Silver Ratlook Datsun 240z


I bought this car from a guy in Eastern California who’s wife had told him it had to go. He needed a quick sale and I loved the “look” of the car so a deal was done back in July. The car eventually made its way to the port of LA and has sat there ever since. At one point I was told it had left and was on its way. I was given the boat name and container number to track. I paid all the UK port fees and filed in the import documents and waited for the phone call to say it had been unloaded and I could collect it. The phone call came but only to tell me that when they opened up the container, there was a space where my car should be. I was latter told that due to a communications error, the car was still sitting in the port of LA. So the long wait starts all over again. All I can do is study the few pictures I have which you will see below.

So, a bit about the car. Its been stored for 32 years with the last 10 being outside in the dry California sun. The sun has been burning its way through the paint and now the car has developed an appealing patina which I like. There doesn’t appear to be any signs of major rust or damage and all the panel look to fit very well.

Plans for the car. I don’t really know now. I had bought a Lexus 3uz-fe 4.3lt quad cam V8 to go in it but that my go in the ratty 280z that’s arriving soon. I would like to seal the paint and rust and leave the car as is. Interior will get replaced and all the usual bushes and joints so it drives and stops well. It will get lowered but not quite sure how yet. Maybe coilovers or maybe just a tokico lowering kit I have knocking around. This should make a cool runaround to add to my collection.

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IMG_2263 IMG_2364It’s been a while since I’ve updated this page so I’ll start with a summary of what I’ve done with it so far. Initially I had trouble getting the car to run properly with the SU’s that came fitted. The car hadn’t been run since ’84 so it’s no surprise really. Turned out the fuel tank contained more rust than fuel so cleaning the tank was the first job. After that I tried swapping the carbs but still wasn’t happy with it. My mate then suggested that I go fuel injection. I already had some throttle bodies and other parts laying around so that’s what I did. I cobbled together a setup using a few sensor and parts I bought cheaply online and the parts I had. Built a separate engine loom with the help of my mate Ian and used the ECU from my blue car to get it all up and running. We spent a few hours getting it running OK and I’ve been driving it round ever since and loving it.

IMG_2295 IMG_2292IMG_2302Next job, set about cleaning up the interior, which came up really well, and having the seat covers replaced. Replaced the carpet and the interior is pretty much done. The dash has a few big cracks but it adds to the rat look of the car 🙂




IMG_2288 IMG_2287 IMG_2250The floors and cargo area are all in really nice untouched condition so nothing to do there.





Then it’s time to just enjoy the car over the summer. Even did a track day at brands.

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The car has evolved a little over the past year. I’ve fitted a 5 speed gearbox from late 280zx and installed a 3.9 ratio diff to match the gearbox. Also installed BC coilovers all round and dropped the ride height quite a bit. Then finished off the look with Rota RKR’s in 8×15 0et with 205/50 Toyo prox T1r’s.