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Austin Leonard Automotive

Austin Leonard Automotive - The Datsun Build

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Hey everybody!

 

    So eight months ago I bought my dream car for my dream project.  It’s a 1974 Datsun 260Z, but it’s no ordinary 260z.  Here goes the story.

 

    One night I was just browsing Craigslist, looking for a possible candidate for a special build.  I came upon an ad that had few words and no pictures at all - pretty much just his name and phone number.  The next day I gave him a call to get a little more info on the car, and he told me the story of how he bought it from a friend 10 years ago.

His friend was at a gas station and accidentally tapped a pole - literally tapped, only leaving a small dent in the fender.  He didn’t want to get it fixed so he sold it to his friend (the guy I bought it from).  Right after receiving it he started to take the front end apart to do a V6 engine swap, but he blew his back out right as he got things apart.  So for the past 10 years it has been sitting on jack stands in a shipping container, untouched.   The car has (I kid you not) ZERO rust on the body.  The only spot that will need attention is a circle on the passenger floorboard, no bigger than my fist.  He decided to sell it due to medical bills and the such, and EVERYTHING he has goes with it.  That includes a full 280z parts car, new weatherstripping, full interior, extra dashes, disk brake kits, bushings, g-nose, etc. etc.

 

    I went up there a few weeks later with a trailer and dug the car out from where it had sat for so long.  I brought the car home, cleaned all of the rat turds out of it, then pushed it into the garage.  That pretty much brings us up to date...  I had done a few things like starting to pull the original motor apart, but nothing significant.  For the most part the car has just been collecting dust for 8 months while I worked on other projects I had gotten myself into.

 

    One thing I forgot to mention is that the car is VIN #49.  I know that collectability-wise the 240z is the most sought after, but it feels pretty special to have one of the first 50 cars sent to the US from a one year car.  That brings me to the struggle of not knowing where to take this build - completely stock, lightly modified, or balls to the wall nuts.  I'm still not 100% sure where I want to go with it but I think it'll be in the "lightly modified" range.  In the end I think somewhere around 300hp would be perfect for this car and chassis.  If some of you think that's still a bit much, I was originally considering around 800hp!

 

    So now you're really caught up on the project.  Below is a video I made for my YouTube channel of me going over the car and explaining the project a bit.  If you'd like to see video updates of the car subscribe to the channel!  I'll try to update this thread but I primarily post on YouTube.  Also, if you'd like to please share the video with all your car friends!  I'm really trying to grow my channel and need all the eyes and support I can get.

 

    If you made it to the end, thanks for reading and enjoy the video!  :)
 

-Austin

 

P.S.  If you have a better project name than "The Datsun Build" than please let me know :P

 

 

 

Edited by Austin Leonard Automotive
Fixed video

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Hey, welcome to the forum! Looks like a nice car to start with. I'm not sure if there's any additional value in a low VIN 260Z, but it might be worth looking into.

 

I think your goal of 300hp will be a good fit for the S30 chassis. 800hp is definitely too much. IMO the S30 isn't really worth putting that much power into, since basically everything, including chassis, needs to be upgraded or replaced, and I don't need to tell you that that will get really expensive really quickly. 300hp is a nice balance in terms of power, and also what the chassis can handle with a few upgrades. If you keep the weight down, 300hp will be more than enough to have fun with.

 

Keep us posted.

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Welcome to the forum!  I agree with rbturbo.  It's your car, ignore the purists and build what you want.  You mentioned money a few times in your video so you might want to consider building a turbo l28.  You can easily get 300 hp to the wheels and it's probably the least expensive way to go if you keep it reasonable.

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On 1/23/2018 at 8:22 PM, rturbo 930 said:

I think your goal of 300hp will be a good fit for the S30 chassis. 800hp is definitely too much. IMO the S30 isn't really worth putting that much power into, since basically everything, including chassis, needs to be upgraded or replaced, and I don't need to tell you that that will get really expensive really quickly. 300hp is a nice balance in terms of power, and also what the chassis can handle with a few upgrades. If you keep the weight down, 300hp will be more than enough to have fun with.

 

I think 300hp is going to be the perfect amount of power for such a light car.  Enough to have some fun but it shouldn't rip the car apart.

 

On 1/24/2018 at 6:35 AM, rossman said:

Welcome to the forum!  I agree with rbturbo.  It's your car, ignore the purists and build what you want.  You mentioned money a few times in your video so you might want to consider building a turbo l28.  You can easily get 300 hp to the wheels and it's probably the least expensive way to go if you keep it reasonable.

 

I've actually been looking at L28et builds here on the forum for the past couple weeks.  I originally wanted to go with an RB26 for that high HP, but the simplicity of the L28 really suits the car and it'd be a good intro into the forced induction world.  In a few weeks I may be buying an L28et that's already been built for a decent price.  Then I'll only need to build a Megasquirt for it and I'll be boosting down the street!

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