Car modifying isn’t just for the boys

2004 Nissan 350Z roadsterCar modifying isn’t just for the boys, as 30-year old Amy Slade from Hertfordshire can testify,

with an addiction to breathing magic into her cars for over a decade, and a stash of awards to prove the point.

A video executive by day for holiday company, Bourne Leisure, Amy spends every moment away from work with her pride and joy, a 2004 Nissan 350Z roadster. With her enthusiasm recently being rewarded with sponsorship from the global car audio company, Clarion, her latest passion not only looks a stunner but sounds the part too.

The Nissan is the seventh car to benefit from Amy’s insatiable desire to be queen of car modifying culture and now, she and the 350Z are a very familiar sight at enthusiast shows the length and breath of the country, where you’ll find her most weekends.

‘Standard’ isn’t a word in Amy’s vocabulary and one look at her latest set of wheels proves the point. Gone is the staid silver grey metallic paint and in its place, the soft-top gleams in a fresh pale blue paint finish.

But its no ordinary blue, as Amy explains: “It’s actually the same paint colour as Nissan’s first true sports car, the Datsun Fairlady, that was launched fifty years ago, and I thought it would be nice to celebrate the 50th anniversary on my 350Z,” she says. A nice extra touch is the authentic ‘Fairlady’ boot badge that Amy hunted down to proclaim its heritage.

The Nissan’s standard alloy wheels are long gone, replaced by larger and more dramatic replacements, colour-keyed to the bodywork and fitted with new ultra high performance tyres donated by Yokohama.

The conservative front and rear of the car were next to receive Amy’s attention, replaced with more dramatically-designed parts sourced from Japan, as was the bonnet, now adorned with fashionable vents and scoops with side skirts completing the picture.

Amy’s love of personal expression and her eye for detail carries through to the interior of the car, where amidst a fully re-trimmed interior – including white and blue leather seats – Clarion’s treasure trove of state of the art mobile entertainment products have well and truly come into play.

The Nissan now sports a custom-designed multimedia Clarion showcase, with an audio/DVD touch-screen unit in the dashboard, also featuring lightning quick built-in navigation, a TV tuner, digital audio (DAB) tuner, linked by Bluetooth to Amy’s iPhone (sprayed to match the Nissan’s bodywork, as are her nails) to stream her mobile music library.

The car’s tame loudspeaker system was also discarded, replaced by a salvo of Clarion speakers front and rear, with a two additional power amplifiers hidden away to make full use of the new system’s immense capability. And a further nice touch of individuality is the tiny camera hidden in the rear number plate that relays a video to another screen in the dashboard to aid reversing.

And the story continues… Proving that a woman’s work is never done, Amy is far from resting on her laurels, now turning her attention to further modification having recently won a Bilstein modified suspension system in a competition.

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