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Z of the Month
September 2014

1968 Datsun Fairlady 1600
Owned by Mike A.
Empire Z Member
(Click images for larger photos)


This is my 1968 Datsun Fairlady 1600. It was the predecessor to the first Z, the car before the 240z.

I found this car 3 years ago in Portland, OR. After some back and forth online, I flew to Oregon, bought the car on a snowy day, and drove it home. At the time, it was almost completely stock. It ran a little rough, as it was only really hitting 3 cylinders instead of 4.

First mod was brakes, replaced the stock front discs with a Z32tt front setup. After driving the car for several months, I decided to do an engine swap, and so I talked Kevin Desirello into dropping in an SR20DE into my car. After the motor swap, a limited slip axle was needed, so I swapped in a Mazda RX7 piece that included disc rear brakes and the limited slip.

I pretty much drove the car like that for the next 18 months, putting close to 60,000 miles on that setup, at the track, in the canyons, daily, you name it.

But we car people are never satisfied, so Kevin and I started looking at ways to get more NA power out of the SR20. We settled on a switch to the VVL head from the Nissan Primera, and an ITB setup. After a full build and 1500 break in miles, I am days away from a dyno appointment to confirm what we have in this motor.

Car: 1968 Datsun Fairlady 1600

Orange with black interior.

Engine: S-14 SR20DE block modified for DET squirters, GtiR bearings, and to mate with the head. P-11 SR20VE head with Brian Crower 2 piece springs, Ti retainers, Nissan N1 Cams, G-spec adjustable cam gears. Nissan SR20DE crank, Manley forged H beam rods, CP 12.5:1 forged pistons and rings. ACL bearings. G spec modified pulley. VE spec oil pump. Forged flywheel with Exedy clutch. All rotating parts balanced by Millennium Motorsports in Temecula. EFI Hardware ITB set for Primera. Custom Exhaust header by Dynamic Metalwork.

Drivetrain: 5 speed S-14 transmission. Shortened driveshaft. Narrowed Mazda FB GSL 3.9:1 rear axle with clutch type LSD.

Brakes: Front Z32TT Aluminum calipers, custom Coleman Racing rotors, Hawk HP+ pads, Rear Mazda GSL rotors and calipers, Hawk HPS pads.

Cooling: CX racing “Civic del Sol” racing radiator.

Electronics: Megasquirt 2 ECU built and tuned by Chris Allen

Interior: Mostly stock. Supplemental stereo installed by me so the standard could remain sideways in the dash. Gauges rebuilt by Jon Frampton at Global Tech Instruments using stock faces on electronic gauges so they can talk to the SR20.

Coming soon: Volk Racing TE37V SL wheels.

I’m sure there’s more I left out, ask away at the Empire Z meet.

Thanks for looking!!

Mike A.