December 10, 2023

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The Ultimate Driving Machines

The MZR Roadsports Evolution Datsun 240Z Asks What If A Perfectionist Restomodded A Fairlady

The MZR Roadsports Evolution Datsun 240Z Asks What If A Perfectionist Restomodded A Fairlady

Although the Nissan (or Datsun) 240Z was enormously popular in the U.S., that wasn’t quite the case in the U.K. One small shop in Bradford, though, is looking to give the country’s enthusiasts the attentively restomodded 240Z they richly deserve.

MZR Roadsports is a small shop in the North of England that was founded by Rahail Tariq after he imported an S30 240Z from the U.S. He wanted to give the car a top-down restoration, but found that there wasn’t really anyone in the U.K. set up for the task.

That’s not necessarily because the Brits didn’t like the car, but was instead because America’s appetite for it was so strong. According to Henry Catchpole, who drove one of MZR Roadsports’ cars for Hagerty recently, about 90 percent of all 240Zs ever produced went to the U.S. Whereas Americans got about 150,000 of them, the U.K. got fewer than 2,000.

Read: 1972 Datsun “580Z” Convertible Combines Japanese Looks With American Muscle

Fortunately, Tariq found someone to help with the metalwork for his personal restoration, and eventually they decided to go into business together, importing old 240Zs from dry U.S. states and giving them a thorough restomodding.

That means all of the usual stuff like an engine upgraded to produce 275 hp (205 kW/279 PS) and 248 lb-ft (336 Nm) of torque, a modern six-speed manual gearbox, and a modern adjustable suspension.

MZR Roadsports has also gone the extra mile, though, and spends a day per body panel in the paint shop to ensure that the finish is as perfect as possible. It also has carbon bucket seats with Spinneybeck leather, an improved dashboard, and even (if you pay extra) a fully carbon fiber body. That means that the engine has just 2,379 lbs (1,079 kg) to push around. The results are, predictably, very good.

“That engine, it’s so smooth. It’s really quite a grown up engine, and it’s a great advertisement for how smooth a straight-six is, how well-balanced they are,” says Catchpole. “You do have just that little bit of pouring the nose into the corner first before you get back on the throttle. It’s that sort of balance, that E-type balance, that you get from this.”

And although it’s expensive, it isn’t exorbitantly priced. An Evolution car, such as the one featured in this video, costs £200,000 ($242,275 USD at current exchange rates).