A VINTAGE DATSUN BUILT FOR ENJOYMENT
WRITTEN BY Anna Barrett
APRIL 18, 2017
Growing up around hot rods and muscle cars, Justin Mazerolle knew his way around cars pretty well from helping out at his dad’s shop in Nova Scotia, Canada. It wasn’t until he earned his driver’s license, however, that his interest in cars grew into a real passion. In 2013, Justin’s passion materialized when he purchased his first project car: a ’74 Datsun 260Z. You don’t see many Datsuns on the road in Canada, he says, explaining his reason for choosing that particular make — with uniqueness playing a big factor.
Built Not Bought
From the very beginning, Justin wanted to ensure every decision he made with the build was purposeful, personal and well-informed.
“When I first bought it,” Justin says, “I waited for a few months before I decided what I wanted to do with it.”
Although time spent in his dad’s shop during his childhood had equipped him with basic automotive knowledge, Justin hadn’t built anything of this magnitude before. Once he got started on the Datsun, inexperience did nothing to discourage the rookie. He bought his own welder and got to work, beginning by stripping the entire chassis.
“With an older car, you’re going to encounter some challenges around every corner,” Justin says. For example: “You can’t just buy body panels off the shelf, so I pretty much had to make those from scratch with sheetmetal.”
Considering the phrase “built not bought” gets thrown around a lot these days, it can be questionable whether or not a build actually deserves the title, but Justin’s 260Z clearly qualifies. Aside from the Arsenault Cylinder Heads–built LS2 engine dyno-tuned by JD Racing and help from JP Boudreau to install the roll bars, Justin really did all the work himself — mostly in his dad’s humble garage — from bodywork and spraying the Grigio Steel Metallic–colored paint to installing the Arizona Z “Track Pack” suspension and getting the stance just right.
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Details and Specs
1974 Datsun 260Z
|LOCATION||Nova Scotia, Canada|
|ENGINE||Pontiac GTO LS2 by Arsenault Cylinder Heads with Manley Performance pistons and COMP Cams (0.621/0.621 lift, 236°/242° duration)|
|POWER||469 hp at 6,000 rpm, 465 lb-ft of torque at 4,600 rpm|
|TRANSMISSION||T56 with McLeod Racing RXT twin-disc clutch and B&M shifter|
|SUSPENSION||Arizona Z Car Track Pack (billet-aluminum front and rear) with Arizona Z Car coilovers|
|WHEELS||Rota RKR (17×9.5-inch wheels, -20mm offset)|
|TIRES||Nitto NT05 (255/40R17)|
|BODY||Subframe connector with roll bar, Marugen Shonkai flares|
|INTERIOR||Sparco seats, OMP steering wheel|
|SPECIAL THANKS||To my father, Jean-Guy, for the support and help he’s given me|
(Photos: David Currie)
Follow Justin’s car-building journey on Instagram @justinmuzzy08.
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