Cohort Sighting: Datsun… Z28? – International Machismo


Small Block Chevy restomods are hardly unique, but placing a Chevy bowtie on this 280Z’s grille is a charming, informative detail.  I’ve seen Ford and Chevy emblems slapped on transplanted Volvos as well, but it looks more appropriate here.


A lot of people might scoff; why alter a balanced, lithe Japanese sports car with a big, torquey American V8?  Well, as someone who prefers a turbocharged red block Volvo to the idea of one with a big American V8, I understand that viewpoint. But I’d offer that as a sports coupe, a Z is expected to pack a punch and that an emissions-strangled L28 six, with about 130-ish horsepower might not deliver the goods for today’s drivers.  And, if it’s an aluminum LS-block, it very well might weigh less than the original engine.  Any such disapproval should be saved for similarly modified RX7s or MX5s, whose characters are more at odds with such a robust powerplant.


As this particular car isn’t the last word in good taste, I’m guessing SBC swaps might lack cachet among certain demographics.  One look at those driving lights, and you can understand the reservations of those not enamored of such a swap; they’re becoming played out in the eyes of some enthusiasts.  I’ve certainly heard complaints.


That’s too bad, as I think it would be fun in a car like this.  The owner has seen fit to invest in the larger rolling stock necessary to put all that power down.  If the suspension’s been properly massaged, this is a very effective and rapid classic daily, with the muscle to back up its looks.  Thanks to ActuallyMike for uploading these pictures and to Washington state for preserving this Z long enough for a heart transplant to become available.