The Nissan 240z S30 chassis is a car that captivated the hearts of enthusiasts around the world. This is the car that gave way to so many cult classics. It’s incredible to think this amazingly simple and effective automobile is the great-grandfather to the ultra futuristic Z32.
Photography by : Viet Nguyen
Video by : Matthewos Patroni
Words by : Rocky Pacifico
Look hard enough at an early Z car and you’ll notice designer cues implemented in late model 240SX/Silvia cars. It’s a very charming car visually, so it’s no wonder this car carried the name Fairlady moniker in its native domestic market. Walking around the vehicle you’ll notice her hips, all while resisting the urge to smack her bumper. While that sounds convincing enough, that’s not the reason for her namesake.
As the story goes, the President of Nissan Motors Japan had attended a Broadway Musical while visiting the states in 1958. “My Fair Lady” was the name of said play and history was made.
She’s more than just a pretty face. This halo car was built to give smiles. Looking at the basic formula for automotive greatness, lightweight and weight distribution can make a platform. While not all cars are created equal, this platform usually ended up real close to the 50:50 mark. Throw in the fact this car hovered right around 2300 lbs and made around 150HP, you’ve got an interesting car to drive out of the box. Power to weight isn’t everything when considering a car’s worth however. It’s everything else around this platform that makes it a joy to drive. Unique for its time because it featured a combination only found in European makes, the car included an independent suspension all the way around, many transmission options, and front disc brakes.
The particular 240z is not bound to 1971 specs. This build has been meticulously plotted out by a mastermind who knows his way around a steering wheel. At first glance, you’ll see the obvious over-fenders that are not stock but at the same time not wild. While it’s a very small facet of this build, it does set the stage for the rest of the vehicle.
Form follows function. The suspension was carefully picked to provide the performance its owner was after. What about the power plant? It’s true to the car. Originally the owner of this item of antiquity thought it best to install Nissan’s highly-sought after RB26. While more than capable of producing the same power that this Z currently exhibits, he picked the road less traveled. This car has an L28E naturally aspirated lump that’s been shot and stroked out to a 3 liter. Wait there’s more: to further accentuate the power delivered, it has a rather massaged head with a custom one off cam. While admittedly it was big money to obtain said performance, it was all worth it to Jack.
He is somewhat a purist, as most fortunate enough to own this platform are. When you couple that with the fact that he has spent professional time behind the wheel of a race car, you’ll see his need for a no-comprise build. Jack has turned wheels for the likes of Chevrolet. He’s put considerable time in the ultra capable FD RX7.
Jack has set records within numerous classes in a few disciplines of racing. While his extra curricular is spent outside of turning wrenches, he does oversee the complete build process. Jack claims no allegiance to any one make or even domestic market. He owns many collector cars from all over the world including Domestic, Euro, and of course Japanese.
If you see Jack and his Z (or any of his cars) on a curvy road, you might want to think twice at challenging him at a contest of speed.