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Datsun 240Z Coupe

Looks Can Be Devilishly Deceiving

Charles Trieu
May 1, 2009
Photographer: Sean Klingelhoefer

Old school cars with new school engine swaps are nothing new. Cars with cross-manufacturer engine swaps are nothing new. Old school cars with new cross-manufacturer engine swaps, ... nothing new. Well, Roadster Garage's AKI-Coupe is all of that and more.

While on the cover it resembles a vintage Toyota 2000GT, this book is completely something else inside. Underneath, this was and still is an early '70s Datsun S30 240Z. I can hardly believe my eyes either. Everything from the roofline, quarter glass, doors, fenders, rear hatch, dashboard and exhaust all look exactly like original 2000GT parts. Exterior-wise, it's nearly impossible to tell the difference between this 240Z and a real 2000GT.

Being that the wheelbase on the 240Z is 90.7 inches, and a 2000GT is 91.7 inches, the S30 chassis is a perfect candidate for a 2000GT replica. Now why would anyone do something like this? Well, the Toyota 2000GT was built in 1967 through 1970. Only 351 were built in those years, making the car extremely rare. Being Japan's first supercar makes it very popular and sought after. Now you can imagine how hard it would be to get one and what it would cost. Instead the AKI-Coupe was built to resemble the 2000GT, but supercede it in every aspect of performance.

Taking this 240Z to the absolute extreme, a twin turbo RB26DETT from a R34 Skyline GT-R was installed. Having the heart of the most badass inline-six ever built by Nissan, or almost any company, makes just about all 240 owners hurt (including yours truly). With an insane powerplant like that meant the brakes had to upgrade to keep from sending the project into a wall. Aluminum 4-piston calipers from a Nissan Z32 300ZX were fitted under the Fortecs Imperial wire wheels.

So why is it named AKI-Coupe? Aki is a female Japanese name. In the 1967 James Bond movie "You Only Live Twice", a Bond girl named Aki drove a real Toyota 2000GT.

A 240Z like no other. A 2000GT like no other. A madman with enough nerve and money like this, was able to build something so classy on the outside, yet completely wild and crazy underneath the skin.

Fast Facts
AKI-Coupe Datsun (S30) 240Z
Owner Roadster Garage
Hometown Hazu-gun, Aiti, Japan
Daily Grind remixing old school classics

Under The Hood N1 spec Skyline twin turbo RB26DETT swap; 2000GT style exhaust

Drivetrain 5 speed Skyline transmission; OS Giken twin plate clutch

Stiff Stuff custom coilovers

Stoppers Z32 300ZX aluminum 4-piston calipers and 280mm rotors

Rollers 15" Fortecs Imperial; 185/65R15 Bridgestone tires

Outside complete 2000GT replica body parts, doors, hatch, bumpers, lights, hood and fenders

Inside 2000GT dash; restored seats and interior; Nardi Classic woodgrain steering wheel

WWW www.katch.ne.jp/~elvis/

By Charles Trieu
161 Articles

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