One day I had a random message from someone asking if I had a Datsun Z car for sale. I didn't at the moment but ensured the customer that I would find them one quickly. This is how I eventually got rusty red in my garage. The customer wanted something restomod like and loved the 240z so I had an open platform to work with. Initially, we found a 280z that was in metalwork with all new Techno Toy Tuning and Arizona Z Car suspension. The price was right so I told the customer to snatch it up. After reviewing the car better we decided it best to find a 240z because sinking $50,000 into a 280z just wasn't a good idea. So a few months went by and I found a solid-looking early 240z in New York for a decent price. I called up my customer and told him about the car. He replied to me "I know I'm going to grab it right now, I am halfway there." So at least we were both having the same thought. He drove straight back to my shop with the car. Afterward, I did a full assessment and determined the pictures were deceiving on this one.
It was not as good as I had hoped for and now I had to break the news to the customer. There was rust and holes throughout the car and lots of panels had poor repairs.
After extensive metal work and replacing floor pans, rails and seat supports the car was ready for paint.
The color was not actually Datsun red, but rather a Kia Inferno Red. Both the customer and I liked the look so we decided to repaint it in the same color it came to us in. Thankfully the last owner gave us the can of extra paint so we could get a good match.
The entire driveline was restored and made better to fit the restomod needs of my customer. The engine was bored out and the flat top valve recessed pistons were used for higher compression. I chose Weber DCOE 40mm for carbs as the 2.4L was smaller displacement. The head is the original factory E-31 Datsun head that has been milled down .010" for higher compression. I used Nissan comp valves with 35mm exhaust and 43mm intake. The cam selection is an ISKY factory Nissan regrind providing .490" of lift. The head was unshrouded on the combustion chamber to allow better flow. The rear differential is a Subaru WRX STI 3.9 LSD unit with Silver Mine Motors adapter flanges. Axles are custom Futofab Porsche CV style 4340 Chromoly units. Exhaust is ceramic coated MSA 6-2-1 with 2.5" mandrel-bent exhaust and MSA turbo muffler. The factory 4-speed gearbox was replaced with a fresh rebuilt 280z 5 speed with a Fizanda lightweight flywheel.
The most challenging thing about this was all the prior work I had to redo and undo. Nothing went as planned in the beginning because every time I went to fix a panel or component two more issues came up. No matter though I was able to turn a mediocre car into a sleek track-ready machine!
The finished project was very satisfying to see coming to fruition. It was nearly a 2-year build with waiting for parts from suppliers and the paintwork. Both the customer and I were very satisfied with the end result. I had a blast building this restomod.