The Story of my zeds

I have had a passion for Datsun 240z’s since owning my first one in the early 90’s. I loved this car but eventually rust got the better of it and it could be driven no more. I then had a 10 year break until I found myself looking for another in 2006. It wasn’t long before I came across an unfinished project on ebay and I became a zed owner once more. The shell was very solid, having been rebuilt by fourway engineering nearly 10 years previous, but had never been put back on the road. The most important part to look for when buying these cars is the shell so at the time of purchase this was all that concerned me. the suspension and brakes all needed rebuilding but none of this was a problem and the car was soon back on the road.  I used the car for a year or so before stripping it down for a repaint. I prepped and painter the car myself in Nissan Bayside Blue but it took me nearly 4 years to get round to putting it back together. It was finally finished for a trip to Le Man classic in 2010 and it got me there and back without a problem. The only problem I did have was the lack of real power as the tuned L-series made less that 200hp and was no match for the R34GTR skyline which was my other car so things had to change. I didn’t have the money to dramatically improve the L-series or even go the RB26 route but I was told of a soarer in a field that could be bought for £400. Sounded like my sort of option so I headed off to see the car with a set of jump leads in the boot. When I got to where the car had been dumped a couple of years previous, you could only just see the car in the long grass and covered in moss. I drove my truck over to it and we prised the drivers door open to release the bonnet catch and there’s was the glorious 2.5lt twin turbo 1JZ-GTE engine. Connected the jump leads and leaned inside the car to turn the key. It spun a couple of turns and just ticked over as if it was only used that morning. I jumped in and rocked the car back and forth a few times to free the brakes and get it out of the ruts and pulled it into the car park. I handed over the money and the deal was done. A few days later after sorting all the docs and insurance I popped back with a friend a drove the car home, stopping at a jet wash on the way. I mot’d it and used it for a runaround for a month or so. The soarer was always living on borrowed time though and it wasn’t long before the engine and box were living in the 240z. The car has just evolved from there.

Fast forward 5 years and I started looking for another 240 that would be more of an everyday car. I looked at a few UK cars but for my budget they all had far too much rust or areas that could be hiding rot. Then I came across a local car that had been stripped to a shell and needed a lot of work but was essentially solid. It was also on a rotisserie so I could have a good look over it. A price was agreed and I had another 240z, 4BOA. This car required a lot more than I had hoped but is now well on the way and in the paint shop. The problem is, the car has too much history and will probably end up being too good and costing too much to be used every day, so the search continued.

I wanted a with no rust or rust repairs. It had to have original rear aches, original sills, original floors, perfect panel fit and look like it had never been messed with. I didn’t care about the interior or any of the running gear as this can all be done. Plus, my budget was between 5 and 10k. This was never going to happen with a UK car so time to look at the west coast of America. Prices were already on the up over there but I found myself a very good looking ’73 260z 2 seater at right in the middle of my budget so expressed an interest with the seller. This lead to nothing so I continued to look. I then came across the blue car which fitted the bill perfectly so a deal was done and shipping arranged. A couple of days later the same seller came up with another at quite a bit more money but it looked like a better car so I took that one as well. Then a week later I got an email asking if I was still interested in the 260z I had enquired about earlier. This was a difficult purchase and on a few occasion’s I thought I had been ripped off and the car would never arrive but eventually it did and that’s the orange one. In the mean time I had seen a green car on ebay but dismissed it due to the colour and interior but had grown to like the combination. So the night before the auction ended I spoke to the seller and placed a bid before going to bed with a view of not being bothered if I won or not. Next morning I find I now have 6 zeds so it must be time to stop……….so I thought. I couldn’t help myself from looking and ended up buying the final car which was the white one as it was just too good to pass on.

So now I have 7 cars and not really sure what to do with then.

My original Blue 1JZ car is a keeper as I’ve put far too much time into it to let it go. I also get so much enjoyment out of it that it would leave a great big hole in my life if it wasn’t there.

4BOA – I’m rebuilding in the spirit of how it was originally modified as a clubman car. This will probably stay as well.

The green car has such a great shell and I really enjoy driving it but would part with it at the right price. I’ve spent a bit of time on this one and fully sealed the underside and floor pans inside and out so it can cope with the UK weather. All the suspension has been dipped and powdercoated then put back together with all new urethane bushes. This just needs external paint and interior. Has a great engine and box.

The white car needs bodywork and has super straight panels. This is such an easy restoration I may as well do it myself. Its been stripped to a shell and is waiting in the que to be painted in its original white. I’ll then put it back together with powdercoated suspension and replated hardware. New interior in black leather and a set of nice wheels should make it a £15k car. Ready by Spring.

The orange 260z gets used regularly when I take the wife out and always turns heads. This has had a urethane bush kit and all new brakes all round. Its got some really nice period wheels that suit the car and is a really nice comfortable car to drive. I will probably advertise this in the spring with offers around £10k if I don’t keep it.

The blue one has not been touched yet as I’m still considering building a sister car to the blue RHD one, in the same colour, with the same engine. I’ll have to see how things pan out.