Jump to content

Electramotive / Bob Sharp 280zx V8


Recommended Posts

Hi all , does anyone have engine pictures of the Electramotive / Bob Sharp GTU? 280zx Twin turbo v8? The one Paul newman raced.

There seems to be conflicting information on the engine that it actually ran.


Most of the information i found on the internet all seem to be copied from one another saying it was a 4.5lt v8 from the president (hinting that it was VH45) but the VH clearly wasnt around in the early 80's.

I did find, though, a page from a book stating it was actually 4.2lt's, down from 4.4lt. Which makes a little more sence being the Y44 was very much available at the time the car was built.


Either way i want to find some photos!, i cant find anything on the net


heres the car:



Link to comment
Share on other sites

"For the 1981 season Sharp, in partnership with Electromotive, decided to escape GTU and the Mazda's and move up to IMSA GT class for cars over 2.5 liters. With a Nissan President 4.5 liter V8 engine and the work of Gene Crowe and chassis designer Trevor Harris, the two teams developed a couple of unsuccessful turbocharged ZX's. They had the power, but the engine design lacked strength and cracked under pressure. The IMSA now shifted focus to allow even more highly modified prototype cars that outclassed even a 700 horsepower twin turbo V8 ZX. The project was abandoned."


ref: http://www.zclubhungary.hu/BobSharp.htm


More here on the six cylinder; http://zhome.com/History/Electramotive/ElSh28zx.htm


"Being successful in both IMSA and SCCA C Production, Bob Sharp had other things in mind, and he would make the big move in 1980. The car would be a true AAGT car, and would be fitted with a V8 powerplant, the one you could find on the Nissan President, which was manufactured in Japan. In fact, the car was not even imported in the US, and Bob Sharp had to use his relations with Dick Roberts, who was Datsun's competition manager, to have one engine in his shop by the end of 1977. The engine was then studied by Gene Crowe, the chief mechanic, who was to modify it accordingly to its future purposes. The car would be a unique design by Trevor Harris who would work on the chassis, body and the suspension. Thanks to his past experience, he would apply his skills to the Datsun ZX Turbo, which would then become the first ground-effect production based racing car. The car would completed in seven months.

Rick Mack, who had worked at Rotomaster, would care about the turbocharger, which was supposed to feed the 4,5L engine. This was supposed to give out around 800 hp."


ref: http://alex62.typepad.com/imsablog/2008/02/bob-sharp-racin.html

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Found the book, it shows an earlier car for #33 that Paul Newman was driving, and the angled L28 motor Dimti is talking about is #83 and driven by Don Devendorf producing 650hp out of a L28 turbo and inter cooled motor leaning over on an angle to allow more room for the turbo and injection.

Says he was the 1982 IMSA GTO Champ with his 280zx Turbo

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 8 years later...

Hey all! I know this is bringing this back from the dead, but this came up in a google search. My dad was a mechanic for Electramotive in the 1982 season. Totally separate team and cars from Bob Sharp. Don Devendorf was an engineer who started Electramotive Engineering with John Knepp, and pioneered computer-controlled fuel injection, and the team were all SoCal aerospace engineer guys. Devendorf and Tony Adamowicz (aka A2Z) were the drivers, the car had a turbo'd straight six, and yes the photo you're thinking of is correct they leaned it over for spacing reasons (Adamowicz's idea). They won the GTU championship in 1979 and the GTO championship in 1982, then went on to more storied success in the GTP class in the later '80s. I have tons of photos and stuff if anyone's interested. If so shoot me an email at revcor@gmail.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 year later...

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...