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About Steven Sampaga
Growing up I have always had a love for Nissans and the whole Z family. I told myself one day I would own a Nissan Z. It was difficult being a broke college student going to nursing school and working at a yogurt shop, but I managed to save enough to afford a 350z. That is when I named her Sally.
The passion as a car enthusiast started at a young age. I would go over to my friend’s houses and play with our RC cars, build lowrider models, and race on need for speed underground. As I got older, I attended many car shows and one that stood out was Hot Import Nights. I can recall seeing an all carbon fiber 350z while The Game was preforming on stage. It was at that moment I realized I wanted to build my Z. I had a dream and wanted to make it a reality.
After graduating nursing school, I told my best friend Donato Cruz that I had a lot of plans for the Z and wanted to build her. We had worked on previous builds together and I can say he is a mechanical genius. We started taking Sally more serious in the Summer of 2015 and have going working on her non-stop. It started with bodywork, bagging her, and then wheels done all in my garage. We moved forward then had everything I could polish on the VQ and added all the bolt ons that were not only functional, but also gave performance gains. Even after doing all the work we had done, I still wasn’t fully satisfied. I wanted more power.
On January 2017, I decided I wanted to do an engine swap. After hours of research, I realized how much work had to go into a swap but I was ready. Donato was on board with the build and we started gathering tools we needed such as a engine crane to a TIG welder. We decided on using an LS3 6.2, Motec M130 as the ECU GPR software and Motec C125 race logging kit, Tremec T56 Magnum and Sikky parts to have everything set in. This is where we are currently at with the build but we still have more plans in the near future.
What inspired me to build Sally was my family and the love of being a car enthusiast. Donato is my best friend and I call him family, my brother. We share the same love for cars and it keeps the passion alive. After putting in hours work in my tiny garage, bleeding from cuts, drinking tons of brew, I can say it’s worth it after seeing the finished product. It’s the support of all my friends and family that keeps the car community thriving. This will be a lifelong journey and i am excited to share it with the world.
Check out Steven Sampaga, a builder in California, and his Nissan 350z Sally. Click the portrait to find out more.
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