What Happens in SEMA . . .
Every year the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) takes over the 3,000,000 square feet of floor space at the Las Vegas Convention Center for a weeklong trade show that covers everything automotive. Exhibitors feature cars, trucks or SUVs in their displays to showcase their products or simply to attract attention. In a town where weird is normal, the masses of over-the-top and extremely modified cars seem at home inside the multi-building center.
Tens of thousands attend the SEMA Show each year, and while a trade show and not open to the public, it’s the one auto show every enthusiast wants to attend. Despite the propensity for depravity that comes with a no-last-call town, SEMA is never anything short of a legendary gathering and we had a blast during our 2-day visit.
SEMA 2015 marked a special milestone for the crew at Z Car Garage as we prepared a special 1971 Datsun 240z for display at the show. Through an exclusive collaboration with OS Giken we unveiled the world’s first North American (LHD) S30 to be powered by the legendary TC24-B1Z engine. This mythical twincam cylinder head bolts onto an L-series block giving it crossflow breathing and high revving operation.
The Z was well received by show goers stopping by the OS Giken booth which featured video displays of the engine being assembled and tested at ZCG. Jaws dropped at the sight of the TC24 and we also heard admirable reviews from fellow Datsun/restorers for the build. Our friends at Japanese Nostalgic Car (JNC) and Speedhunters featured the car in their SEMA reviews:
The lucky owner of this OS Giken-equipped Z is our friend and customer Gary Stephenson. In short, his build highlights our restorative powers and sports full suspension (allowing 255/40/17 tires under stock flairs), our ZCG Big Brake Kit, nos OEM glass, integrated roll cage, KA24 transmission, Recaro Competition seats and more.
In current tune/configuration the TC24 produced 376hp/281tq to the wheels on 91 octane, proudly displayed by the car at SEMA. This Z will be driven on the street and track so stay tuned for videos!
Huge thanks to the crew at OS Giken for a killer booth and memorable experience. Look for an in-depth story about our collaboration with OS Giken and TC24-B1Z build on the blog soon. Long Live the Z. Here comes the TC!
Datsuns Everywhere at SEMA!
Our favorite vintage cars were in great numbers this year. One of the most prominent of course
was Sung Kang’s 1973 Datsun 240z affectionately called “FuguZ”.
Sung ( “Han” of Fast and Furious movie fame) chronicled the build through social media, enlisting parts from around the world with final assembly by Kenji at Greddy
. Sporting the latest Rocket Bunny body kit, Volk TE37s and an ITB’d RB26 drivetrain this was a crowd favorite and inspiration to all. Congrats to Sung and the Greddy team for an epic build!
For the first time in SEMA history a Datsun roadster was on display courtesy of Socal specialist Kevin Desirello.
This fully restored 1967 SPL311 was treated to a complete S15 SR20DET drivetrain swap but Kevin and his team didn’t stop there. By adding a VVL head and punching the displacement out to 2.2L, they essentially made an SR22VE-T with power levels of 450whp anticipated!
Garret wanted the car for its SEMA booth and it was placed alongside the famous Mad Mike Whiddett’s insane twin-turbo FOUR-rotor powered Formula-drift Miata. We are especially proud of Kevin and his roadster for making it to the Top 21 in The Battle of the Builders competition!
This Datsun 520 pickup was actually a contender in the Optima Batteries challenge with a Mazda Miata drivetrain and double A-arm suspension F/R!
Hakotora! Take one Sunny ute and graft a Hakosuka front end on for a mean little pickup. This build had some great details and a built SR20DET under the vented hood.
This BRE 510 was on display in the Tokico booth. A celebrity driver car, this is now owned by Datsun-freak Adam Carolla. Our hero Pete Brock was not too far from the dime!
Eric and Josh from JDM Legends made the trek from Utah and displayed their superbly restored Ken and Mary Skyline. The C110 had all the choice parts from the triple-carb’d L-series, Comp seats and Watanabe wheels.
There’s a New Boss in Town . . .
Not Datsun per se, but the following Nissan 240sx (S14) sports cars all have one thing in common: The “Boss” aero kit from RocketBunny/TRA Kyoto. The kit transforms the front end of an S14 into a B110/Challenger looking vehicle… it takes some time getting used to, but we dig it.