So as I’m writing this I’m realizing placing these cars in the order I did may give me anxiety as I try to sleep thru the rest of 2019. Anyways, here are my top 15 personal builds from the past 10 years. Some of my favorites were built before 2010 so I couldn’t list those but here’s the past decade of my favorite builds.


15. 2003 G55 (Non Supercharged)

I chose this cause it’s something I drive more than any of the cars I’ve built thus far. I’ve actually owned 3 of these and for some reason every time I sell it I regret and immediately look for another one. It’s been one of the most reliable even if its almost 17 years old.


14. A Van Called Quest. 2012 Nissan Quest

I don’t know what it is about Japanese Vans but I gravitate to them. Ever since I laid my eyes on a Toyota Hi Ace I knew I was going to try an get one. The only thing was they only sold them in Japan, Canada and Mexico. Then I saw the Nissan El Grande. I did some more research and noticed the Nissan Quest was doing a remodel and was basically the same van with a terrible USA nose lift. Why they changed it, who knows but they did and I was determined to make a conversion. When I bought the 2012 Nissan Quest, I already had the El Grande parts waiting for me. I was 100% sure the whole front end would line up and then when the Quest came in, I realized something… The Quest was 5 inches wider than the El Grande. I asked myself and everyone I knew who had one and they all came to the conclusion that the Quest was wider only cause Americans were Fat. Are you kidding me!! They made the 2012 Nissan Quest 5 inches wider cause Americans were bigger than Japanese. Anyways, I decided to build it and order 2 more front ends and tried 2 different versions and came up with this.


13. Original Owner 1970 Camaro.

So in 1970, my dad decided to buy a Camaro. He didnt really fix it up, he just liked having a cool Camaro around. We also had a very hippy orange Dodge Van. Go figure. Anyways, in 2013 my brother in law asked me if I could get it painted and I said sure, lets work on it and fix it up. I dont have many photos of it since it went back into hibernation but here’s one next to my S14 which was wrapped in matte silver.


12. 1966 Porsche 912

Nothing to it. Just a very nice all original Porsche 912 on the ground. As I was getting my 964 3.8 put together by Len and the guys at Sleepers in SoCal, I asked him if he was still looking for a Porsche. Len replied, only if I can find one thats a good deal. I said, I got one for you…


11. The 3.8 Porsche 964.

As you know by now I love cars. I love trading and building them. This particular one came to me only by chance. At the time, I had already wired Brian from Rotiform the money to purchase his very awesome mint green 964. After a week I hit him up and asked him about it and he decided he didnt want to let it go but offered me up a 964 that was in 1000 pieces. Lol. I inquired only to find out that it was Jason’s 964 that his wifey wanted out of his garage cause he took too long to put it together. Just my luck? I guess actual work took precedence over this garage built 3.8 964. Jason said he would regret it and I’m sure he does cause I would.

Anyways, I decided to take a trip down to Long Beach, loaded the car up, picked up 1000 pieces including the motor and then immediately dropped it off at Sleepers. Len and crew took a few weeks to get it ready and I enjoyed it til another friend of mines bugged me to buy it off me. I really wasn’t looking to sell this one but at least I know its still in the family.


10. 1988 Land Cruiser FJ60

Inspired by the FJ60s in Japan and my numerous trips there, I decided to build one. No expense spared as I changed all the interior, upgraded the suspension, worked on brakes, engine and audio. Something I dearly miss but had some great adventures in.


9. 1999 Ferrari F355

The stigma that goes with these cars always haunted me but the beauty always superseded it. I always wanted a F355 and the costs of them today isn’t too bad. I’ve only started working on this car and there’s so much still to do to it. So far I’ve put in Air Lift, Prazis Air Struts, an Illest x Vertex steering wheel and put in Bride seats by Illest.


8. 2011 SLS AMG

If it weren’t for my neighborhood, I’d probably still own this thing. The beauty of the SLS in Silver during the F1 warm up lap always stuck in my head. I loved this car but because it was Renntech tuned with an extremely loud exhaust I felt it was incredibly obnoxious to have in my neighborhood. It was awesome on the road and quite embarrassing getting out as people would wait for you with their camera’s ready to film the doors opening up.


7. Ben Sopra GTR

The story behind this Ben Sopra GTR. I heard Miura-san was going to build some crazy GTR and when I saw photos December 2011, I made sure to check the car out in person at Tokyo Auto Salon in January 2012. At the same time, he mentioned he will build a FRS and it just happened that year Toyota/Scion gave us a FRS to build. That year at Sema we were the first to bring the BenSopra GTR and one of the first Rocket Bunny FRS stateside.


6. 1988 Porsche Rubystone Red RWB

The One That Got Away. The day after this debut at Sema, a good friend of mines wanted this one badly. Since he was a good friend, he pretty much got the deal of a lifetime.


5. 1961 Porsche 356

Probably one of the coolest cars I’ve ever owned. Never thought I’d sell it but as you can probably figure out by now, a friend really wanted this one. I held off for about 3 years and then finally let it go for a great price. Right now its getting a full makeover including fixing the floor pan (most 356’s get them swapped out being they rust quite easily).


4. 1995 Nissan 240SX / S14

This was the longest car I’ve owned. The 2nd car I learned how to drift in. Spent a gazillion fixing this up in so many iterations. Still one of my favorites but as you know, you cant take It with you when you pass on.


3. 1972 Nissan Hakosuka

I owned and drove this car almost every other day. Drove it to Los Angeles 3 times and it drove like a champ. Loved this thing and had some great adventures in it. Its in a great home now and who knows, I may get another one.


2. 1990 Porsche 964 C4

This was my first 911. Like the S14, this 911 went thru quite a few iterations. Here’s some photos of what it started out and turned into. Loved every version of this one.

1. 1964 VW Sliding Panel Split Window Bus

Some of you guys probably guessed this. Its my second longest car I’ve ever owned. Every time I drive it it reminds me of the first car show I went to as a kid. It too has been thru a few iterations and was even turned into a hot wheels. Thinking of respraying it but then it won’t be the same.

Mark Arcenal

Creative Director at Illest Worldwide
Founded Fatlace in 1999. Lived the Agency life for over a decade and then moved to client side and helped in launching the biggest brand Nike has to date, Nike Sportswear as the Global Digital Lead. Today, he's the Creative Director for Fatlace and clothing line, ILLEST.

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