Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Brabham

Researching a Le Mans 260Z - Info appreciated

Recommended Posts

Hi guys,

            I have been looking around for some info on the zed pictured below that ran at Le Mans in 1976. I was interested to know if anyone knows who the builders were, details of the specs, or if the car still exists in a museum. It was driven by Claude Buchet (F)/Jean-Luc Favresse (F)/André Haller (F)

 

Sadly the car was rather ill-fated, to quote google:

 

During the first lap of Haller's stint (and his second participation) at 9pm, his Datsun skidded entering the Mulsanne kink. The car slid and spun several times before entering the grass verges of the track, struck a guard rail and caught fire. Haller was rescued, but died later in a hospital from chest injuries.

 

The car may have been held by the FIA or ACO after the accident, but there is no info on what happened to it.

 

Any info would be appreciated, there is a brief mention of this zed in Brian Long's book but any other info on it is extremely hard to find.

 

Cheers.

post-960-144023614437_thumb.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks guys

 

lots of helpful info. Benny that thread is awesome still reading through it although sad to see that the car was totally destroyed when its driver was lost. Would be nice to build a replica one day in memory of driver and car :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

yep its a good read.... stumbled upon it by accident a while back... glad you like it!!

 

Would be very cool to build a replica!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Can anyone help with identifying the source of some of the parts on this car. The parts I am interested in are:

1. Flares - these look different to anything alse I have seen.

2. Front spoiler - again this is the only one like it I have seen with integral indicators down the bottom - may have been custom?

3. Rear spoiler - is this a factory "bobtail" item - it looks a bit larger and may have splits where the hatch opens.

4. Wheels - Fronts are 10" x 15" and rears are 13" x 15" - again never seen these before.

 

Any help appreciated - contemplating future idea of building a replica. :)

post-960-144023616046_thumb.jpg

post-960-144023616454_thumb.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sir Jack - There are several French persons (or Pom expats) who contribute to this Pommie Datsun site. http://zclub.net/ . One of them might be able to answer your questions.

 

If I recall correctly I think Adam has referenced one such person and didn't one post some photos of his car at a hillclimb or sprint meeting some time back.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks  Pete

 

Yes, I have a friend called Sean Dezart, President / Founder of the French Z club. Sean is a Pom, who speaks fluent French, so might be worth dropping a line to.  He regularly runs at LeMans Classic events and is a top bloke (for a Pom!!).

 

Give Sean a shout, and tell him I sent you. His email address is seanz@wanadoo.fr

 

His 240Z is way cool too !

 

Cheers

 

Adam

The Brown Hornet

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cheers Adam,

 

will send Sean an email. Still have to have a look at your zed too when I get time, looks immaculate.

 

Thanks. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Can anyone help with identifying the source of some of the parts on this car. The parts I am interested in are:

1. Flares - these look different to anything alse I have seen.

2. Front spoiler - again this is the only one like it I have seen with integral indicators down the bottom - may have been custom?

3. Rear spoiler - is this a factory "bobtail" item - it looks a bit larger and may have splits where the hatch opens.

4. Wheels - Fronts are 10" x 15" and rears are 13" x 15" - again never seen these before.

 

Any help appreciated - contemplating future idea of building a replica. :)

 

1. The "Flares" ( Overfenders ) were original Nissan 'Sports Option' / Race Option items, manufactured by Kotobuki, homologated for FIA Group 4 & 5 use, and therefore easily found in the FIA papers for the HS30 / HLS30 models ( FIA 3023 ). Sometimes known in Japan as the 'Full Works Type B Aero', they used the part number suffix N3020. You can still buy replicas from several different sources in Japan.

2. See above. It's the 62605-N3020 Air Spoiler FR, designed to work with the 'Grande Nose' and the above Overfender set. Those are brake ducts, not integral indicators. Indicators are in the Grand Nose lower panel.

3. As above. It's the three-piece 98100-N3020 Air Spoiler RR.

4. Wheels are the very rare magnesium Kobe Seiko works 4-spoke wheels, with four outer rim bead stoppers and the Nissan 'hamburger' mark cast into one spoke. Rears were not 13" wide ( another mistake on the Autodiva forum thread that originates from declarations made on race entry forms... ) but 12.5j.  You might be able to find a used set in Japan, but bear in mind that they were 'lifed' by KS ( they have a casting date stamped into them, and were only recommended to be used for a short period - a bit like F1 parts ) and that they are VERY expensive. I have a set of four and will use them for static display and 'demo' work only. Despite their large size, they are light as a feather - because they are very thin castings.....

 

Bear in mind that the '76 Le Mans car was just the re-painted and slightly re-fitted '75 Le Mans car, which was originally a works Nissan circuit race car built in early 1973 ( the 'Carnet' foreign-use Japanese number plate taken from an LHD works 260Z rally car seen on the car in the '75 race was just a bit of swervery to give the car a bit of extra paperwork for the ACO ). It was used in a couple of races in Japan that year, and then sent to South Africa for the 1973~74 Springbok Series. After just two races, this series was cancelled due to the effects of the 1973 Oil Crisis. The car was eventually taken to France ( brokered by Hans Schuller ) and you know the rest.......

