Straight Six heaven: one beautiful Datsun 260Z
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Tell us about your Datsun.
It’s a 1977 Datsun 260Z, 2+2 and five-speed manual. I always wanted a 240Z or 260Z when I was young and stumbled across this one close to home in Albany about four years ago. I went and had a nosey and test drive. I bought it right then. I drive it to work on fine days and weekends.
What do you like about it?
I just love the shape and lines. It handles well now all the bits have been upgraded. I would have preferred a two-seater, but with kids and dogs it works okay for a family back-up car. I love the sound.
You’ve done a full restoration to make it look prettier and go faster?
The guys at Bays Car Painters in Browns Bay did a full strip-down, panel and custom orange paint. Shore Automotive did the engine reco and all suspension and upgraded running gear so it is totally reliable. Weber Specialties in Silverdale installed Triple Weber carbs and tuned the new cam. The interior was in pretty great condition so I only had to do new front seat covers and carpet. There are new wheels but I really wanted to keep it as an improved restoration. Reco gearbox and suspension, freeflow exhaust etc. There’s too much to list, really. I have a big box of receipts that I will never add up. Ha ha.
Do you think you’ll ever sell it?
Maybe if I get bored or find something else I like better. I enjoyed the journey of restoration, doing what I could (and that wasn’t much as I’m no mechanic) and waiting for parts to arrive from the United States more than having it finished, if you know what I mean. I might need a 1956 Chev Apache pickup truck one day.
Are you a fan of classic/retro cars especially or do you like to mix things up?
We like to mix things up as we get bored after a few years. But we do love the look of old cars.
Who else is allowed to drive it?
My wife is, but she won’t.
What other vehicles are in your garage?
A Nissan Navara ute for work, an Alfa Romeo and a Ford Transit Campervan.
How does your Datsun 260Z suit your personality?
I’m quite a private person so orange was a bright choice and more about making us happy than “look at me”.
How often do you clean it?
I clean it after use by handwashing and drying. And it lives in a dehumidified garage with a carpet floor.
What do you always keep in your car?
A fire extinguisher. It’s a boy scout “always be prepared to help others” thing.
Do you prefer manual or automatic?
For working around Auckland, definitely an automatic but three of our cars are manual and we use them mostly on weekends.
Who started your interest in cars?
I’m not sure. My parents had the first Holden Monaro in NZ so maybe them. But I have always admired nice cars of any make and model.
What was your first car?
It was a 1956 Austin A30 at age 15. I restored that, too, but got bored and upgraded to a Mini.
Any vehicles you have regretted selling?
I wish I had kept my Ford Falcon XA.
Your most memorable road trip in this vehicle?
My first trip to Mt Maunganui after restoration.
What’s a great day trip out of Auckland?
Driving to Whitianga in the Datsun, it feels like really driving.
What music do you listen to when you drive?
In the Datsun? Seventies music, of course.
How do you feel about electric and driverless cars?
I like the idea of saving the planet but you can’t beat the noise of a straight 6 with Triple Webers and the smell of gas. So, I’m not a fan yet. Donna McIntyre