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hls30.com

What makes a Z a Z? What modifacations go too far to be called a Z?

    What Mods make you question whether a Car is still a Z?  

    160 members have voted

    1. 1. What Mods make you question whether a Car is still a Z?

      • A non L series Engine
      • A non Z Engine
      • A Non Nissan Engine
      • Non Z ECM transplant
      • Non Z ECM
      • Harness Grafting
      • Too many Interior modifications
      • Too many Exterior Modifications
      • Any deviation from as the factory made it
      • ANy deviation from stock not covered by parts supercession


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    I have no problem with mods and I can appreciate craftsmanship, but some mods move the car out of the Z realm for me. For example, a GTO bodied Z is no longer a Z. It's a GTO kit car. A Z with a SBC isn't to my taste, but it's still more of a Z than a GTO replica. Same goes for convertible Z cars. Once the roofline is changed, it's not really a Z to me. I do like regular body kits including front and rear fascias, wings, airdams, flairs, etc. I think many of those enhance the Z-ness of the car if don't right.

    This might wizz some people off, but to me, a bone-stock 2+2 S30 is barely a Z. They can look good with mods, but the stock ones are a huge compromise to what a Z is all about. Again, I think it's the roofline.

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    Agreed on all points, even the part about owners doing what they like. But I wasn't talking about value, or correctness, or collectibility. I was talking about personality and character. A V8 Z is a very different car than a stock or resto-mod. Better in some ways? Yes. But the personality is different. Not essentially the same car. To me, that personality is important. Less so to others.

    I totally agree. As the original owner of my '71 Z I know exactly what pulled me into the showroom to buy it - the shape, the engine, the interior configuration. Replace any of those characteristics and it's no longer a Z as the factory intended.

    I have no problem with owners who do body mods, engine transplants, or interior changes. But, the result of those changes is no longer the Z that I saw on display in the Tokyo Ginza in 1971 and purchased when I returned to the States shortly thereafter.

    Dennis

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    Arne,

    I poised the question for a personal answer because our car choices are so personal-most of us can respect the pride, effort and time that went into a car without getting into whether or not it is as we would have built it-much like Mr. K in the early reference to more power.

    Alan,

    I love it when you come to the table!

    There is a huge portion of Z-ness that is visual-the body and interior design team got it right-with some input from Mr. K. I think the body is what pulls people in and gets them interested to begin with. The shape is part of the uniqueness of a Z car, one of the things that grabbed me from the beginning was that an S30 only strongly resembles another S30. That silhouette is un-mistakable.

    The interior fits the car, and while I understand and agree with adding more comfortable seats, I would want to update the padding in original seats or reupholster others to favor the originals. To me keeping Z ness means every upgrade should match the essential design elements of the car, not use the car as a backdrop to make them stand out.

    FWIW: as an owner of an Alpha 1 GTO with an L28et with triple Webers-I agree it is no longer a Z, but an offspring, with some similarities and some serious deviations, but putting a body kit on a car is not done to keep the original character of the car-but to radically change it-but because of its vin it is still 17 letters or so part Z.

    My first car was a '76 2+2. It was a Z in my eyes, though I will admit adding an L28Et in 1984 gave it more Z-ness!

    Edited by hls30.com

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    The sound of the inline 6 L series motor wound up on any straight on any race track is an incredible sound......music to my ears. When I hear a V8 on the same straight, I expect to see a Cobra, a Corvette or a Mustang. IMO, that sound is what makes a Z a Z. I'll never forget the first time I heard (and saw) Morton and Sharp coming down the hill to the Esses at Road Atlanta. It's what makes a Z a Z............as it should be! IMHO
    Yup, that sound is a big part of it to me as well. That's one big reason I spent way too much on customizing the exhaust on my Z shortly before I sold it - the sound of that inline six. I do like the sound of a V8, but the music of an inline six is my favorite. Edited by Arne

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    If it ;

    Looks like a duck;

    That “we all fell in love with it the first time we saw it” look, the face with little or no makeup, long lovely body lines and unmistakable rear end..

    Smells like a duck;

    Subtle “odour” of exhaust, and/or raw gas, that blast of Japanese plastic when you first get in...

    Quacks like a duck;

    The sweet song of the in-line 6 from behind, and if you’re lucky, triples breathing from the front at the same time...

    Then it’s a duck...

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    The make and model listing on the vehicle title determines whether it is a "Datsun 240Z" (or 260, 280Z). Everything else is just emotional fluff.

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    The make and model listing on the vehicle title determines whether it is a "Datsun 240Z" (or 260, 280Z). Everything else is just emotional fluff.

    Yup. And isn't that emotional fluff why we all buy the cars we buy? Then, some of us tend to booger them up. If it wasn't for our desire for emotional fluff, all cars would look, sound, and run the same.

