Is This 1980 Datsun 280ZX the Perfect Project Car?
The Datsun 280ZX is the second generation model in Nissan’s Z lineup of sports cars, and it’s one of the cars that has put the Japanese brand on the radar of car enthusiasts. As a matter of fact, the 280ZX was so good that it even became Motor Trend’s Import Car of the Year in 1979. The good news is that there’s one that’s currently up for auction on Bring A Trailer, and its current bid price as of this writing is at a cool $6,000.
2022 Datsun 240Z "The Lion’s Rock Commission" By MZR Roadsports
It’s always nice when there is a company, specializing in restoring and reimagining a certain model. In this case, it’s the team from MZR Roadsports, and their choice of car is the Datsun 240Z – a Japanese icon with a global fan base. What the U.K.-based outfit is doing can best be described as a classic car with a modern twist. It’s safe to say, MZR Roadsports is for Datsun 240Z, what Singer is for Porsche 911, and this is the company’s take on what the perfect 240Z should be.
20 Affordable Classic Cars You Don’t Want to Pass Up
Now when people mention classic cars, most people automatically assume that it is an expensive hobby. While that may be true up to some degree, especially with regards to collector cars, i.e cars that were produced in extremely small numbers or Concours-worthy cars, pretty much anybody can get into the hobby of classic cars if you know where to look.
You’ll See Some Great Classic Cars In this Video, But the Datsun Fairlady SR20DET Is Definitely The Highlight
Healthy and safety guides tell you that a car missing a full-width windshield should not be driven on public roads yet here we are, looking at a gorgeous open-top Datsun from the late ’60s that, courtesy of the SR20DET inline-four is so fast it literally blows your cap off.
And then there’s the soundtrack and the fact that you’re never fully in the car because the doors are low enough so that most of your upper body is exposed to the elements. Grassroots Garage gets a taste of this automotive guillotine.
Car for Sale: Paul Newman’s 1979 Datsun 280ZX Championship Racecar
Paul Newman wasn’t just a brilliant actor, but also a race car driver. And, no, not the enthusiast type, but a proper race car driver with victories on the track under his belt. The 1979 season was one of the most interesting ones, especially because of the number of races he won.
He raced and won at Summit Point, Watkins Glen, Brainerd Minn, Lime Rock, and Road Atlanta. The car used by Newman for these races was a 1979 Datsun 280ZX. Over a decade after his demise, this car has come up for sale at motorcarclassics.com.
This 1980 Datsun (Nissan) 280ZX Is Literally Brand New, Probably Worth a Fortune
Remember how the Lexus LF-A, even though discontinued since 2012, used to pop up at a handful of U.S. dealerships through 2018 and 2019? It’s a rare event, but once in a while old cars surface as brand-new several years after their production cycle ended.
Sometimes they are just a few years old, but other times they can spend decades hidden from sight. One such example is this Datsun 280ZX, a car built in 1980 but kept in pristine shape for almost 30 years.
The Hoonigans Check Out A SR20’d 240Z, Nearly Crash: Video
I love a good engine swap. There’s just something pleasurable about finding the unexpected waiting for you when you lift the hood, like unwrapping a Pop-Tart to discover a fresh slice of cake. In this particular case, playing the part of Pop-Tart wrapper is a classic and very orange Datsun 240Z, while the cake is a Nissan SR20 engine. It’s a popular swap, and for good reason – the Z looks incredible, it isn’t too heavy, and it’s RWD from the factory, while the SR20 is stout and well-suited to living with high levels of boost. Larry Chen’s ride is one fine example of all these characteristics, as evidenced in this episode of Daily Transmission from the fine folks over at Hoonigan headquarters.
