There's something to be said about those who live by their words. We often say "live life to the fullest," but who actually does this to its full extent? We like to think Alex Docken does. This free-spirited car enthusiast applied this ideology to his daily routine, giving up everything to travel around North America in a Sprinter van with his best friend and wife, Allison. Together, they're doing everything possible to make a drifting/car lifestyle work, by creating a build that's heavily influenced by the premise that tomorrow is never guaranteed: "Losing my mother-in-law nine years ago really taught me a lot and changed how I view my time here on Earth. Along with a couple friends who passed when I was younger, plus near-death experiences from car or extreme sports accidents, I've become aware of my mortality, and we want to make the most of each day by drifting as much as we can. These experiences and friendships mean the world to us."
Originally from Southern California, Alex moved to Minnesota at 15 and has been drifting ever since. He has a thing for sedans, simply because of the way they look and how well they can actually hang with coupes while sliding around. "Seeing [Japanese drivers] like Nomuken or (NOB) Taniguchi inspired me strictly for style reasons," Alex says. "For all the sedans available in the U.S., the G35 has plenty of aftermarket support since it shares many parts with the coupe counterpart and 350Z." He purchased the car from the original owner and within five hours of taking possession, it was lowered and fitted with coilovers, seats, a Nardi steering wheel, and wheels-since then it's become a completely different animal.
Alex's inspiration for car styling comes from the nearby city of Chicago and the early '00s competition cars from Japan's D1GP series. "Those type of cars weren't built for max performance, but more max excitement," Alex explains. "I care more about the style of a car and the fun of driving, not because some dude wins first place at a contest. That's what drifting will always be about to me, and I want future generations to see super exciting cars and continue coming up with new ideas to make drifting more exciting."
But styling aside, this G35 is built to do what Alex does best: be driven hard. Its VQ35DE has been fully strengthened from top to bottom, turbocharged, and sees plenty of custom fabrication, including a V-mount intercooler setup and exhaust system. More one-off work includes the rollcage design by Oppomoto, which integrates NASCAR-style door bars, plus a wild set of Work VS-XXs done by "That Wheel Guy," combining black barrels with white/gold flake faces and 24K gold-plated hardware. The aero parts are some of Japan's finest, yet also require some modification to fit onto the sedan body.
Over the past few years, Alex's G35 has earned the nickname "dabsedan," something he assures us is not because of the dance move based on the word "dab." He says, "I didn't think it would stick; it was a placeholder name when I joined Instagram, based around a lot of the ideas for the car. I'd session in the car with friends and bounce crazy ideas with them and how to pull them off. I tried changing the name, but I've become known for it now so it's stuck." (laughs)
One fact remains constant throughout our conversation with Alex: experience life to the fullest. "If you're going to build a dope car, make sure you drive it hard! It's the most important part, and the most fun!"