Story: Will Sabel Courtney
Photography: Andrew Link
You’ve never seen a car quite like this before. At first glance, it looks like a drop-top Porsche 911—similar stance, similar proportions. But then you notice the headlights. The 911’s had a lot of different headlight shapes over the years—circles, ovals, runny eggs—but these are different. These are Panamera headlamps. Then you notice the little things you missed at first: The hood is too long for a 911, the doors too upright. And you wonder: Could this really be what it looks like? Is this a two-door convertible Porsche Panamera?
Unfortunately, it’s not. But what it actually is could be even more incredible: a Nissan 350Z that’s been stripped down and rebuilt to look like the spitting image of the drop-top Panny that Porsche never built.
“The idea was to make a [Panamera] two-door coupe with a convertible top,” says the car’s owner, Shin Kameda. Upon the car’s debut in Japan, the pictures of it at Kameda’s local car show proceeded to blow up the Internet and vault the car to instant fame—fame that only increased when he hauled the car across the Pacific Ocean to show it off at the 2012 SEMA show, where we first saw it.
The car hasn’t sat still much, but Kameda’s still found the time to continuously improve upon his masterpiece. It was only after SEMA that he installed that insanely broad rear widebody (wider than a Hummer H1!), complete with the latest-generation Porsche 911 tail lamps. That latest change is one of Kameda’s favorite aspects of the car, along with the enormous rear wheels, which he claims are the first 16-inch-wide forged rims installed on a car. The result is a vehicle that looks every bit a custom Porsche yet remains completely unlike any actual Porsche in the world today.
But while almost any custom-car owner would be over the moon just to own this Panamera Z in its current form, Kameda isn’t finished developing his pretend Porsche. He wants to change the car’s midnight-black paint to a different color, and while he’s at it, he speaks about giving the front and sides of the car a widebody treatment to match the car’s outrageous rear haunches. Considering the magic he’s already performed on this once humble 350Z, we fully expect the results to blow up the Internet once more.
Spec The Technique:
Year/Make/Model: 2005 Nissan 350Z
Performance: HKS GT Supercharger system; CSD braking system, 16-piston caliper with 16.9-inch rotor front, 16-piston caliper with 15.7-inch rotor rear
Exterior: Porsche Panamera headlight swap; Porsche 911 Carrera tail lens swap; Fairy Design body kit; custom front and rear fenders; suicide doors; high-speed air suspension system
Interior: Forgiato Artigli-ECL steering wheel; Porsche GT3 bucket seats; fully reupholstered red leather interior
Ice: Bewith Audio system
Wheels/Tires: Forgiato Artigli-ECL wheels, 22×9.5 front, 24×16 rear; Pirelli P Zero tires, 245/30/22 front, 405/25/24 rear