The popularity of the Infiniti G35 has grown quite a bit in the last couple of years. Back when they were first introduced in 2003, the G35 was considered to be the luxury-sport chassis of the Infiniti family and since it carried the Infiniti branding, it wasn’t exactly an affordable car for the 25-under crowd. Nearly a decade later, they have become more affordable as used vehicles and we see more modified G35s at events all over the country. The coupe model V35 chassis has developed a good following amongst enthusiasts because of its versatility; since it was a luxury-sports coupe, you can either build it into something sporty or just slam it on some aggressively-sized wheels for a more “VIP” appeal. Meanwhile, lurking in the coupe’s shadow is its 4-door counterpart. Mechanically, they are essentially the same vehicle, but of course, sedans get a bad rep for having an extra pair, and for whatever reason, enthusiasts have adopted the idea that it isn’t “cool” to build a chassis with more than two-doors. An ignorant person who loves to generalize would respond with, “Because sedans are family cars”.
The reality is that the G35 with two extra doors is meant to be a family car—but it doesn’t mean that it isn’t a capable, modifiable platform. The 4-door G35 hasn’t been forgotten because no one has been able to create a lasting benchmark example of how to build one. The two sedans you see gracing these pages before you, built by Chris Ortez and Marcus Cooke, may possibly be the finest examples of how to build a G35 to date—no matter how many doors it came with. Both of them originally wanted G35 coupes but ended-up with sedans because they both have a wife and two kids. The two coincidentally purchased their Gs in 2007 and started their builds at the same time as well, long before they knew each other.
Chris Ortez’s 2003 Infiniti G35
“I was a Honda guy for most of my life,” Chris explains, “I built two in the past and never even touched a Nissan chassis before I purchased my G35. I was a family man and was blessed with the opportunity to raise two wonderful kids, so I felt it was time for a bigger, roomier car. I aimed to build a car that wasn’t so common and after some research, I fell in love with the G35 sedan. The six-speed manual in Ivory Pearl took a month to locate but it was exactly what I wanted.”
Starting out as most of us do with just a drop and wheels, other aesthetic modifications followed but he soon realized that aftermarket support for this chassis was lacking. He knew he wanted rare Japanese aftermarket parts mixed with OEM JDM Nissan 350GT components; it was just a matter of being able to afford these parts while supporting his family. “I didn’t do everything at once, I just collected parts slowly over time. Everything that I couldn’t get, I just figured out how to modify or create on my own. Nissans were foreign territory for me but once I began working on my G, I learned that cars were fundamentally the same. I learned to not be afraid to take things apart and figured out how to put them back together,” Chris says.
As you may have noticed, the two G35-owners have a fondness for Japanese ARC products. Chris owns almost every ARC product ever made for the V35 chassis as well as a few parts that are meant for other makes and models that he modified to work on his build. One fine example would be a sparkplug wire cover made for an S2000 that Chris altered; the badging on the cover was removed and mounted on an ARC strut bar, while the cover itself was used as an air-diversion plate for his ARC oil cooler. It is that level of ingenuity that makes his G35 noteworthy. Everything under the hood has seen customization in one form or another; the OEM intake plenum, throttle body, and timing covers have all been polished, the valve covers recoated a contrasting ruby red tone and the subframe, normally unseen, has also been paint-matched to Ivory Pearl. Every bolt in the bay (all 420-plus) has been swapped for better looking stainless hex bolts. The bulky engine wiring harness has been relocated and tucked away, freeing more space for onlookers to gander at the plethora of treats from Abbey Road Company.
The interior of this G35 follows one central theme, much like his engine bay. His rear seats, door panels, shift boot and rear deck have all been rewrapped in Bride gradation fabric to match his Bride Stradia II seats. Since this G is Chris’ everyday beater, his son rides in it often so he had a baby-seat redone in Bride fabric to seamlessly blend with his rear seats. Exterior mods appear to be minimal, but only to the untrained-eye. A NISMO front bumper has been installed but with INGS+1 carbon-fiber ducts massaged in along with a ‘05-06 specific OEM front lip. An opening in the center of the front fascia reveals an oil cooler and custom air diversion plate. ARC winglets have been installed for an extra bit of flare. To the rear of his G are a set of rare JDM taillights, EDM rear fog and a paint-matched Hikkatadori carbon-fiber trunk.
