Here Is Your Chance To Own A Classic Bob Sharp Datsun
Oh, and Adam Carolla owned and modified it too!
We all go through different phases in life, as time goes on your tastes change, more so if you happen to be an automotive enthusiast. I have gone through many, old school muscle, modern, European classics which brings me to today. There is little doubt that I am smack in the middle of an old Datsun phase. No idea why but I distinctly remember watching an episode of Jay Leno's garage that featured an old 510 coupe and I was hooked. It struck me as the perfect base for a bit of resto-modding.
As looked deeper I came across a classic racing team, a team that employed acting legend Paul Newman, they raced any manner of Datsun from the 510's to the more powerful, sleeker Z cars. The red white and blue livery is easily recognizable by anyone who has even a basic knowledge of classic sportscar racing. Today's car in question is a 1973 Datsun 240Z Race Car. Draped in those classic Newman-Sharp racing colors it looks as special as it did back in its day. But so often with classic cars, the history behind the individual car is almost as important as the car itself. This is a prime example.
This car did not start life out as an original race car. This car was purchased in 1983 and the owner immediately set about turning it into a race car. It managed to win 6 races between 1986 and 1992, winning the 1992 championship. The car was then built into an IMSA GTU replica and campaigned in historic racing series across the country sporting the Dad's Root Beer livery. In 2008 is when this car's story got really interesting, it was in that year that Bob Sharp himself purchased the car and set about making it his own. Sharp drove the car at a few events including Lime Rock but never campaigned it in an official race.
After its time with Sharp comedian and overall car nut, Adam Carolla purchased the car. He immediately set about modifying it. The engine was stroked to 3 liters recieving JE pistons and knife-edged diesel Maxima crankshaft. The E31 head was built by Slover and Sunbelt Performance Engines and featured Reed camshaft with heavy-duty springs and adjustable cam gear . Three 50 Mikuni carburetors with match ported, long intake and velocity stacks were added. Power was routed to the rear wheels via a Nissan Competition 5-speed manual gearbox with a Quartermaster dual-plate clutch and R200 limited-slip rear differential. Documentation included with the car states that the car produced 329 horsepower at 7,250 rpm when it was first built.
Wilwood calipers on all four wheels provide the stopping while the 16″ BBS mesh wheels wrapped in Goodyear radial slicks provide adhesion to the pavement. The suspension utilizes chromoly control arms, a Carrera camber kit, adjustable NASCAR-style sway bars, Koni adjustable shocks, and a Carrera coilover kit.
No part of this car was overlooked, including the bodywork. The quick connect, one-off IMSA G-nose body kit is made entirely of fiberglass apart from the roof. Race spec lexan windows have were installed with the exception being the windshield.
This car is an absolute masterpiece, and a crushing example of why I am in love with old Datsuns at the moment. Everything about this car is exactly as it should be. The best part? You can buy it should you have the requisite cash lying around. Head over to Bring-A-Trailer to place your bid!