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1985 Nissan 300ZX Turbo - AutoCon L.A. 2016 Spotlight

Nelson Ugarte's Z31 is coming together nicely after more than 10 years of blood, sweat, and tears

Jun 2, 2016

How often do you see a rad Nissan 300ZX, let alone a Z31?! At Super Street, new and exciting builds come across our desks and inboxes daily, yet finding a Z31 that's not beat to hell is very rare! Then we met Nelson Ugarte at AutoCon LA ...

Nelson's been tinkering with his 300ZX for more than 10 years. At the '15 AutoCon show in Pomona is where we first caught wind of his old school "Kaido Racer"/"Shakotan" style build. While it had some rough patches, the turbocharged coupe caught our attention, most notably with its heart-shaped rollcage, AE86 J-BLOOD fenders that have been modified to fit, a Mazda RX-7 oil cooler that was externally mounted, Voltex diffuser, and much more. It had a personality that we rarely see on the floors of one of Southern California's most elite show series, and we loved every drop of it.

1985 nissan 300zx turbo custom rollcage Photo 2/7   |   1985 Nissan 300Zx Turbo Custom Rollcage

Fast forward to this year's AutoCon at the Los Angeles Convention Center and he's taken his pride and joy a couple steps further. Aesthetically, what stood out was the addition of the Big Country Labs rear wing. The one-off wheels and suspension setup were also reconfigured by his friend Steeb at 5one. The chassis now features a modified subframe to allow more aggressive camber and toe adjustments. According to Nelson, he's running negative six-degrees camber all-around while the original springs were swapped out for stiffer spring rates. The brakes weren't overlooked, either; a custom big brake kit using Z32 calipers and 280mm front, 290mm rear rotors were thrown into the mix, along with a hydraulic e-brake for easy drift action. Lastly, the 16-inch wheels were extended to 10- and 11-inches wide, respectively, then powder-coated white.

1985 nissan 300zx turbo front wheel Photo 3/7   |   1985 Nissan 300Zx Turbo Front Wheel

After over a decade of working on the car, you'd think Nelson is close to the finish line; however, he hints there's much more coming down the pipeline, such as a full repaint, air suspension, turbo upgrade, and a handful of aero improvements, not to mention the ultimate goal for the car is to give it to his four-year-old son - 12 years from now!

1985 nissan 300zx turbo driver side rear view Photo 7/7   |   1985 Nissan 300Zx Turbo Driver Side Rear View
Sam Du
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