Steven Cook's Datsun 260z Now (Fairlady Z)
Our latest featured member car on the site will be no stranger to many, having watched this car take shape over the last couple of years via Stivva's build thread in our forums. We now get to see the car as it's taken shape and the finished look is absolutely stunning.
The retro wheels are quirky but at the same time cool very cool - even if they are somewhat pink. The flares and gunmetal paint definitely give the car a good mix of old and new school. Making this car a real head turner.
You started out with a real project car, I mean it was a bit bent from a previous street fight and was looking sad under someone's car port. Did you know what you were getting yourself into at the time?
When I started looking for a car, I asked for something with minimal rust and that it ran. I guess, that's what I got. When I inspected the car I took a few photos of the damage in the front end that I could send off to some panel beaters for some quotes. So, you could say I did my research for the most part before I had the car delivered at home.
When you stripped the car back, did you find any nasty surprises or any hiccups that you hadn't prepared for
Bog, bog and more bog! I must have used a few hundred dollars on orbital sanding pads to remove it. I was fairly lucky in that regard, but the biggest hiccup, was not perhaps a surprise, as much as it was expected. The car was missing so many parts! When I bought it, it came with so many parts, boxes of them. The interior of the car was full of loose parts as well, but only a handful of them were usable. So the hunt for the missing parts was on!
Looking at your post dates in your build thread it's taken about 2 years to get where you are now, in terms of restorations that's not too long, but were there any times where motivation was particularly low and if so how did you overcome that?
Actually, no. I never found myself to have no motivation to work on the car. I did however find it difficult to get funds for parts mid project. At the start I had enough money set aside for everything I needed to get the old girl on the road, but saving up for a paint job and for all those little bit and pieces was so difficult. Draining at times. But that is half the fun of the project.
It seems like you did most of the work yourself, was that the goal to be hands on with the project? Also which parts did you decide to outsource and why?
I did do most the work myself. I am not much of a driver as I am a tinkerer. I outsourced anything I could not do at home or never had any experience with. So the paint job was outsourced as well as the first time I had the brakes set up. I also recently had some of the electrics fixed up by a workshop just because it was a fault that I couldn't figure out.
Was this your first experience with a carbureted car, classic car? Your previous build was a Holden Sedan correct? Tell a bit about the different experience of each build?
This was my first experience with an older car, my last cars have all been newer GM cars but a wanted a Fairlady for a long time. I would go and buy another new car in a heartbeat though. You get everything with it out of the box and power to boot. But like I said earlier, I like to tinker. The build before this was a 4 year build of what was initially a blown V6 (which then blew up), and then the RB25 was transplanted in.
Again all at home. But the real difference between the Fairlady and the Calais was the the Calais was more about modifications where as the Fairlady was a recovery project. The Calais had everything there and working when I bought it and it could have been left that way, where as the Fairlady needed me to find things to make sure it had everything there and working. The biggest difference in actually working on the cars is how you work. The newer cars is all soldering and wires where the older cars is all about using a screw driver and a hammer, hahaha...
You went with the rolling restoration approach and had a few different incarnations of the build, do you think half the fun of building a car like this is the ability to be able to change things as the build progressed i.e you went from the primer paint job and orange wheels to the current look?
Absolutely, the greatest part of driving a car while restoring it is that people don't know what the car is going to look like every time I bring it out. It's also great fun if you can take a car for a drive one week to an event in one car and come back the following week with an entirely different look on the same car. It blows peoples minds, especially in an older car like the Fairlady.
Do you know what the current wheels are called and who they are made by? Where did you source them? Did you see them on any other early Z's, what made you go for that look?
The wheels are Rota Aleicas, and they are a copy of the Sakura rims. They came from Rota Australia and I bought them for the period correct look. The originals are very expensive and only available in 14" diameters, so the copies were the way to go, but I think it is time for a change and I know what I am going for next, but you will have to wait and see...
Mechanically what kind of work was required to make her run right after all that time off the road?
Initially, I gave it a service and balanced the carbs. Oh, and also fixed the brake lines. But that was never going to last on just that. It was running very rich and no amount of tinkering or home tuning could fix it, so I had the head and carbs rebuilt. Really, after that, there has not been too much mechanical work, maybe a water pump and belt here or there, but that just comes under regular maintenance.
There are a few nice details you've been adding lately including the Fairlady Z badges and vintage style radio for the interior. Are there any other plans to add more details like these?
I am in the progress of having a Nissan RS30 style build plate made up to replace the Datsun HS30 build plate, and I have been looking for the mesh grille to fit in the front in place of the current grill. I am basically converting the car into a Nissan rather than the Datsun. I am still chasing up a few more interior parts, but yes, I have a lot more details like you have mentioned to add in. I have to swap the light coloured carpet to the correct black carpet next to be correct.
Are there any immediate plans for the future? Or is the plan just to enjoy the fruits of your labour for now?
We will see, I am always on the look out for something interesting.
Anyone you want to thank for help with the build?
- The guys on Auszcar for their help with parts and tech stuff.
- Ebay America for having a large collection of S30 parts.
- My Family and Friends.
|Vehicle Category||Details and Modifications|
|Name:||Steven Cook (AKA Stivva)|
|Previous Rides:||1997 Holden Calais VS II RB25DET Conversion|
|Suspension & Brakes:||
|Wheels and Tyres:||