The classic Z models are becoming increasingly expensive, so period correctness is the name of the game. However, a few Datsun lovers are going completely crazy with a widebody kit, as was the case with this 1978 Datsun 280Z Rocket Bunny.
Collectors in Japan have built some insane Rocket Bunny Nissans, but it’s pretty unusual to see a 280Z being done this well in the States. This bad boy belongs to Jorge Douglas Ibarra Amaya, who goes by @78_dougsun280z. He’s pretty well known in the community and has owned this Datsun for about 9 years.
It started off with its fair share of issues, being somebody else’s project car. However, it was cheap enough, and Douglas saw its potential.
Rocket Bunny kits started out as the ideal widebody package for drift cars. However, the 280Z is not the kind of sideways machine you want to rough up. Instead, this aero makeover actually makes it appear even more exotic, since RB kits have shown up on all kinds of expensive builds.
At the front, Rocket Bunny gives you an aggressive air dam, which is followed up with large fender flares that bolt into the bodywork. A good couple of inches is also added to its rear end, where the mods overlap with the door. It culminates at the rear with a ducktail spoiler.
It’s pretty amazing to think that this JDM icon is as old as some of your favorite Pontiac Firebirds yet it gets treated to aftermarket goodies like something made in the 1990s. Just check out that fart cannon rear exhaust!
As you can probably tell, all the bodywork had to be in perfectly flat condition before the layer of Safari Gold paint (from the S30) was applied.
Devil is in the details
Every detail on this 280Z has been restored and modified. For example, you might notice that the indicators aren’t located in the grille, but below the black-painted bumper. The car has also received LED headlights with a nice halo.
And nothing says “JDM” quite like some bullet mirrors mounted to the hood instead of the doors. As for the wheels, it looks like this comes with stock 280ZX “iron cross” alloys which were cut and transformed. The 3-piece setup at the back is a massive 17×10.5 inches, enough to fill out the widebody kit with a little help from air suspension (Iceboxx Customs).
For stopping power Douglas Ibarra opted for 1986 Toyota 4Runner discs, calipers, and pads. That might not seem like enough, but it’s not like this packs GT-R power. The L28 engine was simply restored and fitted with a new exhaust system, plus a Mishimoto radiator for better cooling.