Mr. Miyagi’s 240Z

This is a story about Mr. Miyagi, a wise mechanic from the Japanese island of Okinawa. No, I’m not trying to sell my script for a Karate Kid prequel, but I couldn’t resist taking advantage of this happy coincidence. This Mr.Miyagi is no karate expert (as far as I know), but he does know a thing or two about building a cool 240Z…

I stopped into his shop, Le Manson a humid August afternoon to check out his car and a few of the other interesting machines scattered around.

widebody 240z-1556

These days, Le Mans still has a reputation for its vintage performance work but services everything else too, so the Z was flanked by Kei cars when I visited. It’s a sign of the times – custom car culture is not what it used to be in Japan. The younger generation would prefer to spend their money on high fashion and video games, and the days where every marque was building three or more sports models are long gone.

widebody 240z-1600

It’s not new news that Japanese performance cars – especially those from the ’70s – are bona fide collectibles outside of Japan. The 240Z is almost getting to the point of being too valuable to modify extensively, but Miyagi-san has owned this car for almost 10 years now and hasn’t held back with the custom upgrades.

widebody 240z-1597

We’ve seen plenty of Zs with bolt-on ‘works-style’ over-fenders, but Miyagi-san opted for custom metal flares to be formed into the existing front and rear fenders. Those Watanabes you see: 15×12-inch with a -51 offset at the rear.

widebody 240z-1543

Walking around the rear of the car, you can see just how much width the wheels add to the lithe Z. They’ve also allowed Miyagi-san to stretch on massive 265/575R15 size tyres for the street. For track days, 290-section slicks fit perfectly. It’s safe to say that traction isn’t a problem, but finding cheap replacements might be!

widebody 240z-1545

This has to be the most unique angle of the Fairlady, and I’d wager the most polarizing too. The original hatch has been replaced by a fiberglass ‘Pantera’ equivalent, so named for the mid-engined Italian it impersonates. This hatch then flows into a custom-formed ducktail wing at a seriously severe angle. Traditional, it ain’t.

widebody 240z-1555

Under the showy valve cover is, of course, an L28 six that’s been bored out to 3.1 litres and treated to a heap of upgraded internals.

widebody 240z-1557

A trio of desirable 50mm Solex carbs take care of induction, and underneath snakes a full stainless exhaust manifold. It represents a fairly period-correct way to get power out of an L-series engine, and all up the package is good for over 300PS. Yeah, a turbo RB would make more, but it wouldn’t sing like this old girl.

widebody 240z-1570

Inside, it’s a reclining Bride bucket for the driver and a vintage racing bucket for the passenger. The MSD ignition pack sits in the emptied out cavity beneath the lightweight hatch.

widebody 240z-1580

If you’re lucky you might even spot Mr.Miyagi cruising around the streets of Okinawa, because despite the extreme nature of his creation it’s still primarily a road car that gets driven between home and work. Now I just need to find out if he’s interested in hiring a young apprentice to learn his ways…

Blake Jones
Instagram: blaketjones

Cutting Room Floor
widebody 240z-1596
widebody 240z-1569
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widebody 240z-1590


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Finally my home Okinawa getting the attention. No love like that place


Waoo a MSD Ignition system that's so rare to see in a car build locally in japan. Really cool.
Just for curiosity no pic of Mr. Miyagi?


Love it. It just needs some airbags.


MAXIMUMatttack xaxaxaxaxa


Ugly as fuq. Wtf lol omg hell nah gurl lmao jk no not jk, fo realzies tho, wax off with that shit.


who makes those tyres 265/575R15?


@Grayfoxxd1 Cunt


@Grayfoxxd1 Cunt


Speedhunters hey speed hunters thanks for waxing my car I'll pick it up today at 6 ok


@Grayfoxxd1 Sweet, a 12 yr old.


Opportunities for improvement:

Put back the rear bumper.

