One of my favorite things about the car community is the diversity within it. The love for cars is infectious, and it traverses different cultures and oftentimes breaks down barriers to bring people together over a common passion. Such is the case of this 65-year-old grandmother from Texas known by her internet moniker of "Da_Z_Lady."
As you might have guessed, that name is a not-so-subtle reference to her love of the iconic Nissan Z. And after finding her passion for cars at the cusp of her golden years, she decided to go all-out and modify a 350Z on her own.
Da Z Lady recounts her unique introduction to the automotive scene in a heartfelt video via her Instagram account, explaining that the unexpected pairing happened while on a trip to Virginia to visit her son due to the premature birth of her grandson. She accompanied her son to a drift event at a local track and it was there where her passion for drifting and Nissan Zs was born.
By the time she arrived back in Texas, she was ready to buy one of her own. Within the better part of a week, she had set aside the keys to her Honda CR-V with a "Texas A&M Mom" plate frame and said hello to a silver 2003 Nissan 350Z—despite not really knowing a single thing about cars.
Of course, it didn't take long for her to start modding it. The car was quickly stylized to meet her personality, dropping it on Tein coilovers, adding carbon fiber side skirts, a rear diffuser, and even a front lip.
By Feb. 2019, the car was vinyl wrapped and so began the slippery slope of personalizing it. Soon an intake and exhaust were added, plus a rear duckbill spoiler, new wheels, and more. Granny even got her hands dirty with a taste of basic engine maintenance and was damn proud of herself for it.
But above all else, she is absolutely killing it on social media. She does the whole For the Gram presence on par with—if not better than—most of my car friends. I'm talking about themed photoshoots, posting photos of new parts, shout-outs to new car friends, memes, and even the quintessential "at the pump" photos. It quickly earned her more than 3,800 followers on Instagram and a whopping 120,000 followers on TikTok in just about three months. Impressive.
I think we can all use this feel-good story as a reminder of why we love cars and the communities that they bring together. People from all walks of life and of all ages obsessing over the same thing.
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