I began this website as a place where we could showcase anything and everything that Houston’s automotive community has to offer. Ideas are always swirling about in my head on how I can bring more content to my viewers and help this great city reclaim its spot on the map. The idea was to find a way to get non-Houston cars and their drivers onto AutoModia. After a little debate the details were worked out and the rules are simple. Rule #1: the owner needs to have been to Houston at least two or three times with their car to attend our meets and shows here. Rule #2: the photo shoot and interview needs to take place right here in the great city of Houston. Steve Ellis and his Nissan 350Z fit that bill perfectly.
Steve Ellis’ chrome silver metallic 2004 Nissan 350Z comes ready to dance through the turns and you will soon learn why. The exterior of this well-kept Nissan consists of a replica Nismo version 2 front bumper with a Shine Auto carbon fiber front lip. This is all protected by a 3M clear bra on the headlights, hood, mirrors, A-pillars, and part of the roof. If you are a hell bound bug intent on killing the paint job of a beautiful car, you better choose another target.
Keeping this beauty glued to the ground are a set of 18″ Enkei RPF1s (9.5f, 10.5r) and Sumitomo HTRZ-III tires. There is no stretch here as the front tires measure in at 265mm and the rears at 275mm. Tein Flex coilovers with the EDFC controllers and Hotchkis front and rear sway bars are in charge of making sure this Z goes where it’s pointed with ease. Give the brake pedal a quick mash and you will quickly figure out how well a 14″ Stoptech BBK and stainless steel braided brake lines work.
After pushing your eyeballs back in their sockets you can give the gas pedal a good kick. As the motor comes to life you will hear and feel the Jim Wolftech Pop charger intake. The sound of the intake is quickly taken over by DC Sport ceramic coated headers, Fast Intentions high flow cats, and Greddy Ti-C cat-back exhaust. Once things start to heat up the Koyo 3 row polished radiator, Blitz silicone radiator hoses, and carbon fiber cooling plate do their part to cool everything back down to normal operating temperatures. All of this is topped off by a Technosquare ECU re-flash which helps the computer know what, where, when, and how.
A quick glance around the cockpit you will see a set of Autometer gauges that speak volumes about how the motor is performing. Further down the console is the Pioneer DVD touchscreen radio that brings all of the entertainment to your ears. All that is left is for Steve to just hop in and drive the crap out of this car, and that is exactly what he does everyday.
Mr. Ellis originally found his love of cars through his childhood friend Sean and his mom. Sean’s dad bought him a 1971 Nissan 240Z that was restored before he turned 16. All Steve could do was help and drool, lots of drool. Steve’s mom introduced him to the wonderful world of autocross at TAMSCC when he first got his license. She wanted him to learn the simple intricacies of driving and how to react to when things get a little slippery.
Steve has always had Nissans and Datsuns. I think I should preface this and say that his parents owned quite a few as well. His first car was 1983 280ZX turbo that received a few bolt-ons and some suspension work. A 1995 24oSX was next on the list, however, this car’s life was cut short. It was rear ended and totalled. “I remember sitting on a bucket in the driveway and crying while looking at her all banged up,” Steve said. Zoey was picked up at 27,000 miles to which Steve already has her up to 46,000 miles. That is right, her name is Zoey, and Steve will be damned if he doesn’t name all of his cars. Thinking back on my own cars, yes, this is a normal practice. Even if I name my cars things like douchebag and deathtrap (lol).
When Steve isn’t working on Zoey you can find him wearing many other hats. Depending on the time of day he will either be the music director for The Eccell Group, a DJ and promotions for Social Lounge, or a PR team adviser for Knockouts Grill House. You can also find him on the radio every Sunday evening from 8-11pm on Candy95 in College Station (www.Candy95.com). The little spare time he has left is spent pursuing a career in acting. He took a year off from school and put in the work to make that dream come true. Steve hit New York City in July and will be headed to California this month if things work out. If he could do all of this in a twin turbo Lamborghini Aventador it would certainly take the sting out of the time crunch. Who wouldn’t want one of those to grab some coffee in at the local Starbucks? Just don’t spill anything, at all, or there will be death!
I did specifically ask Steve what it was like to have a mom that was a gear head like us. The best part of his answer was that he never had to explain why there were dirty parts in the sink and bathtub. I think this is something that we have all been bitched at for in the past (lol). I want to thank Steve for toting me around and letting me into his automotive world. I still don’t understand how we got out of that DIY car wash lot. I absolutely love the clean simplicity of this Nissan. I would daily this car with no issues at all. Steve wants to thank his family, Team SunWorks, the College Station Car Club, Robert and Dusty at MVP Motorsports, Gabe at AutoModia (hey that’s me!), and everyone who remembers why they got into cars.