Mod­ern Nostal­gia


Super Street - - Hole Shot - WORDS Austin Lott PHO­TOS Danh Phan

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.

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