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Norse Notes

The Student News Site of Oakmont High School

Norse Notes

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Before you buy the 350Z…

A review of a 4-month ownership of a 350Z.
Fueling up on the way home from buying the 350Z. PC: Luke Stratton
Fueling up on the way home from buying the 350Z. PC: Luke Stratton

Cars, cars, cars. That’s all I thought about when I was a kid. It all started with watching “Top Gear” and other various car shows. 

The first car I fell in love with was the Nissan 350Z. I was super interested in the drifting aspect of cars and this was the most common, and greatest, base model drift car, with tons of aftermarket support and power. What more could I want?

Soon my Instagram and YouTube search history was full of not only 350Z’s, but many other cars. I was starting to create a passion for cars beyond my expectations.

Fast forward to Oct. 2, 2022, I had searched for the 350Z for so long, but I could never find one in good condition for a good price. So, I ended up going the reliable route and bought a 2010 Chevrolet Malibu. It was a great car and got me from point A to point B. The only downside: it wasn’t fun.

I still have the Malibu to this day, but on Dec. 4, 2023, I made my dream come true: I found a deal I could not refuse. I bought a 2004 Nissan 350Z. I had left school early that day with my dad and drove an hour down to Sacramento to take the car home. 

This was one of the happiest days of my life. The car drove smoothly and had enough power (which I wasn’t used to) to push me back against the seat. A smile was constantly stuck onto my face, as the noise coming from the exhaust was music to my ears.

Now with 4 months of ownership, I have some good and bad things I can identify about the car. First, we’ll start with the good. 

It has 287 horsepower, so it’s speedy, but not so fast that it’s uncontrollable. The power also goes to the rear wheels for the real sports car feel. 

The car is also pretty comfortable. As a 5 ‘7, 145-pound man, I fit perfectly and the sports seats hold me nice and tight for when I do some sliding around in the rain. 

On top of the beautiful body lines of the car, it sounds beautiful. With a 3.5L 287 hp engine with a Nismo racing exhaust, it isn’t too loud but creates a nice purr when I’m driving down the road. 

The car rides a little stiff compared to other cars, but I like it, as it makes me feel more in control of the car when driving around corners and just everyday driving. 

The last thing I want to mention is the “vibe” of the car. This older sports car makes me feel like I’m stepping into an essential part of sports car history every time I drive it.

 Now about the bad: Buying a twenty-year-old sports car can come with many bad sides. 

The first thing you would notice is the slight rattling. All the plastics in the interior create a very quiet rattling noise when I’m driving. It’s not a huge deal, but it is something to get used to. 

As an 18-year-old in high school, the lack of space, or even backseats, isn’t a huge deal to me. It’s a perfectly practical car to me. 

If you are someone who needs more space to carry around more than one person, or anything at all, this isn’t the best car for you. Not only does it have just two seats, but the cargo space is also pretty restricted. But, if you don’t care about space and have no need for it, it isn’t a problem! 

The last thing I would mention, and the most costly flaw of this car is maintenance. Right when I got the car, I had to buy a new set of wheels, since it is a popular car that people drift. That cost me $800 off the bat. 

I’ve also spent another $1,000 in the past few months on some simple engine service to get that car running well. I’ve actually had an instance where I had to tow my car to the shop to get it fixed up.

With both the good and the bad, I can still confidently say I love the Nissan 350Z and my passion for this car grows every time I see it. It does come with a price, though. 

Is this car worth it? My final statement: Yes and no. If you’re willing to learn and fix up your car through all of its troubles, yes. But if you want a car that is always running and always going to get you where you need to be, maybe try something more reliable. 

Is this car for you? Do you have the time and passion to work on this car through all of its troubles? 

This car has been amazing, but it comes with its occasional hiccups. The Nissan 350Z is a car that I’m willing to work with. So be smart, do your research, choose wisely, and have a blast!

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About the Contributor
Luke Stratton
Luke Stratton, Staff Writer
Luke started Journalism in January of 2024 and is a senior in high school. He loves driving his Nissan 350z through the canyon and forest roads with his friends. He wishes to be successful and happy in life with a loving family. He has recently picked up golf and is really enjoying hanging out with friends on the course.

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