It’s the brightest, most vivid shade of orange I’ve seen on a car in a long time and is reminiscent of the Lamborghini hue, Arancio Borealis. Under a bright and sunny Tokyo sky, it comes across like an ice cold can of Sunkist; so refreshingly punchy and vibrant. This particular build has been over 12 months in the making, and has gone through three different engine and drivetrain configurations during this time – not because the previous incarnations were inferior, but because a perfectionist like Star Road boss, Shoji Inoue, knows sleep is optional and shop cars are a never-ending process of research and development.
That being said, it took me quite some time to get used to the looks of Star Road’s widebody kit, and Inoue knows it, too. I’ve made it no secret to suggest I preferred the classic, simple, carbon over-fenders on his other builds, but, over time, I’ve found myself drawn to the new lines of the Star Road kit. The “Sunkist Z” is polarizing, and for good measure; it carries presence and power visually, but backs that up with mechanical prowess worthy of a legend reborn from the ground up.
The “devil is in the details,” as they say. Every Star Road chassis is built from the ground up, nut and bolt. Starting with a naked shell, everything on the chassis is blasted, treated and then seam- or spot-welded before being primed and painted, while the drivetrain, interior, and exterior modifications are simultaneously planned and prepared for execution. The process can take up to a year and a half and up to or over $200,000 (USD) to complete, depending on the options ticked. Absolutely no expense is spared nor stone unturned in the pursuit of automotive perfection.
The purpose and concept behind a Star Road build is simple in concept, but eye-wateringly detailed in execution. The car must be something that can be driven daily, retain classic lines and features, be period correct where possible, and contain enhancements to the chassis, drivetrain and interior that bring it up to a more modern spec and finish. That’s why Star Road S30Zs are powered by the classic straight-six L28 engine – this one stroked to 3.2 liters, with a five-speed gearbox from an R32 GTS-t.
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Vehicle: Datsun S30 Fairlady Z
Owner: Shoji Inoue
Built By: Star Road
Location: Edogawa, Tokyo, Japan
Engine: Datsun N42 L28 2.8L I-6
Horsepower: 380 hp
Torque: 295 lb-f