The undisputed King of vintage Datsun restoration.
Some cars leave a strong impression deep in you even before you sit behind the wheel. This magnificent 240Z fully restored and upgraded by Star Road belongs to this category.
The tuner has been famous for the quality of his work for a long time, but it’s only when you get to see the vehicles up close and actually be lucky to drive them that you realize how deep this goes.
Star Road was founded 24 years ago by Shoji Inoue, a former truck driver and a car lover who decided after experimenting several jobs to take his destiny in hands and build his very own business. More often than not in this industry, the smaller companies provide with the best stuff and Star Road definitely fits this description.
The place where those automobile jewels are built is not a huge factory and does not employ dozens of people. Actually the work shop consists of only three persons including Inoue-san himself, who feels better working on an engine than typing reports in the small office located right next to the main building.
If not for the good looking cars parked outside, you would never imagine this is a place where magnificent machines are built.
Piles of tires, engines, interior elements, chromed bumpers… There are parts absolutely all over the place and that’s what makes this place an real garage, one of those places you get your hands dirty fixing a pair of carburetors or fabricating a custom set of suspension arms for a KPGC10.
Star Road takes the restoration and tuning of these antiques to a very high level, probably one of the highest in the world. Cars are completely rebuilt, repainted and upgraded with specific and unique elements. A lot of custom fabrication is involved in every car and it can be felt as soon as you take a ride in one of them.
Inoue-san makes very definite choices regarding what he touches or not. Specializing in the old sports cars from Datsun (former name of Nissan). He doesn’t like turbocharged engines and he doesn’t like exotic swaps in car because he believes the engine is the core, the very spirit of each and every car. When some would not hesitate to install a RB26 in a 240Z, Mr. Inoue would always prefer the original L type 6 cylinder-engines. That doesn’t mean these engines don’t receive proper treatment. When you floor the pedal of one of his cars, you will come to realize how well old school mechanical tuning can be. It pushes hard, delivers torque and massive power with a raging sound only the race cars of that era were capable of offering.
Star Road cars don’t come for cheap but there are several reasons for that:
First, the amount of detail on each vehicle is simply mind-blowing. Every single element looks like new, down to every bolt, screw or nut, and that is only what you can see. Even the electric harnesses are completely redone to ensure that it will work flawlessly.
Engines receive proper tuning and are most of the time equipped with double Mikuni carburetors on every pair of cylinders as it is the way Inoue-san likes them best. He recently converted the Yellow demo car to run on injection but admitted it was not as good as the carburetor version.
If the original engine and transmission are to be preserved, some other elements are modernized for obvious reasons. For instance an original Star Road brake master cylinder replaces the stock one in order to operate the bigger Brembo calipers. Rear drums are also replaced by disks and it means there is quite a lot of work to do on the suspension. Special shocks will replace the factory ones as well and the chassis is also partially welded in order to give it a little more rigidity but not too much.
The delicate balance is Mr. Inoue’s choice as his goal was to achieve cars that feel comfortable, are easy to drive while offering good overall performance. The result behind the wheel is just unbelievable. You don’t feel like you’re driving a 40 years old car, actually it feels like a modern car with a ton of character but remaining perfectly pleasant to drive. No annoying noise or vibration. This is the ultimate pleasure machine for the true car lovers.
Mr.Inoue explained that he wanted his car to feel totally safe so you only enjoy driving while nothing else can bother you. With this in mind proper insulation was done so you only get the nice sounds coming from the engine and exhaust.
Talking about the exhaust, this too is a completely original Star Road replacement for the factory pipes. Looking just right while generating a beautiful soundtrack.
The all new Glowstar wheels designed by Star Road and made by Work Wheels gives the ultimate retro touch to the cars and are available in several variations; silver, gold, black, diamond cut and that’s not including special requests from customers. Nice carbon fender flares will give the final touch and house the big wheels perfectly.
Star Road engines all come a distinctive mirror polished finish. The cars not only look remarkably well done from the outside, but when you pop up the hood you discover another piece of art. These engines don’t only look good they are finely tuned and deliver a lot of power for Na engines of this generation. We were told that it usually takes 3 or 4 heads to get one done properly.
Back then production technology wasn’t as advanced as today and there were irregularities in some water conduits. When machining those heads it is not uncommon to accidentally go through one of them rendering the part useless.
All those details explain very well why every Star Road car cost about the price of a small house.
So much quality can’t come from anybody. Inoue-san is not only a very nice person he’s also totally dedicated to what he does and you feel his touch when you drive his cars. “Kokoro wo komete” literally means in Japanese “put your heart into something” and that’s exactly what he does. Each car made by Inoue san is a little part of his heart and this is definitely what’s more precious in it.
Owner: Shuji Inoue (Star Road)
Car: Fairlady Z (240Z) S30
Power: approx. 380hp
Type: L type 6 cylinders 2.8l ==> 3.2l conversion
Ignition: Mallory distributor, Black alternator
Fuel pump: FJ20
Clutch: ORC Twin Plate
Final gear: 4.375
Transmission: FS5W71C + Cross transmission
Drive shaft: B90D90 (modified)
Shock: Star Road Original (F 8kg/mm – R 6kg/mm)
Arms: Star Road special
Tower bars: Cusco OS Type (front & rear)
Front Brembo callipers
Rear Star Road disc kit
Star Road original master cylinder kit
Brand: WORK/Star Road special
Model: Glowstar (Star Road special)
Front 15 x 8.5J -34
Rear 15 x 10 -28
Front Bridgestone RE11A 195 55/15
Rear Bridgestone RE01 225 50/15
Front bumper: Star Road front spoiler
Rear bumper: normal
Wing: Carbon original
Fenders: Star Road Carbon over fender
Monitoring: Defi link system (oil press., oil temp., water temp., tacho) Autometer (Fuel level, fuel pressure, battery)
Head lights: White Xenon
Tail lamp: normal
Special: Original Star Road Air condition unit (bolt on)