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Follow my 75 280z build journey

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After a near death motorcycle accident I switched my attention from modifying bikes to slowing down (just a little) and start building a project car that in a few months hopefully have some fun with. I knew I wanted something older, nothing new. I've had M3's and Evo's and they were great, but I'm not going to drill holes in and cut sheet metal on a $35k car. Maybe one day, but not now. I wanted something from the 70's. Simple and basic to modify. I had a few muscle cars in mind, preferably a Chevelle. But I wanted something different. Something no one around me has. Thats when a 280z came to mind. I always liked them but I didn't really know much about them. So I spent my time recovering from my injuries researching and trying to learn everything I could about them before I pulled the trigger and decided that a Z was the car for me. After a couple weeks of living on craigslist I came across one I couldn't look past. It was a 1975 280z with the ugliest faded paint I have ever seen. After an hour and twenty minute drive I finally got to see it in person. Yep, just as ugly in person. But that was the only negative I could really see. The car is 99% free of rust, maybe because it looks like is been painted three times. The body was strait. All the electronics worked and I'd be damned, the thing runs. the carbs definitely need to be tuned better but the engine sure does purr. The previous owner was actually a real decent guy and a strait shooter. Thanks Steve! Wish there were more people like you on Craigslist. So after a trip tooth bank and a friend making the drive with me for my second trip I was officially an owner of a 280z! Even though the inspection stickers say 08 (just a little past due) I couldn't help myself but drive it home. Besides the constant smell of gas from the carbs being too rich, I still had a blast driving it. The smile on my face told me I made the right decision.


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Well, glad you found an old car from the 70s that you can drill holes in and cut the sheet metal without worry. Always a plus on a straight rust free body. Yup being sarcastic. We hope to change your mind on radical body modifications and enjoy your Datsun more or less as it is.


The first gen Z is very beautiful. BTW someone must have put those carbs on your '75 because that was the first year for the 'new'  EFI.  Carbs sound so much better. Looking forward to some pictures of your baby. Oh and welcome to Ratsun. We  have everything you need.

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datzenmike, I don't plan on going overboard with body modifications. I plan on using the car for auto-x so I want it lower with wide wheels. So I will most likely do flares and also racing seats will be a must.


So here is the car. Im very excited to start on it. I've got big plans for it! 











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I've already taken off the front and rear bumpers because they are ugly and heavy. I already have some wheels and tires for it. I'll be posting some pictures of what they look like on it my next day off. I'm putting them on to test the fitment and to see how they look but I will be taking them off when I start sanding the car prepping it for paint.

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So I got my wheels on today. I'm very happy with the way they look. I also did a fair amount of sanding to give it a somewhat patina look. I'll keep it like that for awhile until it gets a little warmer to paint it. Most likely going to go with a gray. I'm just waiting on the fender flares to get in. With the tires sticking out about 2.5 inches, I'll definitely need them.













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Well I finally got some parts in and was able to get a lot accomplished on MLK Day! 


The ZG wide flares came in and so did the MSA victory spoiler. 


First I drilled the holes in the flares with a 1/4 bit. Then I lined them up where I wanted them on the fenders and held them in place with painters tape. While I had them lined up I marked the fenders with a sharpie where I needed to drill the holes. The flares came unpainted white so once I was done mocking everything up I prepped them for paint. I went with a satin black paint which I think looks good. In between coats I started measuring and prepping to attach the spoiler. The spoiler already came pre painted in a satin black so it already matched the look I wanted with the fenders. It actually worked out nice because where the holes needed to be drilled in the hatch there were rubber plugs on the underside of it perfectly lined up. I love when things work out that easy. So with a few simple measurements, two drilled holes and a size 11 socket I had a spoiler installed.





















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So I got the flares on now and they went on pretty easy. I'm really happy with what they did to the look and the stance of the car. It got rid of some of that ugly wheel gap. I am eventually going to go with a set of coilovers to bring it down a little lower and tighten up the suspension a tad bit but it already is on some Tokico springs that bring it down a little and surprising do a lot more than I thought they would performance wise. Overall I couldn't be happier with the way the work yesterday turned out. Sorry for some of the blurry pictures! All that drilling in body panels had my nerves shot and my hands were definitely a little shaky afterwords.













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So I was able to get out and enjoy the day today in the car. The velocity stacks that I ordered from motorsport came in so I put those on. After that I was able to get the carbs tuned the way they're supposed to be. Here are some engine picks and also some pictures I took on a back road near where I live.





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