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This British Restoration Company Is Building Bespoke, Reimagined Datsun 240Zs

The Drive logoThe Drive 8/8/2018 Chris Constantine

a car parked in front of a building© MZR Roadsports

The days of the cheap vintage Japanese car are slowly coming to an end. Like that of classic Porsche 911s, prices for the once affordable Datsun 240Z are skyrocketing, and you'll be hard-pressed to find an example that ticks all of the right boxes (rust-free, matching numbers, low mileage) for under $25,000. Also like old 911s, enthusiasts with lots of cash to burn are looking for ways to restore and modernize their 240Zs, and a U.K.-based Z shop has the answer.

Classic Edition© Provided by TIME Inc. Classic Edition

Meet MZR Roadsports, a 240Z specialist company out of West Yorkshire, England, that creates custom, restored 240Zs for clients all over the world. While most of the new components MZR adds to its cars such as a five-speed transmission and bored-stroked engine are quite common among 240Z modders, the company goes the extra mile by sending each body shell away to be chemically stripped and protected, and then reassembled with modern parts for better reliability.

"I think the penny has dropped and non 240z followers are realizing what a cool car these [are] and can only see prices rising," said Rahail Tariq, co-founder of MZR Roadsports, in an email to The Drive. "They are a difficult car to restore 'properly' compared to other cars of that era as parts availability isn't like that of say Porsche and Jaguar."

Sport Edition© Provided by TIME Inc. Sport Edition

Each of MZR Roadsports' builds are unique and tailor-made for each customer but three themed packages are available as a baseline—and none of them are cheap. The $90,235 Classic Edition features mostly period-correct aesthetics and an engine size between 2.4 and 2.8-liters, with subtle modern enhancements for improved performance and safety. The $103,126 Sport Edition is made to be the ultimate classic driver's car, with a larger 2.8 or 3.1-liter engine and more modernized performance parts than the classic model. At $116,018, the Sport Design builds on the Sport Edition with MZR's idea of what the perfect 240Z should look and drive like. 

Sport Design© Provided by TIME Inc. Sport Design

Tariq recently showed off the Sport Design in a video posted by TheSUPERCARDRIVER. It's based on a 1973 240Z but is powered by a 2.8-liter inline-six engine (most likely from a 280Z) and features everything MZR thinks should go into a resto-modded Z. “It ticks all the boxes on the classic side and I think it ticks all the boxes on the modern side," Tariq explained.

MZR believes that the market for high-end, meticulously-restored classic Z cars is about to blow up, and the company wants to be the one to hit the detonator. 

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