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The Brown Hornet - as NEW 1971 240Z - SOLD


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Hi Guys...


I wrote about this car on the intro page ... so here it is. I called it my 'New 71Z' but after seeing it in the garage, my wife quite humourously named it 'The Brown Hornet' (Fat Albert's favourite black superhero from the very early 70's)..


Panel beater is coming over tomorrow to have a look at bare metal stripping and returning to OEM 918 (or 2 pac equivalent). I've had a very good look and aside from the front left frame rail and usual beaver panel top (which is currently repaired with f-glass) rust is not an issue. Motor is L26 with webers, genie extractors, high comp, cam, elec dizzy. Appears to have koni's and king springs also.


Will be selling wheels (ROH 15"), Steering wheel (OEM VGC), seats (OEM but need covers) and glass front airdam (like ben Z's car), but only when I have all the other parts, inc; Wata RS8's (to buy) Datsun Compe (I have), JDM fender mirrors (have), and seats (to buy).


Just tried to add a photo, but being me it failed ... will try again !!


Will keep you posted on the progress.





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Thanks guys ... appreciate the feedback .. The paint you see here is acrylic and is pretty rough to be honest .. Because the car needs the bay done and this itself is a big task, i'm; 1) doing the bay in 2 pac and back to factory colour, and 2) figure that at that time I should have the rear beaver panel replaced / repaired and the rest of the car done in the same paint.. I know it seems extravagant from these pics, but with the car already stripped (now) ,,, it seems a false economy to leave it .. I can also have piece of mind knowing she's all OK under that paint and rust proofed at the same time.





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Ok, so the interior of the car is now nude (sans strut tower vinyl as its like new) and the only rust I can see that I did not know of is a small 5c piece hole in the pass footwell under where the seat sits. Am off to Warrens tomorrow to buy some parts and then to the panel beater to check out his workshop. In theory the car should be going to the beater in about a fortnight where he will remove the engine ... and completely strip the body of all panels. To save on cost we're going to send the doors / guards / hatch / bonnet off to be bead blasted. The balance of the shell is going to be hand sanded and I suspect the engine bay will itself be sand blasted.


I've pretty much decided on the SHOCKINGLY HORRIBLE colour of safari gold, which frankly is a nicer hue in my view to the 918 orange, which is frankly pretty horrid. I really love the colour o Eiji's car as a similar theme, but then every time I see a 432 with black watanabe's the safari gold just looks the goods.


Parts I now have inc; ZG fender mirrors, compe handle, correct gear knob, and new OEM door liners. And NO I have not added it all up right ??? (After all its a hobby and you can't put a price on that .... can you !?!?). I am going to buy the Wata's and some factory race seats, similar to the Kameari one on this site.


Sorry I can't add a photo as I literally cannot work out how to resize a photo on my whiz-bang MAC (NOT !!!!!!). Anybody know how, tell me and I can add!!!


So, in a word, the plan is coming together and I know what I want the car to be in the end ...


Once the car is running ... (maybe before Santa arrives !!) I will then do the motor .. which will be enlarged to L28 or 31 .. of course suspension will be looked at also ...


Hope you enjoy reading about it as much as I love dreaming about it ... sorry i can't do the photos from the MAC. (NZedder, you are an IT guy right !!!).






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  • 3 weeks later...

Ok ...


Went to the beater thismorning after week one (lets call him Nat) and here is the work they have done thus far. I started with the notion that they remove the motor after I stripped the interior. I had left the dash in place, but on consultation they decided to remove the dash, and headlining, albeit that remains in place.


Seems there is lots of little bits of rust in different areas, including; under the front qtr panels (but not in the frame), foot wells and floors, and in the fire wall (albeit this is mostly just surface), in the rear wheel wells, the beaver panel (see photos), frame rails both sides, and bottom of passenger doors. So in a word, there is LOTS of small patches of rust, that if left for another 3 years would have just about seen this old girl out.


The rust is only really cosmetic and not in the structural parts of the body. Once repaired, they'll be able to fully rustproof it, so the money (read fortune) is not spent in vain. Nat is a master craftsman and has recently finished an aston martin, e-type and is in the midst of completing a Austin Healey 100. Other cars in the shed are an original Shelby Mustang, GTS monaro, Holden 'Sandman', and Triumph Stag ... Suffice to say this guy is not your average accident repair man, but is a full time restoration specialist. He will not cut corners and only does something 'right' (again read $$$).


Today we decided to be sure to strip all the tar sound insulation, headlining and suspension so the body can be properly bead blasted. This should happen after the Monaro, so I'll need to get a second job just about to amass the money to have it completed in the coming lets say two months.


