Scotts 1977 260z 2 seater with RB25
Our latest featured member ride belongs to Scott Welsh who has built this car up over several years. He shares some of the trials and tribulations that go with a build such as this and gives us some wise words of advice when it comes to taking on a project such as this.
So tell us how you found your Z?
A friend of mine purchased a pristine 240Z then let me drive it! This started my love affair with the Zed. A few years later, a friend’s dad had a Z31 in brilliant condition and was friends with the local Zed wrecker. He drove me down there to learn about what to look for when buying a zed and they just so happened to have a 260Z 2 seater under a cover in the garage. I fell in love and bought it for an awesome price of $3k, L28, EFI and lowered included!
How long have you had it now?
About 7 years! Wow, I hadn’t realised that.
How have your plans changed from when you first purchased it to now?
Originally I wanted a quick street car with a nice interior. I had considered something different, like an RB25 conversion, but I never thought I would want/need it.
What was the main motivation for an engine swap?
Ha, I experienced some much, much faster cars than mine and became addicted. Easy to do.
Having now done the swap, and the beauty of hindsight would you do things differently now?
Yeah... That is a question that could make a man cry. I would have done everything only once, not up to 3 times, trust me, it costs a lot of money to get it wrong. Unfortunately, places like Arizona Zed Car weren’t accessible (or known) and the C word (custom) word came into play.
What has been your favorite modification done to the car? What’s totally transformed things?
The RB25DET has been a labour of love. For a reasonably simple conversion, there is a lot of power on tap, more than needed for a light zed. It scares me sometimes.
What’s been the high point of the project, but possibly more importantly the lowest point?
The highest point by far was winning my class at the 2011 Datsun Nationals, it felt like all the hard work and problems were worth it, it makes me smile thinking about it. The low point... When its off the road or something goes wrong right when I need it working the most. It is just frustrating.
It seems you have touched on almost every part of the car now, bodywork, engine, interior, wheels, suspension. What is your ultimate goal for the car?
I need to finish off the AZC Wilwood front brakes and most of all, a roll cage for peace of mind. When I am done, the plan at least for now, is to compete only a couple of times a year in sprints, however the local hillclimb (Sutton) is tempting to compete every event. Money will be the problem for a while, so enjoying the car a couple of times a year is worth it for me.
You have constantly been providing updates on your car and the work you’ve been doing. What is it that motivates you to continue improving the car?
Addiction! Luckily, now I have a wife, I have to be conscious of spending, haha.
We already talked about the award you got at the Nationals recently in April 2011. Have you won any other awards since?
To be honest, we are saving to buy a house, so no, no other comps, but I have driven it to Melbourne for the AusZcar Christmas BBQ which was a bit of a mission. That was a great trip and my wife had a ball too.
Is there anyone you want to thank you helping you with the build?
Justin Marshall of Jmedia for the pics, Chris Eldridge at Inline Steering and Suspension in Queanbeyan, he did all work on my suspension, even though the car and I were an absolute pain in the arse and Russell at Carco exhaust centre in Belconnen who rewired the car and was a total professional. It is hard to find good help sometimes, these guys made it a lot easier. But most of all and this sounds a bit soppy, but my wife, who when I have had second thoughts has encouraged me by telling me she will leave me if I sell it, what better motivation does a guy need?
Any other final thoughts?
I can’t stress this enough to all the young enthusiasts out there, decide what you want from the car in the future, be prepared to pay good money for good products, do it once, do it right. You will save a hell of a lot of money in the long run and it will be a lot more reliable and you will be completed a lot faster.
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