I wanted to take a quick minute and introduce myself and my newest car project... I am really excited about this car! I recently sold my LS1-swapped 3rd generation Mazda RX-7 which had been my baby for 7 years. Lots of hard work went into that car and it will probably be the fastest I will ever own... but for me, I had achieved everything I wanted with the RX7 and since I'm a "project guy" at the core I decided it was time to start something new. I've been dreaming about a 240Z project for quite some time now and I finally get the chance to start one. Here's one quick picture of my FD before moving on to talking about the Z project:
Yeah... it will be missed!
Anyway, shortly after the sale my search for the right chassis started. I was mostly interested in 240Z's due to the styling, but had an open mind for 260 and 280's. The most important part for me was to find the most rust-free and cleanest I could find. Although I was searching well within 300 miles of home, a local car just so happened to pop up on craigslist that caught my attention. An early '74 260Z with one heck of a interesting story.
The reason I say “interesting” is because it comes with an almost unbelievable history. The odometer says 4,883 miles, it has been owned by only 4 owners previous to myself and the last two of which think it’s the actual mileage. I was obviously very skeptical on the mileage, but there are little things that help the rumor hold weight.
The car comes with what is allegedly its original license plate… the plate has one single tab on it: ’74. Now that’s at least interesting, right? Well the story goes that the original owner purchased the car brand new off the lot drove it for a few thousand miles and passed away shortly after. The car found its way to the proverbial “barn” where it sat for many years until it was purchased by the second owner who had racing in mind. It is clear that this car was owned by an old school racer, it has a 6-point roll cage, a unique race switch panel labeled with 80’s-era punch strip lettering and brake ducts made from Campbell’s soup cans… yes, you read that correctly soup cans.
Well, if you’re following the story with me, is it possible that the car became a trailered track car only at this point? It’s certainly plausible… years of racing from a trailer without ever renewing the tabs, it could happen. Well this owner also passed away and the car found itself once again in a barn in the Seattle area… where it sat until the 3rd owner spotted it and inquired if it was for sale in the early ‘10s. It did not last long with him as he sold it to a friend who is I eventually bought it from.
Whether or not the 4,883 miles is “true”, the best part about this car is the condition… this is really the only other indicator that this car might be the low mileage barn find it claims to be. For one, the body does not have the classic Datsun swiss cheese rust one might expect from a 100K+ mile car. During the buying process I carefully examined the car in all of the places I expected to find rust. Under the floor mats, beneath the battery tray, in and around the hatch, on the frame rails, dog legs, etc… next to no rust. The dash is immaculate, not a single crack as would be expected from a high mileage Zcar.
With all that being said, to be 100% honest, I don't think it's actually <5,000 original miles, but if it isn't, then it's certainly is one of the cleanest 105,000 mile cars if that's the case. And that's what I'm most excited about.
Well unfortunately now is the time I tell you that the car doesn't quite look like that first picture shows... that's what it looked like before the owner before me decided he was going to do some body work, primer the car and then plastidip it "smurf" blue. Sigh. Needless to say, I still wanted to make a move on the car and after a bit of haggling, I was finally the owner of an S30 for $2,750 and even had the guy throw in an RB25DE. Here's what the car looks like on jack stands with about 1/3 of the plastidip removed:
And here are a few more:
There are still a lot of details that I am planning regarding this car. Currently, I intend to swap an F20C & 6-speed from a 2000+ Honda S2K. I know this may seem like a strange engine choice to some of the people on this forum, but I am really starting to think that it's a good fit for my goals for the car. I am not necessarily looking for a car that is insanely fast like the RX7; this time around I want somthing that's simply fun & reliable. I love the fact that the F20C revs to 9,000 RPM from the factory, is a total lightweight and gets good gas mileage... and that 6-speed is so smooth! For now, I intend to stay N/A, but the project will have two phases the second of which will likely include a few lbs of boost.
I plan on doing a complete color change with the usual front lip, rear spoiler and fender flares. The top contender right now is Toyota's "Anthracite". I am not sure if I have ever seen a Zcar with this color, but I think it will look really good when it's all said and done.
Much, much more to come.
Edited by mattster03, 16 May 2014 - 12:10 PM.