The Final Frontier: Drew Evans’ Liberty Walk Infiniti
To man, space is the last true unknown for exploration. The final frontier, labeled by Star Trek’s genius writers as the place ‘where no man has gone before.’ Perhaps Drew Evans’ admiration for the great unknown made him take this saying and transfer its essence into his 2013 Infiniti G37XS sedan, as he boldly ventured into a vision of modifications that no man had previously attempted.
Evans remembers going for trips at the young age of five, riding along in the family’s 1967 VW Beetle, where his dad would write mileage on a notepad due to the car’s broken fuel gauge. Perhaps it was the distinct buzzing of the 1.2-liter engine or the character exuded from the malfunctioning early-model VW that gave him the itch later in life to modify cars. Whatever the reason, Evans has been bitten – and hard – by the modification bug.
He was finally able to scratch his itch during high school, where his first car – a 1996 Nissan Altima SE – received its first dose of modifications. In the time since, Evans has never strayed from the Nissan/Infiniti marque. Over time, he moved from the Altima to a 2006 Infiniti G35 coupe, to a 2008 Nissan Armada LE, to a 2011 Infiniti FX50S, before settling on his current G37XS sedan shown here.
“I have driven and owned Nissan and Infiniti [vehicles] my entire life. Going through so many different chassis, I suppose you can say I’ve come full circle,” says Evans.
“The G was originally purchased for my wife. When we found out we were having our third child, I had to sell my FX50S and take the G37. She needed a third row, so of course we went with another Infiniti – the QX60.”
Immediately after purchasing the car, Evans began to modify the then-white G37 with various bolt-on pieces, even while his wife was still driving it. But the pace really picked up once the car was in his possession full-time.
A minor accident became a setback while Evans was commuting with the car on an icy morning. It resulted in some hefty damage to the passenger side of the vehicle, and served up a healthy dose of disappointment as the car was down-and-out for a few months to be repaired.
With the car returned to primo condition, in 2014 Evans attended several different car shows and began to take home Best Infiniti awards. This gave him the taste for car show competition, and he decided to escalate his plans for the G37 into a complete build. He’d seen the types of vehicles present at the annual SEMA show and made that category of eye-catching vehicle appearance the end goal of his build. With plans to alter every piece of the family-hauling sedan in order to get there, Evans began his exploration into the great unknown.
“I knew I wanted it to be unique, one-off, and one-of-a-kind. I wanted a build that represented my vision, my theme from bumper-to-bumper, inside and outside,” he says.
Evans has always paid special attention to the Japanese Domestic Market (JDM) market versions of his cars, as they often differ from the adaptations which cross the Pacific to end up on US soil. The coupe model of his G37 has been executed in great style, with many different iterations surfacing over the years. Conversely, the enthusiast aftermarket has relatively neglected the four-door model of the car.
“There are pieces on this build which were never meant to fit, and took much time to fabricate and pull off. It was a guinea pig for so many parts, but I enjoyed the challenge,” says Evans.
The most visible modification is also Evans’ favorite alteration to the entire car: the Liberty Walk widebody kit. Originally designed and produced for a G37 coupe, Evans didn’t let that hinder his vision. He knew he wanted those exact wider wheel arches affixed to the rear quarter panels.
The Liberty Walk G37 coupe widebody kit was sourced and Evans enlisted the help of Derrick Nowell and Paco Duarte of APAC in Linthicum Heights, MD to cut and custom-mount this kit to the exterior of the sedan.
In a cringe-worthy act, the expensive rarified fiberglass arches were surgically dissected into numerous pieces to accommodate aspects of the sedan that a coupe model would never have to deal with, most notably the second set of doors in the rear of the chassis.
The mounting location was picked out to best suit the swooping curves of the OEM bodyline. The door sections were mounted, and then widened to fill in the gap between the new panel and the original door skin. Following this change, the entire kit needed to be molded onto the body in order to fill the gaps between the widebody kit and the stock Infiniti panels. Evans made sure the kit retained its original styling by including Liberty Walk’s iconic visible mounting hardware into each piece, even though the molded kit no longer had any use for mounting hardware. There was no going back now; it was officially the only Liberty Walk G37 Sedan in existence.
