Project Infiniti G20 (P10) AWD Turbo: Part 1 – Project Day Drinking
gutted nissan shell being tied down on a flatbed tow truck
When you call AAA for a tow and they ask if the car is runs… um, nooooooo?
[Erik note: AAA does not transport vehicle shells. Do not expect them to do it.]

My own G20 followed the shell to the shop not long after.

 

gray 90s charcoal-colored nissan sedan loaded on flatbed tow truck with guy in high-vis vest smirking
Next victim on her way out! To be clear, this one DOES run, it was just easier to have it delivered.

The shop and I had agreed on a timeline of about a year to complete the project. Spoiler alert: that didn’t happen. Over a year later, they closed the shop and left me high and dry, without really ever having started on it at all.

gutted shell on jackstands with driveshaft laying on ground and rear subframe on a cart
This is about all the progress that got made over the course of a year and a half. Ugh.

Oh, and for those who are wondering about the Miata’s replacement…

I had a really hard time choosing something to replace the Miata given what a sentimental car it was. I knew I wanted rear-wheel drive and manual, liked the idea of still having a convertible, wanted heated seats, and definitely needed more power. I considered several options but nothing really seemed quite right. I had driven a standard Z4 (non-M) at the Nürburgring on our honeymoon in ’12 (yes, we went to Germany and drove the Nürburgring as a part of our honeymoon) and also test drove one during my reluctant car-shopping. I liked the regular E85-chassis Z4, but it just didn’t have enough oomph for me.

Ultimately, I decided on a BMW Z4 M – basically a fancy Miata with more power. I found an absolutely pristine, 40K-mile, 6-speed manual, Imola red ’06 Roadster with a black-on-black carbon interior at a Jaguar dealership in Sacramento. I had a friend go check it out for me, and, with his blessing, I made the purchase without ever having driven an M. My new baby arrived in April of 2018, almost 1.5 years after her predecessor had been killed.

imola red BMW z4 M convertible parked on gravel with a power station in the background
It was love at first in-person sight. She definitely checked all the boxes and then some!

I fell completely in love the moment my new Bimmer rolled off the trailer and haven’t stopped smiling since. Within 24 hours of owning it, I had signed up for a track day at Road Atlanta and had begun the modding process. While I still miss my Miata a ton, the Z4 M has been an absolute blast to drive, a beast on the track, and it exceeded all my expectations. Ah, a happy ending.

red bmw z4 coming towards camera through esses at road atlanta
I want more of this, please. Photo by Chad Burdette | Chadbee Photography

I’ll let Erik take it from here as he has all of the fun facts and details from day one whereas I really only have the invoices. Remember that thing about me just wanting to write checks? Yeah.

[Erik note: but you’ll have to wait for the next installment to learn where the project is at!]

14 comments

  1. I spent a lot of time on G20.net back in the day when I had my P10. Somehow even among all those Primera enthusiasts I never learned about an AWD P10. This checks a lot of boxes for me being out in Colorado, will be following this closely because I might just have to copy you.

    1. What was your username on Gnet? I was SR20DETg20girl. Small word. And I highly recommend NOT following me… just buy a T4 to start with and save yourself the headaches/cash. 😉

  2. OMG. I have to check with my friend as that actually might have been his old Z4M. did it have chrome wheels when you bought it?

    1. No, it had the factory M wheels. It belonged to an older gentleman, even though it came from a dealership I have his name and info. Woulda been a cool “small world” story if not, though!

  3. OI!

    Where is Part II?! I read this with much interest and then… cliff hanger!

    I can’t wait to read more about yr G20 so hurry up! 😀

    1. I can’t wait to read more, too! 😂 Hopefully we can get another update posted soon… the shop that has the car now had made some good progress (rear end in, etc) but then Covid came and shut down the supply chain so things have been on hold yet again. Supposedly they’re starting work on it again in the next couple weeks. Fingers crossed!

    1. As tempting as that is… no. 😄 I’ve already got a RWD N/A car and a (soon to be) AWD turbo car both for road racing so I’m thinking now I need a supercharged drag car… *evil laugh*

  4. Nice build, i was lucky to buy an original T4 eGT saloon from the netherlands. One day i hope to do an sr20det build aswell. So far away and the same passion for a p10, great!!!

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