On the colours ... have had considerable discussion on this and the shortlist includes; metallic grey (tough modern look), dark green (like an e-type), or the two tone scheme used in computer rendered model called 'Jan's S30Z' (old school). Nat prefers the two tone colour, albeit prefers keeping the body all one colour (the bottom olivey / putty) but with the satin black bonnet. He has a few ideas we'll work with during the process, but suffice to say he reckons the old school look is the way to go, as do I.


I am going to buy wata's Rtypes and will likely go 16" 8+ and 8.5" to fit under the standard arches. Colour to be black, but i'll opt for the machined lips, to tie in the chrome bars, light covers, handles, etc etc. Thinking we might delete the arial hole and potentially put a roof mounted bullet style arial....


I've bought the jap mirrors and restored them to satin black, Datsun Compe Handle, and new everything. Will chase up light covers and other little cosmetic bits to get it all correct.


I need a new beaver panel as the photo shows ... if you have one, please write to me.


Will give another update in the coming weeks and time (and $$) permit.












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I would have thought a good panel man would repair that rear panel - I am sure a replacement (if you can find one) will cost a packet. As you now know the one from the UK is not cheap = £425 (a truck load of AUD) so if Nat can fix it for less you are ahead of the game. I have emailed you the part numbers of a new panel from Nissan so check them out too just incase they can still be purchased (again I am sure it will not be cheap)


When we did my car we remove the slam panel just to make sure all was well underneath (most of the back end of my car had been replaced in the 80's after the PO thought the zed was a bit pussy cat and needed to visit the kitty litter - suffice to say my RS30 has seen more panel work that most) and it looked like yours (although sometime photos don't show the true look etc) and my panel man just repaired it.

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Thanks Mike


Ducked back after lunch to drop off some books to Nat and he said not to worry too much about the beaver panel as he could repair it ... its just time and money right !! As Mossy rightfully said though, its not until we get into it with the bead blaster that we'll be able to properly eyeball the true extent of the tin worm. At this stage, i'd expect to be buying new floors and chassis rails (about $400 all up from Warren).


On another note ... while we've got the suspension out I think I'll get some new bushes to replace all the old stuff. I don't want that rock hard Nolathane, nor OEM but there is a product that is an intermediate solution that some on here have used .. Can't remember what its called, or where to buy it (or price), but if you have done this, let me know.






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Given its a 'project' page, thought i'd stick up the photos of the car I want to replicate.


This is what it will look like on completion ... but I think i'll limit the black to the bonnet only. Will also have the chrome rimmed light surrounds, and thinking of getting the Watanabes machined on the outer. Thinking of filling the arial hole also, as I'm not sure the car will need a radio when finished. Might consider a roof mounted one anyway later on.


Added a 2000GT in a colour scheme that I also really like. I like the way the wheels / off-white and red bonnet blend in together. Will be sticking with the narrow body, so there will be no guards.


Let me know your thoughts?? I want to be sure this is going to look good, so happy to have your feedback as to good / bad / ugly etc.


Happy to have any suggestions on this project.









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Hi All,


Popped by Nat's shop thismorning as planned to have a look what 'week 2' had brought. He'd been working on the 'hornet' all week and addressed engine bay rust (under battery tray), fire wall, scuttle panel (where the wiper motors sit), and at the front of the passenger side outside of where the battery tray once sat. Car's looking like a true 'light weight special' and at the rate they're cutting and grinding the thing might be a 09 model before too long.


Suffice to say Nat is truly a genius craftsman and has made up everything by hand. If you look at the photo inside the scuttle panel (attached), note hand made wiper motor bracket (perfect copy). He also cut and re-made the fire wall at the top that joins into this scuttle area (also shiny in photo) and was able to replicate the exact profile of the piece he removed (inc raised lump showing from engine bay - see photo of old vs new). He has made new box sections that join the scuttle to the heater box, but these are not shown.


The other news was that he removed all the suspension and has high pressure cleaned the lot (along with motor). We're going to re-do the suspension components in black, and at the same time re-do all the bushings. From those of you who have done this, i'm going to use the 'superpro' bushes, being a good compromise between OEM and the rock hard Polyurethane.


Car will be media-blasted in the coming weeks, but before the chase for the dreaded tin worm will continue in ernest. I'm sure my next story will be on the dog leg sections !!! We're going to have to replace the floor sections and frame rails, which I'll chase up from Warren, however this job might be best to complete after blasting.


I'm in DEEP now and there is no alternative other than to keep moving forward. The good thing about Nat is that he said he can cool it and work at my pace in terms of budget... Suffice to say if my Wife see's what i've spent to date, it'll stop FOR GOOD ... so expect more updates soon !!


