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Classics are something we have overlooked in previous features. So considering there are many a gem hidden here in the UAE, we thought it was about time that we started to find them. We met Nona back at the Emirates Motorsports Expo last month and recently went to check out her beautiful 280z whilst it was having some minor adjustments carried out on the triple weber carbs.
Nona has been on a bit of a journey with her fairlady since purchasing it back in 2013. A journey which also led her to meet her fiancé when she was approached by his friend whilst registering her Z. This 1976 280Z took six months to find and was shipped in from the US with the help of a local company importer based in the Ras Al Khor Auto Market.
Coming from a family who has always had interesting cars back in Canada, Nona originally aimed for a 240Z but struggled to find a clean rust-free example. She had originally over looked this 280Z when it was first advertised, but ended up going back to it due to its condition. A minor sacrifice considering both the 240 and the 280 share the same S30 chassis with only minor cosmetic differences between the two models.
Thankfully, everything also checked out on it - only two previous owners and matching numbers on the engine and chassis (finding similar examples in the UAE is near impossible). Nona chose to stick with the period L28 engine and after struggling with fueling problems (something not uncommon with the newer L28 injection engines), she decided to ditch the problematic complex fuel injection system and replace it with a triple weber set up.
Running triple webers is perhaps a bold move, with there being a lack of support in the dark art of tuning triple carbs in this region, but believe me there is nothing better. The sight of triple carbs in an engine bay is enough to get any petrol head going, no matter what marque they favour. And at full throttle there isn’t much that sounds better either. Andy from Hammerhead Auto Specialists worked his magic in getting them in tune with each other, something we got to see firsthand during our visit at Hammerhead Autos.
Nona’s first love was surprisingly, all American muscle cars, but after seeing a 240Z she was left wanting more. After a bit of research about Datsun’s domination within the American sports car market back in the 70’s she knew that an S30 would be her perfect match. To get her 280Z to look like the iconic early 240’s the factory bumpers have been replaced with the smaller and more aesthetically pleasing 240 bumpers.
The body has been fully resprayed in Subaru Cast Grey Metallic. ZG fender flares have been added to cover the wide Rays Volk Racing TE37V’s. The fronts sit at 16x9 (-20) with the rears being 16x10 (-30), and all are wrapped in sticky Bridgestone Potenza’s which are able to cope with the output of the L28 engine. A small rear spoiler and period JDM mirrors have also been added to the fenders to complete the classic Japanese look.
Nona’s plans don’t stop here, as she is currently looking at a big brake upgrade and she is even considering a 3.1 stroker build on the engine. In the meantime, she will be happily drive this piece of motoring history around the streets of Dubai. Hopefully we will be staying in touch with her to see if the engine does get pulled during next summer!