The Zealou5 260Z
Since being a kid Will wanted nothing more than to be at the helm of his own racing car. Although he has always had a thing for Japanese racers, Will wasn’t sold on the idea of a classic until the day he was given the keys to a friend’s 240Z.
“I think realising what you could do with them and what you could create, it sort of of stole my heart.”
“You can hear everything. You’ve got transmission whine, you’ve got the sound of the engine, you’ve got pops and bangs coming from the exhaust on overrun. It's quite an experience. Not only do you feel like a million dollars when you’re in it, everyone's always coming up to you at petrol stations wondering what’s going on. You feel like you’re in some bonkers race car. As a kid growing up, that’s all I ever wanted really.”
I’LL JUST JUMP IN, AND IT’LL BE EVERYTHING I’VE EVER WANTED FROM A CAR.
This car is a 1974 260z, one of the early 260z’s which means it has the 240z chassis but the 2.6 engine. The list of modifications to this car is long, but here are some of the best bits: triple 45 Webers, straight through exhaust, stage 2 camshaft, custom coilovers, brakes from a Golf and some big sticky Toyo tyres. Outside you’re looking at a fully stripped body doused in Maserati Red, carbon F1-style mirrors, smoked lenses and some 3M carbon-wrapped door handles, arches and rear wing.
It’s quite ballsy to take a highly appreciating and sought-after classic and modify it to this degree. “It was a case of building something over here that no-one else really had.” The thing is, Will is a fantastic example of someone who has had an idea in their head, and has acted on it. All the lowered suspension, bucket seats and harnesses focus in on what Will (and hundreds of other people) see in the Z - that raw tunability.
A CAR TO SATISFY YOU IN THE MOUNTAINS ABOVE LA AND TAKE YOU 3000 MILES COAST TO COAST ON AN INTERSTATE HIGHWAY.
“I’ll just jump in, and it’ll be everything I’ve ever wanted from a car. And it just takes you away, it represents a place that I can enjoy a hobby and a passion to its maximum. I thought I’d get to the stage and be like: great box ticked and I’d move it on but I’m really attached to it.”
The Z cars were designed for America, a sporting GT car that could both satisfy you in the mountains above LA and take you 3000 miles coast to coast on an Interstate highway. This was the Jaguar XKE, or Toyota 2000GT that you could actually afford. This car had it all: looks of a Jag, the performance of a Porsche and price tag and reliability of a Nissan.
“I just think there are very few cars out there that have the character that this car does, that rear quarter is probably one of the most stunning rear quarters out there.”
The thing is, some people have the skills and know-how to build, some people have the money to buy. Hell, unfortunately most people have neither. Yes, there’s a romantic notion that you might one day do both, but this is a reminder to all of us that classic cars are different things to different people. Some cars are dailys, some are raced, others are projects. All that matters is that as an individual you get what you want from the experience of ownership.