My Fairlady

If I woke up tomorrow and had unlimited funds I would make a few immediate purchases. I would buy myself an Xbox 360 and a few of my favorite games, I would then go on the hunt for my dream cars. For as long as I can remember I have had a fascination with old cars, though more recently I have become interested in newer ones. I have always had my eyes on cars like a 1950s Cadillac, a 1963 Thunderbird, or a 1965 Ford. Over the past few years I have noticed one particular car popping up, though it is a new car, I was instantly attracted to it: the Nissan 370z, also known as the Nissan Fairlady. Because the older cars would take quite a bit of hunting, the Fairlady would be my first purchase, after the Xbox, of course. All I would have to do is go on the Nissan website and build my Fairlady the way I want.


The Nissan website makes it very easy to customize your 370z by simply selecting ‘Add’ to all the features you want. First and foremost, I prefer the coupe to the roadster (a convertible). Then I selected my exterior and interior color: Gun Metallic for the exterior and black leather for the interior. Without the extra packages, a new 2012 Nissan 370z runs at about $32,000.

I thought the sport package looked interesting, so I selected that at an extra $3,030; it comes with sport brakes, SynchroRev Match (manual transmission), 19” lightweight forged alloy wheels, front aero deflector and a rear spoiler. I also selected the Navigation Package, an extra $2,150, which allows for USB connectivity, a hard drive navigation system complete with a 7” touch screen monitor and voice recognition software. Along with a few more accessories such as a NISMO Suspension Spring Kit and Stabilizer Kit, my total came to $43,205.

There is not a huge selection of reviews for the Nissan 370z as it is a newer model, though the reviews I found liked were the Dynamic Styling, Powerful Engine, Synchro-Rev Match, and the good performance for the price. What reviewers disliked about the car was the tire/road noise, drive train noise, lack of interior space and lack of storage space. There were also complaints about fuel economy (the car is not exactly ‘Green’) with only about 18/26 mpg city/highway with manual transmission. With unlimited funds and my other collection of cars, I would hardly be worried about the noise, the limited space or the price of gas. At ‘The Car Connection’ consumers rated it as 6/10, with safety and performance it was given a 9/10 in both categories with an 8.2 for an overall review.







