Pony cars have been the benchmark to beat since the birth of the import performance industry nearly 30 years ago, and the Mustang continues to be a solid contender for domestic-car fans and a favrotire to side with whenever the domestic-versus-import argument arises. This battle between imports and domestics still rages to this day, especially amoung many American servicemen deployed on bases all over the world. Fortunately for import fans, there are always plenty of new challengers to give the Mustang a run for its money.
Text and Photos by Richard Fong
The argument for imports is compelling these days, and some pedigrees are worth pursuing. Like the die-hard Ford and Chevy crowds, the love affair with a particular bloodline is sometimes too difficult to break. For Andrew Linga, the 350Z was almost too beautiful and potent a car to let go, until the 370Z succeeded it in the Nissan lineup. Linga adds, “I chose the 370Z because I had previously owned a 350Z and loved the way that car drove. It felt and looked like a racecar. The 370Z carried on this trait, which led me to upgrade from my 2003 model to a newer 2009 platform. I found this rare Chicane Yellow (Nissan only offered this color in 2009) Z34 in Reno, Nevada. I was deployed in the Middle East at the time, so I had to fly my brothers up from Los Angeles to buy the car for me. To say the least, they had quite the adventure driving the car back to LA from Reno during the winter, through the mountains and snow. Despite the extra effort to find this vehicle while serving on the other side of the world, I am very pleased with my decision.”
STEPS TO STUNNING
Linga started working on his Z as soon as he returned from his deployment. Beginning with a set of Stance GR+ coilovers, he dropped the Z onto Volk Racing TE37 SL wheels mounted with Falken 453 rubber. The usual intake and exhaust upgrades soon followed, as the first stages of the build reached completion. The next steps were already beginning to take shape, as Linga noted, “There is just something about the Z that makes you want to keep going further with the modifications. I did some research and became obsessed with what Sunline Racing and Powerhouse Amuse offered for the Z34.” He also faced a different challenge to overcome: the opinion of his peers. “Being in the military,” Linga continued, “I’m surrounded by Mustang owners talking down on the power output of Japanese imports. So I decided to show them up with forced induction.”