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1970 240Z Works Rally - the road to restoration


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1 hour ago, SpeedRoo said:

One unique feature in this photo that gives it away as a works car...anyone care to guess what it is?

If you're referring to the LH-switched handbrake lever, it only* identifies it as an LHD Works rally Z. Not necessary on RHD ones.

*'only' doing a lot of heavy lifting in this context...

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They also made custom center consoles to go along with the driver side mounted handbrake. I'll have to look up the FIA homologation papers to see if they are listed. Also the choke lever is deleted as the triple sidedraft carbs didn't have chokes fitted.

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I'll let other folks keep finding the Works pieces (apart from Alan, who can rattle them all off before anyone else gets a turn, LOL!) There are several more items in the dash picture which are not stock, but are common to most/all Works rally cars.  Hint: there's one going right down the center of the picture, which can even be seen from a distance.

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9 hours ago, SpeedRoo said:

They also made custom center consoles to go along with the driver side mounted handbrake. I'll have to look up the FIA homologation papers to see if they are listed.

I can save you the trouble of looking. There's nothing in the FIA 3023 fiche which covers the handbrake or console.

 

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17 minutes ago, datsun-man said:

this car was sold by marcel roks consultants bvba belgium i have photos of this car taken in september 2013

No, it wasn't.

Marcel Roks tried to get involved as a broker, but the car was bought direct from the owner in the Netherlands.

I've known of the car since around 2005 and in 2006 I travelled to Holland to inspect and authenticate it at the invitation of the then-owner. 

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9 hours ago, xs10shl said:

I'll let other folks keep finding the Works pieces (apart from Alan, who can rattle them all off before anyone else gets a turn, LOL!) There are several more items in the dash picture which are not stock, but are common to most/all Works rally cars.  Hint: there's one going right down the center of the picture, which can even be seen from a distance.

No takers yet?

Don't want to spoil the fun, but I'd be in my element (ahem...) if I tried to answer. 😉

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Posted (edited)

Windscreen electric heater element. Not sure how much of the screen it would clear though...probably more use as a sight line to for positioning the car. On aircraft we have sight lines on the "A" posts for positioning in reference to the horizon. Also the lovely rally clock and special 8,000 RPM tachometer.

Edited by SpeedRoo
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45 minutes ago, SpeedRoo said:

Windscreen electric heater element. Not sure how much of the screen it would clear though...probably more use as a sight line to for positioning the car.

The silver vertical is only one part of the heated screen system. There are zig-zagging horizontal elements embedded in the glass (just like a modern heated 'screen) which cover at least 90% of the glass. They are very effective.   

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, SpeedRoo said:

Are the twin exhaust cutouts on the rear under the bumper to the sides original or added later?

The left-side cut-out is part of the original rear stamping, but wasn't used. I have personally not seen any period Works pictures where this cut-out was deleted, so I'd venture to say that Nissan did not have a special panel template with it removed.   The straight pipes were mounted right under the gas tank, affixed to the tank straps, with additional wire loops affixed to the rear panel. Some Works cars had rubber doughnuts to aid in support. 

As to my car: it came with only bits and pieces of an exhaust system: a rusty (but thankfully otherwise intact) Works exhaust header, and a few feet of rusted-out custom exhaust, that was not installed on the car.  The right-side cut-out was done to the car at some point after the 1971 season by a privateer.  I can only presume it was done to accommodate a custom dual exhaust system which went to either side of the fuel tank, instead of under it.  There were some old rusty brackets in both side locations that corroborated that theory.   They ware almost certainly non-Works, and have since been removed.

At this point I should add that although I have photos of all of these features and many more, they are not always necessarily my photos to re-post.  Apologies in advance. Shown here is a close-up from the 1972 Monte-Carlo car.

rear.jpg

Edited by xs10shl
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28 minutes ago, xs10shl said:

At this point I should add that although I have photos of all of these features and many more, they are not always necessarily my photos to re-post.  Apologies in advance.

May I?

Here's an excerpt from an original contact sheet of photos taken by Neill Bruce at Old Woking Service Station here in England, prior to the 1971 RAC Rally. I purchased all Neill's Works rally-related negatives and he signed the copyright over to me.

Rob Janssen brought the car over from Holland in November and had Old Woking Service Station prep it for the event. They added a thick rubber fuel tank shield to give some extra protection and also a pair of rudimentary silencers to the original Works twin exhaust in an effort to cut down on noise. Not for the general public or the event scrutineers, but for the occupants...

Also visible in the photos: The rear garnish cut-arounds for the quick-change rear lamp units, the mudflaps, the 100 litre tank, the auxiliary reversing lamp, the Dutch registration/license plate and - most importantly of all from a provenance perspective - the factory 'Kanri'/maintenance code number '8D-424' on the bottom RH side of the rear valance.