Once the famous coupe kit was transformed for use onto its slightly larger brother, the rest of the sedan’s body was given unique touches to further the aggressive look. An OEM Infiniti Sport bumper and lip were used to extend the front fascia, while the hood acquired its own taste of Nissan performance with the addition of Nissan GT-R hood ducts.
During the overhaul, Evans took a liking to the Carbon Signal rear diffuser and rocker skirts for the G37. Much like the rest of his exterior favorites there was one small problem – they’re only available for the coupe version of the G37. Again, the team at APAC was called upon to cut and customize the pieces to fit seamlessly on the chassis.
Other additions to the body are the Successful Automotive duckbill trunk spoiler and side skirt extensions, Access Evolution side mirrors, and a Shadow Speed rear windshield spoiler.
Once the physical body of the car had been completely transformed and prepped for its new hue, Paco Duarte from APAC covered the car in glimmering coats of BASF Carizzma Candy Ruby Red Metallic pigment. A far cry from the reserved suburban white paint that covered the car previously, this new color brings the attention Evans was hoping to lure with his build.
The exterior modifications didn’t end with the body of the car, as new lighting from ONEighty was installed into the nose. Quad LED orb halos with quad clear projectors shine brightly, while quad RGB “demon eyes” found their way inside the custom satin black headlight housings for a unique display.
Elsewhere on the sedan, Dan Evans of Ghozt Lighting incorporated a rear signal and brake LED module to create a spectacle each time the car is started, while TRS LED foglights provide added brightness in front of the vehicle. Every bulb position where LED bulbs are possible has a replacement from Diode Dynamics, and Evans also used the company’s HID bulb replacements for a fresh look. The finishing touch is the smartphone-controlled LED underbody kit by LEDGlow, which illuminates a matching red color at all four corners of the car. While working on the exterior bodywork, Evans had the shock towers extended for better control arm clearance, and the entire engine bay was sprayed in a satin black coat.
After the exterior was mostly finished, Evans ventured into the engine bay in order to complete the full build. The most prominent feature on the VQ37 engine is the Stillen V3 supercharger and intake manifold, which use Ecutek RaceROM software to assist in bumping the power numbers up to 422 horsepower, routed through all four wheels. Following the idea from the customized Liberty Walk kit into the engine bay, Evans’ polished Stillen intake manifold is also the only one in the world on a G37 Sedan. More polished pieces can be found across the engine bay thanks to Nick’s Blasting and Polishing, while a pair of HKS limited edition caps seal off the oil filler location and the top of the radiator in grand style. A pair of Fast Intentions resonated high-flow catalysts combine with the GTHaus Meisterschaft catback exhaust to handle exhaling the spent gases from the unnaturally-aspirated V6 engine.
With the shock towers modified for greater suspension travel, the Infiniti had its new suspension fitted to lower the stance to an adjustable aggressive height. Using an AirRex Digital Air Management system along with SPC Performance’s front and rear camber arms, the sedan can be raised or lowered to whatever height is needed. While most owners turn to airbag suspension setups in search of the lowest ride height possible, Evans actually prefers the car at a moderately low height and simply uses the airbag’s adjustability for dodging risky obstacles during street driving, or for dialing in a picture-perfect stance despite any uneven ground.
Taking full advantage of the highly adjustable suspension opens up seemingly endless choices for wheel, tire, and brake selection. To offset the aggressive fitment, Evans chose the subdued yet timeless Work Meister S1 3-piece forged wheel setup, finished with gloss black inner and outer barrels and contrasting matte graphite wheel faces to create the perfect dark accent for the car. Measuring a stout 19×10.5-inches wide in the front, and an extreme 19×12-inches wide in the rear, the Work Wheels needed the perfect rubber wrapped around them. Enter Toyo Tires, which provided 295/30 front tires and steamroller-wide 325/30 rear R888 tires to finish off the external appearance. This beautiful-but-heavier rolling package is easily halted courtesy of an Akebono four-piston big brake kit with paint-matched calipers, and slotted and drilled zinc-plated rotors.
