Ted Shimizu and Jason Eshelman have known each other since puberty. In the twenty-odd years they’ve been friends, they see each other more like brothers than buddies. Like typical bros, they hung out together after school and also shared the same hobbies. When they got tired of video games and girls, they became infatuated with the tuner scene. In high school, they daydreamed about one day driving an NSX, Supra, 3000GT or 300ZX. But once they graduated and moved onto successful careers, Ted and Jason finally had the means to make their dreams a reality.
Ted picked up a ‘95 300ZX while Jason found a ‘92 Supra shell. Both cars started bone-stock, naturally-aspirated and full of hope. More than ten years later, the boys finished their projects with reliable turbo conversions, custom paint jobs, rare JDM parts and more. Best of all, these cars were built in their own garages and the owners still view each other like family through it all.
Before there was a 350 or 370Z, the 300ZX carried the bloodline of Nissan’s Z legacy. Called the Fairlady Z in Japan, the car was produced for almost two decades in naturally-aspirated, single- and twin-turbo variants.
Ted aspired to build a JDM sports car and reasoned on a 300ZX instead of more popular choices like the Supra or NSX. “I was infatuated with the seemingly limitless possibilities that could be had with the Z. I wanted a daily drivable four-seater while having a twin-turbo, tuned motor. I also wanted a unique import that didn’t always get the attention of law enforcement or thieves,” Ted told us.
With destiny on his side, he scored a clean non-turbo example in ’99 after scavenging through a used car lot.
Immediately, Ted got busy updating the exterior first. “I was very ricey and I have a thing for body kits,” he laughed. The owner started out with a Wings West kit and then progressed to a couple different versions of Do-Luck front ends. He continued switching up the body to Bomex parts with a Varis rear bumper and AbFlug diffusers. The hood was sourced from Border Racing.
As Ted swapped through parts, he realized the pieces were fairly rare in the Z32 community. Like an antique collector, he stored the spares in his parent’s garage, just in case he damaged anything on his occasional track adventures.
The rear fenders were another piece of glory. Although subtle, they’ve been widened two-inches at each corner by Evan’s Auto Body. The entire car was resprayed Toyota Camry blue by California Auto Body.
With the exterior finished, it was onto the milk and honey of the project. While still enrolled in college, Ted saved enough pennies to upgrade his NA 3.0 liter VG motor to twin-turbo status. A GReddy twin-turbo kit included new manifolds and TD04-15G turbos. The motor now had 300hp powering the rear wheels and still ran like a champ even after 227k miles on the odometer.
After receiving his college diploma, he moved onto what many enthusiasts would consider to be a dream job—starting a new job at GReddy USA. For two years, he was living and breathing the scene as a sales rep. Just before he left to expand his career, his close friends at GReddy presented him with a generous gift—a TD05-16G upgrade kit.
“The new turbos were installed while I was out of state by my friends Jason and Alex Rivera,” he told us. “They did this without me knowing. My father gave them the car secretly, which I discovered upon returning home! Talk about a surprise, right?”
The Z32 was delivered to Specialty Z in Chatsworth for the final tune. At 15psi on pump gas, the twin-turbo spun the dyno to 394hp while Q16 race gas pushed the motor past 500hp at 21psi.
Later, Specialty Z also swapped in a new five-speed manual tranny from a twin-turbo spec model to cope with the power.
The chassis wasn’t neglected either. Ted received help from SP Engineering, Concept Z and Dynamic Autosports to locate parts such as the Endless big brake kit, HKS coilovers, Stillen sway bars, Border Racing seven-point rollcage and Super Advan SA3R wheels.
Although not everybody appreciates Nissan’s Z32 chassis, this twin-turbo four-seater deserves some respect. It started from a teenage dream and took years and years to become the daily-driven track and show car it is today.
