Even a Nissan GT-R wasn’t enough to distract Nino Parello from missing his beloved Nissan 370Z. And now it’s back in the rightful hands, he’s transformed it once again to make up for lost time…
‘The grass is always greener on the other side’ – a phrase that describes our tendency to longingly view objects or lifestyles we don’t possess through rose-tinted spectacles. It’s one of the biggest problems us humans suffer from, and probably isn’t helped by the constant bombardment of advertisements for shiny new products that’re constantly shoved under our noses.
But if you can learn to love what you already have, and even accept that things aren’t necessarily going to instantly be ten times more amazing if you buy something new, that’s when you know you’re really winning at life. One young man who’s realised this the hard way recently is Nino here, who parted ways with his beloved modified Nissan 370Z a year or so ago to fulfil his spontaneous craving for the car’s bigger brother – an R35 GT-R. As you can probably see, though, 12 months on and his 370Z is back on the scene, after he realised just what he’d given up.
You might remember Nino’s 370Z in its previous guise before he parted ways with it. In fact, we’d be surprised if you hadn’t: it was pretty damn hard to miss! Sporting a lime green Nismo-kitted body wrap and dumped on some bling blue split rims, the car made waves around the UK scene and far beyond for being one of the most uniquely modified Zeds in existence (we even featured it on these very pages of FC back then, too).
It may have been getting a lot of love, but with a couple of successful show seasons under his belt, Nino’s attentions began to shift. We’ve all been there! “I ended up selling the car quite quickly to a trader to make way for a GT-R as the perfect one came up for sale and it’s always been a dream car of mine,” he explains how his long-term love affair with his green companion came to an abrupt and slightly deflated ending.
The tasty GT-R acted as a 25th birthday present to himself, with Nino initially loving the hilariously savage performance these boosted beasts famously offer. “It ran flawlessly for about a year, and then the gearbox and four-wheel-drive system both broke at the same time.” Cue an almost five-figure bill just to keep the car on the road, and this was the point doubts began to creep in about whether he’d made the right decision after all…
“All I could think was ‘what if something like that happened again?’ I was used to wrapping cars and putting them on air ride for this amount of money, but the GT-R had nothing to show for itself apart from the fact it worked again!” Nino lays it out to us. Amazingly then, despite Godzilla offering so much more on paper, it took under a year for Nino’s pangs to be back behind the wheel of his faithful 370Z to reach melting point. “I’d sold it for my dream car, but now I realised I’d already been driving my dream for many years. And all I wanted to do now was get it back and finish it off…”
Luckily, pinning down where his old coupé had got to wasn’t that hard, and not just because it was bright green! “The lady who’d bought it off the trade company I sold it to had connected with me on social media, sometimes asking me questions about how to operate the air suspension and things like that,” he tells us. Making her an offer she couldn’t refuse soon saw his most prized possession back in his hands, with big plans to shake things up for the car’s next phase already well and truly afoot.
A thorough inspection revealed the car had only travelled 500 miles in the 12 months the aforementioned lady’s name had been on the logbook, but the fact it’d spent most of its time sat on a busy road meant the exterior was far scruffier than when he’d sold it. No bother, though, as Nino had always planned to switch up the way it looked to signify this important car-owner reunion…
“We peeled the wrap off and I drove it around in its original white colour for a while,” he continues, keen to point out that this car has always been and always will be a devoted daily driver as well as an out-and-out show stopper. Attentions were turned to setting off the rare Nismo flanks with an equally-as-rare CarbonSignal lip kit all the way from Dubai. Sadly very damaged through transit by the time it arrived on British shores, he spent the time that the kit was getting repaired pondering what coloured vinyl wrap he should choose this time around.
With lime green a big act to follow, the thought process took him through several choices, including some of 3M’s brand new colour range which had recently dropped. “These colours were all on back-order though and I didn’t want to wait, so in the end found a purple hue on Instagram that no-one’s used before. Everyone asks me exactly what hue it is and I still won’t tell them as it took a lot of time to track down and get sorted!” Whatever the exact shade of purple it is, you can’t deny it looks absolutely divine on the car’s bootylicious curves, arguably even more memorable than the shade that came before it, too.
The next step of Nino’s transformation revolved around the rims that’d take pride of place against the all-new purple bodywork. “I knew I needed some Avant Gardes back in my life,” he grins, once again reaching out to the Californian-based split rim supremos who’d supplied his very first set of wheels for the car many years ago. “They needed to make necks turn,” he continues, justifying the stunning 11.5in-wide F221 stunners he eventually settled on. With their twisted spokes set off in gold and the huge lips gleaming in chrome, they look the absolute monkey nuts now they’re adorned to the Zed, especially when it’s dropped to the deck on its Air Lift Performance suspension setup.
The finishing touches to the exterior consist of that repaired CarbonSignal lip kit from Dubai (which features a pretty badass rear diffuser), tweaks to make the headlights look even more evil, and some burnt exhaust tips courtesy of EMP Performance to fully freshen things up. They say less is more, and with Nino’s ride, it’s amazing what a choice wrap and some killer rims have done to this unforgettable machine!
In case you missed our last feature on this beaut, the interior has been lavished with a tasty air tank boot install out back (complete with a NOS sticker attached to really confuse the bystanders!) as well as some subtle ICE enhancements up front. After all, Nino spends a lot of time in his pride and joy, so it needs to be a pleasant place to chill.
With his heart content now he’s got his one true love back in his life, and the lesson learnt that sometimes you’ll be happiest with what you already have, you might not be too surprised to hear that there are only some subtle bodywork touches on the to-do list at this stage. “And maybe a twin-turbo conversion to make sure I never miss that GT-R…” he laughs. One thing’s for sure though: we doubt we’ll be seeing this work of art up for sale again anytime soon!
TECH SPEC: NISSAN 370Z
Full purple pearl wrap; full Nismo body kit (comprising bumpers, side skirts and rear spoiler); CarbonSignal fibreglass lip kit (comprising side skirt extensions, rear diffuser, rear bumper valance and rear spoiler extension); de-chromed and blacked-out headlights with full LED landing strip and halo demon eyes; ‘Z’ badges and door handles pained black; black roof wrap; windows and mirrors tinted; Killaplates removable number plate surrounds.
3.7-litre VQ37VHR V6; K&N drop-in air filters; Invidia de-cats; Stillen exhaust system with custom EMP Performance burnt slash-cut tips; UpRev Nismo-spec re-map (350bhp).
11.5x20in Avant Garde F221 three-piece alloy wheels with gold faces, chrome barrels and carbon fibre inner barrels; Falken tyres; Air Lift Performance AutoPilot V2 adjustable air suspension system; Akebono big brake kit with white calipers.
Custom extended S3 gear knob; custom iPod and Bluetooth head unit control with upgraded amplifier; standard Bose sound system; custom NOS air tank install with neon lighting in boot.
Words Sam Preston Photos Chris Wallbank