Six degrees of Separation in Stance
Written by: Tu Le aka @OGdrift
Photos by : Richard Mason Hughes aka @auto_rmh
The second incident of this "six degree of separation" is the correlation of one of Nax's amazing luxury builds that also happens to be his daily driver. You see, if it's one thing we like here at boxedlifestyle.com, it's vans built and lowered properly and Nax just so happens to own a 2012 Nissan Quest van converted to its JDM sister the Elgrand Highway Star.
I remember seeing early YouTube vids of Nax's vip 2003 LS430 rolling to a show hanging Fortune Minds nobori's out the window and later following Nax's Instagram for his 1992 Junction Produce Nissan Cima build on dazzling one-off Scara wheels, but today it's all about the luxury Nissan Elgrand van that Nax has built.
In the early 90s, there was a mini van explosion in the American society. All kinds of families were purchasing incredibly efficient small vans from Japan, and we had a Nissan mini van in our clan as well. Although the early Nissan vans were plagued with recalls, they were still very popular in the states. When Nissan decided to make a full size luxury van in the late 90s, the Elgrand was born but was never introduced here. Maybe it was too early for Americans to grasp the concept of luxury vanning, but the Elgrand would never reach stateside.
That didn't stop Nax from converting his Nissan Quest van to full JDM Elgrand specs. Nax had already been building his Vip Luxury Abstract LS430 since 2009 and he knew what he wanted with this luxury van project. It wasn't until haters vandalized the van that Nax took on a new approach and decided to go all out. Taking inspiration from Mark Arcenal from Illest/FatLace's Nissan Elgrand conversion Nax decided to do the same with the front end conversion and with Nismo parts.
"I've been into cars since I was about 9 yrs old. I used to draw cars and trucks in my note books how I would like to hook them up. I also used to use cut up juices boxes and make cars and trucks. Using bottle tops as the wheels. I could probably still do it. It's been years. LOL.
You would think that sourcing the Elgrand conversion parts would be difficult enough but there were many obstacles that resulted in this one-off build. For starters, the genuine oem Nismo lip kit for the Elgrand had to be extended 6.5" for it to work. That also led to the Kenstyle trunk hatch spoiler being extended as well. The process was tedious and long to say the least.
From the exterior you can see the amazing stance this van has on Luxury Abstract Gradus Elites wheels. I love big fancy wheels on lowered vans and these Johnnie's are coming in at 22"x9.5" fronts and 22"×10" rears. Specs are 3.5" lip front and 4.5" rear, respectively. Wheel fender space is reduced dramatically using Airtekk air struts all around, managed on a manual paddle system for reliability because this is a daily driver.
The van also runs custom grilles in the front with Nax's team and shop name, Fortune Minds logo replacing the Nissan badges. Even though this van is a daily, it still has the stopping power of a GTR with the D2 big brake kit. Done in a gold chrome, they really pop on the van's respray of Nismo oem white. And the interior is super nice, continuing the Nismo theme with seats from a 370Z all redone in black suede and leather.
So many details on this van with so much quality, but my favorite part has got to be the custom fabricated, crazy pie-cut exhaust coming out the rear bumper. This is a mod that is more popular in Japan often seen at Tokyo Auto Salon, than on the streets in the states. Pretty much this van is a one-off because of all the fabrication that had to be done in order for this to happen. But the result is one spectacular luxury Vip inspired van build.
The concept of the six degrees of separation holds true here. From the coincidence of being introduced to Nax by a friend before I would ever write this article, to the coincidence of Nax and his luxury Van build featured on Boxedlifestyle.com. It all ties in, and you know what also ties in? The luxury vanning scene with the stance/Vip scene in the states. Yes, that means boxes, vans and wagons are a part of this scene, just like how they are a part of the car dress up scene in Japan. And with that I would like to end this with some words; take inspiration, take notice but don't take hate. We are all connected to each other one way or another. @ogdrift
Q & A with Nax Whitmore
Q: Where are you from?
A: Born and raised in Jamaica.
A: Born and raised in Jamaica.
Q: What was the first car you ever owned?
A: First car I owed was a 1992 Honda accord coupe bucket LOL
Q: What do you drive now?
A: My daily driver is my 2012 Nissan Quest converted to Nissan Elgrand Highway Star. I also have a 1992 Junction Produce Nissan Cima and a 2002 Lexus LS430.
Q: What do you do for work/industry of work?
A: I co-founded Fortune Minds in 2012. I worked at different dealerships my whole life until brother and I decided to open Fortune Minds Garage in 2016.
Q: What hobbies do you have outside of the car scene?
A: Hobbies outside or the car scene would be golfing and raps.
Q: Is there any particular person or group of people who influenced you or the direction of your build or your taste in cars?
A: Agim Jones definitely influenced me from early out with his Q45 President. William Chau with is SC430. Jermaine Livingston with his Y33.
and Giovanni Dichiara with his LS430.
Q: If you could travel to any city in the world for a car event, where would it be and what event would you attend?
A: Definitely Tokyo Auto Salon or Stance Nation Japan.
Q: What is your favorite or the most challenging modification on your current build?
A: Most favorite and challenging mod on the Lexus LS430 gotta be the GTR R35 door handles and the RLX jewel headlights I did.
Q: Who do you want to recognize. give a shout out?
A: Mike Forsythe (formerly Vossen) - Mike Chan (Acura of Pembroke) - Cary Inayoshi (MistrShop) - Freston (2brothersFab) - Elvis (Stancenation)
Mario (Airtekk) - Omar (FirmPrints) - Matt/Eric (E3Customs) - Rob (formerly ProFab) - Neil (SouthFloridaCustoms) - Danny (Slammered)