This Advance Fairlady Hits The Z-Spot
Advancing The Z

I’ve spent quite a bit of time in the Yokohama workshop of Advance recently as they worked on converting Project NSX from automatic to manual. Masa and Yagi have one of the most appealing lineups of customer cars I’ve come across in Japan, so while my car was up on the lift one Saturday, I took one of their latest customer builds aside for a closer look.

The shop specialises in preparing customer cars for attacking Fuji Speedway, and is perhaps best known for their NSX work thanks to the exploits of a certain yellow demo car as driven by Masa and his father before him. However, walk into the shop any day of the week and you’ll quickly realise that the Advance repertoire encompasses any and all performance platforms that have come out of Asia or Europe.

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There exists a sweet spot for tuning cars where the purchase price has depreciated significantly but OEM and aftermarket parts are still plentiful and cheap. Early (CBA) R35 GT-Rs have fallen into this category, but due to their high-power and high-tech nature are still an expensive proposition to modify and race.

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The Z34, on the other hand, can now be had for less than 2 million yen (approximately US$20,000), and with a proven naturally aspirated 3.7L V6 and traditional 6-speed gearbox, is a platform that can be enjoyed without frequent trips to shake the money tree growing in the backyard.

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Although this is a car undoubtedly built for speed, I can’t go further without pointing out just how damn good it looks. This ‘privateer time attack’ aesthetic that you see at events like Idlers is something I just can’t get enough of – a classic example of the Japanese tuners getting that mix between function and form just right.

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The cars that come out of Advance are never over the top. I like to think if Colin Chapman ended up running a workshop in Japan instead of building Formula One cars he’d probably create customer cars just like this Z: ‘Simplify, and add lightness’.

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The last F1 car that Chapman developed before his death – the Lotus 91 – was the team’s first foray in to carbon fibre. In the decades since, the strong, lightweight material has become much more accessible to the masses, and Advance has taken full advantage when piecing together this 370Z. The replacement carbon roof from Garage Chikara saves kilograms high up, where it matters most.

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The weave flows through to the Seibon carbon hatch with custom polycarbonate rear window.

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Seibon also provided the carbon A and B pillars, while the mirrors are Craft Square items.

The vented carbon bonnet from Varis helps keeps temps down on the track, but the vents are sealed up during street driving to prevent rain and other nasties from making their way into the engine bay.

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From this angle you can see the carbon blanking plate installed in the Amuse bumper that Advance fabricated to shroud the radiator in the colder winter months.

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Most of the carbon has been left unpainted, with the exception of the Seibon carbon doors which also retain power window controls and even the factory speakers.

It’s impossible to ignore the massive Sard GT wing hanging off the rear bumper. The lovely mount was machined in-house at Advance, so don’t go looking to buy it online.

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In order to fit the massive 295-section Yokohama Advan A050 tyres at the front, ings wide front fenders were installed, albeit in fibreglass.

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For a completely square setup the rear tyres are 295s as well, although the stock rear fenders could handle the girth.

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Behind the powder-coated RAYS Volk Racing ZE40 wheels sit massive Endless brakes, 6-pot front and 4-pot rear. Coilover suspension is from Endless, too.

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As the triangulated strut brace suggests, this particular car started life as one of Nissan’s factory-tweaked high performance variants, although most of what identified this car as a Nismo edition has been binned and upgraded at this point.

Until recently the VQ37 was unopened, with only simple breathing and cooling modifications made to allow the V6 to operate to full potential during the extended sessions lapping Fuji Speedway. However, Masa tells me that after this shoot performance camshafts from JUN were installed.

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On the hot side, two banks of Z sports manifolds channel exhaust gasses into a single 80mm Amuse titanium R1000 system. From these simple modifications we’re talking 380PS of naturally aspirated, reliable power – nothing to be sneezed at!

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Something cool that Advance does for all customers that take part in the Fuji Speedway days is issue stickers based on what time the owner is able to put down around the 4.56km circuit. Breaking the two-minute barrier is a big deal for road cars on street legal tyres, but this Fairlady has actually trimmed the lap down to an impressive 1:55.992.

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Considering the high speeds the Z is hitting around Fuji, it’s great to see an appropriately beefy roll-cage in place to protect the owner in case the worst happens. Gusseted cross bars are an absolute necessity considering that the carbon doors are unlikely to have an internal steel bar like the factory doors.

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The cage is a one-off fabricated again by Advance, showing just how versatile the two-man workshop is. Good roll cages are still a rarity in Japan, but the tide is slowly starting to change.

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The rest of the interior is exactly as you would expect: non-airbag steering wheel, fixed Bride buckets and harnesses, and a bevy of additional gauges from Defi installed into the centre console. Even navigation and audio to make the long drives back from Fuji Speedway a little less bothersome.

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If you’re looking for a platform from which to build a fun track car, the Z33 and Z34 are absolutely worth a look. Although the stock car was criticised for being too soft and too heavy, take a leaf out of the Advance book and go chase down some 911s.

Blake Jones
Instagram: blaketjones
blake@speedhunters.com

Cutting Room Floor
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34 comments

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1
Jay Soh Tsu Chung

It's sad to see the 370Z live in the shadow of its R35 sibling. It is a much better-looking car and packs a serious punch for a naturally-aspirated engine.

I'm glad that there are still people who plays around with it.

2

Absolutely. For those worried that they don't make sports cars in Japan like they used to - go buy a 370Z. I'd also love to see more on the V36, although it looks like not a lot of people at SH have much time for those either, which is a shame.

