The Datsun 240Z emerged victorious in the East African Safari Rally in both 1971 and 1973. To honor these historic wins, the automaker pays tribute by creating a modern Z model with design elements reminiscent of the classic rally machine for its grand reveal at the 2023 SEMA Show. Furthermore, a true-to-form replica of the original 240Z is set to grace the event.
Tommy Pike Customs took the helm of crafting the Safari Rally Z Tribute, drawing inspiration from the 1971 East African Safari Rally champion. It showcases a deep, rich red body accentuated by a black hood. At the front, additional lighting embellishes the lower bumper, hood, and the base of the A-pillars. A sleek tubular guard and skid plate are mounted at the front.
Inside, the Safari Rally Z Tribute boasts Recaro Pole Position seats and a roll bar, perfect for securing a four-point harness. The passenger-side dashboard proudly displays a map of the East African Safari Rally course, alongside vintage timing equipment.
This Z rides on a bespoke KW Safari suspension, raising the ride height by 2.0 inches. The upper control arms, outer tie rod ends, front and rear end-links, rear mid-links, and rear traction arms are all adjustable, offering the flexibility to fine-tune the ride for various conditions. Prototype Nismo Safari wheels, measuring 17 inches in diameter and 7.5 inches in width, are adorned with robust Yokohama Geolandar M/T G003 tires.
Under the hood, an AMS tune supercharges the twin-turbo 3.0-liter V6, pushing it beyond 400 horsepower, although exact figures aren’t disclosed by Nissan. A wealth of Nismo components has been seamlessly integrated, including a twin-disc clutch, flywheel, heat exchanger, coolant expansion tank, cold-air intake, carbon-fiber engine cover, and cat-back exhaust.
In addition to this rally-inspired Z, a faithful recreation of the original Datsun 240Z from the East African Safari Rally graces the SEMA event. This vintage gem is on loan from a collector who painstakingly crafted it in 2013 and even made a recent appearance in a Nissan commercial.
Notably, Nissan expanded its Z lineup in July with the introduction of the Nismo model, boosting the twin-turbo V6 to 420 horsepower. This variant also features a nine-speed automatic with revised tuning compared to the standard model, along with a suspension adorned with new sway bars, retuned dampers, and stiffer springs. The pricing starts at $66,085 after accounting for the $1,095 destination fee.
In the 2023 calendar year, Nissan delivered 1,309 units of the new Z, marking a significant increase from the 86 units delivered in the same period in 2022.