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Hunter's Devil Zed Replica, Wangan Midnight

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This car is actually Zed number 5 for me, I still own all of my Zeds. I bought my first zed as my first car, much like the previous owner of this Zed.

When I was a young boy racer I too wanted to modify, paint, change colour etc. etc. As I have refined with age so has my taste, I now prefer OEM and more specifically JDM.


Every Zed has a story and its passionate Zed owners. So I will start this project journal at May 2009 and the previous owner Tom, this is a link to his project journal and album for this car.






As you can see it started off life as a 301 Brown Metallic. Possibly not one of the most popular colours but definitely in good condition. Tom then painted the car 31J Mazda Aurora Blue.




In Jan 2011 I popped into this cars life when I was looking for a first car for my brother. He was not really into cars but this had to be better than an off the shelf Ford he was looking at.


This is where the curse of the Devil Zed started with me. For those of you that have not watched the movie Wangan Midnight, in essence it is a story about a zed that needs to be constantly fixed because it has crashed and has a mind of its own.


This car has a very close likeness to the Devil Zed in looks and behaviour.


I drove down to Hobart to pick it up, the paint work looked like it could use a good buff but it run like a clock.




Halfway from Hobart to Launceston a 2hr drive, I noticed some sparks fly out the rear end. This happened as the gearbox jumped out of 5th, which was a known problem. The sparks? Not so much!

So I continued to drive and try cruise as gently as I could. As I was approaching Launceston the car was breaking down like it was running out of fuel. Then all of a sudden there was absolutely no power, so I had to roll to a stop.


I tried restarting the car but it was not going to start, so I rang my mate for a tow, he came out a while later. I went to start the car to show him that it was fucked but it started straight away and ran like a clock. So I decided to continue to drive it to his place, as I approached the same problem happened breaking down like out of fuel and stop. I had enough momentum to roll it into his drive.


The plan was to get the car down to my shed in Rosebery on the West Coast a further 260km away. Unfortunately it had to go down on a trailer.


There it lay dormant in my Zed shed for quite some time I was hoping my little bro would be interested in helping fix it, he sort of was but not really phased.


A young bloke wanted me to drive him to his leavers dinner in it so that reinstated the need to get it going again. A working bee insued with the help of my mechanic mates. The car would start and run like a clock but as soon as it was warm it would start breaking down, after a full day of trying to work out what was wrong, it was time for an engine transplant. Bugger knows if it is a blown head gasket or a cracked head, either way it gets worse when it is hot.


The next day we transplanted a new engine but was taking ages for us to get the damn new transmission on. We left it over night and my mates had to leave.


The next day I finally managed to get the transmission in but it was tight. I had one day left until the deadline of this leavers dinner. I went to start the car and drive but it was not going anywhere... The clutch was disengaged and would not engage the fly wheel at all... I PUT THE DAMN WRONG THROW OUT COLLAR ON... Hence why it was so hard to put in, I was pushing against the pressure plate.


So I pulled the transmission again put the right throw out collar on and all was good... Went to drive the car out of the shed in reverse and it popped out.I tried again and it would not hold reverse, it is an uphill climb out of my shed so Devil Zed missed its Leavers Dinner revival.




I left the Devil Zed alone for a while and worked on my RB25 240Z instead. I also swapped my little brother my Nissan X-Trail for this failure of a Devil Zed. At least he was happy having a reliable car, even though he still did not have his license.


In Aug 2015 the Devil Zed got some more attention. This time for my 15 year old step daughter, it was her leavers Dinner. I was determined to make it this time, I had until November 20 2015.


Work started and I got my mate Perko to help. I still had very limited time as I was now working 2 weeks on, 1 week off in WA. Some of my weeks off I only managed to get half a day at a time on the car. The short list of works:

Fully rebuilt the front calipers (as they were siezed).

Rebuilt the rear drums (Just because).

Removed three gear boxes in total from my 260z's (this was to get to a brand new button clutch and good transmission).

Installed brand new button clutch and good tranny.

Brakes would not bleed (bought new master cylinder)


Transported car from Rosebery to Devonport so I could get more days on the car.


Brakes still would not bleed (Some idiot put the calipers on the wrong way)

Brakes finally bled up.

Installed new door mechanism (what a prick)

Installed new door trims and hardware.

Fixed hazard lights.

Fixed handbrake

Got wheel alignment

Installed new rubber boots on steering Rack.

Fixed exhaust leak (by re welding flange)

Tuned carbies

Replaced plugs



Now we go back to the original post by Tom... They did not put a clearcoat on the car but instead mixed the clear with the final coats of paint...


I had well and truly missed my buffing window by 5 years. I tried a few compounds from Super Cheap and they were not even bringing any swirls out of the surface.


I had to Wet Sand first 1500 grit then 2000 grit on every single panel. Orange Peel Galore and this paint was hard as steel. It only took 4 days to complete the job hand sanding and machine polishing. I highly recommend the 3M Perfect-It system and buffing pads. The results are more than adequate to the untrained eye but could use a little more wet sanding on the side panels.


I must thank a few family and friends for their help on this one, especially in my absense at work. Jimmy (helping with original engine swap), Perko (helping me swear at the car and the major works), Doug Eastly (assisting with transport odds and ends), Valerie Wells (helping organise everyone), Rhiannon Wells (for choosing the blue one), Troy Eade (installing new plugs), Mark Wells (Tuning Carbs and transport), Discotune (fixing a few odds and ends for registration) Alli Jane Wells (My partner putting up with me swearing about this car)


Going back to the start of this saga "EVERY ZED HAS ITS OWN STORY AND PASSIONATE OWNERS" not only that but brings the passion out in others. Either through memories of their own seeing a zed for the first time or just being mates.


Please see the finished results below, still pending pit pass. I am confident it will make it.

Edited by Hunter

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By the way this is a screenshot of the move "Wangan Midnight" Notice how it is a 2+2 when he finds it in a junkyard? Then the rest of the movie it is a 2 seater... They probably could not bring themselves to destroy a 2 seater in the movie either.


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post-100594-0-33246200-1447423636_thumb.jpeg Well passed inspection... Next job is to register and drive the 16 year old to her leavers dinner.


The it will be back in the shed for an underbody and under hood spray. Along with powdercoated suspension components.

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Congrats on passing inspection.



By the way this is a screenshot of the move "Wangan Midnight" Notice how it is a 2+2 when he finds it in a junkyard? Then the rest of the movie it is a 2 seater... They probably could not bring themselves to destroy a 2 seater in the movie either.
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Apart from when he flips the 240z onto its roof, then it magically becomes some other car. Not sure what exactly.. my best guess is a late 70s mitsubishi lancer coupe.




Edited by Mr Camouflage

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Zeds in Japan seem to be sacred like cows are to Hindus.

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