This feature was done back in 2013 it is short and sweet but has to be one that i really loved and stuck with me. Just learning all about what the owner went through to then see it finished in the flesh at a meet was nothing short of amazing - These features are my favorites, enthusiasts that don't give up and keep pushing to the end goal, i only wish i had similar amounts of motivation for my car/s.
- Daniel Novak
Enter The Zed
The Nissan 240z also known as the Fairlady Z, is one of the most iconic cars to come out of Japan ever. Over the years they have become some what of a rarity with rust problems plaguing these models and age retiring them into scrap so seeing one on the road can be like finding a needle in a haystack. Fortunately for the Estblshd team we were able to track down a restore in progress and one that still turns heads some 40 years since its birth.
Owner, enthusiast and uni student Andrew was kind enough to talk us through his journey that began some 14 months ago. So how did he come into possession of such a sought after model? “I started to camp out on sites such as eBay, the Trading Post, Gumtree, Car Sales, Car Point and multiple forums hourly for weeks, during that time, I had missed out on a few cars which were absolute steals mostly because there are hundreds of other people doing the exact same thing I was doing. I eventually came across a fairly complete example on eBay” Ignoring all advice from family, friends and in particular his girlfriend Andrew placed a bid and won the car, a deposit was left and trailer hired. Enter The Z.
Upon a more through inspection it appeared Andrew had bit off more than he could chew, “To say there was rust would be an understatement, there was rust in and under the scuttle panel below the front windscreen, rust at the bottom of the guards, rust on both doors and the hatch, rust behind the tail lights, and rust on the roof… Let’s just say the car was rusty in all the usual places” At this stage many people give up, sell up and move on but not Andrew “I saw this as a way to use the skills I learnt repairing my first car – a Toyota KE70 – and learn some more.” Since there was no other way to properly repair rust than to weld in new pieces of metal Andrew bought himself a welder, brushed up on his welding skills got started on some repairs.
Once some minor rust repairs were done, he made the decision to strip it back completely to bare metal - this was the only way to really know what was lurking beneath the paint. “I really must thank my girlfriend Valerie for lending a hand here, smelling the fumes from the paint stripper is never good so it meant a lot that she helped” Not one to shy away from a challenge and the car now ready for a re-spray Adam once more went into uncharted waters, purchasing a spray gun and once again adding a new skill to his list. At this point Vu from DT Panels made Adam an offer he couldn’t refuse and the car was sent away to be professionally finished “I can’t thank Vu and Peter enough for their hard work painting the car, it has turned out so much better than me painting it in my dusty garage – although a part of me wishes I still could have done this my self as well”.
While the bodywork was receiving its make over Adam turned his attention to the aesthetics, to which the decision of RS Watanabes was made to make up the styling, which in our opinion is the perfect combination for the Z.
After a few small issues, the car was finally registered a labor of love finally realized! It took less than nine months from date of purchase to date of first registration. The car was first registered on normal registration and then transferred onto club plates. “Once I was on club plates, it was time for mods!” Step one was the suspension, coilovers were made, the decision of staying standard guards while a hard one was made to keep the body in perfect condition and the Watanabes were returned in exchange for some less aggressive sizes, a hard decision that took its toll, after 20 weeks of waiting the wheels arrived, the coilovers installed and the car was at a stage where Adam was able to catch his breath.
In less than 14 months, Adam turned what was thought of as an ugly, rusty Kermit, into what we here at Estblshd think is a respectable rebuild in progress. The car may not be in show room condition, and is still not complete but Adam has learnt a lot from this experience. “Not many people thought I was able to get this car to where it was today and I’m glad I proved those people wrong.” The immediate future plans involve a new exhaust system and a refresh of the motor along with painting the engine bay.
We at Estblshd cannot wait to see the next transformation of this project and will continue to wish Adam the best of luck and follow him on his journey.
Adam would like to thank:
- My girlfriend Valerie for her support throughout the build; I don’t think any other girl has the amount of patience as you do.
- To my brother Evan for the help towards the end when you realized I was getting somewhere!
- Vu and Peter from DT Panels for hooking me up with paint and extra panel work.
- Trung and Ricky for helping me with the suspension setup, and everyone else for not believing in me - haha - I think that is what made me even more determined to get it on the road!