Datsun 260Z – Super Samuri

Towards the end of January I was approached by Silverstone Auctions to photograph a car for their up and coming Race Retro Classic Car sale at the Race Retro car show on the 26th – 28th of Feb.

I was given very little information regarding the car before the shoot. I was just told it was a Datsun 260Z and where it was located. I dropped the owner a quick call and arranged to meet early morning on a freezing cold Saturday at his house. Needless to say, when I pulled up I realised this wasn’t just any 260Z!

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I have always loved the Datsun 240Z ever since I clapped eyes on one at around 14 years old. They were produced well before I was born between 1969 to 1978 and were powered by a 2.4l straight six developing around 150bhp. The cars had a book figure 0-60 time of 8 seconds and a top speed of 125mph. this might seem slow by today’s standards but these were not shy statistics in the cars heydays!

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The 260Z overlapped and eventually replaced the 240Z, going into production in 1975 and running until 1978. The engine was enlarged with a longer stroke to 2.6 litres with a consequential increase in power to 165bhp.

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With the cars superb styling, fantastic chassis and affordable price point and performance it was no wonder that these Z cars were much sort after and eventually got used in various forms of Motorsport.

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One of the most notable companies was Spike Anderson’s Samuri Motor Company. In the late 70’s they would buy 240 and 260Zs to modify them and sell them on as a more powerful road going offering to the standard cars. Spike had trained at Broadspeed in the 60’s working on Anglias and Minis and eventually applied his skills to the Datsun. The “Samuri” name, a deliberate mis-spelling as the ‘Samurai’ trade name was not available eventually became well known in the Z car circuit.

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This particular 260Z is one of only two ever built by Spike Anderson and the Samuri Motor Company and is thought to be the 10th Super Samuri to be produced while the company was running.

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The car was raced in the late 70s and early 1980s before being laid up for 25 years. It was finally re-discovered in 2010 at which point it was found to be in remarkably original and basically untouched condition other then a colour change from the fiery red it is now, to black.

The discovery of the original (110) Red hiding under the black enabled Spike to confirm the car’s identity as genuine, and he remembered it fondly.

Shortly after unearthing the car, it was fully restored from the bare shell up by the well know marque specialist Z-Farm at a cost of over £27,000. Included with the car’s documentation and history is a full account of this restoration including invoices and images.

Today, a genuine Super Samurai is highly sought after.

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The rest of the photos from this shoot can be found on my Flickr here.

 

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