The Papa of G35’s {feature 2}

Words & Photos by Chris Ortez


 At one point during the never-ending quest of building our own version of the ultimate driving machine, we may find ourselves looking up to someone else’s creation for inspiration or motivation.  Truth be told that unconsciously and without design, the one influencing the younger generation of enthusiasts could easily be your very own creation.  I decided that it was appropriate for Chris Leiva’s 2003 G35 Sedan to appear as my second feature because of his influence within the G35 community and frankly, because his build inspired mine.  I joined in 2007 while in the process of acquiring my sedan.  As I surfed the website to learn more about the v35 chassis, this beautifully modified and perfectly executed ivory pearl sedan – owned by G35Papa – quickly captured my attention.

Chris purchased his car brand new in 2002 at Niello Infiniti of Concord California with plans of it being a family car, as him and his wife were expecting their first child Andrew.  He recalls saying, “It’s perfect, I wouldn’t change a thing.”  That thought would eventually languish as the bond between driver and car grew stronger. The thrill that was once gratifying, slowly diminished the longer the car appeared typical.  In 2003, he came across while searching for sports pedals.  The more time he spent interacting with other enthusiasts in the domain, the more intense his long time compulsion of modifying cars became.

What I find remarkable about Chris’ style is his natural instinct of modifying within strict parameters and the ability to refrain from pursuing what was trending or internet fame.  Although his build does not resemble a particular theme per say, he explains that inspiration materializes through a combination of American, European and Japanese sports cars.  His goal was to build a simple yet clean, reliable and functional car that he can enjoy during daily commutes, while at the same time differentiating it from the vast majority.  As he recalls, 2007 was the turning point for his build as he pursued a sportier and more luxurious appearance.  He managed to source an authentic Nismo Aero kit to include the front bumper, side skirts and rear lip.  While concentrating on the exterior, he opted to color match the door handles and painting the roof, mirror bases and window trim gloss black.  After going through several aftermarket options, he settled on a set of custom powder coated battleship gray Volk LE28N staggered wheels wrapped in Hankook Ventus V12 tires.  Conspicuously displayed through the forged wheels is a set of custom painted “Signal Green” Rotora 6/4 Big Brake Kit.  The Jdm taillights provide the car with an updated appearance which complements the RB trunk lid.  The VQ’s unique engine sound could be heard through the Stillen Gen2 exhaust while cruising the streets of Concord on a set of Stance LX coilovers and Stillen sway bars which hold the car firmly to the windy road.

As Chris reminisces through 14 years, he expresses never imagining a car bringing so much joy into his life.  “I’m not only talking about the car being joyful, but of all the great memories made with friends through the forum, at car shows, BBQ’s, or during installations at my house – many of which have become lifelong friends.”  He humbly acknowledges never having the opportunity to take his car to the next level as his family has grown (4 boys), resulting in “mod funds” being scarce.  After going into deep thought during a moment of silence, he smiles and says; “I will always have the desire to modify so I still do small things here and there.  After all, that’s what true car enthusiasts do.”

You can learn more about Chris’ car HERE.





Engine/Drivetrain Modifications:
Polished 5/16 Motordyne plenum spacer
Customized OEM induction box – AEM cone filter
SxExCx grounding wire kit
773 Custom Automotive Designs  polished coil pack covers
773 Custom Automotive Designs  brushed/polished air diversion panel
OEM bolts replaced with polished bolts (some powder coated signal green)
Shaved plenum
CF/Polished oil cap
Battery/Master cylinder covers painted & shaved/filled
NRG polished hood dampeners
ART Pipes
Custom Stillen Gen 2 CATback exhaust
Dual Magnaflow resonators
Magnaflow rear mufflers tips titanium burnt tips
Full wire tuck
NWP Engineering 78mm Big Bore Throttle Body
Custom 3.5” Polished Aluminum intake tube
Transgo VB upgrade
3.5 VLSD rear diff

Suspension Modifications:
Stance LX Coilovers
350Evo Front upper control arms
SPC Rear camber/toe kit
Stillen strut bar – fully polished
Stillen front/rear sway bars
SPL Endlinks
SPL Tie Rods
Whiteline bushings

Wheels/Tires Modifications:
Volk LE28N 19×8.5 17 Front ~ 19×9.5 22 Rear
Hankook Ventus V12 225/40F 255/35R
Volk Formula Racing lug nuts
Rotora 6-pot 355mm cross drilled Front (painted signal green)
Rotora 4-pot 355mm cross drilled Rear (painted signal green)
2-piece rotors with polished hardware

Interior/Exterior Modifications:
JDM Double Din with Pioneer D3 (GPS, Bluetooth, Ipod adapter & backup camera)
JL Audio speakers (replaced all OEM Bose speakers) running JL Audio 4-channel amp
4080 custom subwoofer enclosure – 10″ sub
KillJulez TI  shift knob
Works Bell CF paddle shifters
Coupe front seats

Window trim & mirror bases painted gloss black
JDM turn signal indicators
JDM 05/06 Tail Lights
Carbon Fiber B-pillars
Custom revised Nismo front bumper – Nismo sides and rear valance
INGS CF ducts for Nismo front
Molded OEM coupe lip to front Nismo bumper
RRyde – Emblemless grille
RB trunk
Blacked out roof
Door handles painted to match body
Projector headlights (bi-xenon G37 sedan projectors w/G37 turn signal mod up top & LED rings)
JDM clear corners w/bump
Tint = 20% all around

One thought on “The Papa of G35’s {feature 2}”

  1. Thank you so much for the feature and taking the time for everything. I love the write up and pics!

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