The following is a list of the Nissan 370z Fairlady’s Standard Features

Standard Features                        

VQ37VHR – 3.7-liter DOHC 24-valve V6 aluminum-alloy engine-•
332 hp @ 7,000 rpm-•
270 lb-ft @ 5,200 rpm-•
Bore and stroke – 95.5 x 86.0-•
Compression ratio – 11:1-•
Maximum engine speed – 7,500 rpm-•
Emissions – Tier 2-Bin 5 (Fed); LEV2-ULEV (CA)-•
Continuously Variable Valve Timing Control System (CVTCS) with Variable Valve Event and Lift (VVEL) on intake valves-•
Twin-intake system-•
Nissan Direct Ignition System-•
Iridium-tipped spark plugs-•
Electronic drive-by-wire throttle-•
Longitudinally mid-mounted front engine/rear-wheel drive-•
Carbon-fiber composite driveshaft-•
6-speed close-ratio manual transmission-•
Power-assisted brakes –-•
12.6″ x 1.10″ vented front discs-•
12.6″ x 0.63″ vented rear discs-•
4-wheel Anti-lock Braking System (ABS)-•
Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD)-•
Brake Assist-•
Suspension and Steering
Front: 2-link double-wishbone aluminum-alloy suspension with aluminum subframe-•
Rear: 4-link aluminum-alloy suspension-•
Front and rear stabilizer bars-•
Ripple-control shock absorbers-•
3-point front strut tower brace-•
Rear underbody V-brace-•
Vehicle-speed-sensitive power steering-•
Wheels and Tires
18″ x 8.0″ (front) and 18″ x 9.0″ (rear) 5-spoke aluminum-alloy wheels-•
225/50WR18 (front) and 245/45WR18 (rear) Yokohama® ADVAN Sport® high-performance tires-•
Comprehensive underbody airflow management-•
Front: Zero-lift-•
Drag coefficient (Cd): .30-•
Styling / Functionality
Automatic on/off headlights-•
High Intensity Discharge (HID) bi-functional xenon headlights-•
LED taillights-•
LED illuminated Z® side marker emblems-•
Aluminum hood, doors and hatch-•
Body-color dual power heated outside mirrors-•
Dual exhaust outlets with finishers-•
One-touch hatch release-•
UV-reducing solar glass-•
Automatic Temperature Control (ATC) with in-cabin microfilter-•
Bluetooth® Hands-free Phone System-•
3-bay gauge cluster (oil temperature, voltmeter and digital clock)-•
Fine Vision electroluminescent gauges with multi-function drive computer-•
Upshift indicator light (M/T only)-•
Power windows with one-touch auto-up/down feature and auto-reverse-•
Partial-down window mechanism-•
Power door locks with auto-locking feature-•
Nissan Intelligent Key® with Push Button Ignition-•
Remote windows down-•
Key-operated front windows up/down-•
Illuminated steering wheel-mounted cruise control-•
HomeLink Universal Transceiver-•
12-volt DC power outlets (2)-•
Retained accessory power and battery saver-•
Map lights-•
Tilt steering column with integrated gauges-•
Passenger seatback fall-down lever for driver-•
Variable intermittent windshield wipers-•
Auto-dimming rearview mirror-•
Dual illuminated visor vanity mirrors-•
Sun visor extenders-•
Cup holders (3)-•
Dash-mounted storage (N/A with navigation)-•
Lockable glove compartment-•
Parcel box (behind passenger’s seat)-•
Parcel shelves (behind seats)-•
Rear cargo cover-•
Seating and Appintments
Leather-appointed sport seats with synthetic suede inserts-•
Synthetic suede door panel inserts-•
Heated seats-•
8-way adjustable driver’s seat-•
4-way adjustable passenger’s seat-•
Power seats-•
Driver’s adjustable lumbar support-•
Driver-shaped bucket seat with thigh support-•
Passenger-shaped bucket seat-•
Driver and passenger side knee support-•
Leather-wrapped steering wheel-•
Leather-wrapped shift knob-•
Leather-wrapped parking-brake lever-•
Aluminum-trimmed pedals-•
Digital Bose® audio system with AM/FM/in-dash 6-CD changer-•
MP3/WMA CD playback capability-•
8 speakers, including dual subwoofers-•
Radio Data System (RDS)-•
Speed-sensitive volume control-•
XM® Satellite Radio [12]-•
Auxiliary audio input jack [13]-•
Illuminated steering wheel-mounted audio controls-•
Nissan Advanced Air Bag System (AABS) with dual-stage supplemental front air bags with seat belt and occupant-classification sensors [14]-•
Driver and passenger seat mounted side-impact supplemental air bags [15]-•
Roof-mounted curtain side-impact supplemental air bags for occupant head protection [16]-•
Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) with Traction Control System (TCS) [17]-•
Seat belts with pretensioners and load limiters-•
3-point ALR/ELR passenger seat belt system-•
Active Head Restraints-•
Energy-absorbing steering column-•
Zone Body construction with front and rear crumple zones-•
Hood buckling creases-•
Aluminum side-door guard beams-•
Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)-•
Nissan Vehicle Immobilizer System-•
Vehicle Security System (VSS)-•

Curb Weights (lbs)
Manual transmission-3,278
Automatic transmission-3,314
Weight distribution-54/46
Weight distribution (with passengers)-53/47
2011 EPA Fuel Consumption Estimates
Manual transmission (city/hwy)-18/26
Automatic transmission (city/hwy)-19/26
EPA interior volume (cu. ft.)-51.6
EPA cargo volume (cu. ft.)-6.9
Fuel Tank (gals.)-19.0
Engine oil (qts.)-5.18
Exterior (inches)
Overall length-167.2
Overall length (NISMO)-173.4
Overall width-72.6
Overall height-51.8
Track width (inches)
18″ Aluminum-alloy wheels (front/rear)-61.0/62.8
19″ RAYS® forged alloy wheels (front/rear)-60.6/61.6
19″ NISMO/RAYS® forged alloy wheels (front/rear)-61.2/62.2
Interior (inches)
Head room-38.2
Leg room-42.9
Hip room-54.6
Shoulder room-54.4

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Male Shoppers and Mobile Apps

Both of these articles were interesting in their perspectives. One talks of how men are becoming more crucial to cater to, and another, how women are the main customers to keep happy. I was surprised by many of the statistics in the Wall Street Journal article. I had no idea that these sites appealing to men would actually work, though I was not surprised by the fact that they tend spend more money than women. In my experience, men don’t seem as concerned about the price, they want to find what they are looking for and leave. While they may be concerned with price, men also tend to buy the higher ticket items such as sports/camping equipment, tools or grills, another reason they are spending more money.

