With the new year giving us all a fresh start, we wanted to take a moment to ponder the crazy year we all know as “2020”.  A lot went on in our busy Restoration shop, much more that we had the time or energy to post about.  So while we brought you some in depth information on a few of our projects, many more beauties left our building quietly.  We thought we would touch on just a few of those.


“Black Beauty”

This 1981 Nissan 280ZX Coupe came to us late in the game as this vehicle had already had its engine, brakes and suspension gone through.  Basically, mechanically the car was in decent shape, but the body and interior need some attention.  The customer brought it to us looking mostly for bodywork, paint and an interior redo, as well as few other requests for attention.

While the bodywork did not look too extensive on first glance, we found that we had to re-repair the left rear quarter due to accident damage, which ended up taking a bit more effort than initially expected, especially because the paint job was in black.  Black paint is the most unforgiving out there, so the attention to detail to get bodywork and prep right for a black paint job takes time.  But well worth it.

Z Car Restoration 1981 Nissan 280ZX Coupe

For the interior, we replaced or redid everything.  New carpet, new leather seat upholstery, newly redone interior door panels, rebuilt seat belts, new headliner…  All interior panels were reupholstered and dyed to match, as well as the rear view mirror and sun visors.  It really came out beautiful.

Z Car Restoration - 280ZX Black

So after a few other fixes including a new antenna, a few wiring repairs, replacement of the distributor and ignition control unit, and a brand new Air Conditioning system, we said goodbye and drove off into the sunset. 


"Time capsule"

The brown on brown, all original, 1977 280z with 68,000 miles had been garage-kept for 10+ years. The original paint and interior were in very good condition. The fuel, brake and suspension systems needed to be re-worked. We removed the old components and replaced them with new parts.  Unfortunately, the engine needed to be rebuilt so this was done at the same time. Engine and suspension components painted and corresponding parts replated with correct chromates.

Z Car Restoration - 1977 Datsun 280Z

The paint and body work were completed using paint-less dent repair, and fine airbrushing with custom mixed paints for different areas of the car to compensate for the slightest of paint fade. We also performed a 3000 grit color sand and buffed the paint to a glossy finish. We then top coated the finish with a ceramic wax to protect the finish.  The hubcaps were also refinished and polished to match the new tires and bodywork.

Z Car Restoration - 280Z 1977

The interior was in excellent condition, including the factory carpet, so we decided to dye the carpet using a custom brown dye to undo the years of UV damage. Interior panels were dyed to freshen up the overall look.

Z Car Restoration - 280Z Dark Brown Interior

Our mutual goal, set forth with the vehicle's owner, was to produce a survivor-- a car with minor paint blemishes that was proud of its survivability. The final outcome was everything we hoped it would be: Just like Nissan envisioned it over 40 years ago.


“The BAE-by”

Here is another vehicle who was only with us for a short time-- a 75 280Z coupe with a BAE turbo system.  The 20 year old rust repairs and paint were showing their age and the floor pans and frame rails needed some attention.

The interior was in solid shape but the customer requested leather interior upgrades to complete the look and feel. 

Z Car Restoration - 280Z BAE Interior

The body was stripped to bare metal and the prior rust work was replaced with new metal. We removed the engine and transmission and detailed these while we repainted the engine compartment to match the new paint. New pin stripping was hand painted to match what was added over 20 years ago and clear coat was sprayed over the paint and pin stripe to seal up the finish.

Z Car Restoration - 1977 280Z Brown BAE

New rubber seals were installed throughout the car.  A custom 2.5" stainless exhaust from the down pipe back was fabricated; minor brake and AC fixes were also done.  On top of that all, we re-plated the engine components in the engine compartment and painted the engine in Nissan Blue and a polished valve cover – no sweat!

Z Car Restoration - Datsun 280Z Brown

So, while this was a quick smaller job, the outcome was fantastic!


Now, rather than looking back, we are all looking forward.  Our shop is filled with new fun projects that we look will be sharing with you soon.  In the meantime, we wish you all a safe, healthy and peaceful 2021.