Reader Submissions: Here's How This 240Z May One Day Reach 200 MPH

Here’s How This 240Z May One Day Reach 200 MPH

By Michael Banovsky
October 24, 2016

Photography by Iain Gomez

Versatility is something every new vehicle crows about in its marketing materials, but an attribute that enthusiasts have a hard time believing. Over time, however, with some ingenuity, it’s possible to tease out what a vehicle can do. In the case of the Datsun 240Z, it’s a car that can go just about anywhere—but can it hit supercar speeds?

Photographer Iain Gomez was recently out with this 1973 240Z from Savannah, GA’s Sonic Motorsports. Like many entry-level sports cars, it’s a work in progress and wears its history well: a relatively recent restoration left its structure repaired and repainted, and engine replaced with a factory-spec unit  that was hopped up with a number of new and period performance parts. Yes, even a NISMO 6-1 header.

Its current owner went even farther: modern ignition system, modern cooling system, transmission upgrades, suspension (that will one day change to coilovers), wheels, tires, and a host of cosmetic tweaks.

Xi “Sonic” Zhu of Sonic Motorsports says that its current form is about to move much more quickly in the future, too. “The future plan was quite clear from the very beginning: the powerplant will be upgraded to a fully-built L30 engine with twin turbochargers blowing through a set of triple Mikuni carbs; it’s currently under construction.” Estimated power? Six hundred and fifty.

Once that’s done, the bodywork is expected to be recreated from hand-formed aluminum, with underbody aerodynamic aids to keep the car stable at high speeds, without marring its lines.

What do you think of this ‘hot rod’ 240Z?

You can follow Iain Gomez’ wonderful photography at his website and on Instagram.

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Jose Delgadillo
Jose Delgadillo
5 years ago

Very serious looking Z. I’ve had several first gen Zs and they were great cars. Lot’s of room for upgrades on a nice looking platform. I’m more interested in a comfortable gt car set up for touring than a top speed monster, but i admire his efforts.

6 years ago

Correction: “Six-hundred fifty” not “Six hundred and fifty”.

2023 years ago

A Z that can do 200? Well, it wouldn’t be unheard of for a Z to be stupidly fast. The legendary Devil Z comes to mind, and I’m not talking about Wangan Midnight, but the actual story on which it is loosely and not entirely accurately based. The “Devil Z” and “Blackbird” 911, were real cars after all, although that Z was a S130, (Datsun 280ZX to some of you), two cars which were running all kinds of trick things (read: parts that don’t belong on what one would consider a street car) that were far ahead of their time.

Christopher Gay
Christopher Gay
6 years ago


6 years ago

Yes!… yes… x1000 yes! I have going 200mph while my white knuckles wrapped around the steering wheel on the bucket list. Joining the 200mph club in a car you built up to that level yourself would make it all that much sweeter. What is the 240z gear limited top speed? Is a diff or gearbox change part of the future plans as well?