MagnaFlow owner Daniel Goodman absolutely loves his 1973 Datsun 240Z. He was originally drawn to the car for its balance, versatility, light weight and classic lines. Goodman purchased the car from its second owner in 2012 and has spent the past nine years building and customizing the ride with reliability and versatility in mind. While he loved the Japanese sports car’s quirks and classic styling, he wanted to update the vehicle’s performance with some more modern upgrades. His goal was to ensure that he could take his 240Z to the streets, track, autocross, backroads and Cars & Coffee meets whenever he pleases.
As Goodman points out, “the point of this car is to focus on driving it,” which in this case means “no radio, no air conditioning, no power steering, no ABS, and no power windows or locks.” Fortunately, the previous owner had maintained the car in excellent condition and kept records, warranty pamphlets and even the original bill of sale from 1973. That same previous owner had also swapped in a 2.8L turbocharged L28ET inline-six from a 1981 Datsun 280ZX Turbo. For the first five years he owned the 240Z he continued to modify the L28 until eventually two piston skirts failed and he found pieces of piston in the oil pan.
Labor of Love
Given that his goal was to create a sports car that could work just as well on the track or autocross as it did on the street, he knew it was time for more than a replacement motor. He needed an upgrade. Goodman knew that he wanted it to be Nissan powered, six cylinders, naturally aspirated, powerful, reliable and able to retain the car’s balanced weight distribution. To that end, he decided on a VQ35 3.5L V6 from a 2005 Nissan 350Z. Over the next eighteen months he installed the new engine as well as the six-speed manual from the 350Z. Not only did the motor’s increased 300-odd horsepower prove to be a worthwhile upgrade, but the updated engine sits entirely behind the front strut towers, thus contributing to the near 50/50 weight distribution of the 2,350 lbs. vehicle.
While the VQ35 isn’t known as the most sonically enjoyable engine, that’s where our team at MagnaFlow came in. We helped Goodman design a custom performance exhaust system using MagnaFlow custom builder parts, 2.5” main piping and two inline 5” x 8” straight-through universal mufflers. The classic sports car now has a mellow yet strong tone while cruising and barks aggressively when you open the throttle. Goodman frequently gets told that his Z has one of the best sounding VQs around. Of course, we aren’t surprised to hear that. After all, it’s what we do.
Over nearly the past decade he’s upgraded most aspects of the vehicle including the engine, drivetrain, cooling system, fuel system, suspension, brakes, wheels, tires, interior and exterior. The result is a sports car that looks like a svelte classic yet is able to catch passengers and passersby off-guard with its acceleration, cornering and braking abilities.
Keeping It in The Family
Daniel doesn’t ever plan on selling his 240Z. He says the car has taught him “so much, but not just about building cars.” Indeed, the project has also showed him the importance of “patience, dedication, and humility.” Not only has he immensely enjoyed “building, breaking and driving it” over the past nine years, but he hopes to one day pass the classic down to his kid when the time comes.
We love assisting enthusiasts when it comes to making their dream cars come true. Interested in building your own custom performance exhaust system like Daniel Goodman’s 240Z? Look no further than MagnaFlow.com, where you can find the exact components you need to build your ideal set up. Have questions about our products? Give us a call at 1-800-990-0905 and we’d be happy to help.