Ben’s 1978 280z

When something gets old, forgotten, and neglected – the memory of it fades out in our minds.
But it’s a wonderful gift to mankind when someone brings those memories back to life.
Ben Gibson did just that – dusting off the old boy and piecing him back together, this 280z has come a long way.
No it’s not a garage queen, no its not a weekend track car, and no this car doesn’t run the drag strip.
This old Z is a daily commuter. A companion from point A to point B.

The body isn’t perfect, it doesn’t have a totally reupholstered interior, the paint is – well, Frankensteined of sorts.
With the rising sun blaring at you and the low 240z front bumper – this Z defiantly stands out from the rest.
It doesn’t really resemble the classic, sleek, refined touches of a 280 in its stock form.
It’s bulky, its wide, and just kind of visually overbearing. But DAMN, do i love it.

This gnarly Z screams out to the open roads. Hugging the pavment Shakotan style and living life how it was meant to.
These cars weren’t produced to simply be a testament to classic Datsun craftsmanship and a shape very much accustomed to the 70s.
I believe they were made to enjoy whether you are the finicky owner, the spirited driver, or the awe struck gawker.

Tucking those wide, low offset wheels is a set of  zg flairs, slightly modified.
It took some torching and shaving but they look great for the wheels and flairs just being thrown on the day before.

The inside is pretty simple with some Z seats, JDM wheel, 9k racing bubble shift knob, and steering wheel hub extender.
The interior otherwise is very stock and basic. But big props for adding some fun into the interior.
Even with the wide wheels, and fun interior pieces, and post apocalyptic exterior –  this car retains its simplicity.

Allowing this S30 to get low to the floor is a set of Function & Form DC2 coils – yes, from an Integra.
With the body specially modified to run these coilovers, it allows him to slam the Z and even dial in the front camber.
Since these coilovers originally didn’t come with camber plates, techno toy tuning camber plates we added to fine tune the alignment.
I think these cars look amazing lowered and i give big props to the guys who take it to another level like this.

Along with a more aggressive 240z front bumper, Ben put on a  xenon air dam to compliment the more aggressive zg flairs.
I couldn’t be more pleased on how well all this came out for just throwing it together after a few long months of restoration.
Ben told me that he bought his Datsun s30 back in high school bone stock.
Soon after, his young, speed loving, spirit boosted it the stock motor and then blew it up.
This time, he swapped in a stock l28 to get back on the road and decided to work on the suspension.
Some future plans for this car, Ben lists, ” I want 15×11/10 SSR mkii’s and an L31.”
A very modest mod list along with fresh paint since it sticks out for all the “wrong” reasons, with its pieced together body.

For wheels he went with a modest set of Diamond Racing Wheels. 15×10, -38 up front and -25 for the rear, in Falken 205/50/15.
Projects always require tough decisions. Do i get the car how i want it to look first, then replace everything with top of the line.
Or do i save up for eons and never drive your car around and having it look good enough to be content with it, then BAM! Dreamcar.
I don’t blame Ben, nor do i look down, on the fact all of the panels look their age and he didn’t spend +3k on a set of custom wheels.
I applaud his job well done and for making it look so awesome without spending his current life savings – only being 19.

To give his Z a little extra zoom, Ben added a custom exhaust and intake.
And not to leave looks out of it, he shaved and tucked engine bay.
Not something most people would bother with on a, mostly stock, 78 datsun.

And lastly for a little extra somethin’ sumthin – Ben got this unknown whale tail from where else but craigstlist!
He doesn’t really have too much information on it so chime in if you have any idea so i can pass it on to him.
I think other than being huge and slightly Porsche-esque, i think it looks pretty aggressive and sporty.

Big thanks to Ben for letting me shoot his car. In this last shot here, he unfortunately got his frame stuck on some rocks.
But luckily thanks to some quick thinking we got him out and had it out for another spot, which you see above.
I can’t wait to see the progress he makes on this car as he continues to build it from the ground up.

See everyone Saturday, April 21, 2012 after 1pm at Crossroads Mall for CCM13!



Add yours →

  1. Russell Soroka (boise ID) June 28, 2012 — 12:24 am

    i really like that stance on the z cars i have a 76 280z and want to do the same thing to it, i really like your rising sun

  2. Very Original and you made the Z not only have stance but a second opinion! The front wheels with a -38 offset? How’d you go bout that spacers?
    Sweet Job man Mad props!

  3. Where do I get one of those sic rising sun decals

  4. also i have a 76 280 z. and i must know what year or model is that bumper from, just the metal strip its gorgeus way better then mine.

  5. do we know the width of those rims by chance? =>

  6. Nevermind im dumb.

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