SP Rides: The Copperhead Z

By Michael Kitchens

Owner: Thomas Parker
Age: 22
Hobbies: Cruises, bars, surfing
Engine: Cold Air Intake
Exterior: NISMO V1 Sideskirts, Rear Under Spoiler, Spoiler, NISMO V3 Front Bumper, Blacked out Headlights, Tail lights, Side-markers and Door Handles, Seibon GT-Style carbon fiber
Interior: Color-matched interior components, Snake-skin re-stitched seats
I:C:E: 10inch Rockford Fosgate Punch Subwoofer, Two Soundstream amps, capacitator, Pioneer DVD Player
Wheels: Color-matched 18-inch, 3 piece VS-KF Wheels with Wanli Tires

As a kid, much of my introduction to the world of cars came courtesy of Hot Wheels, the miniature toy cars from Mattel. Turns out this week’s cover subject, Thomas Parker, had the same affections as well. His addiction to Hot Wheels grew and eventually turned into a love of real cars.

Thomas is only 22 years old and doesn’t have a huge roster of vehicles under his belt, but he chose to go big almost immediately after he could afford his own ride. After owning a luxurious Cadillac Seville SLS, he went wild child and picked up a horsepower-chugging ’95 Chevy Camaro in order to experience that feeling of power we all crave. Unfortunately, it ended up clunking out on him, which is what led him to purchase this stunning example of import goodness — a 2004 Nissan 350Z.

Thomas found the car while searching the lemon lots for an island beater; he was immediately blown away by the exterior goodness of the car and fell hard for it. It’s easy to see why. This Z is swathed in a stunning custom copper orange similar to the OEM paint, but with a splash of extra. “When I saw it, I felt something for the car. I think cars have a deeper meaning to them,” says Thomas.

The body is currently a mixmatch from Nissan’s NISMO bodykit selections featuring V1 side-skirts as well as slick rear under spoilers to match the rear spoiler. Upon purchase, Thomas chose to update the front bumper to a newer third generation NISMO. The paint was color matched in addition to completing the sexy two-tone consistent throughout the car. The car also features Seibon GT-style lathered in the same mixed paint that really makes a statement.

The additional exterior details really complement the look, with blacked out head and tail lamps, side-markers and door handles. The low, under slung fog lights add a touch of menace to the stance when combined with the impressive 18-inch, 3-piece VS-KF wheels that are color-matched to the paint scheme. Taken altogether, the car reminds Thomas of a vicious snake in-waiting, ready to pounce at a moment’s notice. The interior hasn’t been ignored and has been completely color-matched. The center console, shift boot, door handles, steering wheel and many other parts have been painted in the copper orange theme. Carrying over, the seats have been reupholstered with a snake-skin type material.

This snake has its sounds, and it can boom with a 10-inch Rockford Fosgate Punch subwoofer mated to two Soundstream amps and a recently added capacitator. These items are color-matched too, and the sound is pumped from a Pioneer DVD player with some extra screen time with the latest movies. This Z is one striking example of the super popular Z line. Thomas enjoys every moment of driving it. “Life is too short to drive boring cars,” he says.