Admittedly, one of Chris’ favorite additions to his build is something that required no special alterations on his part: a complete Endless brake upgrade. The signature blue hue of the brakes clash with the rest of his car, which has a white/black/red color scheme, but when you have brakes as baller as his, you want them to be seen and recognized.
2003 Infiniti G35
Owner Chris Ortez
Hometown Pasadena, CA
Occupation Business management/customer service
Engine 3.5L Nissan VQ35DE; SxExCx polished intake plenum, throttle body and VTC; GReddy Evo2 exhaust; welded and chromed coolant pipes; polished Forged Racing slim fans; Earl’s stainless steel-braided radiator hoses and hose clamps; custom-painted Ruby Red valve covers, alternator, tensioner pulley and dipstick; ARC intake elbow, Air Induction Box, modified Evo 9 titanium exhaust manifold cover (polished and heat-treated), modified S13 oil cooler, oil filter relocation kit, 36mm aluminum Super Micro Conditioner Series radiator, oil cap, radiator cap and radiator cooling plate (polished and burnt); custom-painted Ivory Pearl core support; stainless steel hex bolts; custom wire-tuck
Footwork & Chassis TEIN Cruising Master Comfort Sport coilovers w/EDFC; Stillen 1 3/8-inch front sway bar and 7/8-inch rear sway bar; Whiteline endlinks; ARC titanium front strut bar (polished and heat-treated); SPC adjustable camber arms, rear camber arms and toe bolts
Brakes Endless 6-pot front brake calipers, Racing Compound W007 front brake pads, 4-pot rear brake calipers and Racing Compound W007 rear brake pads; Swivel Racing brake lines w/SUS 304 stainless steel fittings; Motul 8068HL RBF 600 brake fluids
Wheels & Tires 19x9.5" front, 19x10.5" rear +22 Volk Racing CE28N Time Attack wheels; 225/35R19 front, 255/BSR19 rear Falken Fk452 tires; Project KICS R40 Racing lug nuts; NISMO extended wheel studs
Exterior NISMO front bumper w/INGS+1 carbon-fiber air ducts and side skirts; OEM ‘05-06 sedan front lip; gloss black painted roof; Hikkatadori carbon-fiber trunk; pinched-flat and flared front fenders, 5mm pulled rear fenders; BAUSauto custom quad-projector retrofitted headlights (TSX-R w/ZKW-R clear lens, blue machine gun shrouds, custom yellow foglight projector lenses w/yellow demon eye, 2.5-in clear lens installed in turn signal); 8000K HIDs; JDM Nissan ‘05-06 taillights, power-folding mirrors, clear side markers and window visors; custom OEM grille with emblem-delete; OEM EDM rear foglight; ARC winglets
Interior Bride Stradia II Carbon Alumide Monocoque seats and Type RO seat rails; custom wrapped rear seats, door panels, shift boot, rear deck, and baby car seat in Bride gradation fabric; Tommy Kaira Hebi Bebi shift knob; black suede w/red stitched center console; JDM Nissan 6MT instrument cluster; chromed seat rail bolts and door strikers; Alpine INA-W900BT head unit, ERE-G180 11-band equalizer; Focal 165KRX2 K2 6.5-in front speakers, Polyglass 130 CVX 5.25 rear speakers; 12-in JL Audio W7 subwoofer, 450/4V2 amplifier, 1000/1V2 amplifier
Thanks You First, I want to start by thanking my wonderful wife, Isabel Ortez, my two kids: Emely Marie and Christopher Joseph for their understanding and support throughout this build, I love you guys; Randy Riggs, Dave Rikimaru, Zack Tscharanyan, Sean Chase, Marty Huynh, Shane Rosas, Mikey Silva, and Marcus Cooke; Howard at Techno Square, Kaleidoscope Polishing, Earl’s Store 1, Danh Vo at More Japan, Eric at BAUSauto, and Ricardo Flores at CH Customs; Team RareJDM: it’s a pleasure to be teammates and friends with such a great group of guys; R-Rydes Team and all of the homies on G35driver, you all know who you are
Marcus Cooke’s 2005 Infiniti G35
While Chris Ortez’s 4-door G takes on a racing influence, Marcus Cooke’s G carries more of a “luxury-sport” motif. He’s created a formidable show car that doubles as a very stylish street cruiser and still allows him to use as a daily driver. What’s surprising to us is that this is the first and only car he’s ever attempted to mod. He says, “I’ve always had a passion for cars. I think it’s in my blood. My grandfather was into cars and so was my dad. When I was old enough and had a car worth modifying, I wanted to do just that. This Infiniti was the first car I owned that I felt was really worth building.”