Pre-71 RAC OWSS 8D-424.JPG

 

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, SpeedRoo said:

Were the approximately 20 PZR lightweight rally cars in addition to the approx 35 PZR lightweight Z432R built?

Ohh, boy ... not 24 hours has gone by, and you unwittingly fire one right between the eyes, LOL. 😄

Let me start by saying this: we could devote an entire thread of many multiple pages of discussion to just this topic.  And I'd venture to say that, in the end, we could only conclude that "No one knows for sure".  I'll start off with some things that I understand to be true, and then I'll probably have to pass the baton for more input. In an attempt to provide a short summary:

Some things that I believe to be true: Nissan made 40 +/- Works Rally cars utilizing, for a lack of a better description, a PZR chassis (Nissan parts-manual-speak for "Z432-R" chassis). My best understanding is that, although Nissan continued to make Works rally cars for the 1972 season and beyond using the same PZR chassis forms, none of these later Works cars were "Lightweight Spec", due to the FIA rules changes for the 1972 season which prohibited thin-gauge panel use, and other lightweight materials, in construction.

Some things I just don't know for sure: Of those 40 +/- Works Rally cars, I GUESS is that at-most 20 were "Lightweight Spec".  I get to this number by counting the known Works prototypes, known pre-1972 Rally cars, and adding one or two more phantom cars that perhaps no one (including me) knows about. I don't think there's a likelihood that there could be more than 20.  If pressed, I'd say there's probably slightly fewer.  This count of ~20 is IN ADDITION TO any Z432-Rs (which may or may not be lightweight- see below), which were production cars.

But wait, it gets more complicated.  What does "Lightweight Spec" really mean?  I'm using it in this case to describe a car that was produced, at least in-part, with SOME lightweight panels, and also with some combination of acrylic glass, along with fiberglass doors, hood, and hatch.  The reality is more difficult to parse, because it's my understanding that each batch of Works Rally cars were built to a purpose. Even though within each batch of 3 to 4 cars the construction was probably roughly identical, cars built for other races possibly used different panel thicknesses on different parts of the car. 

Other things I just don't know for sure: I just don't know exactly how many Z432-R's were "Lightweight-Spec" (using my definition above). Certainly several/many of them are.  Were they ALL lightweight?  This question is a grey area for me, as I've heard different stories. Did they continue making them lightweight after 1971?  I'd venture to say they certainly could have, and would have reason to do so; adding to the "lightweight" complication is the fact that Nissan Works was also producing track cars at the time, which is a whole other tangent to the Works program that I know almost nothing about.  Ergo, to potentially increase the running-total "Lightweight Spec" count, we'd have to consider the Works race cars in the mix.

Certainly more information, corrections, and thoughts to come on this topic.

Edited by xs10shl
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5 hours ago, SpeedRoo said:

Were the approximately 20 PZR lightweight rally cars in addition to the approx 35 PZR lightweight Z432R built? 

This question starts out with a somewhat false premise.

According to Nissan, a 'PZR' is very specifically a PS30-SB model Fairlady Z432-R. The Works rally car we are discussing here is a hybrid HLS30-prefixed 'Datsun 240Z' which utilised many of the PZR-specific thinner-gauge body pressings, ancillary parts and Nissan Race/Sports Option lightweight components. The terminology is tricky. We are trying to describe what are effectively PZR bodies, but with L-gata engines and HS30 and HLS30 chassis numbers.

I have sympathy with @xs10shl because he is clearly using the 'PZR' term in an attempt to get across the specific and really very special nature of the early 'Lightweight' bodied Works rally cars. I myself find it difficult to get across to people the true nature of these beasts and how different they were from the '72-up 'Full Fat' Works cars (I sometimes call these 'Steel and Glass' cars, as opposed to the '70 and '71 'FRP and Acrylic' cars). The truth is that these early Works cars existed in a rather interesting grey area where the manufacturer was - shall we say - bending the rules somewhat. The cars were running in international events sanctioned by the FIA and were supposed to be conforming to the production-based Group 3 and Group 4 regulations according to the FIA 3023 homologation papers. But PZRs were Group 5 'Prototype' cars (due to their low build quantity), so the early lightweight Works 240Z rally cars were running with what could be seen as 'Prototype' class bodyshells in a Production-based championship. A competing team could easily have accused them of cheating, if they had known. 

