Jay Leno Loves This Nissan 240Z With A Chevy V8 Engine

Classic Cars / Comments

Of course he does.

When it comes to Japanese sports cars, few are more liked in America than the Nissan Z family of cars. It all started back in the 60s with the Nissan 240Z, way before the Mazda MX-5 Miata was even a thought, and in 2021 we're getting ready to welcome the new Nissan 400Z, which is a far cry from the original.

Classic Z cars have become highly collectible, especially the 240Z, and as we've seen, people don't like to leave them stock. This example recently visited Jay Leno's Garage, featuring the heart of an American muscle car and without a roof. It doesn't get much better than this.

Jay Leno's Garage/YouTube
Jay Leno's Garage/YouTube
Jay Leno's Garage/YouTube
Jay Leno's Garage/YouTube

Owner James Smith explains that his 'Chevatsun 580Z' started out life as a 1972 240Z coupe, but has undergone some drastic modifications in recent years. Leno also notes that V8 conversions on these cars were popular in the 70s and 80s. Smith bought this car for a staggering $1,000 back in 2001 and when he got it, the roof had already been cut off, and all major work to get the engine in was done. He then fixed a few things up and finally fitted a 350 Chevy small block which was bored out to a serious 580 cubic inches along with a four-speed transmission. The car makes around 300 horsepower according to Smith.

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Jay Leno's Garage/YouTube
Jay Leno's Garage/YouTube
Jay Leno's Garage/YouTube
Jay Leno's Garage/YouTube

The car still uses all the standard running gear, including the stock brakes, which is slightly concerning considering the massive power upgrade. The exterior saw some tasteful upgrades such as a subtle rear spoiler. The car also received some added bracing in the front, and a roll bar in the back to stiffen up the body after the roof was lobbed off. The interior features a classy wood-grain steering wheel, red leather seats, and all-original switches and dials. On the road, Leno can't keep the smile off his face, which is all you really need to know.

Jay Leno's Garage/YouTube
Jay Leno's Garage/YouTube
Jay Leno's Garage/YouTube
Jay Leno's Garage/YouTube

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