Nearly the entire car was now modified in some way, and with only a few more boxes to check, Evans turned to Ryan Nettleton of ExactArt Fabrications in Philadelphia, PA to complete his vision. Tackling the interior was no small feat, as it involved reupholstering each surface in premium charcoal Alcantara material finished off with red stitching. The accent plastics were also refinished in a coat of glossy metallic red to match the exterior paint.
It didn’t stop with modifying the existing interior panels; Evans also upgraded the front seats to a pair of Edirb 032 Prestige reclining bucket seats, with Cusco 4-point racing harnesses mounted to an NRG Innovations paint-matched harness bar. A Nissan GT-R push-start button was retrofitted into the dashboard, while a Carbon Fiber Element steering wheel and a Tommykaira LE shift knob complete the driver’s contact points. Tanabe Revel VLS gauges vibrantly display valuable readouts within their Ortiz Custom Pods gaugepods, but the brightness they emit is no match for the most unique piece of the interior: the headliner.
Ever since he was a child, Evans has been passionate about space and stars. Nettleton and ExactArt Fabrications were able to accurately convey his love for the final frontier into his car by way of an illuminated fiber-optic star headliner. Like a scene from every Millennial car enthusiast’s favorite show: “Yo dawg, I heard you like stars, so we put stars in your car.”
In a display of inspiring ingenuity, the Alcantara-wrapped headliner incorporates illuminated fibers throughout its surface to mimic a clear starry night. Another interesting tweak manifests as the fibers randomly alternate brightness, so the fascinating exhibit becomes interactive. Nettleton even incorporated the four constellations of Evans’ three children and his wife’s astrological signs into the liner of the trunk for a truly personalized touch to finish off this eye-catching build.
“Throughout the build process my wife has remained my number one supporter. She’s seen the late nights, weekends gone, frustration, money spent, and the worst of me over the build life of this car,” said Evans.
However, without the help of Evans’ aforementioned sponsors and all of the shops that helped him along the way, this car could never have been completed.
James Coyne and Vince Hafner from R/T Tuning, Stan Chen from Toyo Tires, Dave Brown from F.A.S.T. – Family Automotive Service and Tuning, Manny Torres from Effex Graphix, Marshall Lum from Airrex Digital Air Suspension, Brendan Ginty from GintyFab, Nick Oakes of Oakes Detail, Meguiar’s car care products, Tredwear, Chris Whelan from Custom Engine Kits, Robbie Trengrove and Mike Wyckoff of Japan Auction Parts, Brian Fox of BASF, Artem Lenchuk of DnD Custom Autobody, Mike and Joe Creighton from Creighton’s Auto, Mark Dorman at Stillen, Adam Krawczuk at Race Consulting Agency, SoFresh Lifestyle & Apparel, Moe Nowicki of Smokin Moes, Mark Chin and Kenny Chan at RavSpec, Penn Auto Body, Gabe Torres from Intercity Concepts, Manny Ramdowe from HighEnd Performance, Ian Nerida Yu from Tanoshi Lifestyle, Eric Yam from High Intake Performance, Concept Z Performance, and West Coast Fasteners all had a hand in perfecting Evans’ vision.
With every pore now overturned on the chassis, Evans started his quest to compete with the best of the best in automotive show tours. While some people collect stamps or coins, Evans began collecting his earned trophies. His Infiniti has since received over 44 awards, which fill an entire room of his house, including eleven Best of Show awards and twelve first place trophies. The pinnacle highlight came in 2016, when he was invited down to Orlando, FL for the Liberty Walk Summer Bash.
“It was such an amazing event to be featured in, with all of the Liberty Walk builds from across the nation. Also, meeting [Wataru] Kato himself (the owner of Liberty Walk) and having him in awe of his coupe design modified to fit a sedan was a very memorable and thrilling experience,” recalls Evans.
Since the event Evans has accepted a position within his car club, Timeless Motor Group, to keep him more connected to the show circuit and all of its inner-workings. He also completed his end goal of getting the car to appear at the annual SEMA Show in Las Vegas, NV. Be on the lookout for this stunning one-of-a-kind widebody Infiniti to drop some jaws in the world’s biggest showcase in early November.