Je t’aime FAIRLADY Z

Lately I visited france to be a part of the 2nd round King of Europe Drift Championship held at Circuit de L’Anneau du Rhin. As walking through the pitlane I noticed an outstanding car, what isn’t that easy at a driftevent, so I took a couple of pictures. During taking the pictures and editing them at home I became curious about the owner of this beautiful car that pretty much describes my personal automobile dream! I uploaded some pictures to facebook and watched the reactions, thanks to the magic of social media, someone mentioned the actual owner of the datsun Z what makes it easy for me to get in touch with Antoine Gendraud from France. We had a chat about the event and the Z and he told me the story about his awesome Fairlady 280Z. At this point I want to give the words to Antoine himself and mix them up with a couple of photos I took of his awesome ride: “It all began in May 2014, I began to look for a Datsun Z car. I always wanted one, since I was maybe 12 years old or so. But these cars are so rare, even more in Europe, it was almost impossible to find one. Classified ads for an average car were well over 15k in France, which wasn’t exactly my budget back then. I searched across all known websites, across all Europe and then, I finally found an ad for a 240Z to restore around 5k, in Hungary.” “I took the phone, rang the guy, and it appears that it was an old website, that the car was sold and that the guy turned into a business man, importing Zs from the USA, restoring them to showroom conditions and selling them restored. I then had an idea. “Listen, do you have a car that you didn’t start to restore yet, eventually for sale?” He sent me pictures of 10 cars awaiting restoration. We spoke for a while, and I decided to go for this ’78 280Z. He kindly brought it on the road with a new starter, new steering rack, plug wires, a few things here and there, and confirmed me the car was roadworthy.” “The funny thing starts here. I booked a one way flight to Budapest, knowing I wanted it, arrived around 09:00 AM and the guy showed up at the airport with the Z. He drove me back to his garage, lend me the wheel for the last few kilometers. The guy was very honest while listing everything on the car before I came. So much in fact, that he offered me a new center console as he forgot to inform me the one in the car was lightly cracked. We signed the paperwork, and at 11:00 I hit the road back to Alsace.” “I drove all across Europe. Through Hungary, Austria, Germany, Switzerland and finally France, without any issue whatsoever. The car was brilliant, faultless, It was an amazing experience. Once at home, I knew I would go for the Restomod I’ve always wanted. The paint wasn’t that great, but at least I would never be afraid of having a ding or a scratch like I would if it was brand new. I could do a full restoration in a few years anyway. I decided to keep the patina, go for a lower look, will staying period correct, using genuine/branded parts everytime. For the last two years, I worked on the car to what it looks like today, with the help from amazing friends.” “Driftshop” managed to provide me with D2 Street coilovers for the 280Z, as the suspension arms are larger on this car, the standard 240Z kit wouldn’t fit. They did weld the sleeves on, put ceramic grease on the threads, and set the compression perfectly in regard to the total travel of the strut. The comfort is comparable to stock, while greatly improving car’s...