Updated: Jan 28, 2021
Before I get to deep into the meat of this article, let me explain what SFCN Journal Entries will be. Every once in a while, the SFCN Team gets a very unique opportunity to do something new and exciting, and my goal is to put those experiences into words so you can feel them with me. Sometimes, those occurrences don’t fit into a category we have on the site or aren’t long enough to be a full-fledged interview or review. So, with this in mind, I present to you Journal Entries, shorter pieces about the sickest stuff we get to do. These stories will be quick and easy reads for your lunch break when a review is too much and a new post is just too little! Now, onto our first entry!
It’s 6:01 pm on Saturday, I’m sitting on the couch, mindlessly scrolling through the endless void that is Instagram. “Bing!” What’s that? A message? Yes, a message from Marcus Bryant, @itr_society on Instagram, “You should really get out to the Falls tomorrow night…Big opportunity to see @wid3load in person”, it read. “Send me some details” I replied.
Moments later a link to a post popped up in my message box from Marcus, “Niagara Falls Meet, Park and Chill, 8 pm”.
This sounded fun to me! Going to see some amazing 350Z builds (my affordable dream car by the way) and meet some new people!
For those of you who don’t know about Niagara Falls, it’s where the American and Canadian borders meet in New York, beautiful place, lovely tourist attractions, oh yeah, and also a few massive waterfalls, but we’re not here to talk about nature walks, we’re here to talk cars.
After checking out Gav’s account (the owner of the Rocket Bunny 350Z) I decided it was definitely worth the 45-minute drive to the Falls. For some background, the 350Z has fully-built internals, including Carrillo rods, pistons, and cams, all are bored and honed for better performance and reliability. The suspension is all Airlift v2, Airlift struts, some front lower control arms, and tie rods.
The first location was on Goat Island, a small island with direct access to the falls, the powerful Niagara River running around it. It certainly took a while to find the exact location, as "Parking Lot #3" doesn’t have an address for us to route the navigation to. But once we had found the lot, I felt as if I were in a dream. About 9 VQ-powered cars were there already, including the gorgeous white Rocket Bunny 350Z that I had driven so far to see. Being by the water, the bugs were horrendous, so as I got closer I could see every inch of the cars were covered in a layer of wings and guts, and they swarmed around each of us too. Got to love the summer months in Western New York...
After talking to Marcus for 10 or so minutes, I decided it was time to go meet Gav and see what he was all about. Not much taller than I, dressed in pink and white, he matched his car perfectly. He walked up to me, asked my name and showed me a bit around the car, and I gladly listened very closely, “I bought this car on Craigslist when I was 16” he told me, “I’ve owned it for three years and made it the car of my dreams.” Suffering severely from a loss of words, I stumbled out, “I’ve been a Z fanboy for almost as long as I’ve been into cars, the sound, the looks..” and as a small group gathered around our conversation, one man said, “Yeah, they’re a pretty cool first love for us car guys, easy performance, and for the most part pretty cheap as well.”
Gav looked over at me, and said a few words I could never be happier to hear, “Wanna start it up and rev it a bit?” You know how I answered that! Trying to get in the Z and start it wasn’t easy for me, as soon as I tried to get in, my knees hit the steering wheel hard, “You can take this off right?” I asked.
As Gav walked me through the quite lengthy process of removing the wheel, I was so close, and in my clumsiness, “WHAM!” I hit myself in the face with the steering wheel, Gav and I both burst out in hilarious laughter. After the giggles had settled, he asked, “Are you ok?” and I, red-faced and still laughing myself replied, "I was fine".
Then it came to starting it, mind you, I’ve never even pushed a clutch in on a car before. Clutch to the floor, I turned the key for the first time (yes, no buttons here) as the starter tried to fire the engine into life, I let off the key a bit early, and the engine settled quiet. Two short attempts later, the car fired into life. I’d like to use some more quotes here but all I could do was stutter.
The Z’s custom center-mounted exhaust shook the whole car.
Gav urged me to let the VQ sing. The first press of the throttle, up to a measly 4,000 rpm, blew me away, “popopopop CRACK” went the already warm system, “You can rev it pretty high” Gav hinted, so I did. After the first few revs, he looked at me and said a few words I was overjoyed to hear, “You’re shooting flames!”. So naturally, I asked for a video, it was glorious, and videos will be posted on our Instagram @superfastcarnews, so make sure to give us a follow and stay tuned for that!
We ended up having to leave sooner than I would have liked, so my fun was over as quickly as it started. Good news is that I had another memory (and a sore upper lip from the "steering wheel removal incident") to last me till the next time I could feel the raw power of another custom build.
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