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Entering the Z ranks

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After much searching I have finally located and purchased my first Z car, a 1976 260Z Coupe. Took me ages to find the coupe for two reasons; firstly they are relatively rare in Australia, secondly they are even rarer out here in Western Australia.

Now after many months of lurking on this and other Z sites I will lurk no more!

The previous owner had cut all the rust out and had the body in good shape. The interior and mechanics are about what you'd expect for a car with little or no work done since new, not bad just run down. Unfortunately, it has a 3 speed auto and was painted white - both of which I intend to change in the medium term future.

Unusual feature - the car has these flares on the rear wheel arches, they are steel and look to be professionally installed. I'm undecided about them and would be keen to hear other opinions on how they look.


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Thought I'd throw in some more info while I'm supposed to be working.

The guy I bought it off was going to fix it up for his daughter to drive. Apparently she was giving him a hard time about the car and how long it was taking, so he eventually decided to sell it. Lucky for me!

After buying the coupe body he got the car roadworthy using various parts left over from a previous 260Z 2+2 restoration. He had switched the 2+2 to a L28 fuel injected motor, so I guess the original L26 resides under my bonnet now. He wasn't selling the 2+2, but it is a fine looking car and has the performance to match.

Now looking at those flares in the photo I reckon they look pretty good. I just think the bottom edges should be rounded off, having them come down to a flat edge like that makes em look odd.

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Mmmm weird how you have those big flares but no other obvious mods..

Perhaps it was a bit of a race car once upon a time?

I dont like them personally, especially how they come down to a 90 degree angle like that - just ugly....

Also what's the deal with teh badge on teh left?

Looks like a nice car, and I dont think white looks too bad on a Z...

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Yeah, I agree about the 90 degree angle on the flares, does not look good at all. I can think of two improvements I could make:

(1) cut a curved section off that edge so they look rounded like normal flares.

(2) put two big mudflaps on each side so that instead of stopping suddenly at the corner they sort of continue.

I think I'll probably go with (1) when I get round to it. For the record the flares look fine from the front.

Now that I think about it Alfadog, you might also be right about the racing part. That might explain the flares and why he fitted another motor. I'll have a look for any evidence that there was ever a roll cage or racing harness fitted.

As for the badge on trhe left, thats a bit of a mystery as well. The badge says "nissan matic" across the badge in large font, but between those two words it also say "full auto". Now I'm new to this datsun/nissan game so I've got no idea why there is a nissan badge on my 1976 datsun.

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Ahhh yeah, so you're just missing the "Datsun" and "260Z" badges from the right side of the boot...

The whole DAT/Datsun/Nissan story is a long one, if you're interested you're probably best finding a good Z book which will most likely explain the name changes...

I looked at the picture of your car from the front which is on te Galleries, and I can't say that I like the look of the square edges form the front either ...

1 would a better way to go I agree with you there.

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Well my hat is off to you 26ounce for finding a Z in Western Australia worth buying. I'm in Perth too and I know how hard it is. they've all been crashed, over modded or eaten by rust. I think I'll end up getting one from interstate...

I agree with alfadog on the flares - they should go. For me, the car should be as original as possible. BTW, is the engine bay on yours painted white too?

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Thats giving me fits, trying to find the flares I want for my turbo Im working on now.. Ive used all 3 kinds from Motorsport in the past on other Z's, the mid sized flares (fiberglass) look the best to my eye....

I dont think its a bad looking Z at all... Id round the flares down flush on the bottom, or, barring that, look into a rear valance and get down with the fiberglass to mold the 2 into an acceptable look. Overall, I think cutting the flares down and making them flush would be the best way to go.

Are'nt ya happy though???!! You've got a Z now!!! Congrats on that--wahooooo!!!!!!!I look forward to seeing future pics of it and seeing where you with it....no matter what, your gonna have a blast!!!! :)

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Just had another look at her and, yep I agree Alfadog, the front of the flares need the same nip and tuck treatment.

Thanks for the input Zxtacy, and you're right about being happy - can't wipe the grin off my face! I can't believe how well it handles at 26 years old, the steering has absolutely no play in it and the thing corners like nothing I've ever driven:D. What will it drive like after some work???

As for finding decent Zs in Perth halz, I feel your frustration. I had pretty much resigned myself to getting one while in Brisbane on an upcoming trip. The freighting costs aren't too bad and there seemed to be quite a few Zs over east on www.tradingpost.com.au ,particularly 240Zs.

In the end I just got lucky, there was an add in the sunday times for a 260Z (it didn't even specify that it was a coupe) I assumed it was a 2+2 but thought I'd take a punt. As soon as he said it was a 2 seater I was off!

Oh yeah, the engine bay is painted black. Are the engine bays originally the same colour as the panels?

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Probably means it was just repainted at some stage...

There are hardly any Z's up here near Brisbane either, but I guess there's probably more than in Perth ;) Sydney is the city to go to... they're everywhere down there :)

I'll be waiting to see pics of it after you chop of teh square bits!

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Turns out the car was originally a mid range metallic blue. Found out when I took the door apart to put the driver side window back on its runners. Would of looked nice in that blue way back when.

Another surprise is that the wipers don't work. Found out on the freeway when it started bucketing down:eek:

Not sure what the problem is, I checked out the obvious things like the fuses but had no joy. Could be the wiper motor?

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