You know that saying “Work with what you have”? That’s exactly what Ian out of Vegas did, and while it may not be everyone’s cup of tea, we’re willing to bet there will be a ton of people who enjoy that “Shakotan/JDM Retro” look that this car is rocking. Even if the “beat up” look isn’t your thing, we’re sure you’ll appreciate an inch or so clearance, and -50 offset wheels that sit just past the fenders. One of the main reasons we liked this car so much is that it isn’t trying to be like anyone. It’s just your typical beat up 280ZX that shows it’s age in a good way.
Ian first bought the car back in ’08, where he had to fix up lots of stuff before he could even drive it around. At just 18 years of age, money wasn’t really all there for him, so he decided to take things into his own hands and do whatever it takes to get the car running. Just a couple short months later the car was in a drivable condition, but what Ian didn’t think about was insuring and registering the car.
Let’s just say that he ended up in a lot of crap with the local Vegas authorities, so the car was put back in the garage for some time. Unfortunately, just months later Ian’s ZX was involved in an accident where he was sideswiped by a irresponsible driver in a Ford Ranger Truck. As much as he was devastated, the accident opened up a new opportunity for Ian, where instead of blowing thousands of dollars on a 25+ year old car and fixing all that bent up body, he would strictly focus on suspension and fitment. Make sure you hit the Read More button to read the rest of Ian’s build story!
Ian sectioned the struts 2.5” shorter to get his suspension travel back and to allow him to go way lower. He also put better (Koni) shocks in to dampen the decently stiff springs from the cheap coilovers. After this, he was at a very nice ride height, but not quite low enough. He couldn’t lower the suspension any lower because front control arms would contact the front cross member. Eventually Ian ran up on this pretty rare set of Chassis Engineering wheels. The wheels and tires put the ride height where he wanted it, but now his issue was beating on the frame rails, at all times!
Ian tells us that he made some “ugly but effective” skid plates, that not only protected his rails, but also the fuel and brake lines that lead to the back of the car! We simply love the creativity and work that some people put into their cars. To them, cars are more than just things that get you from point A to point B, it’s an extension of their personalities and styles.
You can check out the full spec list below, but we will wrap this feature by thanking our good friend Neek Lurk for his time and the awesome photos he provided us. We also want to thank Ian for allowing us to feature his Z! Lastly, big shout out to LowBallers as well as SlamBurglers! As always, if you think your ride has what it takes to be on our site, please shoot us an email with some photos!
2.5” Sectioned strut tubes
Koni VW Scirocco strut inserts
Sleeve type coilovers
Powder coated blue with metal flake clear
Secret/super gay rear springs/shocks
Control Arms Powder coated blue with metal flake clear
Paddy Hopkirk seats
Custom made shifter with extension
MKI Celica Supra shift knob
Shaved/ported N42 intake manifold; powder coated charcoal with metal flake clear
Modified Clifford Research header, fully wrapped
Toyota Cressida AFM
JDM valve cover powder coated dark purple with metal flake clear
Semi-tucked engine harness with GM injector connectors
2.5” exhaust, no cat, and dual Cherry Bomb mufflers tucked up
Removed entire A/C system from engine bay (fun on 110*F+ days haha)
Walbro 255lph fuel pump
MSD Ignition wires
Custom 1/8” thick steel diamond plate skid plates riveted to frame rails
15×8 -12 (effectively -38) Chassis Engineering with205/50-15 Falken ZE-512 tires.
15×10 (-50) with 205/50-15 Falken ZE-512 tires.