PZR build quantities? Good luck with that. Nissan have always been vague about it, for good reason. We know how many roadgoing PZRs they sold - we even know their chassis numbers - but how many Works competition PZRs did they build for their own use? Some of them didn't even have chassis numbers. And what do you do about counting a factory PZR race car that has had an L24R engine put into it and the chassis tag altered to suit? You end up dancing on the head of a pin.

We can't expect to be furnished with the full story, or even expect that such a thing exists. And that - for me at least - is part of the fascination. 

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, HS30-H said:

Also visible in the photos: The rear garnish cut-arounds for the quick-change rear lamp units, the mudflaps, the 100 litre tank, the auxiliary reversing lamp, the Dutch registration/license plate and - most importantly of all from a provenance perspective - the factory 'Kanri'/maintenance code number '8D-424' on the bottom RH side of the rear valance.

Pre-71 RAC OWSS 8D-424.JPG

 

In the more recent photos the "Kanri" code is also visible but not on the rear valence. Anyone care to hazard a guess where it can be found?

Edited by SpeedRoo
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Posted (edited)

Not wishing to divert attention from 'TKS 33 SA 986', but to give a little extra context on the Works cars and a similar case of a Lazarus-like revival, please let me add a post to tell the tale of 'TKS 33 SA 3640'. I hope it will encourage @xs10shlin his task and help drive him along his road to restoration.

'TKS 33 SA 3640' was one of a batch of four RHD lightweight HS30 Datsun 240Z rally cars built up by the Works team at Oppama during the third quarter of 1971, for the express purpose of taking part in the 1971 RAC Rally here in the UK in late November. It was driven on the event by German-born Kenyan national Edgar Herrmann and his German co-driver/navigator Hans Schuller who had won the East African Safari Rally in their lightweight HS30 Datsun 240Z 'TKS 33 SA 1223' in April. That Safari win gave them a high seeding and a start number of '5', which would be something of an advantage on a forest type rally. But Herrmann - famously - had never rallied on snow before, and it was something of a certainty on the RAC. In fact, unusually heavy snow caused so much disruption on the event that a high number of special stages were cancelled/annulled halfway through and service crews struggled to make rendezvous with their team cars. There was a high rate of attrition. Herrmann/Schuller finished, but were classified 17th overall and 5th in the Group 4 class. Team members Rauno Aaltonen and Tony Fall were both non-finishers, but Shekhar Mehta - driving one of the previous year's RAC cars - finished 19th overall and 6th in Group 4. Privateer Rob Janssen - driving ex-'TKS 33 SA 986', now registered on Dutch plates '67-54-RU' and the subject of this thread - also retired.

After the RAC 'TKS 33 SA 3640' stayed in the UK and was used for promotional duties by Datsun UK. Eventually it was sold to a Datsun dealership and was used on various UK rally events during the following years. It changed hands a couple of times, but eventually ended up in storage on a farm in the far north east of England. It stayed there - narrowly escaping a fire at one point - until bought by my dear friend Kevin Bristow in 1996. Decrepit, somewhat rusty (to say the least...) but largely complete, intact and authentic. Kevin started a long and slow process of research, parts (re)acquisition and restoration. I had the pleasure of being a small part in all of that. 

To cut a long story short, Kevin finished the car in 2008. Twelve years! The result is stunning. It was featured in the August 2009 edition of OCTANE Magazine with studio shots and a great write-up by Paul Hardiman (see attached). Kevin also took it to the 2009 Chatsworth Rally Show in Derbyshire, and demonstrated the car on the short Special Stage in the grounds of Chatsworth House. I got the honour of pretending to be the navigator (or Self Loading Freight perhaps...) whilst Kevin didn't hold back. The car got wet and muddy, as it was built to do. Fully alive again.

'3640' on the 1971 RAC Rally:

71-RAC-3640-3.jpg

71-RAC-3640-2.jpg

71-RAC-3640-1.jpg

 

Classic & Sport Car Magazine 'as found' report:

C&SC article-1.jpg

3640-Int-2.JPG

3640-Int-1.jpg

Post-restoration OCTANE Magazine feature:

OCTANE-Aug09-cover.jpg

"Forensics". Pretty much, yes:

OCTANE-Aug09-cover-detail.jpg

OCTANE-Aug09-pp80-81.jpg

OCTANE-Aug09-pp82-83.jpg

OCTANE-Aug09-p84.jpg

And in action at the 2009 Chatsworth Rally Show:

Chats-3640-2.jpg

Chats-3640-3.jpg

Chatsworth-3640-2.jpg

Chats-3640-eng-1.JPG

Chatsworth-3640-1.jpg

 

I hope the above is an inspiration and encouragement to @xs10shlin his journey to restore and refurbish 'TKS 33 SA 986'.

 

 

Edited by HS30-H
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