「An S31Z Retrofitted with a Custom SR20DET for Drifting!」An Exciting First-Gen Z! 【ManiaxCars】
An SR Engine Swap for the World-Famous Japanese Thoroughbred
A drift spec comes to a sports car from the past
From Wangan Midnight to Shakotan Boogie to Yoroshiku Mechadock, this is the legendary sports car that was the star of many various manga and animated series. Yes, it is the first Fairlady Z. Nicknamed “San-Maru”, around 500,000 units were sold worldwide between 1969 and 1978.
Though it is already famous as a popular vintage car that has seen a dramatic rise in price in recent years, this particular example has been modded as a drift car. Tuning staff from the shop “Mizukami Auto Works” have swapped in a powerful SR20.
Actually, the base car is not the “San-Maru” S30 but in fact the S31 which was a slight model change from its predecessor. Although it had no change in styling, the late-model S31 had a strengthed body and core supports, making it a better choice for a drift car base.
Let’s take a look in detail. In the engine bay, the SR20DET has replaced the original L-type engine. Custom mounts were made to accomodate this swap.
The intercooler and radiator are mounted parallel to one another, taking advantage of the large space. An emphasis has been placed on efficiency to keep maintenance simple and easy.
This S31 was originally used as a drag car, so the ATL fuel tank was used as-is. From this image it looks like a full-on circuit spec machine.
The suspension is set by combining S31Z members with Silvia arms. Also borrowed from a Silvia are the knuckles that have been shortened to increase steering angle. The steering rack is out of an NB Roadster and Silvia tie rods are the same pitch as that of a Silvia.
The rear suspension uses an S30 base that has been repeatedly measured, adjusted and corrected then fixed using a global jig. The arms are divided so they have freedom of movement inside. Rear calipers have twin specifications, one of them for a hydraulic side brake. The brake pads are a Mizukami Auto original product. Because the R180 diff is not ideal for drift use, the rear member has been modified to accomodate installing an R200. The driveshaft is R31 Skyline type. Final gear is 4.625.
Exterior mods include a Mizukami Auto original front lip spoiler and bolt on overfenders. Tires are Kenda KR20 in 235/40-17 sizing and wheels are TE37V, going for 10J widths at the rear.
The interior gets a racy atmosphere thanks to a 7-point roll cage with sidebars. Defi gauges add visual monitoring alongside the tach and autometer already installed in the car. The center console is modified to accomodate the hydraulic e-brake. The passenger seat is a Datsun-style bucket seat which holds on the old-school era in which the car was produced. It is mounted quite high from factory, so it was modded to lower its position.
The price and rarity of the first-gen Fairlady Z are still increasing steadily. To see one used as a drift car is a rare and interesting case indeed.
PHOTO：Kenji ICHI ／TEXT：Hidetoshi KAWASAKI