Some car enthusiasts are born to love cars and others get sucked into this black hole later in life. There is no right or wrong time; there is no penalty the newbies receive because they have not been in the game as long as others. We live and breathe our cars and honestly even though I was born into a car lovers home I really admire the newbies. The usually enter into this crazy, obsessive lifestyle in after high school, they don’t know a darn thing about cars except for maybe they look “pretty” but they overcome that challenge. They want to have that car everyone looks at and they want to know everything that we known our whole lives. 

Photos by: Mike Sterno Photography & Words by: Gina Calhoun


They basically research and study more on cars than anyone else and most of the time they will know more about them than us. I know what you are saying, Yeah ok keep thinking that. But is true. We learn how to work on cars because of our dads or paint cars because of our uncles. We didn’t get thrown into it 20 years down the line.


These newbies want to be on their game. They don’t want to sound like complete idiots when they are talking to people so they work on learning everything there is to know about what is going on in each scene, we all do really. Stance has been around for a while but it was not until the last five years that it really hit the states. We learned how to do that fresh, clean tuck just like everyone else. People may not like the same things that you do, they might not be into the cars you are into but who gives two craps. We all love cars and it brings us together every weekend to have a good time.   


Troy Curtis is on of our fellow newbies but after talking to him he is anything but that. Like many of us Troy graduated high school with the determination to go to college but after attending Eastern Illinois University he decided that his heart was not in it and he wanted to start making a career for himself and probably those paychecks looked good too.


In the beginning he never understood what was so great about cars or the “stance” scene, until his younger brother decided to take him a little journey and open his eyes to a whole new world. See you can learn new things from younger siblings. We are usually the smarter ones anyway. Ha Ha kidding. His brother showed Troy about the Chicago car scene and what was out there. I am telling you though I need to hit Troy and his brother up. I am in Chicago at least once every couple months and if I am not looking for some local car shows I am looking for underground fights and no one knows anything. Yep ok, keep it a secret. Now I have an inside scoop. I know it is not Fight club but they have to exist.


With the support of his family and his wonderful girlfriend they have stuck by his side with this new obsession. Being that Troy has always been a truck guy he didn’t know what car to get first. Of course he saw a nice 350z and wanted that but we can’t start from the top now can we. We have to work our way up, earn our place. His first ride was a 95 Eclipse GST that I will say was my first car as well and it was pretty nice but as Troy said he didn’t feel like this car was meant to be stanced. He wanted a car that people would turn to look at and even though the Eclipse had some potential he didn’t feel it.


But he sure felt it when he saved his money and found this 2006 Nissan 350z. Did you see that thing? Damn that is clean.  I guess Troy figured go big or go home. This 350Z is a 6 speed manual transmission, and is the touring model that he picked up from an older guy in Iowa. Nice find my friend, nice find.


The silver bullet (Yes, I named the car) has an AEM cold air intake, Cat-back CX racing dual exhaust, stance SS coilovers, SPL toe arms with Kinetic front A-arms and rear camber. Its working with some 18×11 +0 245/40/18 and 18×12 +0 265/35/18 Work Rezax wheels that Troy says make the car and I cant argue with him on that. With the Ings +1 front lip and the rolled and pulled fenders it is every stance lovers wet dream.


Troy has plans for the future with his Z. He is going to invest some time and money into the interior and he wants to put some bags on it and go with a wide-body to reduce the camber. He even said that he might get himself a Datsun 280z as a project car. At 20 years old he has plenty of time and projects a head of him. This is only the beginning and we will have to keep our eyes open for that one.


For most of us including Troy, we all like where the car scene has gone. It doesn’t matter if you are into muscle cars, imports, classics, low riders or even mud trucks. For me personally, I might not understand why certain people do what they do to their rides but I appreciate the passion they all have for them. I don’t judge I admire. Troy built his car for him, he didn’t let others influence him or let the negative comments offend him. He knows people are all different. The car scene is not high school, it is not meant to be in clicks so stop for a second and don’t judge people but ask them about their rides. You might really learn from what they say because deep down we are all newbies in the car world.


Troy from Dixon, Illinois you are representing my home state perfectly. I will hit you up when I am in Chicago and see this secret scene that you are speaking of. Live Happy and Stance on!!!



Modification list:


Aem cold air intake

Cat-back CX racing dual exhaust


Stance SS coilovers

Kinetix front A-arms and rear camber kit

SPL toe arms


Work Rezax
18×11+0 245/40/18
18×12+0 265/35/18


Ings +1 front lip

Rolled and pulled fenders


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