Power from the boosted four sits at 300 ponies and 300 pound-feet of torque at the wheels, which isn’t bad for a car that weighs a little over 2,000 pounds. Providing the extra air is a Garrett GT28 turbo (a.k.a. the Disco Potato). The set-up was pulled from an old Formula Drift car, and it looks perfectly at home sitting in the Z’s engine bay. With the hood open, the boys get pretty nerdy, delving into the various little factoids and motivation behind the build. But things get really serious towards the end when the orange Z starts burning rubber, and, well, let’s just say look out for the cement.
The Smoking Tire Gets Acquainted With A Rally-Spec 1973 Datsun 240Z: Video
The 10,000-mile, 37-day Peking-to-Paris rally is without question one of the toughest races in all of motor sports. That has held true since the first race happened in 1907 and continues to be the case in its sixth iteration that’s scheduled to start on June 12, 2016. Needless to say, not everyone has the nerve to participate in the race. But there are those like Chris Bury who are embracing the ridiculous challenge of the rally race. But not only is he participating, this dude is racing with a 1973 Datsun 240Z. Of course, the car has been heavily tuned to withstand the rigors of the P2P rally race.
Bury and his father spent the last year restoring and modifying the 240Z to full rally specification and as The Smoking Tire’s Matt Farah finds out, it really has everything you need to conquer the 10,000 mile race. It’s got a full rally suspension, skid plates, off-road tires, a 26-gallon fuel cell, a period-correct limited-slip differential, and a bored out 2.7-liter straight six engine that not only produces 195 horsepower and 189 pound-feet of torque, but is also running on low compression to ensure that it doesn’t get stymied by bad fuel during the race. Seems like a smart idea if Bury doesn’t want to get stuck in the middle of the Gobi Desert.
According to Farah, the 240Z is currently in transit to China, but before it got shipped off, he got to spend some time behind the wheel of the rally racer with Bury riding shotgun. The whole episode is an interesting one because of what Bury plans to accomplish when the Peking-to-Paris rally race starts in June. It’s hard to imagine finding anyone who would willingly participate and even rebuild a stock 240Z specifically for the occasion.
All the best, Chris Bury. Here’s to hoping you get to see the checkered flag at the Place Vendome on July 17.
Sung Kang Shows Off His Datsun 240Z To Jay Leno: Video
Sung Kang, better known to all of us as Han from the Fast & Furious franchise, was perfectly suited for his role in those movies because, unbeknownst to most people, he’s actually a pretty hardcore car guy in real life. That much was evident when he recently paid a visit to Jay Leno’s Garage to show off his resto-modded 1973 Datsun 240Z, which he proudly calls the Fugu Z.
Origin of the name notwithstanding, the story of Kang’s 240Z is incredibly fascinating. He scooped it up on Craigslist, thinking that it would be a cool project he could do with some of his car-loving buddies. The project escalated pretty quickly and soon enough, fellow car enthusiasts from all over the world began assisting Kang and his crew on the build. At some point, Greddy even got in on the fun and helped Kang turn the 240Z into a bonafide, wide-bodied track car that’s powered by a naturally aspirated RB26 inline-six engine sourced from a 1994 Nissan GT-R. Yep, the turbos were taken off the engine, but if you watch Leno driving it towards the end of the episode, you’re going to understand why Kang opted for a naturally aspirated option.
Nobody could seem to agree on what kind of output it has – 233 and 245 horsepower were being thrown around – but for the most part, everybody, including Leno himself, was in agreement that what initially started as a small-time build turned into what can only be described as a labor for love from Kang, his buddies, and car enthusiasts from all over the world.
The original Datsun 240Z is the sort of car that inspires deep loyalty among its enthusiast owners. The iconic first generation of Nissan’s two-place sports car was first introduced in 1969, and stayed in production for another nine years. The long-nosed coupe bears a passing resemblance to the Jaguar E-Type in its proportions, but established Datsun as a bona fide sports-car producer. The car itself has inspired cadres of fans as dedicated as Mustang, MG or Ferrari aficionados.