1992 Nissan 300ZX
Owner Ted Shimizu
Hometown Highland, CA
Occupation homeland security operations
Power 394hp, 359lb-ft with 91-octane fuel and 15psi boost; 505hp, 457lb-ft with C16 and 21psi of boost
Engine 3.0 liter VG30DETT with GReddy TD05-16G turbos, SUS manifolds, downpipes, Type-S blow-off valves, external wastegates, radiator cap, 15R two-row front-mount intercooler, Profec E-01 boost controller, SP-2 exhaust, hard pipes; Unorthodox Racing pulleys; Hi-Overdrive water pump pulley; A’PEXi dual-cone intake; Selin Design dual-MAF sensor translator; Walbro 255lph fuel pump; 555cc Nismo injectors; Specialty Z 2.5" test pipes; B&M Super Cooler; Howe Racing radiator; Nismo thermostat; NGK spark plugs; Optima Red Top battery; HKS silicone couplers; Nismo oil filler cap; Powertrix grounding kit
Drivetrain five-speed manual transmission swap from Specialty Z; Concept Z Performance driveshaft; Specialty Z Max Street clutch and RPS flywheel
Engine Management OEM ECU with Specialty Z software flash
Footwork & Chassis HKS Hipermax II springs; Stillen 28mm front and 21mm rear sway bars; Suspension Techniques end-links; Cusco rear strut bar; Noltec front camber control arms; Kazama Auto tension rods; Border Racing seven-point rollcage; alignment by DriftSpeed
Brakes Endless six-piston front calipers with 13.58" rotors, stainless lines and EP952 pads; Brembo rear rotors; Motul fluid
Wheels & Tires 18x9" Yokohama Super Advan SA3R wheels with black centers and red lips; 235/40R18 front Hankook Ventus K102 tires and 275/35R18 rear Hankook V12 Evo tires; KICS 30mm rear
Exterior rear fenders widened 2"; ’99 JDM rear center panel; shaved rear wiper; Bomex BM type 2 front bumper; Wings West Type W side skirts molded to body; Varis rear bumper molded to body; AbFlug rear diffuser; Veilside Combat II Drag rear spoiler; Bomex Type 1 mirrors; Border Racing hood; Nissan JDM fender side and taillights; Powertrix carbon foglight ducts; Catz 4300K HIDs; OE Toyota Camry Constellation Lavender blue metallic pearl paint
Interior Recaro Speed seats with Wedge Engineering brackets, GReddy harnesses and Type NB shift knob; Veilside steering wheel; custom dash by Mr. K; Concept Z Performance gauge rings; Stillen gauge panel; custom glovebox gauge panel; two Innovate Motorsports XD-16 wideband 02 gauges; GReddy 52mm boost, 60mm oil pressure gauges; GReddy Intelligent Informeter; turbo timer
Audio Alpine IVA-D300 head unit; 12" Rockford Fosgate Punch sub; Jensen PS260 amp
Thanks You the family at GReddy Performance Products, Officer Shimizu (dad), Ranger Wan (mom), Debbie Eshelman for lending me Jason, Israel Torres, Darrick Novo, Brad White, Alex Rivera, Yuko, Seb at Specialty Z, Nguyen, Won, AJ, Ross, Thi and my friends from Empire Z Car Club
WWW conceptzperformance.com; empirez.com; greddy.com; specialtyz.com
While Ted built one of the slickest daily-driven 300ZXs around, best friend Jason had a similar agenda with his ’95 Toyota Supra.
“The Supra caught my eyes from the first time we met,” Jason began. “When Ted and I were 18, we headed to Orange County for a little arcade action. Out of nowhere this white car rips past us. ‘Ted, what the heck was that?’ Then he said that one word, ‘Supra.’ I had to have one! After test-driving five Supras that I could never afford, I stumbled across a fixer-upper. Not a single window or body panel was on the car. I talked the owner down on price and convinced a friend to pick up the car in rush hour traffic.”
Over the next decade, Jason poured his heart and soul into the project finishing everything within his own garage. “There have been no fancy shops to help. I have built every inch of my car from the paint and body to the carbon parts,” he explained.