 

You can build a loose 'replica' ( get in the queue.... ) but the devil is in the details and the details are very difficult to replicate. For example, the engine used was topped by one of the super-rare Nissan 'Safari' FIA heads, which were a completely different casting to any of the normal production-based units. They had a special inlet manifold with internal waterways and an external log, as the waterways in the head casting were moved around to make the ports both huge and straight. This head was designed to be used with the Nissan ECGI ( Electronic Control Gas Injection ) system, which featured a Diesel Kiki electronic 'brain' - licensed from Bosch - controlling a set of triple side draught injection throttle bodies. I'm lucky enough to have one of these heads, but using it with the full ECGI kit on it is somewhere a long way off in the future. If you're interested, I'm pretty sure I've put up photos of the head and manifold in my Gallery at classiczcars.com in the past.....

 

LOTS of other tricky to locate parts on the car. I could talk the back legs off a donkey going on about them.  :)

 

Hope that helps a bit,

Cheers,

Alan T.       

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey Alan,

 

Would love to see a picture of that head?? any chance of that??

 

Cheers,

 

Ben

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey Alan,

 

Would love to see a picture of that head?? any chance of that??

 

Cheers,

 

Ben

Alan I have seen your FIA head in the flesh on a visit to the UK once. And I have seen the pics you posted on the net, I can't recall were but I have checked the images on your gallery on CZCC and can't find it. I think it might have been an attached image - and it might have been on Hybridz even. I will check there later.

 

Cheers

Mike

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ah, OK - you are probably right Mike. Maybe it was on HybridZ.......

 

I'll have a shot at attaching some here. See if this works:

 

Wow... Love to get a copy made of that!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow... Love to get a copy made of that!

 

Hell yes. If we can get a group buy together with 50 or more takers we could do it for about $500 a piece.....I doubt we could get that many takers though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

if you are going to get a head made - the LY would be the one to go for. FIA approved, listed on the sports option catalogue, hemi combustion chamber and cross flow.

 

There is a place in Australia that makes Austin Healey 6 cylinder allow heads - price is $6,800. There is kiwi cylinder head here in Auckland, NZ that make a number of heads. So if a mould could be made I am sure one of these guys could manufacture them.

 

Now the issues.

 

1. Finding a LY that is soft only = no good but still in good shape (would not want to use a good one)

2. Getting the owner of said LY to let it go.

3. Getting enough people on board to purchase one

4. Possible redesign to use valve train of common parts we can get today

 

I for one would be down - if I could get a LY head I would drop the RB conversion I am part the way though in a heart beat. And I am sure all those that want to build a FIA Group 4 replica would be after one too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They bloke in Sydney making the AH heads has been having trouble with the Alum. Alloy being too soft.

It'd be cheaper to get it done in NZ anyway (from my point of view!).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Awesome info thanks Alan and others.  :)

 

Now for the obvious questions - I assume none of these parts are available from Nissan anymore? Who are the sources that you can buy the body work parts from? I imagine you would want to buy the g-nose, front spoiler and flares from the same supplier to ensure that they all fit together properly. The rear spoiler obviously not as critical but nice to get from the same source - on this I am surprised by the height of it, I would have thought the drag would have been considerable on such a high speed circuit as Le Mans was in the 1970s.

 

On the wheels, any idea what a set is worth and where I could source them. Additionally would it be wise to use them on a track car at speed these days or are they likely to fracture given the nature of the casting and their age?

 

Any idea of what top speed the 1976 car clocked down the Mulsanne?

 

Highly interested on all the other difficult bits to obtain that were on the car - please proceed to talk aforementioned leg off donkey on what these are and where they can be found.

 

Thanks for all the info, as far as I know, I have not seen any replicas of the 75 or 76 Le Mans cars, everyone seems to prefer to build BRE cars which also look nice. Although I think the 76 Le mans car is the best looking zed ever. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

With the question about what speeds was the zed doing on the Mulsanne straight, I read they were doing lap times of around 4:30?ish.. So if you can find out info and times on cars doing similar laps not too long ago before they changed the track, you should be able to find out avg speeds.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good idea Zedman, although I was more interested in the outright top speed. Just did a rough calc based on lap distance of 13562m (think it is around that) and 270 seconds. This gives an average of 180Kmh which is pretty decent. Would have thought the zed would get close to 250 Kmh top speed.

 

Thanks for that N Zeder. There are a few differences between that body and the Le Mans body, the rear wing is different as are the side strakes and outlets in the rear of the wheel arches. Looks like a decent body kit though and pretty close to the Le Mans body. Interested in any other suppliers of the LM body kit that may be out there.

 

And those Kobe Seiko 4 spoke mags are a work of art... ;D

 

Cheers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×