3

Check mine, I m currently working on it :-)
@stormtrooper.75 on Instagram

4

No mention of the coolers hanging at the rear of the car? Diff and transmission?

5

Are all the Seibon pieces actually weight-saving? As far as I've seen in the past they're either equal or heavier, at least when it comes to things like hoods and trunks.

6

Yes you have to choose dry carbon instead of wet carbon to save weight. It is much more expensive.
About Varis hood I have the Kamikaz one (almost the same here) and I saved about 7 or 8 kg

7

Sorry, my sarcasm didn't really show itself. You can see disclaimers on seibon's website that say that their items are actually heavier than OEM products most times.

They don't even use full-carbon on most of their pieces, it is carbon on the outside of an FRP shell.

Varis makes VSDC products, which are close to full dry carbon, and usually do shave off a good amount of weight.

8

Great shots.

9

Z cars are apparently really affordable right now. Too bad I'm broke! xD

10

They are affordable, but as it is said in the article. They are too heavy, so it is rather gt than standard sport coupe. It needs a lot of weight reduction to dont feel the weight of the car.

11

" you gotta get one these cars." I luv the new Inovation technology engineering... im old school but got bit by a Nissan. Bug... I luv my 05 350z there so fun upkeep an payments ... worth every dime...

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12

I luv these cars i have a 05. 350z. Im old school but got bit by a. NISSAN BUG ... Upkeep and payments worth every dime....

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13

I like your car.....even it's bone stock

14

We love these cars... upkeep and payments worth every dime...

15

This is the kinda stuff I like. Cars that can be tracked hard on a track day, yet still feature creature comforts like a/c power windows and even navigation. This is what kinda approach I prefer.

16

nice car, thinking a 350z nismo might be better though because of cost , no vvel, and seam welded chassis?

Shame nissan never imported the hot version of the nismo 350z or made a hot version nismo 370z :/

17

Weight savings up high are the second most important. The most important are down low, under those springy things at each corner.

Cool looking car, though I've always been of the opinion that the 350/370z's needed a Kamm tail to look proportionally correct (and as a nod to their forebearers)

18

"Down low under those springy things"

If you're implying unsprung weight is more important than the over weight of a vehicle that's not correct. Total vehicle weight matters more than unsprung weight and weight up high isn't favorable to packing weight down low regardless if it's sprung or unsprung.

Unsprung weight is very important as well though.

19

Unsprung mass has significantly more impact on a vehicle's performance than sprung mass in pretty much all scenarios bar landspeed records or runway racing.
If you can shave weight from a vehicles wheels, tyres, brake calipers, discs, basically anything connected to the bottom of your shock absorber, you will benefit from better suspension damping (less energy for the suspension to dissipate), better traction and cornering grip (your tyres are in contact with the ground more often). Then you get into the rotational effects which allows quicker changes of direction due to lower angular momentum and also benefits acceleration and deceleration due to a lower moment of inertia.
Compare this to sprung mass of the roof of your car which is no different to sprung mass anywhere else in the car except for its effect on the moment of inertia of the entire car and thus on body roll and pitch. The same can be said of your engines effect on understeer/oversteer depending on where its mounted.
It's often said that 1 kg of unsprung mass is equivalent to 8 kg of sprung mass though I consider that to be a gross oversmplifictaion.

20

I imagine he was talking about tyres.

21

Either way it's not entirely accurate and vague at best. I might be inclined to trade tires for weight or vice versa depending on the track and circumstances etc.

Blanket statements should be avoided when talking about car setups etc. There is a lot of misinformation. Just trying to keep people on track!

22

The only reason to add unsprung weight is if the brakes, wheels or tyres aren't up to the task…

The only reason to add sprung weight is if the car is under the category weight limit

If the car is under weight for the category you can move ballast around to improve handling

But if we're talking weight savings I would take carbon rotors over a carbon roof any day of any week of any year

23

Pretty impressive car if you ask me.. 1:55 is quite a respectable time, considering it has fairly basic engine modifications, street tires, decent amount of the stock interior left, no crazy aero, except for the Sard GT wing.

I bet it sounds amazing with the Amuse titanium exhaust!

24

finally! been looking forward to this article since the nsx one came out. love the work done on this car.

25

I've always thought one should paint carbon fiber bodywork.

Of course, that's coming from a guy who thinks that cars driven primarily in a city environment should be painted in Rhino Liner and fitted with deercrushers front AND back.

26
Demitry Klimenko

YES! Glad to see some great 370z build on SPEEDHUNTERS! have my own for 7 year now and love it

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27
demitry klimenko

YES! Glad to see some great 370z build on SPEEDHUNTERS! ive owned mine for 7 years now and love it!

28
demitry klimenko
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29
Fitzgerald Mayi

a z34 from japan as a fellow owner thank you for this post.

30

The 370Z looks already pretty oldschool. The time has come for Nissan to build a new Fairlady model. It will be also great for the aftermarket parts for the 370Z

31
James Oversteer

I love my 350z, a truly all round sports car bargain. I've put a lot of time, love and money into mine to make her what she is.

32

hello guys nice photos , well my question is i know that is a amus exhust but need to know what is the thing that is inside the catback? , that thing redus desibels ?

33
Eduardo Hernandez

hello guys great work , i have a question in the catback of this nissan have some thing? i dont know if is to reduce decibels or is to have a better flow of gases? , i saw it also in a red subaru if yous know the name of that artifact it will be great .

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34

+1 looking for this item

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