After sourcing all the missing bits like the doors, windows, body panels and interior bits, Jason started gathering all the tuner parts he’d always wanted since he was a kid. Not obsessed with the current stance scene or newer-styled wheels and body kits, he kept the Supra old school. This included the Blitz bumpers, which he fell in love with after discovering the Blitz Supra set a modified road car record on the Nürburgring in ’97.
With the kit installed, the car was resprayed in a custom silver/blue tint to complement Ted’s Z.
Jason updated the chassis to a more agile setup as well with B&G/Tokico suspension and OE twin-turbo spec brakes and sway bars. The wheels were also appropriate for the theme using Volk GT-7s.
The Supra’s bread and butter was undoubtedly the motor though. Capable of 1000+hp, Jason had a milder goal in mind striving for daily drivability. The standard non-turbo 2JZ-GT was taken in and out of the bay four times until the current single-turbo setup was perfected. An all-inclusive GReddy kit supplied a T78 turbo mated to a handmade manifold and Blitz downpipe. Other additions included a GReddy wastegate, exhaust, Blitz intercooler and upgraded fuel components to put down a conservative 450hp with tuning from FSR Motorsport Creations. But don’t be fooled, this Supra is no slug. “It feels like a push from the car gods when this turbo comes to life,” Jason assured us.
To ensure power was put down to the ground, the tranny was swapped to a twin-turbo five-speed automatic along with Driftmotion driveshafts.
“My friends and I had a dream about owning these Japanese import icons,” Jason concluded. “Ted and I are still chasing those dreams. With all the wrenching, blood, sweat, tears, and laughs, I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”
1995 Toyota Supra
Owner Jason Eshelman
Hometown Highland, CA
Power 450hp, 400lb-ft
Engine 3.0 liter 2JZ-GE with HKS adjustable cam gears; GReddy T78 single turbo kit, SUS turbo manifold, Extreme timing belt, lightweight pulley kit, Airinx intake, air diversion panel, upper aluminum radiator pipe, radiator cap, Type RS blow-off valve, Type R wastegate and Ti-R exhaust (track); A’PEXi RS exhaust; Blitz downpipe, three-row front-mount intercooler and oil cap; HKS adjustable cam gears; Walbro 255lph fuel pump; 550cc injectors; carbon ABS delete panel and fuse box cover; NGK spark plugs with color-matched cover; Koyo aluminum radiator; color-matched valve cover; polished intake manifold, turbo, cooling plate; Optima Red Top battery
Drivetrain twin-turbo spec five-speed automatic with Driftmotion Solid 3 driveshaft; custom tranny cooler
Engine Management A’PEXi Neo piggyback EMS
Footwork & Chassis B&G S2 springs; Tokico HTS spec dampers, twin-turbo spec sway bars
Brakes twin-turbo spec brake conversion with four-piston front, two-piston rear calipers; Hawk pads
Wheels & Tires 18x9.5" front and 18x10" rear Volk GT-7 wheels; 245/35R18 front Nitto NT555 and 285/35R18 rear BFGoodrich g-Force T/A KDW-2 tires
Exterior Blitz bumpers, side skirts and rear spoiler; Abflug hood; Sparco fuel door; Phillips 5000K HIDs; custom blue/silver paint; rolled fenders
Interior Sparco Torino seats; custom brackets and harness bar; five-point harnesses, Sparco Lap 5 steering wheel and Reflex aluminum pedals; GReddy Counterweight shift knob, oil pressure, oil temp and boost gauges, turbo timer; AEM UEGO wideband air/fuel gauge; rear seat delete
Audio Pioneer Avic-Z2 head unit, Alpine speakers; Power Acoustik sub; 1000w Performance Teknique amp; Rockford Fosgate wiring
Thanks You my very understanding wife Debbie, sister Charlene, best friend Ted Shimizu, Kenji Sumino, Mike Chung, Quincy Tam at GReddy, David Chou and Maryanne Enosara at Tokico, Ian and Eric at FSR Motorsport Creations, Nguyen Tran, Brad White, Aaron Ernest, Tao Tran, Woodie Doung and Todd Lee for helping me keep the dream alive
WWW fsrmotorsports.com; greddy.com; tokicoperformanceshocks.com