    Dennis

    Edited by psdenno

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    I know Lee pretty well and he's free to blast me but I don't prefer non Datsun/Nissan swaps. This goes for any car i've ever owned. I just can't get over a swap of a motor not made by the same manufacturer( I said this to Lee the day he brought that car home LOL). Now with that being said, that LS1 powered Z is a FU(!^% blast to drive. I think radical exterior mods, roof chops, stretches, hideous body kits etc make it not a Z. If it doesn't retain the independant suspension in the rear its not a Z. If you can't tell what it is because of all the exterior mods, its not a Z. I own 2 Z cars, both 240's, both made within 4 months of eachoter, both basically stock looking rust and all. I am diligently working under the hood on the one with an L series turbo motor but I pondered RB, VG, VQ swaps, but to me its not a Z if I went any other way. Lee's car is a great subject for this thread. Is it a Z? anyone who see's it will think so. Anyone who takes the risk to run it when the light turns green will think otherwise. Me coming from stock car territory frown upon small block swaps. Its just too easy and too played out, they swap chevy motors into every damn thing with wheels here. If its not for a Chevy small block its not in stock at the parts store you get where i'm going? However looking at the attention to detail they took when they built Lee's car one might change their mind because it is done the best you could possibly do. For an answer from me, if it looks like a Z its a Z, would I swap anything other than an L series in it probably not. Swaps are murky water but i'm not a purist by any means, the real reason we drive these things is that feeling when that right toe drops.

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    I am looking for how you feel about the modifications made to a Z car, not what the state/local government fits it into their tax base as. John I want your emotional fluf! Don't take that the wrong way, Nudge, nudge, wink, wink! You are in good company, I had to get on Carl this way in the "Classic" thread. My first consideration in buying any Z is purely emotional, then I use condition/modification to determine what I am willing to pay for it. This thread isn't about pricing or buying a Z, it is about what you consider the essence of a Z.

    Edited by hls30.com

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    Slight body mods are ok, a scoop, some spoilers and flairs and shaved bumpers add to the cars lines. Huge body kits, replicar kits, and sorry OJ but V8 transplants, make it into something it was never meant to be, a slick and nimble little back road terror. As I said before, if you want a Vette, just buy one. I can't believe that that swap didn't hurt the twistie road handeling of the car, there is such a thing as too much power unless you like going really fast in a strait line.

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    5th, no body twistie, keep in mind that the LS1 is a good 70lb's lighter than the iron L engine, she has a custom/welded/steel frame rails front to back , the former PO did lots of track days at Summit Point WV, and there is no evidence of abuse or stuff falling off, she is solid and can win a beauty pageant with just a shower ;) ........back to the subject,,, the attributes,nature,heart and soul of a Z my current Z has it.:cool:

    Edited by 72 OJ

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    So would that mean that neither the CP or IMSA styled and modified racecars wouldn't be considered "real" Zs (flares, bigger brakes, major suspension mods, replacement of interior parts, including the stock gauges, lack of a stock wiring harness, no mufflers, wings, etc.)?

    And I have had the opportunity to hear Mr. K specifically state that more HP (and John please drive faster!) would have been a good thing.

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    I think I am with Arne, the heart and soul of any sports car is the engine. Songs were not written about flares, or tires, or spoilers, but many were written about the engine. The L series is the pure core of the Z.

    Just like if you put a SBC and turbo 350 transmission in an early Jaguar, it really is not much of a jag an more. It is much much less.

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    well sounds like anything it all goes to personal style. the simple to crazy and i think thats what makes z owners a great groupe of people. we may not like what someone has done but i think we all think what if or hmmm thats kinda cool. i think a z is a z because of the owner from reading this thread. well maybe only classic z guys i keep getting blown off by 350 guys till i blow by them.

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    I'm surprised no one has said "the addition of an 'x' to the name immediately disqualifies it's 'z'ness..." :P

    I'd say the car retains the 'z' essence if any modifications go to further the original design. As such, using newer versions of parts, upgraded suspension/brakes/wheels, etc., and body kits/pieces that improve aerodynamics are fine by me. So far as engine swaps, I think along the same lines.

    While v-8 transplants aren't really my thing, I do understand and respect the reasons. (case in point: years ago I was contemplating buying an e-type coupe that had undergone the sbc treatment. In my eyes, it was still a Jag, but one that would be much more reliable while still being fun....sadly, the idea was nixed by she who must be obeyed).

    However, were I to swap engines, I'd prefer to keep the straight six configuration. I do like the idea of keeping it in the immediate family, but distant relatives would be acceptable (I consider the straight six from the BMW M cars as cousins).

    Would it still be a 'z'? Eh, maybe...but would it still have the essence of a 'z'? I believe so.

    Edited by zbane

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    Only the S30 models are Z cars- anything else is a ZX. So it's gotta have the L series engine, a simple interior, and a simple paint scheme. You can still add a few things to say within those guidelines, like a CD player car stereo (for city cars,) CB radio (for touring cars,) a simple front and/or rear spoiler or air dam ( if you compete) and maybe a stripe on the doors or down the top.

    If it really needed more power, Mr. K would've designed it that way. But I think it has plenty to go bombing around town or the countryside at about any speed to can handle. People that feel they need a V8 should first learn to drive better than the pros from back in the 1950s & 60s.