Unlike many enthusiasts, Marcus started out in “the game” much later. Most were toying around with cars since their late teens—he didn’t get into it until graduating from college. “My wife wanted to do something nice for me as a gift for graduating from Pepperdine with an MBA. I was driving a Volkswagen at that time and it was starting to have mechanical issues, so she offered to get me a new car. I knew I wanted a G35 but since we were going to start a family soon, we decided to get the sedan, ” he recalls.
Things started out very simple; just some minor suspension mods and a nice set of wheels. He then became a member of G35driver.com and saw that he wasn’t alone on his quest to build his G35. The forums helped open his eyes to a lot of products that were made specifically for the sedan chassis. There was even a company producing fiberglass aero parts, which were modified coupe pieces made to fit the 4-doors. Knowing this, Marcus ordered a “KuRookie” front bumper (KurumaZ coupe front altered for the sedan) and “NisRookie” side skirts (NISMO sides for coupe, extended for the sedan). The rear looked naked after that so Marcus sourced a ‘03-04 rear bumper and had a NISMO rear lip molded on. During that process he also had his trunk lid shaved clean and a custom lip spoiler molded into place. Headlights are a major problem for sedan owners as they never received the OEM projector units like their coupe counterparts. Fortunately, BAUSauto provides a projector alternative for sedan-owners who want to swap out their otherwise mundane non-projector headlights. Ride height and overall stance was important to this build and Marcus tells us that his is perhaps the lowest, non-bagged, G sedan in the country. Adjustability comes by a set of BC Racing coilovers and his 19-inch SSR Professor SP1 wheels, measured precisely to achieve the most aggressive lip without having to worry about fender or brake clearance.
“It took me about five years to get this project to where it is today. 2011 was probably the turning-point of my build because I decided that it was time to take my engine bay to another level,” Marcus says. “I had done more than most in terms of polished pieces and rare ARC parts, but I really aspired to set my engine bay apart. I then polished, chromed, or painted everything possible on a VQ35DE motor. Luckily I had met a fellow G35er online who was parting out his car, all the way down to the frame. I pulled every single piece that I could so that it was still feasible to keep the car running. It was my daily driver so I couldn’t afford any downtime. I think a lot of people will be surprised that I was able to complete this engine bay without ever having to pull the motor out of the car. All the extra engine parts that I collected over time I ended-up sharing with several of my friends who also had G35s. It helped all of us step-up our engine bay game.”
Just speaking with Marcus for five minutes made it abundantly clear how detailed and calculated he is when it came to cars—almost to an OCD-like level, but in a good way. It isn’t listed in his specs but the guy literally hand polished over 200 bolts in his engine bay to achieve the look he desired. There are just a ton of little intricacies about his build that only he would notice, and that is what he loves about his car—even the bolts holding his Wilwood calipers together were swapped out for polished ones to match the bolts on his SSR wheels! What is most endearing about Marcus is that he’s never been afraid to share his secrets. In today’s car-culture, it is almost expected that enthusiasts keep things from one another, in hopes that they will have a step ahead of their competition. With Marcus, he’s hoping to further the growth of the G35 community, instead of hindering its progress.
“It’s an honor for the both of us to get featured in SS,” Marcus concluded. “Chris’ build has come a long way from when I first met him and I can’t think of anyone else who is more deserving. I’m just happy I was along for the ride to watch his build come to fruition. We’re bitter enemies when it comes to baseball (said jokingly and not in a stabby way) but at the end of the day, we are just a couple of proud dads who are passionate about cars. Thank you guys for giving us this chance to display our hard work to the rest of the world! Sedans need love too!!”
