Devonté Charles - 2008 Nissan 350z
I simply got this car because I love Nissans, I needed a daily, and this was just the most obtainable one at the time. I really wanted a 240sx but being this would be the main car I decided to go with something a bit more modern.
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2008 Nissan 350z
Growing up on the island of St.Croix the car scene wasn’t really diverse as the states but I always had a fascination with them. First chance I got I made the move to America mainly to pursue my passion for cars. About 5 years later I picked up my 08 Nissan 350 and another 3 years in I made the car to what it is today. I’m currently a travelling contractor so I don’t have much time to enjoy my car but when I’m back home in Texas I take it out every weekend and enjoy it.
Who/What got me into cars?
I always naturally just loved cars. My mom would bring hot wheels home when she worked at McDonald’s and every chance I get at the store I buy the ones I like. Up to this day, I still buy hot wheels that catches my eye. In 2003 need for speed underground came out and that’s what really pushed the passion along. Just the customization and personalization made me decide when I graduated high school I’d move to America to build something I would in the game. As time went on my taste in the way cars were mixed changed. I started to appreciate the natural lines of the vehicles and just how “less is more” idea. When car shows and videos hit YouTube I always wanted to be featured in one at least once. Appreciating everyone’s taste and build along the process.
Why this car?
I simply got this car because I love Nissans, I needed a daily, and this was just the most obtainable one at the time. I really wanted a 240sx but being this would be the main car I decided to go with something a bit more modern. After getting my z though, I really started to appreciate and love the platform more and more. I wouldn’t have to change my choice for anything now. I love my z and I don’t think I’d ever get rid of it.
What cars I’ve been through?
The z was my actual first real car purchase. At least that’s what I think. My very first car back on the islands was a 2001 Ford Focus. Paid $600 for it and it was on blocks, the entire front end damage from an accident. I worked hard to afford it and when I got it I instantly started to fix it to be roadworthy. Worked with some guys that did the bodywork and got most parts from the junkyard. I was there every week until the owner of the junkyard just recommends I sell the car. I kept it till I graduated high school and left my island. When I got here in 2012 I went without a car of my own for about 3 years. I was fortunate enough to always have a way to get around to at least go to work and be somewhat independent.
Why did I build the car?
When I drive the car it’s almost like therapy for me. I enjoy it, even though it’s not the fastest it’s a blast to drive. It relieves stress and honestly just relaxes me. Everything I did to the car was because I wanted to. Never believe in building cars for others because you won’t have your own personal touch or passion for it. You more than likely won’t even like your own car when you build it for others. Never liked the spotlight but I do appreciate those who show love, appreciation, and genuine interest in the car. The biggest reward to me is seeing a little kid point or asks questions about it because more than likely they too have a passion for cars and you can always motivate them to just do well in life and work hard and they too will be on their own personalized machine. The cycle of inspiration to the youth will never be broken and the culture will forever live on through us.
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Tips and tricks about the 350z
When buying a z I highly recommend looking out for your oil galley gaskets. Low oil pressure, a drop in idle on startup, and oil residue on the timing chain cover is usually an indication of this. Also, always check your oil. You should do this with every car but you just gotta pay a little more attention to the 350. Plastic trim usually needs a respray but nothing a rattle can fix. Other than that it’s a solid car that I have no complaints about!
What makes my car unique?
I’d definitely say the colour of my z stands out but at the same time isn’t too loud to catch your attention at first glance. Always tried to make my z a little different without losing my personality and taste. I’m more about the details. I like anime so it has a touch of anime inspiration. I also like the OEM+ look. Try to think if Nissan made another variant of the 350z other than the nismo how would it look? Would it look like a car on a Nissan showroom? I like simplicity and I think my car looks simple until you really look into it. More to be done soon but for now, it’s just gonna look like a hidden gem somewhere in a Walmart parking lot.
- Injen intakes
- Moroso oil catch can
- BC Racing coil overs
- Vibrant exhaust
- SPL rear camber and toe arms
- Up rev tune
- Akebono Brakes and 14” slotted rotors
- TE37SLs (18x10.5+15/ 18x11+18)
- Nismo V3 front bumper
- Custom headlights made by “Revup_retrofit” on Instagram
- LED bumper marker lights
- 370z turn markers in the fenders
- Vicrez duckbill
- eBay carbon roof wing
- Nismo carbon shift knob
- Upgraded sound system with Apple car play
- Ceramic tint
- Custom paint (Toyota sunset bronze mica)
Did you do the work yourself?
Being that the nature of my job demands so much travelling I do have a lot of help building this car. Mostly my friends and local shops. KR Motorsports and Vanoslab (@vanoslab) really helped me with my mechanical issues and upgrading performance which is an ongoing process. When I am home however and have spare time, I try to turn some wrenches. I always ask questions however to the shops and people who help as well as my own research to learn as much as I can about my car.
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Future plans for the car
As far as future plans I really want to boost my car to have some decent but modest power. Also, I would like to add some carbon pieces here and there and modernize the interior. As far as a parts wishlist? I haven’t really thought about it but I try to go with high-quality parts every time from reputable brands.
Most loyal groups?
As far as loyalty goes my friends take the cake on that. I have never been a part of a care group. However the first show I entered I met a few guys from Team Nemesis (@ team.nemesis) who were extremely kind and showed a lot of love. Really great people in that group and I appreciate and love their diversity of builds.
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What has the scene done for me?
I don’t look to get anything out of the car scene but being involved with the culture and community has brought me a sense of happiness, peace, and purpose. It’s a way to express myself whether it’s just by the looks of the car or just driving it. Of course, you meet a lot of cool people and build a lot of connections in the journey of building a car. Also feels great when you inspire a kid or just attract people who are genuinely interested and appreciate the culture. Building and driving your car out of passion is one thing but the journey in the car culture is just a different experience that’s hard for me to explain.
What is your dream car?
Hahaha, honestly that’s a pretty long list so I’ll probably keep it at the top 10.
- R34 skyline Vspec2
- Nissan S15 Silvia
- BMW e46 M3 (just bought one)
- Mazda RX7
- Ferrari 458
- Porsche GT3RS
- Toyota Supra
- Acura NSX
- Datsun 240z
- All s chassis
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