    Edited by TomoHawk

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    It's refreshing to read everyone's differing opinions. Shows the range of how people here view their cars. While I may not agree with all viewpoints, I don't question that we all chose our Z's for somewhat similar reasons. :)

    I admit to having a certain amount of "emotion" when it comes to S30's, especially 240's. I heartily agree with others regarding the sound of the engine. It's got an underlying, "gritty" mechanical sound, not duplicated in mechanically quiet modern engines. And as stated above, the exhaust music from an inline 6 at higher revs is distinctive. I think the evolution of the L-series engine, (with modification, capable of generating 300+ HP), probably would have exceeded Mr. K's desire for more power...

    As I indicated above, the feline, exterior lines of the Z are unmistakable. There are add-ons and modifications that can skew the look of the car in both positive and negative ways. I love to see well done changes that highlight the positive aspects of the Z's design. Interior mods, for me, are more of a form-follows-function thing as far as I'm concerned.

    In terms of performance upgrades, better brakes, engine tuning, suspension mods are all worthwile changes, (especially if reversible. to stock). These can be accomplished without any significant change to the look and feel of the car.

    Lastly, my view is of the S30 is as a rally, auto-x or road-race car. They were not designed to be dragsters, especially when compared to muscle cars of the era. The Z's at it's best racing through the curves "at-speed".

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    I have to say what sold me on my first Z (260) was looks, After that it was driving it. Wow! what a fun car it was on the test drive!

    So for me it's the body, then the fun, then the little cool things the 260 had had, like the stow away compartments, the spartan yet useful cockpit. shure throw another motor in it and it will still be a Z sort of. My 2 cents. And Yes OJ we have seen you're vett engine, brake and drivetrain mods, they are cool (again and again and .......)

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    Max Z-ness: Historic successful Z race cars from the 70's, restored or not.

    Minimum Z-ness: 370Z with 20 inch wheels, Anime body wrap, and no performance options.

    The rest of us in between.

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    Good to see you Dave! You know adding any BMW parts kills the Zness! JK!

    John, I can still hear that peel out in the Convention center!

    Tomo-how go the shifter plans?

    My personal view is any part from any other Z loses less Z-ness as long as it is brought over looking like it belongs and working flawlessly, a Non Z engine/ecm transplant is more of a heart/brain transplant to me and thereby doesn't really fit my view of a Z-ness-that is absolutely not to say that I do not recognize, understand, and appreciate the pull, workmanship, and effort behind it-but leaving Corvette on the covers is to me a big red and black flag left on to purely tell everyone his car ain't no Z no more. Maybe if the covers said V8Z or LSZ, or some or followed the Nissan valve cover convention truly representing the engine but not saying Nissan, 6000 DOHC.maybe..I just don't see any Zness in a big red flag that says Corvette. Again, none of this is to criticize the effort or workmanship or the choices, just to voice what I might have done to keep to keep closer to my version of Z-ness in my own car.

    A seriously campaigned purpose built car is a different animal, it gets Zness from its track history as well!

    I think all mods that keep Zness blend with the car instead of stand out from it, every part should fit like it belongs visually as well as mechanically. To me a Z is a harmonious collection of parts ment for a balanced driving experience, not a mobile billboard displayed to draw attention to changes made to it. Update all you want, but make it work with the remaining original design ques of the car. Again, just my opinion-not a challenge, a criticism, or an knock. There is only one person most of us have to make happy with our cars-our selves-unless the receipts fall into the wrong hands....

    My 300z has several Modifications, but they are not painted up to draw attention to them, but to fit in with the original design of the car. Finishing what was started even complimenting it works, making the part stand out from the whole not so much!

    post-4106-14150819854285_thumb.jpg

    Edited by hls30.com

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    To me the engine is the soul of the car. A car that's lost its original engine (or one like it) has lost its soul. A Model T with a V8 is no longer a Model T. Same with the Z.

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    William,,,,You mention essence,the properties of what makes the Z that I own what it is, she began her life as the pride and joy of the first owner, then a few years later , she became an executive's play toy in Car Land California. That executive move East, she rested in all her beauty for some time, then came a dreamer and found her,she growl to him. He became the new master of this fine feline and transformed her into a wild but seductive beast. Then she again went dormant, I came in to her path and fell in love, that big red heart that pulses her seduced me, she growl to me and I took her home.;)

    Edited by 72 OJ

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    And I have had the opportunity to hear Mr. K specifically state that more HP (and John please drive faster!) would have been a good thing.

    I'm sure you did ( and he was - of course - quite right ) but if he had even one tenth of the influence that people attribute to him, then he would have made sure that it happened.

    Instead, the market that he was responsible for got saddled with a four-speed trans and a 3.364:1 diff ratio......

    Only the S30 models are Z cars- anything else is a ZX.

    More muddle-headed nonsense. You're forgetting ( of just ignorant of ) the fact that Japanese market models never got the 'X' tagged on to their model names. So, by your definition, a 1979 'Fairlady 280Z' is a Z, but a 1979 'Datsun 280ZX' is not...... :stupid:

    If it really needed more power, Mr. K would've designed it that way.

    Ye Gods....... :facepalm:

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    post-25833-14150819854812_thumb.jpg So for many this is not a Z :ermm: ( click on picture) Edited by 72 OJ

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