If we’re being honest here, I’ve always had a hard time understanding the why behind VIP cars. Coincidentally so has Alexander Richards. Alex & I are both naturally drawn to agile/quick cars. You know… rippers! Yet having said that, here we are, looking at Alex’s big-body slammed Nissan Cima… and he loves it! Alex has owned this car longer than any other car he’s owned! Alright fair enough – but how does someone end up loving something they never fully understood? Hell ask literally anyone who’s married lol. It doesn’t have to make sense… to make sense.
As car people… sometimes we just get curious.
And curiosity may have killed the cat, but dammit it’s also made for some great project cars throughout history. Sometimes diving into a new realm/segment of automotive culture… makes all those old feelings come back again. Turns the intensity back up. Causes you to remember everything you originally fell in love with.
You can half-ass look at a certain make/model of car 100 times & be like… meh whatever.
But then that 101st time, God puts his light on it lol. Or maybe you’re just in a weird mood when one crosses your social media feed late at night. Whatever the case – you’re hit with a vision & an energy. You feel a new magnetic draw that was never there before. And all the sudden it’s like “By George I need one of those!” THAT is the voice you need to follow. Because that’s YOU! Your inner voice. It’s not an outside influence, or influencer, or some dumb trending hashtags nonsense. It’s just… an energy. A force inside you. Follow it… because that’s always gonna lead to something good.
For Alex, it’s all about the old guys…
See this JDM/VIP Cima fits in flawlessly with the stance-centric car shows that are geared towards the younger generation – obviously. But it’s ALSO stately & sophisticated enough to mingle-in at more prestigious events as well. And at a show like that, it’s great to watch the Cima catch some old man’s attention as he’s strolling by. Don’t be fooled – the old man knows cars… probably better than you & me. But he doesn’t know these types of cars. So he pauses… at the sight of seeing something he can’t identify. He walks up to the Cima, and takes a long bewildering ponder at the razor-tight wheel fitment. He notices that the steering wheel’s on the wring side of the car. Leaning in close to the emblem, he sees that it says Nissan. Then he steps back at photo-length, kind shrugs his shoulders in general acceptance & has a ‘well ok then’ moment. And then continues on his happy lil way.
And for Alex… that is the why behind Japanese VIP cars.
They draw curiosity from people who don’t know anything about them. And when you get down to it, that’s a core element of car culture… to spark curiosity & interest. This VIP Nissan Cima is some sorta weird mix of commanding attention, while simultaneously having nothing to prove. Just hop in & cruise & be cool – that’s really the only expectations. *Steps back… shrugs shoulders* Well ok then! Let’s freaking cruise.
Text by Wooley // Photos by Stephan Tapley
1991 Nissan Cima
Original Black Emerald Pearl
Full Gktech S13 Suspension
Airlift 3P Management
Artisan Spirits lip kit
OEM wheels converted to 3-piece by Lee Cruz
K Break grille
Nardi Gara 4 steering wheel
OEM seat covers
Junction Produce curtains & neck pillows
Custom catback exhaust
Z32 300ZX brakes