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Saturday, March 25, 2017

Hot Wheels Datsun Roadster and Custom Datsun 240Z

The love affair with JDM cars and Hot Wheels continues again with two more new Datsun models for 2017.  All of this would not seem possible without the fanfare that was created with the Datsun 510 wagon based on Jun Imai's actual car.  For 2017 a long-awaited roadster finally arrives for racing, while on the other hand another 240Z based on the FuguZ.

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Datsun Roadster

Before the 240Z arrived in 1970 Datsun's primary sports car was the Fairlady Roadster.  Introduced in 1959 the Roaster went after the famed British Roadsters as well as hometurf competitors from Toyota, Honda, and Diahastu.  Only the Datsun gained a cult status as being an excellent track car.  This Hot Wheels version is definitely outfitted for racing with a fixed hardtop over the roadster's soft top profile.  The front has the classy round headlights with chrome surround, chrome grille, and hood scoop bulge.  Adding some details here does help bring out the front-end more which also has an intercooler that is cut out of the center front bumper.  On the fenders are smoother exterior mirrors above the Fairlady 2000 badge.  Yokohama and Kaido House are familiar names with the race graphics on the manilla color scheme.  On the driver's..err..passeger side is the side-exit exhaust pipe, while all four wheels have flared fenders to give this care more track.

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At the rear the fenders start to ascend downward with quad round taillights, though the rear looks rather bare so I added the chrome plate surround and trunk key hole.  Inside the tan interior has seating for two with an integrated rollbar blocking the rear window.  The dashboard layout is right-hand drive with three-spoke steering wheel, flat dashboard with gauge layout that looks very familiar to the early Z cars.  The engine is a 2.0L SOHC I-4 that produces 133 horsepower through a 5-speed manual transmission.  The base shows off the engine details and the front control arm and live rear axle with leaf springs setup.  With the lower stance and wide track this is one superb track car with neutral handing limits and quick speed (plus I believe this 2.0L also has a turbocharger).  It's a wonderful car that is a nice welcome to the Hot Wheels line.

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Datsun 240Z "FuguZ"

Just like we need another 240Z!  Especially since this one looks really close to last year's 260Z with the same lowered stance and flared fenders, but its not.  This one is based on the FuguZ owned by Sung Kang, who plays Han in the Fast and Furious movies, took a 1973 240Z and modified it to his liking.  With a partnership with GReddy the car was designed with the likings of a vintage Porsce 911, something that Kang could not get a hold of thanks to high resale values.  The bodykit is by Rocket Bunny and is powered by a 2.0L DOHC I-6 from a GT-R with 220 horsepower and a five-speed manual transmission.  The interior is stripped of any necessities save for a rollcage, bucket seats with racing harness, and the stock dashboard.  Even the classic wood-trimmed shifter and steering wheel still remains on this car.

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Painted in white this 240Z looks excellent and much better to look at than the 260Z.  The front bumper in black, part of the interior piece, looks better integrated flaned by round headlights and a lower chin spoiler where I added the stock signal lights and vents (wasn't easy).  The front fenders have the classic exterior mirrors nicely done with those flared fenders that give the tires a wider track, but unlike most other wide track kits the rear section of the fenders do not wrap around the tires giving the car a go-fast look even when its sitting still.  Again adding some additional chrome trim details tones down the all-white look of the car.  Out back there's a tall rear spoiler and for those looking for a more stock 240Z decklid this Z's got you covered with the stock rectangle taillights that are detailed on the black trim decklid with GReddy plate and FuguZ badge just behind the spoiler.  The base shows off the detailed engine and suspension setup like the 260Z, as does the bare cargo area where the rear strut towers and spare tire well are visible.  The difference here is that the interior now has a left-side steering wheel and seating for two people than the 260's right-hand drive track car layout.

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Both of these cars are a nice addition to the Hot Wheels line and will satisfy any JDM fan's heart.

Update 5/27/17: The second recolor of the 240Z is one of my favorites: while most will prefer the original white to the Fuguz's roots, I like the orange better.  I always had a soft spot for the orange on the Z, and I have a 1:18 scale version that is also in orange and lest not forget the Daytona Sunset Orange of the 2003 350Z.  It looks great on this car as well.  Also the rear taillight problem of the white version where it shifted during printing was resolved on the orange version.  Everything else about the car stays the same from the previous white version.  To add to my hype another reason why I like the orange on this Z car?  Back in 2006 when the first 240Z arrived there was an artist's sketch of the upcoming casting that was in orange and very clean, no racing decals anywhere.  Since then the 240Z has yet to have a stock look and even to have that orange paint.  Well this custom 240Z resolves that issue.

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Update 1/2/2018: A much nicer update is the Datsun Roadster that for 2018 goes for a simple blue color with black 5-spoke wheels and fifteen racing logo's.  It's very simple and clean-looking, and with the right amount of details really shows off the crispness of the roadster casting.

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