Put back the original rear hatch...  and while at it, try to mold in thr duckbill spoiler so that the gaps on the sides are straight.

Other than that, beautiful car!


nice story and awesome car.  I need to get back on my Z project.


Awesome Z! And I spy a BNR32 GT-R :D




the rest of the car looks great but i am really, really, not a fan of that inset rear window.....


imo the star road 240z is one of the best looking examples i have ever seen of a fairlady z


Hold up - is that a Renault 5 in the background?!


Yes it's a Super 5 GT


Love it. Mr. Miyagi ftw! Be one with the Z.


QD It is, but I doubt its the GT version.


ryukyustriker I would go live there for a period for sure.


I never understood why the Mr.miyagi from the karate kid only had old American cars. I get that they were nice looking car but he had options from his home land too. Idk, its just a movie so I guess it's not a big deal.


Wow, this looks great!


Effectively it's a Renault it.s not a GT turbo but just what we in France call a supercinq (super5).


@Silverspoon - With you there.  I think the hatch is kinda interesting, but it doesn't seem to fit too well.

Sweet car though.  I would love one.


@Silverspoon - With you there.  I think the hatch is kinda interesting, but it doesn't seem to fit too well.

Sweet car though.  I would love one.


Maybe one of the reasons he moved to America was because it was cheaper
to ship himself to the U.S. than it was to ship American cars to Japan.


IMSA style flares ftw!


Awesome Z, and very unique which is sometimes hard to do with a Z. The jagged edge of the two outer pieces of the rear spoiler where it doesn't line up with the center looks cool also, sort of animated. Like everything about it except the sharp corner at the front bottom of the flares. I know that's how these style flares are but it would be nicer if that corner was rounded off.


I need to know where i can get those rear tyres!!! Anyone know?


MAXIMUMatttack No.


MAXIMUMatttack No.


Love it, glad he suck with the L-series engine.


I like everything about this. The metal flares, the 'pantera' hatch, the period tuning. Very nice.
As far as the apprenticeship he might have you start with cleaning his cars.
Remember: Wax on Wax off ; )


BreconFlynnKillip I have no idea! Your best bet would be to talk to some vintage racers who might still require tyres in this size.


ryukyustriker It's amazing - really unique mix of cultures, not to mention the natural beauty.


EliThanos Mr. Miyagi prefers to remain in the shadows...


@Grayfoxxd1 Thank you for your considered and exquisitely-worded opinion.


@Silverspoon I have to agree that were it my car, I'd use the original hatch. However, this style was very popular in the 80's and 90's so I think it's a cool touch.


LukeEVOVIII There's so many R32's in Okinawa, it's crazy!


XtremeCookiez Tom Funnily enough, because of the large military presence in Okinawa there were actually quite a few American classics and muscle cars on the island. The G.I.'s would bring them with them from the US. These days, most have succumbed to rust or been sold to collectors on the mainland.


Lol! Very poetic your answer. But I totally understand. Im just like that.
Still a really unique Z.


vroomtothetomb Hahaha, I actually wouldn't mind in this case...


ZacharyJamesOgdahl I desperately need to find out what mirrors those are, I need them.


F1Fan426 Those are Spoon S2000 mirrors.


F1Fan426 Those are Spoon S2000 mirrors.


This z looks insane !


This z looks insane !


Emptypie not IMSA, those are Works flares; a wider version of the Aritaspeed flares


Emptypie those are Arita Speed Flares molded into the body


Mmm, love seeing an L series with open side drafts.


I'm sure NCHK Motorsports is where Rocket Bunny lifted its logo from...
I remember saying that rocket bunny logo looks familiar, just couldn't put my finger on it...


Master Z Google Image search オカモト OK マーク>
It might be hard to figure it out, but it was started by the condom company, Okamoto.  It was used for advertising and in the 70's sponsored Nissan race cars ran the sticker on the side.


@Marco_S2K F1Fan426 Thank you sooo much!


the car was very good 
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