2005 Infiniti G35
Owner Marcus Cooke
Hometown Long Beach, CA
Occupation Finance/contracts manager
Engine 3.5L Nissan VQ35DE; Tanabe Medalion exhaust system and Y-pipe; Motordyne ART pipes and Iso Thermal Aramid gasket; APS Tallboy Intake Plenum w/shaved tabs (custom polished); Unorthodox Racing idler pulley and alternator pulley (both custom polished; Moroso power-steering tank (custom polished); ARC custom-modified V36 overflow/coolant tank, polished cooling panel, polished Z33 oil cooler, oil cap and radiator cap; polished lower intake plenum w/shaved tabs and smoothed runners, throttle body, timing cover, cam covers, VTC housings, lower collector, idler pulley bracket, alternator, exhaust heat shields, power-steering pump, thermostat housing and A/C hard lines; chromed hood pin bracket, pulley brackets, power-steering pump bracket, hood latch and welded coolant pipes; polished Earl’s –AN fittings, chromed hose clamps and steel-braided coolant hoses; RareJDM polished aluminum underpanel; Koyo V-Core 36mm aluminum radiator; Forged Racing slim fan shroud (custom polished); RRyde custom hidden grounding kit and full wire-tuck; custom FuRookie air intake w/ARC air filter; Pi-Thon chrome A/C line caps; Hose Techniques silicone hose couplers and polished hose clamps; JDM battery cover; Optima Yellow-top battery; shaved and paint-matched core support, battery covers and wiper cowl; custom blue-painted valve covers and crank pulley
Drivetrain custom Earl’s transmission cooler with custom RRyde bracket
Footwork & Chassis BC Racing coilovers; ARC titanium front strut tower bar (polished and burnt); RareJDM rear strut tower bar; Motordyne front/rear sway bars; Powergrid endlinks; Energy Suspension lower control arm bushings and compression rod bushings; SPC rear camber kit
Brakes Wilwood BSL6R 6-pot front brake caliper (custom polished hardware), 14-in drilled/slotted front brake rotors, BP10 front brake pads; Dyna Pro 4-pot rear brake caliper (custom polished hardware), BP10 rear brake pads, stainless steel brake lines
Wheels & Tires 19x9.5" +S front, 19x10.5" +18 rear SSR Professor SPI wheels; 225/35 R19 front, 245/35R19 rear Yokohama S-Drive tires; Project KICS Neo-Chrome R40 lug nuts
Exterior KuRookie front bumper; BAUSauto carbon-fiber front splitter and quad-projector retrofit headlights (TSX-R w/ZKW-R clear lens, iron man shrouds, blue demon eye, 2.5-in clear lens installed in turn signal, silver housings/shrouds); 6000K HIDs; NisRookie side skirts; ‘03-04 OEM G35 sedan rear bumper w/molded NISMO rear lip; shaved trunk w/molded trunk lip spoiler; JDM Nissan ‘05-06 taillights and clear corners; custom OEM front grille with emblem-delete; color-matched mirror bases and lower rubber door moldings; polished flush license plate bolts
Interior OEM ‘06 coupe front seats; Infiniti M45 sport-shift knob; JDM Nissan clock; custom interior LED-swap; vanity LEDs; chromed door strikers
Thanks You My beautiful wife and two amazing sons, love you!; BAUSauto, ledmod.com, Rare JDM, SmartWax, and Tanabe USA/SSR; my friends, Randy Riggs, Dave Rikimaru, Zack Tscharanyan, Darren Aki, Chris Berry, Sean Chase, Marty Huynh, Viet Nguyen, Chris Leiva, Tim Trank, Shane Rosas, Grant Plummer and Chris Ortez; my sponsors, AutoExplosion Auto Body & Paint, Décor Plating, Kaleidoscope Polishing, Earl’s Store 1 and OC Infiniti; Team Rare JDM, it’s a pleasure to be teammates and friends with such a great group of guys; Canibeat crew; Team R-Rydes; G35driver; Wrongfitmentcrew; Hellaflush; Stance:Nation; Juststance