Ask any guy what got him into cars and nine out of 10 will say his dad. Guaranteed, there's a gene swimming through your DNA right now that makes your palms sweaty at the sight of some slick piece of sheetmetal. Halfway between lust and terror lies a burning pull behind your ribs, roaring to life when the car finally catches on a hard launch and you get pressed into the seat. Lodged there by something primal, something passed down, it's what drives the automotive passion and makes normal guys do things like build twin-turbo beasts out of their daily drivers.
Derek Smit knows all about the gearhead gene. Growing up, his old man did everything from drag race down dirt farm roads in South Dakota to own Ferraris; automotive obsession was something Derek couldn't escape even if he wanted to. When his father died in 2001, he left his son a few coins for college and other things. Derek couldn't think of a better way to honor his memory than to build a ride that would've made his dad proud.
Unable to resist the sheer sexiness of Nissan's 350Z, he purchased a '04 Track Edition in 2005 without even taking it for a spin. With less than 2,000 miles on the clock and a previous owner who had an irrational fear of rain, the car was still factory perfect. He had the 350 for a day before ordering a full GReddy Evo 2 TT exhaust.
With the car breathing freely through dual 70mm stainless pipes, Derek's horizons opened up to a new world of modifying mayhem. This student at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte, took a baby step into forced induction with a Turbonetics kit sporting a single Garrett 60-1 unit. He dialed the boost up to about 9 pounds and bled 389 ponies out at the rear wheels. While the stock internals took the beating with little complaint, it wasn't long before he wanted more.
An avid follower of the "go big or go home" philosophy, he decided that nothing less than a fully built twin-turbo setup would suffice. Unwilling to charge half-blind into some insane build, Derek researched his options. Careful scrutiny landed him with a built short-block from Forged Performance out of Atlanta.
Specializing in 350Zs and G35s, Sharif Abdelbaset and his team of minions cranked out an unstoppable VQ35. Using the company's specially designed Arias Extreme Duty pistons coupled to Pauter forged rods, Sharif's kids bored the block .020 over, helping to drop the Z's compression to 9:1 in preparation for serious boost.
Forged Performance used Cosworth bearings on both the main and the rods, cinching everything down with ARP studs. The finished product was a Forged Performance S2 block. After the Georgian crew placed their finishing touches on the new bottom end, Bobby Young and Matt Drouin at CIN Motorsports back in Charlotte took on the task of wrapping up the Z's new beating heart.
Young and Drouin plopped the Z's stock, refreshed heads down onto HKS gaskets, torquing the ARP studs down and turning their attention onto the car's turbo system. The UNC Charlotte student wanted a smoother power delivery than the Turbonetics single setup offered. For Derek, more power, plus better delivery equaled a GReddy twin 18G kit. Fed by an AAM aluminum oil pan spacer and return lines, the dual blowers were the last piece of his power puzzle. Between Sharif's beast block, GReddy's serious twisters and CINs master installation, the Z was going to have no problems meeting the his driveability and power demands.
The guys at CIN bolted the blowers in, complete with GReddy's RS blow-off valve to prevent any unwanted grenade action. AAM 3-inch downpipes were installed to dispense exhaust gasses after the turbos have had their fun.