Chicago Shop: Project X Customs

Friday 15 February, 2013 | By Clive

The winter time in Chicago is brutal. Bitter cold, snow, and heavily salted streets. These are the main reasons it’s a off season for most of the northern auto tuners. Most cars get locked away in garages, not to be seen till April when the weather makes a turn for the better. Some have winter projects, or stash away parts to live up to the “Coming out Hard for 20xx!” The term many say, but don’t Live up too. So in an effort to stay warm and still bring you a flavor of the Midwest, I stopped by Project X Customs. A shop that’s well known for putting their spin on the Nissan Z chassis. You probably have seen the shop car in Super Street, or import Tuner. The totally blacked out Z33(350Z) with MOSH on the plates, the Co-Founder of Project X,  Larry Kenny is the owner of that said Z. Before I continue allow me to introduce the whole team. Project X Customs consist of Larry Kenny, Jeff Terwilliger, Eli Baldwin, and Chris Dipping.  Larry, Jeff and Eli all hail from the Pittsburgh area, and Chris is a Local to Chicago land area. Now with the formalities out the way we can get to the meat of the story.

Everyone in Project X Customs is a certified auto nut. Some of the projects that are going on are a little crazy. Like a GT-R that is slated to receive a full build. As if the GT-R is not a great car already, these guys are going to build the motor, build the Transmission, do a turbo swap, and more.

Project X Customs started out of Larry’s one car Garage. That’s right ONE car garage. With barely enough room to work, Eli, and Larry would tool on the 350z, including Building the motor, and other heavy mods. From their modest beginnings the shop has blossomed into a 4 bay mansion compared to what they started with.  The shop continues to evolve as they all work to learn more aspects of the tuning scene. Eli has become a certified EFI tuner. He can not only tune you Z chassis but others Like this cammed 30r EVO X.

Powder coating is also another skill the shop has taken on. While they are waiting for an oven to come in they are using other methods to bake the coat on.

Chris is a classic Honda nut but can work on anything thrown his way. He is working on this twin turbo Z33.

Tucked in the corner is a Customers Z34 that recently received a full motor Build, Twin turbo’d ,  and some other tweaking. It was recently featured on JDM Chicago’s Blog site.

A crown Jewel of Project X is Larry’s evil Z33 it is seen here with its new wheel and tire combo for the next season, a custom wide body is in the works for this monster. I expect to see it make the pages of another national magazine. Maybe I’ll be lucky enough to shoot the final product. I’ll keep my fingers crossed.

Yes that is my Galaxy S3 in that monster lip. Sergey’s House Of Wheels did the refurb on these Work VS-XX

While walking around this shop I noticed a lot of cool things that a successful group of people tend to collect. Trophies! It was like every corner I turned there were more.


When I decided to do some shop features, and shed some light about our rebuild season the first place I called was Project X Customs. Larry, and Eli had always been approachable, knowledgeable, and very easy to work with. If you need anything for a Nissan, or any other car for that matter I recommend that you get in contact with these guys. The results you get will leave a smile on your face!

Stay tuned I have some more shops lined up to share with you guys!

Project X Customs would like to “thank Team Project X for supporting us, as well as all our customers. They are the reason we do this!”


About the author

Clive Hendricks, AKA Mr. Silky, hailing from ChicagoLand! Into anything with 4 wheels, Hip Hop, Rock, Dance Music, Photo’s And cracking jokes! Find me at

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RWB CATALINA X Christine’s S30Z


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