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Nice Clean Hybrid Z RB26DETT S30 240z


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Not to be provocative, but I wonder how much of the price-escalation is from a cultural affinity to "keeping it Japanese" or "all Nissan"?  In other words, if the engine were a Donovan aluminum big-block 572, with AFR heads and a big mechanical roller cam, backed by a T-56 transmission and a Ford 9" center-section (duly converted to independent half-shafts), then might we find ourselves with a car that cost $100K to build, but only fetches $40K at auction?

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16 hours ago, Michael said:

Not to be provocative, but I wonder how much of the price-escalation is from a cultural affinity to "keeping it Japanese" or "all Nissan"?  In other words, if the engine were a Donovan aluminum big-block 572, with AFR heads and a big mechanical roller cam, backed by a T-56 transmission and a Ford 9" center-section (duly converted to independent half-shafts), then might we find ourselves with a car that cost $100K to build, but only fetches $40K at auction?

I'm sure the all Japanese and all Nissan had some effect on the price but at $70,000 the egos of the final 2 bidders has to come in to play as well.

I think you're right about a Z with a big block 572 but not because it is an American engine, it's because it's just not a good match for a Z, it's simply too big, too heavy and not at all in the style of a Z.  The RB26 on the other hand fits perfectly with excellent power to weight ratio for a 240z and is very much in the nature of a nimble sports car.

Dumping a monster engine in to a small light car although kind of fun in some ways will never result in a well balanced car that is capable city traffic, hwy cruising and occasional track days.

I'm sure the owner/builder of that 72 240z/RB26 spent close to final price finishing that car, maybe less if he did everything himself, maybe more if he paid someone else to do it.  I think the new owner paid a fair price considering.

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2 minutes ago, grannyknot said:

I'm sure the owner/builder of that 72 240z/RB26 spent close to final price finishing that car, maybe less if he did everything himself, maybe more if he paid someone else to do it.  I think the new owner paid a fair price considering.

 

Fair price perhaps, but modified cars very, very rarely bring in fair prices.

 

If you ever watch the various televised auto auctions, you will see countless resto-mods...most of them done to a very high standard and having had at least $125-150K put into them.  Typically they only bring $35-50K at auction.  

 

This Z is definitely a rare exception....and I do agree that the "all Nissan" element of it was probably a factor.  It wouldn't mean anything to me, but I know it does to some people.

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1 hour ago, grannyknot said:

Dumping a monster engine in to a small light car although kind of fun in some ways will never result in a well balanced car that is capable city traffic, hwy cruising and occasional track days.

Not to range too far of topic, but that's a 150-pound block.  I chose those attributes intentionally, to result in surprisingly light engine.  It's the sort of thing that powers the winners of the Hot Rod Drag Week contests... things like 1962 Novas that weigh 2100 pounds.  But the big-block people or the Nova people won't countenance one of that them thar Datsuns... and vice versa.  Just like it was, 21 years ago, when this site first started.

 

The point is, that great things are possible by dispensing with OEM stuff and replacing it with high-end, specialized parts, tested and installed and tuned by expert craftsmen.  As goes without saying, this is expensive... deep 6 figures-expensive.

 

The irony is that if the sort of Datsun that I described were today for sale for $70K, I'd immediately whip out my... checkbook.  But we don't really see such animals for sale anymore.

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On 3/21/2021 at 4:15 PM, Michael said:

The irony is that if the sort of Datsun that I described were today for sale for $70K, I'd immediately whip out my... checkbook.  But we don't really see such animals for sale anymore.

 

The reason radically modified cars usually don't bring much money though, is because they only appeal to a very narrow spectrum of buyers, people like you and me.  Even in my case, absent a very thorough inspection, I am quite wary of the quality of work done by people who modified a car.  Usually I would prefer to modify it myself.

 

I guess my point is, you might whip out your checkbook if you saw a big-block powered Datsun for $70K.  I'm saying that if you waited a few weeks there's a good chance you could get the same car for $30-40K.

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One thing to consider is the engine alone (no mods) is worth like $12k these days. I think some of the work is questionable, and that price for a car with that kind of interior is ridiculous, but the parts alone, plus the superstreet feature make it a somewhat reasonable price when you consider everything. 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Zetsaz said:

One thing to consider is the engine alone (no mods) is worth like $12k these days. I think some of the work is questionable, and that price for a car with that kind of interior is ridiculous, but the parts alone, plus the superstreet feature make it a somewhat reasonable price when you consider everything. 

 

 


I have a line on a modified, rebuilt Rb26 for about 9k. Just the long block and manifolds, no turbos. I’m seriously considering buying it strictly as an investment 😂 I don’t even have a car for it at the moment. 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 3/22/2021 at 7:12 PM, Ironhead said:

I guess my point is, you might whip out your checkbook if you saw a big-block powered Datsun for $70K.  I'm saying that if you waited a few weeks there's a good chance you could get the same car for $30-40K.

 

Having spent 20+ years trying to do it myself, I realized that my skills are woefully inadequate.  I've also garnered a respect for professional workmanship, even if it's costly.  The frustration is that most pros are into the show-circuit... $20K paint jobs and that sort of thing.  I've also learned to never argue with a seasoned pro... that's one context in which it is assuredly not the case, that "The customer is always right".

 

But you're quite right about the importance of patience.  Today Datsuns are expensive.  In another 20 years, the generation that idolized them in their youth, will likely exit the car-acquisition phase, and prices will fall.

 

On 3/22/2021 at 7:56 PM, AydinZ71 said:

My machinist strongly suggested the Honda K-series (K24?) for a light weight, reliable, well designed engine for an S30 swap. I’m looking into it... 

 

I used to look at larger engines than an L-series. These days I’m looking for smaller engines to compliment other weight reductions. 

 

One perhaps counterintuitive observation is that displacement and engine weight don't strongly correlate.  A pushrod-valvetrain V-block is remarkably compact and light, for the displacement.  An example is the Ford "Modular" (more recently, "Coyote") V8... overhead cam, vs. the venerable 5.0 pushrod engine.  Compare weights and exterior dimensions, for the same displacement... uncanny!

 

Engine designers might brag about wringing the most hp from the least displacement, but from a vehicle design viewpoint, what matters is the overall engine weight, the external dimensions, and torque curve and the fuel efficiency.  These can be surprising.  One data point is my 1991 Miata (engine swapped from a 1996 Miata).  It's a 1.8L 4 cylinder, DOHC... makes all of 110 hp, weighs >300 lbs, and is lucky to get 25 mpg (in a 2200 lb car).  Overall it's a great car, but nowise because of the engine.  The engine power to weight ratio is horrible... on par with 1970s emissions-strangled GM and Ford land-yachts.

 

Anyway, without rambling ceaselessly, this: it's good to be on the lookout for cleverly-built, one-off gems... the weird cars, the complete tube-chassis ground-up customs.  That, and not a faithful restomod, is my ultimate objective.

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