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Fashion Democracy

I have never heard of Polyvore, but it does not surprise me that such a site exists. How they want to democratize fashion was interesting, empowering people to share their own style. After Friday’s discussion about websites keeping tabs on you, it doesn’t surprise me that this site does the same thing; though, that doesn’t make it any less unsettling. Lee thinks too highly of the people using the site, I think; she makes a comment on how kind everyone is to each other and how you can tell how they are good people from their style. I thought that was ridiculous and naïve and her quotes made her seem like a teenager by saying “like” constantly. Though, I am guilty of using the word too often myself, I would not speak like that while being interviewed for the New Yorker. With my tangent aside, I was surprised at how prevalent the site is in the fashion world, pop starts and designers keep tabs on the site and watch for inspiring ideas.

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Clicks and Mortar

This article made some amazing connections and brought up many interesting things to think about. Was it the World Wide Stock or the King Road Drag that was the beginning of the revolution? I liked the use of internet wording to describe the catalogues as the catalogues were the first E-commerce. He brings up many more interesting questions about communication and economy. While some say that communication is economy, Gladwell asks what is more important: what we communicate or how we communicate? The Land’s End examples of E-commerce were very interesting. It makes me question the importance of the internet over many other technologies. The online ordering does not cut costs as the company, along with many others, still has many employees for customer service. Things seem to run the same with the internet as with the catalogue and 800 ordering. It is the ‘Willia Wonka’ system behind the scenes that really makes the company efficient. While the internet is an extremely important invention that effects so many aspects of life, learning about the behind the scenes workings and the odd connections, makes me question its sole importance, like the author said: have we been dazzled by the catalogue and forgot the roads?

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Downtown America, Part 2

This second part of Downtown America began with the 1960s and worked its way to the 1990s. I thought Chapter 6: ‘The Hollow Prize?’ was the most interesting chapter in the section of the book. It is hard to accept that this kind of violence really happened. In a way, I pity most of the parties involved; I pity the African Americans, but I also pity the retailers who lived in fear of their stores getting destroyed or watched it happen. The were torn, whatever their personal beliefs, on what path would be better for business – to integrate or not? On page 206 it says that, “retailers could not decide whether integration would ruin them, save them, or have no impact at all.”

I thought the pictures in Chapter 6 did a fantastic job of showing the horror, sadness and desolation of the time. Figure 6.1 (the peaceful demonstration), 6.6 (the tear-gas victims), 6.9 (the destruction of downtown), 6.11 (the threatening white posse), 6.15 (the retailers fear), and 6.17 (the shoe-shiner) were the most captivating. The shoe-shiner in particular reveals a struggle but is also an inspiration.

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Downtown Fredericksburg

On February 17, 2012 and 11:00 am, I had the opportunity to visit Downtown Fredericksburg for the first time. The weather was unexpectedly beautiful; it was sunny and warm enough to take off my sweatshirt. I drove to Downtown in my little Nissan Versa and as small as my car is, I was still nervous about  finding a parking spot as I do not know how to parallel park. When I arrived with my friend, Alexandra, I noticed many cars lined up the sidewalk but I lucked out and found a space that I could roll right into.

First and foremost, I noticed that Downtown had character and it felt familiar with its historical aspect. With the exception of the many cars, it felt like stepping into a bubble of the past and I had an instant connection with Downtown.

I noticed that the people roaming the streets were quite diverse in age, though most were white; I was surprised at the amount of people who looked homeless. They didn’t seem to be bothering anyone and no one seemed to notice them in return, almost as if they were part of the architecture.

