The standards for build quality really weren’t that high for American cars in the 1980s. That’s partly why Japanese imports became so popular. However, while some would treasure a classic Datsun Z sports car, one guy decided to make one into a rat rod, a widebody poser and an “offensive” DIY project all rolled into one.
We’re talking about Elvis, the creator behind the YouTube channel The Golden Drive. “Offensive” is what they’re calling it online, but we actually love it. It’s awesome to see somebody build a cool project themselves without trying to make it perfect.
As the owner puts it, the car looks really good from a distance, and I get where the design is coming from. Bright non-metallic colors are so cool, plus you’ve got the added charm of stripes. Everything had stripes in the 1980s, from Corollas to Camaros and Jeeps.
This particular member of the Z family is not as well known. We’re dealing with a 1982 Datsun 280ZX. It’s not the first-gen 280Z that descended from the 240Z, but a second-generation model. The two share the 2.8-liter L28 inline-6 engine, but Nissan had growing competition and wanted its Fairlady sports car to be luxurious to make more money.
The 280ZX isn’t exactly fast at 135 hp
For 1981, they also introduced a turbocharged version with 180 horsepower, but the “Home Depot Special” is obviously not turbo’d, so it was making 135 horsepower and 144 lb-ft back in its day. But let’s look at the bright side: at least the turbo can’t fail. The name comes from the fact that most of the materials used in this build come from Home Depot, including the paint.
Apparently, that blue color is the 2-in-1 paint and primer Rust-Oleum that you’d find in a spray can. Cool, right? And as for the body kit, this is mostly made out of regular sheet metal, cut up and welded by hand. You’ve got a set of custom fender flares, a massive protruding bumper, and a trunk spoiler, to name just the major parts. Those canards you see on the front are held up with L-brackets, while the splitter is plywood. As strange as it might seem, the famous bosozoku cars from Japan sometimes use similar materials.
Speaking of bosozoku, those black pieces holding up the big ski box at the back are downpipes from a 370Z. And seeing exhaust pipes in your rearview mirror is kind of a ‘zoku thing too. Hot Wheels, can we have this done as a toy?