Every race car has a story. Some more interesting than others.
The late Paul Newman was more than just a brilliant actor and philanthropist. He was also a serious gearhead who found the world of motorsport when he was in his mid-40s. At a time when many drivers racing careers comes to an end, Newman’s was only beginning. He raced until nearly the end of his life, and also became the co-owner of a racing team. Now that he’s no longer with us, many of Newman’s personal cars and race cars have been scattered to various owners.
Fortunately, Kevin Doran of Doran Racing managed to take possession and restore Newman’s Datsun 280ZX that he raced back in the mid-1980s. Racing, as Doran notes in this latest episode of Petrolicious, was different then.
One of the goals was to make the cars last for as long as possible because they simply weren’t as reliable from the get-go as today’s race cars. All race cars require constant maintenance, but the technology has come a long way in a fairly short period of time that makes doing so a bit easier. As for Newman’s 280ZX, Doran and his team gave it a complete restoration in order to make it race worthy once again. It’s loud. It’s powerful. And it lacks a refinement found in today’s race cars. It’s never been more perfect.