Unfortunately, I had to get back to a class at noon so I didn’t have much time to explore many of the stores. One store I did not have the opportunity to go into was the toy store. The moving displays and the bright colors of the toy store even drew in my friend and me (both of us over 20 years old). If I had had my little sister who is 11, we would have had a good excuse to spend the entire hour in there, but we resisted the toy store in order to observe the rest of downtown in time. I did go into a few of the many antique stores which were run by elderly men and women. I appreciated the fact that there were many antique stores as I am a fan and love looking through all the old artifacts. There was one antique store in particular that had many old postcards which reminded me of last weeks reading in Downtown America. I also went into an adorable pet boutique; this store had many interesting things for dog owners such as dog clothes of many sizes as well as leashes and snacks. What I loved the most about this cute little store was the bakery counter full of dog treats that looked like delicious pastries. I window shopped at few of the jewelry stores which had beautiful and irresistible displays of sparkling diamonds and though I am not a huge fan of diamonds, I couldn’t help stopping to look.

The retail goods, I imagine, are shipped in many different ways. I saw some smaller retail trucks were driving around. I imagine than many of the employees would drive to work, unless they live in downtown, in which case they would walk or ride a bike. As far as public transportation, I assume that buses go to and from the downtown area, though I did not observe any myself while I was there. My friend and I, both from smaller towns, had a hard time figuring out the ‘Walk/Don’t Walk’ lights. We didn’t know what it meant when it flashed ‘Don’t Walk’ so we remained on the curb as people with children quickly crossed the street. We felt especially ridiculous when a retail truck slowed to let us cross and we were visibly unsure about whether to cross or not. Needless to say the truck finally passed while laughing at us.

Other than the difficulty of crossing the streets, I thoroughly enjoyed my first visit to Downtown Fredericksburg and hope to go again soon. I would love to go into a few more of the Antique stores as well as the Toy Store. One thing in particular that stood out was a beautiful mural. I admired it from afar, however, as I couldn’t tell if the man sitting on the ground in front of it was the artist or a hobo.

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John Sprinkle

I attended the lecture session at 7pm in which John Sprinkle discussed the history and significance of the Executive Order 11935. This order was created by Nixon in 1971 and it stated that all federal agencies were to make a list of all their historical building within two years. John said that the fact that this did not get done in two years was good in that it allowed for him and all his colleagues to have a career. One thing I personally took from this lecture is that they way in which American legislation and politics works makes it very hard to get anything done. His example of the debate over the old Post Office showed that different levels and different areas of government constantly conflict.

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Downtown America, Part 1

This first section of Downtown America by Alison Isenberg, explores the rise and fall of “Downtown America”. The ‘Downtown Ideal’ was loved and venerated when it first emerged as an American hotspot. What I found most interesting was the links Isenberg made between women and the rise of Downtowns. Women were the ones who made the streets more beautiful, women were the primary shoppers, and when women left downtown, it could no longer survive. Once again, however, it is all about convenience; when downtowns were no longer as convenient as something else, the women shopped at the suburban malls.

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Satisfaction Guaranteed, Part 2

In this section of the book, Strasser discusses many interesting things about promoting goods and the introduction of more modern stores. The fact that children are special targets for promotional materials seems obvious, yet still incredibly interesting. Another thing I found particularly interesting in this reading was the role of the retailer throughout all the changes in promotional schemes and labeling, specifically the Knox Gelatin retailer drawing. The development and increase of department stores as well as chain stores had an interesting effect on the market. I was not surprised to read that immigrants and women were hired for less, though I was surprised by the fact that Macy’s hired women in order to relate better to their customers, not just to get cheap labor.

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Satisfaction Guaranteed Part 1

Strasser explains how Crisco is an artifact of a culture in the making, “a culture founded on new technologies and structured by new personal habits and new economic forms.” The emergence of technology changed American culture in more ways than one. Customers became consumers and the products made in factories began to take over American households. Needs were ‘discovered’ or created by advertisers promoting their goods. In order to establish a direct relationship with the people who use their products, successful businesses began stamping or painting the name of their company on their products. Stories would them come along with the label, companies would claim that they were the ‘best’ or the ‘tastiest’ or the ‘safest’. This reminds me of the Omnivore’s Dilemma reading from last semester in which the organic industry was discussed: happy stories and even names of the chicken or cow would be provided on the packaging. Soon, the label was branded on the product itself, we see this with many products today without even thinking about it. Soaps had their brand names carved in the bar, ‘Oreo’ is branded onto either side of the crème-filled cookies, and fruits are branded by stickers saying ‘Dole’ or ‘Chiquita’.

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