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Nissan Fairlady Z S31 - JDM Hot Rod

Rocky Auto Rocks Out With Their Tow Hooks Out

Charles Trieu
Sep 29, 2010
Photographer: Fly

If you're not up to date on the old school scene, let me quickly get you up-to-speed. Since 1985, Rocky Auto has been the JDM hot rod shop of Japan. Their specialties are Fairlady Zs and Skylines of long ago. And Rocky Auto can do just about anything you want to them. From maintenance and service to full on restoration jobs, no job is too big. But what Rocky Auto has been known for lately is their crazy swaps. Although they do S20 and L-series build ups, their meticulously clean RB swaps have earned them world recognition. RB25 and RB26 motors have found their way into S30s and Hakosukas with turbos, individual throttle bodies, and with working AC and accessories. Just about anything a customer wants can be done. You can even have them find you a car and have it built to your own preference.

Sstp_1010_01_z+nissan_fairlady_z_s31+driver_side_view Photo 2/13   |   Nissan Fairlady Z S31 - JDM Hot Rod

This particular S31 Fairlady that they built is not for the faint at heart. It is not for the guy that wants an all-original Z, nor is it for the guy who wants a fun, inexpensive old car. It's for those with expensive taste and a hard-on for speed.

Sstp_1010_02_z+nissan_fairlady_z_s31+front_view Photo 3/13   |   Nissan Fairlady Z S31 - JDM Hot Rod

S30 and S31 Fairlady Zs originally came with an inline-six cylinder (L-series engine). So what better to put in there than the latest and greatest straight-six from Nissan? The RB26DETT from a newer twin-turbo Skyline is the answer and isn't a cheap option at all. While many Z owners opt for the RB25 and natural aspiration, Rocky Auto decided this particular Z was going to be nothing but pure insanity.

Going over the top on the RB swap, an HKS T04Z single turbo kit was installed. Yes, this is the HKS turbo that has those lovely anti-surge holes covering the inlet side. We all want it, but very few actually drop the pretty dime for it. An assortment of other HKS parts like the fuel rail, intake, gauges, and F-Con V Pro were all installed as well to make sure the car makes it's 580hp safely and reliable. Cooling is done via a custom aluminum radiator and a custom GReddy intercooler. Not too many parts are plug and play for this swap. Just about everything has to be modified and customized to work.

Sstp_1010_03_z+nissan_fairlady_z_s31+headlight Photo 4/13   |   Nissan Fairlady Z S31 - JDM Hot Rod

A Fuel Safe fuel cell was imported all the way from Oregon to make sure no expense is spared on this Z. Along with the Fuel Safe, fuel supply comes via Bosch units, all custom mounted with custom made hard lines in the rear hatch area. Surrounding all this madness is a blinging roll bar and stainless steel welded strut tower bar.

Every baller ride has to have carbon fiber, even if it's a retro ride. A carbon fiber hood, strut tower bar, GT side mirrors, a huge GT wing, and custom carbon-fiber gauge surrounds let you know nothing but the best materials were used for this build up. No corners were ever cut to save money. Another perfect example are the Brembo brakes. The front Brembos are from a Ferrari F50 while the rear Brembos are from a Ferrari Modena. Big power requires big brakes, and this setup is no f-ing joke.

Sstp_1010_04_z+nissan_fairlady_z_s31+passenger_side_rear_quarter_panel Photo 5/13   |   Nissan Fairlady Z S31 - JDM Hot Rod

Underneath each of the custom widened fenders are monstrous Work Meisters (18x10" fronts and 18x12'' rears). These are more like deep pots and pans than deep dishes. I don't really like new school wheels on older cars, but I just can't hate a thing about this car. With that kind of power, I'd hate to have just 15'' wheels under each fender. Behind each Work Meister wheel Rocky Auto installed a set of custom ordered Arogasta coilovers. Geesh, when does the ballin' stop?! I can't even imagine what it cost to have a large suspension manufacturer stop all production to make one set of custom coilovers for a car that they probably will never sell another set to.

With all the performance out of the way, everything from the body, chassis, and interior parts were restored with new parts. New paint, door panels, carpet, headliner, seats, weather-stripping, and dash were all sourced. Sitting inside you'd never think this car was over 30-years old.

I think the Z-car game is officially over. It's going to be very hard for anyone to build a Z-car that's as crazy as this one. Rocky Auto went all-out with the performance and did everything with style. It doesn't look like a crappy fast racecar. It's a fast f-ing car that's fully restored to hang with any showcar.

Tuning menu
Nissan Fairlady Z S31
Owner Rocky Auto
Hometown Okazaki, Aichi - Japan
Occupation Building and selling Japanese dreams
Power 581hp at 6200rpm

Sstp_1010_08_z+nissan_fairlady_z_s31+radiator Photo 9/13   |   Nissan Fairlady Z S31 - JDM Hot Rod

RB26DETT engine swap; HKS T04Z turbo kit, fuel rail, intake, oil cap, and radiator cap; Sard fuel pressure regulator; GReddy intercooler; custom aluminum radiator; Rocky Auto custom dual stainless steel exhaust; Fuel Safe Enduro Cell gas tank

Carbonetic (ATS & Across) twin-plate clutch; Nismo LSD

Engine Management
HKS F-Con V Pro

Suspension & Chassis
Aragosta coilovers 8k (front), 6k (rear) springs; carbon front strut tower bar; custom stainless steel weld-in triangular rear strut bar; 5-point bolt in roll bar

Sstp_1010_09_z+nissan_fairlady_z_s31+fuel_cell Photo 10/13   |   Nissan Fairlady Z S31 - JDM Hot Rod

Ferrari F50 Brembo front brakes, Ferrari Modena Brembo rear brakes

Wheels & Tires
Work Meister S1 3P wheels 18x10'' (front), 18x12'' (rear); Yokohama Advan Neova AD08 tires 225/35/18 (front), 295/30/18 (rear)

Rocky Auto fenders, front lip, and headlight covers; custom diffuser, carbon hood, carbon GT spoiler, carbon door mirrors

Datsun genuine bucket seats; Takata seat harnesses; Nardi Classic steering wheel; Auto Meter tachometer in dash; HKS EVC boost controller, boost, water temp, oil pressure, and exhaust temp gauges; Nismo shift knob; Rocky Auto floor mats; Snap-on leather tool bag

Eclipse HDD car navigation system


By Charles Trieu
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