California car guy Greg Scott is a 240Z fan who’s gone above and beyond even by enthusiast standards. His 1970 240Z, known as "The Green Hornet," has been evolving for over 17 years while remaining true to the car’s original specifications and spirit, and the result is a modernized classic that’s capable of holding its own among much newer cars. This video shows The Green Hornet mixing it up with Corvettes and Porsche 911s at Laguna Seca. Though it’s track-ready, Scott’s car is impressive because it’s also street-legal, lacking the temperamental nature of many engines built for the track. The Green Hornet is driven to the track, towing its own spares, tools and fuel. Scott has retained the car’s sound deadening so the car’s comfortable enough for road driving.
Yutaka Katayama, former president of Nissan USA, better known as the “father of the Z,” died last week at the age of 105.
Katayama, or “Mr. K,” began his career at Nissan in 1935, working in publicity. After World War II, Mr. K pushed for the creation of a domestic auto show to help promote Japan’s car industry, and in 1954, the first Tokyo Motor Show was held.
In 1960, Mr. K was sent to California to start the difficult process of building a U.S. dealership network. He worked tirelessly, bringing the brand huge recognition stateside. In 1967, the 510 was introduced, setting the stage for the creation of the beloved 240Z.
"How can we transpose the relationship between man and horse into the one between man and car? Even after I was sent to Los Angeles in 1960 to establish Nissan Motor in the U.S., this question never really left me,” Mr. K would later recall. “Eventually I came up with the concept of the Z-car. It was a sports car with a sleek body with a long nose and a short deck, designed so that it could be built utilizing some of the parts and components that were already used in our other production cars, and it was a car that anybody could drive easily and that would give the driver that incredible feeling of jubilation that comes when car and driver are as one.”
Continue reading to learn more about the Datsun Z.
We cover a lot of automotive-related material here at TopSpeed. From the latest and greatest vehicles with promises of fast quarter-mile times, insane 0-to-60 sprints, and the occasional gravel-shredding off-roader, it’s all about the newest and fastest.
But sometimes, you just have to slow down and enjoy the drive — to bask in every last mile of a pure driving experience in a pure sports car. That’s exactly what one man set out to do.
Scott Fisher and his beloved 1967 Datsun Fairlady Roadster are on a meandering mission to travel the United States in a clockwise fashion, while soaking in the experience on the timeless journey. No schedules needed.
Fisher started his epic journey last spring from his home in Las Vegas after selling his manufacturing business that he ran for 16 long years. It has since taken him over 30,000 miles through the American heartland, rolling over local highways and byways, while avoiding major routes and interstates “like the plague.” And it was all done in his beautiful ’67 Fairlady.
“I knew I needed to kinda’ get out, and unwind, and get my mojo back,” the 45-year-old man says. His journey has taken him north through the Pacific Northwest and over through the flyover states. Fisher’s goal was to stay up north during the summer months to avoid the extreme heat and sun exposure. “[It’s] allowed me to keep the top down, maybe 80 percent of the time.”
Click past the jump to keep reading about Scott’s amazing travels
Whether you love or hate Jay Leno as a “pop culture” late night show host, you still can’t help but love him in his position on Jay Leno’s Garage. In the latest episode, Jay makes it all the way around the world to Japan and test drives a Fairlady 240Z. Not only is the 240Z just one of those timeless and iconic sports cars, but it is revolutionary for the Japanese sports car world.
Jay then takes some time out to talk with his friend that heads up Nissan’s design team and he has a nice surprise for his friend, as he jokingly grills him on the rumored 240Z remake. We actually get a good glimpse at the preliminary design silhouette of what we can only assume would be a revived 240Z and a look at some of the concept drawings made of it and the current 370Z.
What’s cool though is that his friend does not play the denial act that most design heads would do. He all but confirms the fact that Nissan is planning something big for its 8th anniversary which comes about in 2013, and makes it clear that the 240Z revival may be said big thing.
Just seeing the Nissan design room was cool enough, but getting semi-confirmation of the 240Z – even if it was more of a non-denial than a confirmation – was pretty cool. Enjoy!