Staff Bio’s >> Syed Zaeem Hosain aka “Z” (szhosain)
Infiniti M35/45 Forum Moderator
Infiniti General Moderator
General Chat Moderator
Folks, I am not as knowledgeable about cars as most (okay … almost all) of the other Moderators at NICO. My educational background is in Semiconductor Physics and Computer Engineering (thesis in college was in the esoteric field of micro-miniature sensor technology processes – way ahead of its time), and my current work is in the wireless cellular industry. I head up the Engineering and Technology department of a company in San Jose, California, that operates a specialized North American cellular network for data telemetry. And, yes, there is a connection to cars … some of our customers make and sell products that are used for theft-recovery, vehicle asset management and commercial truck fleet tracking. All using our data network!
Yeah, I know the very basics about cars and some of their inner workings, but the detailed stuff is pretty much a mystery to me! I am continually in awe of the knowledge and expertise of the other folks and Moderators at NICO. Of course, I do enjoy reading about cars, so I have been doing what I can, when I can, to bring myself up to speed. My current fascination is with tires and tire technology … this is, quite literally, where it all happens! Performance and engines and gearing and speed and acceleration numbers, etc., are meaningless if the tires do not match the specifications and requirements!
Regardless, being one of the older members (if not the oldest!) at NICO, I have many years and miles of experience driving cars. I have never modded any of my cars, but have taken pride in making sure that the cars I have owned are well-maintained and work as well as possible. Usually, this means getting other people to fix things for me, and doing crazy (by some standards) early maintenance measures when I buy cars!
As a long-time Infiniti vehicle owner (almost nineteen years now) and long-time NICO member, I have the privilege of moderating the NICO M35/45 Forum and helping out in a few others. Please come by and check out the M Forum and offer any suggestions that would help make it a better place for people to hang out in.
Below is a list of the cars I have owned and driven (or recollect being in … in the case of the first few listed here that my Dad actually owned). Sorry … this is going to be long! I hope you enjoy reading this list.
1959 Opel Rekord
. My Dad owned this one. Listed here due to the following personal connection to me: In 1961, I was about five years old when I almost killed myself in this car. Sitting in the rear seat (no seat belt or child car seats in those days), I reached around and opened the front passenger door (of a two door car!) to climb out and get to the front seat ‘cause I wanted to be with my Mom and Dad. While the car was in motion! My Mom, sitting in the front passenger seat, caught me just in time before I fell out and died! Eek!
1964 Ford Consul Cortina
. Also my Dad’s car. I had my first minor accident in this car some years after the purchase. I was messing around in it at the age of 11 and it rolled backwards down the sloping driveway of our house and hit a metal gate – broke a tail-light!
1966 VW Beetle
. A “temporary” car that my Dad bought when we were moving from one part of the country to another when I was 10 years old, and our other cars (including the Ford above) were still in shipment. I did not drive this one, but I remember the curiosity and sense of complete “you are kidding me!” feeling that I had, upon finding out that the engine was in the rear! Wow … what a concept! I think my interest in cars and driving, was from this experience.
1967 Toyota Corona
. Actually, this and the next one also belonged to my Dad and I just drove them … well before I was of legal age to do so (I was about 13 or 14 years old when I first started driving)! Of course, I did not have a license since I was underage. I drove for three or four years without a license and would have been in serious trouble if I had been stopped for any reason.
1969 Toyota Corona
. This, and the above, were basic early Japanese small/medium-sized sedans. Reliable, economic and yet loads of fun transportation. Four cylinder, 1.5 liter engines (overseas markets … I think the same car in the US had a bigger engine). All manual transmission – three forward gears on the column. The Corona was the predecessor to the larger Toyota Crown and the current-gen Toyota Avalon (as sold in the US).
1973 Toyota Corolla
. My first car that I bought, although my Mom helped with the cost. A two-door, four-seat, four-door, manual transmission pocket rocket! Built for the non-American market, it was powered by a four-cylinder 1.4 liter engine generating 94 horse-power, and weighed next to nothing compared to American cars! Accelerated quite smartly as a result. I left it behind for my Mom when I moved to the US in 1974 to go to college here.
