This Datsun 240Z Proves Classic Sports Cars Were Born To Go Off-Road

(Image: The Smoking Tire/YouTube)

This 1973 Datsun (Nissan) 240Z is on a boat heading to China for “the greatest motoring adventure in Historic Rallying” right now. But not before our friend Matt Farah got a chance to kick some dust up with it in the Cali desert!

“Chris Bury and his father have spent the last year restoring and modifying their 1973 Datsun 240Z for the 10,000-mile, 37-day Peking-to-Paris Rally,” writes The Smoking Tire. “A majority of the chassis and assembly work was performed by John Coffey of Benton Performance,” they said “and the car and it’s participation in the 2016 Peking-to-Paris is dedicated to his memory and hard work.”


The Z runs Bilstein air shocks, heavy springs from a Chevy Chevelle and a host of reinforcements around the suspension plus off-road tires, skid plates and of course extra lighting to be ready get ready for the grueling vintage auto event.

“To qualify for a place on Peking to Paris 2016, a car can certainly be ‘different’ but must reasonably stand a chance of coping with the demands of the event.” the Peking-To-Paris organizers at Enduro Rally write. “Sports cars with cramped interior space, minimal ground clearance and little suspension movement are less than ideal, but the Organisation tries to be broad-minded. Tents, sleeping bags, and all spare parts including wheels must be carried by each entrant – our travelling support mechanics are ace at roadside repairs but cannot carry parts for the participants.”

Good god. Does driving get any cooler than this? (Image: Enduro Rally)
Good god. Does driving get any cooler than this? (Image: Enduro Rally)

Actually, don’t read their whole briefing or you’ll suddenly be in grave danger of looking for a car to enter yourself. But in case you can’t resist:

“Cars should be prepared in a period-style. No alloy-boxes on the back, no modern-looking ski-boxes or roof-top boxes. Appearance matters. Ratchet straps come in black and are preferable to bright blue, but leather straps do the job just as well and are more in keeping with the spirit of what we are all trying achieve.... the devil is the detail, and bright green jackets when a more period colour is available is preferable, and certainly pleases the film makers and photographers. Please remember! Prince Borghese is looking down on us all!”

You can follow Chris and his car’s adventure on their P2P 240Z Facebook page, hopefully as often as they get internet.


I love that the “off-road sports car trend” is going strong and I hope people keep putting mild lifts on front-engine rear-drive classics. Speaking of which, I’m off to Craigslist!



I just happened to be looking at goofy old rally car