01 February 2010|
|Holy Grail: Wes Banasan's 2003 Nissan 350Z|
Written by Dave Pankew / Photography by Kevin Choi (KC Image)
Truth be told, we see a lot of Zees lingering around our inbox. Some of you out there are critical, accusing us of running too many Z33 chassis but what you don’t know is that for every feature that makes it in (print), there are upwards of 100 that are shown the door. But when Wes Banasan trailered his 2003 350Z north of the border and we saw it in the flesh at Performance World, we knew this feature had to happen.
Apart from the striking looks of Banasan’s creation, we were pleased to see he didn’t cheap out on anything. There is nothing on the car made in China and the craftsmanship is top shelf. The car was far from a show queen too, with everything fully intact, Banasan is known to drive it around the streets of his native Dover, Delaware on a regular basis. He built it to perform but also be practical, to be elegant but also jammed with audio and multimedia gear. It is the kind of creation that typifies the PASMAG mission statement of featuring the ‘total package’ that took him years to complete.
The most interesting part of this three year build was that most of the time was spent sourcing and shipping rare aftermarket parts. Banasan opted for parts from Do luck, Top Secret, Project Mu, Hasemi motorsports and McIntosh Audio- stuff that isn’t stocked in Delaware and certainly doesn’t come cheap. Even for some of the custom work, Banasan’s parts had to be sent across the country, such as the brushed aluminum interior panels, which were finished in California. At the same time, Banasan was quick to point out he did 60 per cent of the work himself in this substantial build-up. It shows the kind of dedication he has for the game by waiting two years to source and install the Do Luck aero kit, a year for the Top Secret rear hatch and eight months for the Hasemi hood.
The exterior is definitely a unique blend of parts. Most enthusiasts will notice that the car’s paint matches the Project Mu calipers but Banasan maintains that there is some originality in there. “I grabbed the paint code but wanted to make it my own with some secret tweaks,” laughs Banasan. The paint work was performed by East Coast Autobody and eight coats of the special blend were applied to the shell. The look was completed with Craft Square carbon fiber mirrors and a Do Luck rear diffuser.
Under the hood, Banasan wanted to get the party started with some forced induction. At the time, all supercharger kits for the VQ were American and he wanted to keep it J-spec so he went with one of the pioneering systems, a Power Enterprise twin turbo.
The criteria were simple: make power but also ensure that the car passed strict Delaware emissions standards. IntecRacing in Wilmington, Delaware made all of the parts play nicely together and made the Z pass emissions test with flying colors using the UpREV Osiris software.
The net result was 400 whp on the rollers, a conservative number to be sure, but one that was achieved at only 4psi. Banasan knows full well there is more left in the car and is currently building a Brian Crower stroker motor and has installed an OS Giken triple carbon clutch that will hold 700 lbs-ft. of torque in anticipation of those figures.