Due to the EU’s Global Data Protection Regulation, our website is currently unavailable to visitors from most European countries. We apologize for this inconvenience and encourage you to visit www.motortrend.com for the latest on new cars, car reviews and news, concept cars and auto show coverage, awards and much more.MOTORTREND.COM
 |   |  Tuner Evo SoCal ’19 Spotlight: 1975 Datsun 280Z
Subscribe to the Free

Tuner Evo SoCal ’19 Spotlight: 1975 Datsun 280Z

Low and bold makes a statement at TE Anaheim

Mar 5, 2019

It's about two hours before the Tuner Evo Anaheim doors open to the public and in light of avoiding thousands of people walking in circles while social snacking on their phones and standing right in front of the very cars we're set to take aim at, every minute counts. Sifting through dozens of rows of builds both good, and maybe not so good, I catch a glimpse of this black and grey cruise missile and shuffle in for a closer look.

  |   75 Datsun 280Z Watanabe Wheel

Beyond the nicely executed paint scheme, this Z-car, a '75 model, sits low—extremely low. Rudy Gomez (), the car's owner and builder, has managed to dial in a resting height that highlights the sleek lines of the iconic S30 chassis rather than pushing them aside. To get there wasn't the basic air set up and fender hack job that you've seen a thousand times, but instead a more calculated approach to getting the exact look that he was after.

  |   75 Datsun 280Z Front Bumper

When Gomez first picked up the car, it had 15 years of non-operational status on the books. Rough, but ideal for him to strip and start from scratch in order to fulfill his want to start an old-school chassis project. "At first I wanted a clean, simple, stock body car, but eventually realized I really wanted to have something a little different ... a mix of modern stance and '70s racecar."

For a little assistance on the Datsun's height dilemma, Gomez reached out to , who designed an air system to suit the vision he had in mind and essentially had the car sitting on its frame rails. Then it was time to find the right pair of shoes. "I had Matt build me the deepest 16-inch Watanabes he could based around the widest possible tires from Toyo." In the end, they measure out to 16x10 -38 up front and 16x12 -38 in the rear. With the wheels on the car, Gomez aired it out, and marked the areas he'd need to re-work in order to keep the ultra-low stance, then added 2- and 3-inch flares before completely tearing the car down.

  |   75 Datsun 280Z Watanabe Wheel

Using his bodywork skills, Gomez shaved the Z's sidemarkers and molded in a custom decklid spoiler. Instead of opting for a roll pan, something he's seen time and time again, he got creative and trimmed a Datsun pick-up tailgate to cover the original bumper area, leaving the hardware exposed. After prepping the rest of the body, it was time for paint. He adds, "I decided to lay down this unique pattern that I saw on a car from Japan, but I changed the colors to a more sinister combo of Stealth grey and Metallic black!" The painting process took him about a week and the results speak for themselves. The dark colors sweep across the car's body seamlessly, broken up only by the Watanabe's incredibly deep lip design.

  |   75 Datsun 280Z Custom Tailgate Rear

The paint, extremely low and aggressive stance, and overall execution of this 280Z made it one of our favorites from Tuner Evo's 2019 SoCal tour stop and we're looking forward to what he has in store for the future. Currently the engine runs in stock form, but not for long, as Gomez hinted that he's been stacking parts for quite some time and has plans to attack that portion of the build next.

  |   75 Datsun 280Z Custom Decklid Spoiler
By Rodrez
717 Articles



The JDM Issue!
Bob HernandezMay 20, 2019
In May of 2018, we picked up an AP1 for a video program called Week to Wicked. The premise of the production modifying the vehicle over a 5-day period, doing as much as we can without running out of time.
RodrezMay 17, 2019
The Honda Super Tuner Legends Series will be an exclusive live custom tuner component of the Hot Wheels Legends Tour and will be making stops all across the West
Hot WheelsMay 17, 2019
We're scouring the pages of Wheelwell in search of a build (or builds) to immortalize in the SS pages forever.
RodrezMay 16, 2019
12 years is a long time to own and build a project car. In a time when many projects are built and flipped as soon as they're done, 1 has to wonder: Why wouldn't you enjoy what time (and money) has afforded you to enjoy?
Jonathan WongMay 15, 2019
Join Our FREE

Sign Up today for our FREE Newsletter and get the latest articles and news delivered right to your in-box.

Sponsored Links