CLASSIC Z WITH A MODERN TOUCH FINDS NEW LIFE WITH A NEW OWNOER
When Daniel Ojeda first saw this ’73 Datsun 240Z, it was at a car meet in Houston where he met the owner, Edgar De La Fuente. Daniel, who was driving a second-gen Toyota MR2 at the time, was drawn to the classic. The Z was sporting a different body kit but the same engine: a twin-turbocharged VQ35 from a Nissan 350Z. It’s the sort of thing we’d be drawn to as well, so we can’t blame him.
Late ’17, Edgar decided to part ways with his Z, but by the time Daniel got to it, the car had been partially parted out. Most of the body kit was sold, the Aspen Green paint was sanded down, and the seats were gone. “The car was a shadow of her former self,” he told us. Thankfully, the VQ and turbos were left alone. Daniel chose to bring it back to life with his own style, making the Z even more aggressive than before.
Up front, he installed a Pandem front air dam and front fenders but kept the Marugen Shoukai rear flares that were already on the Z. The front flares had to be trimmed to accommodate a pair of trick side-exit exhausts. Daniel did all the work himself, but turned to a local shop to spray the Racing Green Metallic paint he picked out. “I figured it looked good green, but I wanted my own shade of it,” he said. The OEM Datsun color is complemented by a staggered set of 18-inch Avant Garde F141 wheels in champagne gold.
The interior is a combination of 350Z and function over form. The gold rollcage, bright red bucket seats, and green Takata harnesses were added to make the cabin pop and carry a race-inspired theme.
The long engine bay is home to the VQ35 and six-speed manual from a ’05 350Z, not to mention a pair of turbos and a bit of custom work from the previous owner, Edgar, who is also responsible for swapping in the Z33 wiring harness, ECU, gauge cluster, dash, and steering column. When all was said and done, the setup is good for a reliable 440 hp at 10 psi of boost.
Daniel’s Z is the sort of car you go out and enjoy on weekends, and that’s just what he’s done with it. Unfortunately, when unexpected medical bills came up, he was forced to unload it. The right offer came along and the car was shipped overseas to Israel to its new owner. We’re afraid this might be the last you’ll see of this S30 on U.S. soil, but what’s next? Daniel’s going to resume where he left off on his MR2 project, but is also thinking about an RX-7 or S2000. He added, “It all depends on how life plays out, really.” We'll be rooting for you, Daniel.