“Datsun Z Hot Wheel” on a scale of 1:1

Sometimes it takes a little longer than you might think, but in our progress of developing modern adjustable shocks and Coilover suspension kits for classic cars, we also now offer kits for so-called exotic vintage cars and not only for BMW E30, Porsche F-Body or VW Beetle. 

Our colleagues from the KW customize damper department already produce for any car full adjustable suspension kits on your requests. More and more owners of Japanese vintage cars are already booking the services of our KW customized suspension workshop. 

A few years ago, this Datsun 260Z was one of our exhibition vehicles at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas and the “Zed” or like in the US pronounced “Zee” polarized the visitors on our booth.

Why? That’s pretty easy to explain. While in Asia and the USA tuned Datsun Z, are mostly on a top-notch “customizing level” like in Europe a modified VW Golf Mk1, which has been customized till the last detail, this “Zee” is much more. No doubt, this Datsun is the real thing and doesn’t need anything else but the road and a destination.

Jun Imai is more interested in presenting his Datsun authentic without any overrated “The fast and the furious” styling like in Europe still some of the “last scenehunters” are presenting on some events.

“I have restored my Datsun part to part for several years and always had old faded pictures of various Z from Japan I guess I’ve seen as a kid in old magazines in my mind,” told me Jun on our trip to San Diego. With its Rocket Bunny body kit, the one or other flaw in the patina, I’ve got rather the impression Jun rescued his Datsun from a forgotten time capsule.

The “Zee” almost seems to have been forgotten for several decades in some underground garage of a wrecked karaoke bar in Tokyo’s nightlife district Shibuya, where today only “Gaijin’s” meet there for a party. 

For several years, Jun was one of Hot Wheels’ designers and responsible for giving so many “Hot Wheels” a certain real car attitude.

His Datsun Z is even available as a limited Hot Wheel Car, but his Datsun on a scale of 1:1 is of course much cooler – and the tiny rust marks at the Datsun speaking more the language of scars on the skin of an experienced and hard-charging veteran.

If you open the bonnet, you’ll see an old classic natural aspirated six-cylinder engine. Jun only revised the Japanese motor and installed a custom-made Borla exhaust and manifold. “However, the engine is not completely original. The previous owner merged an L28 block with the head of an L26 engine.”

Back in the days, when the electronic dictators of engine management systems were only used by rocket scientists and aircraft engineers, modifying engines was like playing with LEGO if you know what you do. After Jun had removed everything for checking and rebuilding the engine, he also painted the whole straight-six and engine compartment except the strut house towers. “I also replaced the old clutch against an Exedy spare part and changed all old hoses and wires.”

The wooden Momo steering wheel is part of the Heritage Grand Prix series. Further gadgets are aluminum pedals and an extra milled aluminum gear knob.

While the driver’s seat is an original motorsport bucket seat in the rather empty interior, the passenger seat is a Momo Super Cup bucket.

In the custom-made Rocket Bunny wheel arches of Jun Imai’s Datsun Z a KW Classic V3 (Variant 3) suspension kit, back in the days it was a special custom build, we modified the kit with our KW Hydraulic Lift System (HLS).

The hydraulic pump of the HLS sits in the trunk and the HLS button was installed on the old JDM plastic cover above the transmission tunnel. When Jun pushes the button the front of the Datsun Z is raised by 45 mm. 

Slowly but surely also all Datsun 240Z, Datsun 260Z, and Datsun 280Z will say Goodbye to their exotic image in Germany as well. Soon we will offer a KW Classic Variant 3 Coilover as well as KW Classic Clubsport 2-way (racing springs and adjustable unibal bearings) for all Datsun Z.

Important: You must send us your original old shock absorbers with the front axle spindles of your Datsun Z for processing.

By the way, the multipart rims in 16 x 10 inch are CCW Classics wheels and have an offset of -85 mm at the drive axle!

At the front axle the CCW Classic wheels, also covered with Yokohama Advan Semislicks, measure 10 x 16 inches; only the offset is -60 mm.

You can order the KW Classic Clubsport and KW Classic V3 your “vintage Nissan Fairlady Z aka Datsun Z” from our KW Classic partners or directly from us latest end of this year 2019.

Images Automotiv (E. Paesschezoone, C. Schmidt), Larry Chen; Words C. Schmidt

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