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James' Nissan Stagea 350RX

James

Chairman
So after a few years of buying stop-gap cars, including:
  • An Audi A6 1.9 TDI that ate its own electrics out
  • A Peugeot 306 STDT
  • A Mazda 6 2.3 which developed an engine knock after 6 months
  • A Jaguar X-Type which ALSO developed an engine knock after 6 monts
  • And a car that actually did quite well and made it to one JAE, my Saab 9-3 Aero
I decided enough was enough and I was actually going to spend more than a few hundred quid on a car that would hopefully last!

(For a full breakdown of my cars, I keep a log here: https://www.calamityjames.co.uk/my-cars)

After JAE 2021 and spending basically the entire weekend chatting to @Fujiwara-Ben about importing cars from Japan, I was eyeing up M35 Stageas on TC-V.

I'd already had a WC34 (the RB25DET one) and really regretted selling it, but wanted something a bit more modern and safe.

Anyway, I stumbled across one already in this country being sold in Nuneaton by JustJapImports.

A Stagea 350RX. This means that it's a RWD model with the venerable VQ35DE engine out of the 350Z!

I asked for some pictures of the car and was given about 50! It was so damn clean inside, out and underneath that within an hour I'd put a deposit down on it.

This was September. Thanks to the pandemic, I would not collect the car for another 8 weeks due to DVLA delays!

Fast-forward to today and I've done the first few things I wanted to do when I bought it, so I thought I'd post this blog now and fill you in on each step as it went in a sort of timeline!

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James

James

Chairman
Wednesday 8th September 2021
Finding the ebay listing and putting the deposit down

So after thinking "I can do this all myself" I figured I'd just see what was already on ebay on the off chance there was anything already over here.

As it would turn out there were a couple, but this one struck a chord with me. Relatively unmodified (except the grille and Nismo S-Tune suspension) and super low mileage (~40,000 miles)!

So after getting a crapton of pictures from the seller, I put a deposit down.

Here's a copy of the ebay ad and some more of the pictures I was sent:

  • Light cream leather interior option with silver trim
  • 5 seater with large boot space (Rear seats fold flat for extra space)
  • Split screen rear bootlid
  • Factory privacy glass
  • Factory HIDs
  • Factory Stagea full mat set
  • Electric front seats
  • Heated front seats
  • Soft close rear bootlid
  • Dual zone climate control
  • Electric folding mirrors
This vehicle benefits from some subtle modifications which improve both appearance and performance:
  • Nismo S-Tune suspension (shocks and springs)
  • 18" Nissan alloy wheels with matching Dunlop tyres all round in great condition
  • Autech Axis front grille
 

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James

James

Chairman
Thursday 28th October 2021
Finally time to go and pick the damn thing up!

So the time finally arrived! I get a call on Wednesday that the car has finally got its number plates from the DVLA and it's ready for collection. Immediately ring my boss and arrange a half day to get my ass up to Nuneaton to collect the car, it's been 8 weeks since I put the deposit down, I am chomping at the bit at this point!

Jump on a train, get picked up and get my first look at the car: Oh my god it's as pristine as the pictures showed 😍

Luckily I brought my collection of Minidiscs up with me as the stereo being Japanese stops at 90 MHz so it's Minidiscs or Radio 2 😂

As it happened, two other Stageas (not as low mileage) were also prepped waiting for their new owners (both I now know via the M35 Stagea Facebook group) so I had to get a picture of them all before they went their separate ways to their new owners!

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James

James

Chairman
Saturday 30th October 2021
Throw it straight on a rolling road!

I'd already agreed to head over to Surrey Rolling Road with the NPOC as I was interested to see if the Saab I had previously was remapped. Well, it died on me a week before the Stagea showed up so boy was I lucky the Stag arrived in time to take its place!

Head on down to Farnborough, after only owning the car a mere 48 hours to put it through its paces on the rolling road. Unsurprisingly for such low mileage the engine is spot on. They should have about 270bhp and it made 273, so I am massively happy with that.

Also was a great day seeing some other niche cars and meeting up with car peeps I haven't seen in a long while, including Tom (who was at JAE 2021), Tim (who is a long time friend and NPOC member) and edk from the AOC!

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James

James

Chairman
Friday 3rd November 2021
🎶 You're so vain, I bet you think this plate is about you, don't you! 🎶

Yeah, I bought an MSC private plate. I'm not even sorry.

For those wondering:
J = James
26 = My age when I became chairman
MSC = Micra Sports Club ❤️

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James

James

Chairman
Thursday 11th November 2021
Didn't take long for the bling to show up

After finding out that there's a massive resonator that hides the sound of the glorious VQ35 under the hood, I found a direct replacement aluminium pipe that gives the car back its V6 growl, just like the 350Z, so I imported one from Japan and I wasted no time getting it fitted!

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(also got a Nismo oil filter because why not)

Before:
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During:
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After:
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And here's that MASSIVE resonator pipe:
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James

James

Chairman
Thursday 25th November 2021
Boring but necessary security

Due to the fact that my insurance stipulates my car must have a cat 1 alarm / immobiliser, and most cars in Japan don't even have an immobiliser fitted (yeah, I know right!) I got my car booked in to get a Thatcham category 1 alarm and immobiliser, and while I was at it, a tracker with push notifications so I can tell if the alarm ever goes off etc!

Tracker is probably overkill but it's my pride and joy and I'll be damned if anyone is gonna try and take it from me!!

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James

James

Chairman
Friday 3rd December 2021
Smile, you're on YouTube

Kept it quiet and didn't tell any of my friends, but Matt from the YouTube channel Furious Driving came over to film the car for a YouTube video, I'd reached out to him in September and we'd both been waiting for the thing to arrive for him to come down and do a video on it.

He's also done videos for the K10 and K11, definitely worth a watch and a subscribe!

 
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James

James

Chairman
Saturday 4th December 2021
What an Ace Café!

Just an excuse for photos here, went to NPOC's annual Xmas meet at Ace Café and met up with a bunch of friends and got some lovely pics of the Stagea there!

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James

James

Chairman
Friday 10th December 2021
350Z wannabe

Whilst at Ace Café we discussed my engine cover and my mate Tom from NPOC reiterated the point that the cover is now asymmetrical due to the removal of the resonator. Cheers Tom 🙄 😂

Nevertheless, ebay had a 10% promotion on so I managed to secure a 350Z engine cover. The plan is eventually to polish the plenum cover and spray the 350Z engine cover silver like the car, but I did a test fit just to make sure it would fit.

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James

James

Chairman
Sunday 19th December 2021
Protect my underside 😏

Rust. Rust is the nemesis of anything Japanese, we all know that.

I'd had this one in the diary for a LONG time. I got the car over to my good friend Tony at Tony Guest Automotive to give the car a full underseal including waxoyl in all the cavities.

He also found some water traps which he sorted out to prevent further water ingress.

The man is an absolute MASTER at his craft, just look at how he wrapped up all the important components, most people just spray over everything! If you need something doing right, send it to Tony. #NotAnAd 😂

(He also gave me an oil change with the Nismo filter from above, but no pics of that as it's boring!)

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James

James

Chairman
Monday 20th December 2021
More bling. Sorry, not sorry

Was sick of the yellow glow of incandescent sidelights, so I upgraded to some nice white LEDs to match the factory HIDs!
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