of art. You start with something and you improve it in your own image. Nowadays, I’m all about JDM and I don’t think that’ll ever change. Anyway, let’s get started!
I drive a 2003 Nissan 350Z in Silverstone Grey. It’s actually the second 350Z I’ve owned. I sold the first when I decided I should prioritise the property ladder and a mortgage. A reluctant but necessary sale. But, it didn’t take long for me to buy another once I was on. Now I’m back and couldn’t be happier!
I've never been one to think I'd ever buy the same car twice, but there's something about it that ticks all the boxes. I personally can't fault it even if it is far from perfect in more ways than one. The ownership of my old DE came to a premature end but I’m beyond excited to make significant progress on my new art canvas and to share that vision of my very own 350Z with the world.
At the moment, my car is relatively standard when it comes to performance, boring, I know. I’ve decided to heavily prioritise my interior before anything else. I always worked on performance and exterior mods with my previous cars without paying any attention to the place I’d spend all my time. I wanted my build process to be different, methodical and purposeful this time around.
Despite its street cred, the 350Z is pretty underwhelming statistically when stock. It produces 276bhp at the rear wheels (309bhp at 6800rpm) through a six-speed manual gearbox. It’ll do 0-60 in 5.5 seconds and will max out at 155mph (limited). The Z33 weighs 1525kg although mine is significantly lighter thanks to my weight saving efforts so far.
Despite not being the fastest or lightest car in its category, I’d still choose it over basically anything. You and I know that numbers only do so much. As a car enthusiast, it’s all about feeling and emotion. The V6 is super smooth, gearbox is mechanical, steering is perfectly weighted and engaging, clutch and brakes work together in harmony to provide excellent feedback, it makes me feel amazing. That’s what matters. But, I seek perfection and there is plenty of work to be done. It won’t stay stock for very long.
Full Spec list of everything
- INGS V3 front bumper
- Carbon Fibre headlight eye-lids
- Black door handles (Painted)
- Rear-wiper delete
- Stillen rear-quarter window louvers
- Sparco Pro2000 VTR bucket seats
- M2 Motorsport seat rails
- Custom gear stick gaiter and handbrake cover
- Mishimoto weighted shift knob
- HKB steering wheel boss kit
- Kode suede half dish steering wheel
- Nismo rear brake light
- Fujitsubo Legalis R exhaust system
- Tein S-Tech lowering springs
- OEM Brembo brake kit
- Trust AirInx induction kit
I tend to do the work myself if I’m able to. I’m not a mechanic, just a petrol head so this involves a lot of time spent on YouTube and 350Z forums. But, I love to learn and will continue to do so. I’ve used two garages in and around Bedford for jobs on my cars. The first is a company called Motorvation. They’re just your average workshop and look at all cars. Gary has always looked after me and did an excellent install of my Meister CRD+ coilovers on my old MX-5 a couple of years ago. They also MOT all of my cars and have gained my trust over the years. The second company I’ve had work on my cars are KnightRacer in Bletchley. They are GT-R specialists by trade and have their own tuning packages for R35’ and pretty much anything Nissan. They replaced a passenger wheel bearing on my old Z which was knackered and could have caused me more trouble down the line. I’d highly recommend both of these garages.
This is my fifth car (third sports car). It’s also a car that I intend to hold on to. I’m currently working on a custom centre console which features a large plaque in the centre that reads ‘in loving memory of David Richard Bell’. I may not have had the chance to share my passion with him when he was alive but I wish I had. As mentioned before, the 350Z is a very special car to me personally, I can’t fault it. It’s also a car I plan to rebuild from top to bottom. Therefore, it will in some ways be a tribute to him. I am building it not only for myself, but for him as well. The money, effort and work I put into this build is a symbol of the love and importance that my father still has in my life
My first car was a 1998 Ford Fiesta. I bought it for £750 from an elderly gentleman. It was immaculate and had only done 30k miles at the time. The spec was funny now that I look back. It was burgundy with gloss black hubcaps and a Ferrari air freshener. The interior had a Pioneer radio fitted and eBay black/red seat covers. It had a little 1.25 but I went on so many adventures in this car and made so many memories. Cramming three mates and all their luggage in for 4 days at Reading Festival, numerous camping trips around the UK, spontaneous 1am trips to McDonalds with friends, donuts around a tree on wet grass in a park, trips to and thro London for University, breaking down just as I arrived outside my ex-girlfriend’s house for our first date to name a few! I loved that little car and was sad to let it go. In the end, I sold it for £250 on around 90k miles. I’d buy it back if I had the chance although I don’t think it had much life left in it.