1978 Ford Fiesta
. My first car in the US, that I bought right out of college (only thing I could afford!) One of the best econoboxes of its time. Built by Ford in Europe, it looked like the original VW Rabbit. The car ran well, but I sold mine after it had its third accident … none of which were my fault (I wasn’t even in the car in two of them!) – I swear its bright orange color attracted trouble! The third time was when the top three or four feet of a tree landed on the car in high winds when I was visiting some college buddies at my old apartment. Luckily, there was no serious damage and I traded it in one or two weeks later!
1980 Mazda RX-7
. A fun, high-revving, two-door, two-seater, that was an absolutely blast to drive. Underpowered by today’s standards, it was just what I needed after having owned the econoboxes. The Wankel engine was smo-o-o-o-th! I did not have the rotor tip problems and oil leaks that others have complained about. I wish I had kept this car!
1983 VW Rabbit GTI
. A two-door, four-seater that I bought when the insurance on my RX-7 shot up 50% (for no reason that I could tell!) and I sold the RX-7 since I could not afford it anymore. My stupid mistake! I had been living in Massachusetts till 1980 and was used to that states controlled insurance costs. When I moved to New Hampshire in 1980, the insurance company raised my rates in 1983, completely arbitrarily, and silly me did not realize that I could have switched to another company. Oh, well.
1985 Nissan 300ZX Turbo
. I went back to a two-seater ’cause I hated the Rabbit! This was my first Nissan and I absolutely loved it. An awesome car for its time – I loved its looks (not the later ones from 1987 though, with their bulging wheel wells and overly rounded shape). The car had a wonderfully slick five-speed manual transmission, super comfortable inside, with leather seats (first for me) and exceptional (for its time) stereo. I drove this car from New Hampshire to Mississippi (where I worked for a year in 1988) and then across the country to California in 1989 when I moved here. I kept this car for about six years, finally selling it in later 1991, some months after I bought a Q45.
1986 Mazda 626 GT Turbo
. Four-cylinder, turbocharged, 2.0 L engine. Two-door, four-seater. I really liked this car, although it had quite a bit of torque steer if you stomped on it hard. This was my commute vehicle for work, including in winter since I did not want to drive my Z in the snow in New Hampshire. I left it behind in Massachusetts with a friend in 1988 when I moved to Mississippi, but drove it out later to California. Also sold in 1991 when I bought the Q45.
1991 Infiniti Q45
. Now this was a surprise purchase for me in many ways. I had moved to California in early 1989 and was planning to buy a 1991 Nissan 300 ZX Twin-Turbo … and just happened to drive by an Infiniti dealer in March of 1991. Just for the heck of it, I test drove the Q45 and I was absolutely hooked. A four-door sedan, that had the same power as the Z, and it was super comfortable inside too! The 39k MSRP was more than I wanted to spend, but the dealer made me a deal I could not refuse … I got the car for the list price of a 300ZX TT. Found out later why – story in itself! Plus, this was the first automatic I had ever bought – another surprise since I was used to manuals. I learned what happens when you try to “press the clutch in with the left foot and end up actually mashing in the brake pedal … hard”. Eek! I had some very high-speed experiences in this car (see thread on Infiniti Speeding stories).
1995 Infiniti Q45
. Bought in July of 1998 … it was a lease return and the *first* time I had purchased a used car. Big mistake! The previous owner had clearly not looked after it well. Transmission went out at 104k miles, although everything else was running fine. When it looked like the new transmission was in trouble (actually was *not* a problem), my wife told me to get a new car! Sure, honey! 🙂 So, in September of 1998, we went in to get a G35 and made the “mistake” of driving the 2003 Infiniti M45 – see below for the outcome.
1997 Acura 2.2 CL
. Actually, this is my wife’s car that we bought in August of 1996, but I drive it a bit more than I would like. I have always thought that this four-cylinder, 2.2 Liter, 145HP engine is just too underpowered for the car. But, my wife loved the unique looks and so she went for it. I have to admit that in the thirteen+ years that we have owned this car, it has not given us any major trouble at all – the worst thing has been the radiator developing a leak and needing replacement. Close to being the least costly car I have ever owned!
2003 Infiniti M45
. My current daily driver – bought in Sept of 2003. I love the power, the handling (albeit no match for the current-gen 2006+ M45) and the inside luxury comforts. I am a bit disappointed by a few things with this car (for example, it is the first car where I have had to add oil between regular changes … my previous two Infiniti Q45’s did not use a drop of oil), but I plan to keep this car for as long as I can!
Thanks for reading this long story!