Hope you like it, as I do ... still labouring over colour, but I saw a new Cayenne today at the Porka dealer that was done in cream with matt black wheels ... looked awsome!  We're going to test stray a few panels in the olive/tan colour I've shown earlier in this thread and once this occurs I'll be shopping for opinions!


Until next update!












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All normal rust for a zed :( mine has been repaired in the same places for the same reasons - however when we did the firewall we

1. Took the whole scuttle panel off and media-blasted the car with this off - then good amounts of BRG (what the bro had in the shop at the time when he was restoring an e-type jag) were applied in this area = more paint/sealer than factory. Then the scuttle panel was spot welded back on - yes some of the paint got burnt but there is now paint were it never was :)

2. Cut along the firewall until we got to clean steel - there was not enough seam sealer in there from factory = rusted long the join.


Looking good :) the worst of the rust is almost over - dog legs might be good - mine were

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Thanks Mike ... appreciate the feedback. Yes Nat did make a mention about seam sealer and the lack of it in the Datsun. He said he'd be re-doing all this throughout the process, with some pretty detailed rust proofing once complete, which I think will include fish oil and then some wax type products.


Not all that confident on the dog legs ... the magnet only really sticks to one side.


Only other part I will likely need is the rear lower panel (being the one that the tail pipe protrudes from). Anybody know if this is avail in Australia?


Added a few more photos, showing car and rusted parts we've so far removed / replaced so far.





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Week 3 !!!


The plot has really thickened ... popped by thismorning to give Nat some more money and enjoy another cup of coffee while Nat showed me what he's been up to this last week. As expected, the situation has become more complex, however as I've read on this forum too many times, its necessary at this point to keep a stiff upper lip and soldier on... whatever the cost!!


I will show you some photos and ask some questions. The main question I have is can anybody post or send me a photo of the front cross panel of the car, being the one that the hood support arm is screwed to. It is also the same panel that the bottom of the front grill bolts to, and also the one that the plastic corrugated air tubes that bring cold air into the cabin screw to. Reason I ask, mine looks a little bent and we are trying to determine if this is actually the case, or is it just a dodgy looking moulding in the case of my car.


Back to the repairs for this week, Nat has replaced the following; 1) metal under and around battery tray, including firewall sections, 2) front of sills on both sides (craftmanship here is frankly amazing, and all done by hand), 3) floor sections - removed on passenger side, and to go on drivers side soon, 4) drivers side foot well section, 5) box sections at front of chassis rails (these are very cool), 5) chassis rails (to be welded onto new floors), and 5) rear passenger side dog-leg (which has been ground back to reveal a big fat metal plate shoddily welded over a porous rusty mess). Nat is yet to remove this panel, however its on this week's to do list.


Interestingly, the floor panels had already ben repaired several times and had new stainless plates welded and tar coated. The gauge of the steel was extremely thick, with BBQ plate being the only thing to even closely resemble the floors. I think we've possibly saved ~15kg a side at least ... I struggled to pick the thing up! Also noted that the welding of these plates was done with only a few spots .. so structural integrity was really flawed.... not any more!!!


So... in thinking about what next; 1) pass dog leg is in need of replacement, with drivers side also likely, 2) beaver panel will be re-made by hand, 3) drivers side rear of rain gutter will be removed to remove small rust section in roof (see photo), with pass side also removed to check, 4) pass side chassis rail box section, 5) pass side rear wheel arch rust (minor), and 6) sills (which actually look OK in the light). Nat will be placing the car on some form of 'jig' to them measure all dimensions and ensure twist or other is not an issue. We need to have a look at this front panel I mentioned above, to see what repairs / changes need to be made also.


All of the panels went off to the blaster last week with the GTS Monaro, so I expect a few minor surprises here, albeit the doors looked very good before going, and rear tail was an as new item....


Once these things are completed, she'll be headed off to the blaster to be totally stripped. This will identify anything we've missed at this stage, however as I said to Nat thismorning, the Hornet is going to be a 2010 model before he's finished as just about everything is being replaced. Again, if you're reading this and thinking 'what an old load of crap this thing is', remember, the chassis has no evidence of accident damage, and the roof and all structural areas are very sound. It is frankly all the usual place that we're repairing.


The good news from this today was that Nat said a few blokes wandered in this week to 'check out the 260 in the corner'.... when Nat told then it was not a 260, but infact 240, they went beserk and started telling him how 'awsome these things are!!" ... Lucky for that ... I must say a compliment or two goes a long way when you get to this stage !!!!!


Any suggestions on colour greatly appreciated at this stage ... still really struggling with this !!


Enjoy !










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Last lot for today.


be sure to post some close ups of that front panel (black in my case) especially on the drivers side around the holes .... I need a good look at one that is not damaged.



;D ;D ;D






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