As mentioned above, I intend to hold on to my 350Z for as long as is physically possible. This isn’t a car I ever want to sell. It means too much to me and is not just a material possession anymore. Therefore, the plans I have for the car are too long to list. I have purchased some Work Wheels which are handmade in Japan. I’m waiting to take delivery of those and am obviously very excited about that. My next move is to respray the car. I was torn between a wrap and paint initially but I’ve chosen paint. As this is a long-term car, I think it makes more sense for me personally to go with paint as wraps only last for around 3 years. I’d rather put my money into something permanent and get it right the first time. Also, caring for a wrap is something I can’t be bothered with either. I’d rather clean and look after paint and not have to worry as much about peeling, what chemicals I’m using on it etc. Paint makes more sense for my car. I’m also keeping an eye on VQ engines as I want to replace mine at some stage. I would like an engine with lower miles and can turbocharge. I have some exterior parts I’ve bought but require collection. Once COVID-19 has passed I will be collecting these parts. They will dramatically change the look of my car's exterior as I feel it is time to make some progress on that.
I once entered a Show N Shine at SantaPod in my old Mazda MX-5 which was finished in Velocity Red, a stunning colour. I didn’t win but to be honest I was mainly there just to have a decent place in the show to park my car. I actually feel confident that once I’ve resprayed my 350Z in the colour I have chosen that I’ll win at least one competition, hopefully, we’ll see. But, it doesn’t bother me either way, I enjoy shows because of the great spirit and people I meet there. It’s the atmosphere and cool cars that come out that have my attention. I see way too many people that take competitions way too seriously. I also see people that care about followers they have on social media. I honestly think they really need to just get a grip. It makes me laugh. I’m all about the cars. If you want to follow me on social media, by all means go ahead. If I don’t post what you want to see, then unfollow me anytime. I’m not aiming for Insta fame or anything like that and don’t care about any of it. If you’re into cars, cool, let’s be friends and let’s chat at shows. That’s what I have time for.
"I run @driftkingzcarclub, a club made for genuine car enthusiasts that are passionate about their own builds and appreciate everyone's projects. I've seen so much hate within the car community over the years and seen too many individuals that care only for their own personal gain and ventures, not the love of cars and the culture we are lucky enough to have. Anyone is welcome to our club! We organise regular giveaways/competitions and create engaging posts that allow all of our members to get involved!"
Shows are my favourite place to be so yes, of course I am there! My favourite show of the year and probably the most common answer is JapFest Silverstone. It’s a celebration of everything Japanese where clubs, brands and JDM enthusiasts gather. I’ve made great memories there and next time I’d like to get out on track. I also enjoy JapShow at SantaPod and more local meets where there’s a variety and diverse range of cars. It’s good to have both large and small events lined up in my opinion. Smaller shows like my local meet in the Summer at Oakley Village Hall are great as it’s more of a family environment where everyone is a little more chilled out and it’s less overwhelming. Having said that, I love the big shows! Even the traffic jam to get into an event gets me excited and seeing convoys of cars on the way to a venue. I can’t wait for show season 2021.
What's your dream car and why?
That’s a difficult question for any petrol head to answer. I’m pretty sure we all have 15+ dream cars. If I could go out tomorrow and purchase any car I wanted, I think it would be a McLaren 675LT Coupe. I drove a 650S Spider around the Top Gear test track a year or so ago and was blown away but every aspect. The 675LT is a little more of me though. It’s the more aggressive track orientated variant that rivals the Porsche 911 GT3 RS, Mercedes AMG GT-R, Lamborghini Huracan Performante, Ferrari 488 Pista and other light-weight exotic performance cars. My spec would be Napier Green with the stealth pack they offer (black wheels, carbon fibre exterior package, P1 bucket seats and more). The 675LT is probably the best representation of me as a car without any limits or obstructions. That’s my dream car.