Greg's 1971 Datsun 240z Track Car
This month's feature ride is the result of hard work involving blood sweat and tears. Greg has transformed a $600 basket case into the track car you see with the BRE style livery for icing on the cake.
I bought my first zed in 1994. It was a very straight blue 280zx. Over the following 10 years I enjoyed the car immensely as a pure road car. At that point I had no idea of all the potential fun I was missing.
I joined the Z Car Club of QLD in 2003 and quickly discovered all the track events and other fun. I quickly decided that I wanted in but I didn’t want to modify my 280zx so I started looking for a project car. I did not have much experience working on cars so I decided I wanted to use the project to learn. I did not want to start with a good car for two reasons. Firstly it would not give me the same learning experience and secondly I didn’t want the risk of stuffing up a perfectly good car.
I found my 240z in a depressing state in April 2004 for $600 and it was reasonably complete. It still had the last rego sticker on the windscreen (1989). My objective was quite clear. Learn how to rebuild a car and end up with a club level road registered track car that looks good from a distance. I have never intended being competitive as I realise there are too many people with much bigger budgets. I just want a solid car that enables me to have some fun on the track. Being a track car most people will only see it from the side of the track. I knew I wanted a red car. I know there are a lot out there and I believe it is because it suits the shape. I was planning to have a thick white stripe down the side to differentiate it from all the other red zeds.
I started to dismantle it over a few months. I had it sand blasted and had the cage put in. I did all the body work myself. I had the suspension made up and started accumulating all the relevant parts. Most of the parts I gathered were from some donor cars. These included 2 x 260z 2+2s, 2 x 280zx and an old skyline. I purchased a 10l pressurised spray can. It eliminates the need to have a paint can attached to the bottom of the gun. Unfortunately the hose sprung a leak and in the three seconds it took me to hit the off button it had sprayed 10L of red paint all over me, the car and my shed. I had to warn my wife before she saw me next that I had not injured myself, it was only red paint!!
When I started to reassemble the car it was still all red. Around this time my wife bought me a BRE model and I decided to go with the BRE colours rather than the white stripe idea. So I masked up the car and sprayed the bottom half white. I had some red and blue stripes with DATSUN made up in vinyl with a few extra copies in case I ever need to replace them. The car was first registered in my name in Nov 2007 and its first event was a motorkhana in Feb 2008. The car performed well on that occasion other than some battery issues which turned out to be the fact that I’d installed an internally regulated alternator which was incompatible with the regulator that was still in the car (yeah yeah I know now!). I had to have a spare gearbox rebuilt to fix the noisy one I had in the car at the start. I also had “digital” brakes. They were either 100% on or 100% off. I took it to three mechanics before the last one found a minor problem in the master vac.
Since then I have installed a larger throttle body and I am currently on a weight loss program using fiber glass to replace many of the original panels and reverting back from an R200 to an R180 (4.8 ratio). I hope to get close to 1000KG including the cage.
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