Like your Z, this site is always underconstruction. :-)

Donor Cars

Our kits and body parts are designed to fit specific donor cars. There are two ranges of donors: First Generation Zs include 1970-1978, 240, 260, or 280Z. Kits designed for the First Generation Z will fit any car in that range (except 2+2, see below). Second Generation cars are the 280ZXs from 1979-1983. Kits designed for the 280ZX will fit any car in that range (again, 2+2 cars are the exception).

Kits designed for First Gen cars will not directly fit the other. You can modify the kits to fit, but you may find the labor and/or expense required is more than that for simply finding the correct donor. Yes the cars are very close in all dimensions, but you can't make a Z fender or door fit a ZX without a lot of work. The same goes for the fiberglass parts.

This matrix describes the kits that are available to fit your car, or conversely the year of donor you need to fit a particular kit. Click in the cells for more information on each kit.
 
Donor Car, Years
Full Body Kits
Fender Kits and Panels
Roadster Kits
240, 260, 280 Z, 1970-1978
     
     
280 ZX, 1979-1983
Nothing yet
300ZX, 1983-up
Nothing yet
Nothing yet
Nothing yet

Why not make a kit for the Third Generation 300ZX (or a Velo Rossa kit for the 280ZX)? Several reasons: 1) It is tremendously expensive to reprototype and retool a kit for a new donor platform. The Velo Rossa cost about $15,000 to prototype (and I actually had an old Alpha GTO kit to start with, which saved a lot of expense) and another $15,000 to make the molds. That was more than ten years ago so it would undoubtedly cost more today. 2) The 300ZX is a much more complicated vehicle and therefore much more difficult to modify for performance 3) It is not very well supported in the aftermarket...that is you don't have the same wide selection of performance parts and other modifications.

None of my kits are designed to fit directly on any of the 2+2 cars. I have sold a few kits to folks who have adapted them for such vehicles, and if that is your desire I can provide you with information on the process. However, doing such an installation is warranted only if you have sufficient time to devote to it and/or you have some special need for the extra room. It is a fair amount of additional work compared to just finding a 2-seat donor.

The modifications required include lengthening the rear tub between the back of the door and the rear wheels, and lengthening the door skins. The front-end components should bolt on without modification.

However, in addition to the modifications required, the 2+2 cars were heavier and the wheelbase was longer. Both of these features will degrade performance.

Within the listed ranges there are minor differences. In the first generation Z, the 75-78 280 Z cars are slightly beefier in structure, have better drivability and reliability with fuel injection instead of carbs, and are by definition newer with fewer miles on the clock.

Some of the second generation cars (280 ZX) had luxury options like power windows and locks, and some were available with turborcharged engines...a potent option worth seeking. All were structurally similar.

Rust? We don't worry much about it in Arizona and I occasionally have a donor car or two in the "stable." If I don't have one that fits your needs, I can assist you with finding a local donor car as well as shipping it to your area. However, please recognize that the process of searching for a good donor requires a fair amount of work and a lot of knowledge. I don't mind helping if you don't mind compensating me fairly for my time and my experience (gained from years of brain damage:). I can assure you it will be worth the cost! Also, please be aware that I cannot begin searching until you are serious enough about your project to warrant a deposit.

Title transfers can be done here, which will give you an Arizona title in your name. That will make transporting the car, and eventually registering it in your home state easier.

If this is not an option for you, then make sure you evaluate your prospective donor car thoroughly for rust and collision damage. A little rust in the floor pans is usually not a big problem and can be repaired pretty easily. However, it also usually indicates that there is rust in other spots you won't see until you have stripped the car. By then it's too late to get your money back from the seller!

The stiffening “frame rails” underneath floor pans are relatively important. They are not really part of a frame, but just sheet metal boxes. These tend to get beat up pretty badly by rocks and grease monkeys that try to jack the car up there, but “dented” is not nearly as bad as “rusted.”

The area under the battery is almost always going to have some rust, but you don’t want big holes or crumbly cancer. The “frame rails” on either side of the engine bay should be free of buckling that would indicate collision damage…though some models are shaped in a non-linear fashion that may look suspicious to the untrained eye. Just make sure they look the same and opposite. That is if one looks like it is bent inward the other should be bent inward, too. Not bent the same direction which might indicate the car T-boned another, moving car.

Front fenders and other front sheet metal are not important. However, the inner wheel wells are part of the unibody and should be as good as possible. The bracket where the tension-compression rod attaches to the frame should be intact.

If you live in the rust belt, you may find that the availability of good donors is so poor and the cost of repairing the bad ones so high that you will want to make a trip out to Sunny Arizona to have us help you find a good donor!

Consult the Velo Rossa installation manual for more information on rust inspection.

Will any of these kits fit Right Hand Drive donor cars? YES! They will all fit RHD cars. Only the Velo Rossa needs very slight modification at the base of the windshield to accommodate the wipers, which are reversed on the RHD cars.


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