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From Cali With Love


I am here today to share with you a tale. One that begins with a young boy and his love for a movie. He was just 9 years old when the first episode of this now famous franchise hit the Cinema. Yet, he knew when he first saw those adrenalin inducing machines flashing across the screen that one day he would have one just as cool. He also knew he would find a crew to share it with. Shall my path ever cross that of Mr. Diesel or if my end of the road meets up with the late Mr. Walker, I will be sure to thank them. For it was their influence upon bodybuilder, car salesman and Instagram addict Raahim Rajput that made it possible for me to share with you his beautiful 2010 Nissan 370Z Nismo.

My introduction to Raahim began innocently enough. He saw the photos I shot for last month’s feature on the Stay Crushing FR-S and wanted to be next. He hunted down my social media, found an email address and dropped me a line.

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“Hey was wondering if I could get a feature in the magazine?” was all it said and attached were two beautiful long exposure photos of a 370Z. You see, Raahim has become quite the photographer as well. If you don’t believe me, you can follow along with him on his Instagram at raahimjoonx6 to find out for yourself. Needless to say, I was impressed enough to respond.

We discussed meeting up at a few different places but winter in Southern California has been known to occasionally bring rain. Wouldn’t you know it? Every time we were set up, we were rained out. Finally, I just said let’s make it happen. Weather be damned, I gave him a location to meet me on a rainy Sunday afternoon.

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As I waited in the parking lot assembling my photographic weapons of choice, I looked up to see a tatsu slithering through the puddles, up the ramp and into the view of my headlights. A beautiful beast she was. A real feast for the eyes, the VIS carbon fiber hood reflecting in the rain told me it meant business. I couldn’t help but notice how well the fenders from Fly1 Motorsports complimented the awesome Nismo edition body and how well it highlighted the VS-XX wheels by Work. Normally, I am not a fan of gold wheels but something about this whole ensemble had me nodding my head in approval.

The Big Country Labs wing was so large that it looked like it was ripped right off the body of a dragon and thrust directly into the tail of the 370Z. Almost hard to believe that down force could be an issue on a ride that sits so low. Ray at Air Ride Equipment did an amazing job building the bagged suspension but we will talk more about him later.

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Having had enough of the rain, we left the lot. Side by side, we traveled down “the 5” on our way over to a nearby parking garage. The sound of the 3.7 L V6 tuned by Church Automotive through the Motiv High Flow cats installed by Unique Fabrication in Irvine, CA and out of the Fast Intentions exhaust was nothing less than aggressive.

While capturing the car at various angles in the garage, I found out more about Raahim. He told me more about his crew in Socalz and how they set up car meets and canyon runs. I learned Zociety plays a big part in all the events they go to. It is in these groups that he has met his closest friends. We talked so much that I ran out of time to get all the shots I needed so I set up another shot with him the following week.

I met him in at the family business called Reliance Remarketing in Ontario, CA where he works to bring in clients, find them the perfect car and arrange financing. You can tell he loves his job. Everyday there are new cars that come in that he gets to test. Cars truly are his passion and he is one of the lucky ones who has made it be a major part of his life.

After snapping some shots, we moved on to our final destination where we were to meet a couple models I had arranged to be a part of the photo shoot. Ray from Air Ride Equipment in Redlands, CA opened his doors to us with a big smile. We rolled out of couple of his other projects out of the way and moved the 370Z into position. While Ray kept us entertained with stories, I moved the models and lighting into various positions. It was hard to stay focused with all the hilarity that ensued. Be sure to swing by his shop if ever in the area. He always has a few amazing projects going on and is good for a laugh or two.

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As we reached the end of the shoot, I asked Raahim for any words of wisdom he would like to share for anyone else looking to start a build. He shared the following, “Keep on doing what you love. Sometimes it’ll be hard. Things won’t fit, it won’t work or start but, if you never fail, you’ll never see what you were doing wrong. Be patient and work hard. You have to love it to do this or it’s just not fun.”

You know what? I think he has this thing called life all figured out.

HYPERFACTS
Car model year– 2010 Nissan 370Z Nismo

Engine – 3.7L V6, Stillen intake gen 3 fast intentions exhaust and Motiv high flow cats

Transmission– 6 speed Manual

Tuner – From church automotive called the Uprev tune with 5 different maps

Suspension – Air Ride Suspension

Brakes – Stop tech slotted Brakes and hawk brake pads

Wheels – Work Vsxx my favorite wheels

Tires -Michelin

Bodykits – Nismo Kit came with it With the Amuse Rear bumper

Text & Photo: Johan Johanson