A Classic Z In Dubai

No matter where we travel to, we always seem to end up at home. And that’s the beauty of being an automotive enthusiast – you have a ton of friends everywhere you go.

For me, this was especially true, even before landing in Dubai to witness Nakai-san of RWB complete his first triple build. I received messages across my social channels with guys keen to share their automotive passion with me, and day after day I had incredible cars to look at. When the timing worked out, I was able to actually shoot and feature them.


One of these cars was Saeed Bintowq’s 1970 Datsun 240Z, a work-in-progress that he described as a “junkyard gem”. While it may not have been quite on the same level as the supercars and hypercars that we got to see daily at the the Dubai Autodrome where the RWB builds were talking place, Saeed’s Z oozed much character. And character, my friends, goes a long way.

Saeed, who by day works as a driving instructor at Dubai Autodrome, is a proper racer, drifter, dirt bike rider and overall car nut. He also has a few projects on the go, and the Z is something I just needed to see after he told me about it. I’m glad I did too, because I really like the whole concept behind it.


I was surprised to see the car sporting a Hunted sticker, but it turns out that Larry gave it to Saeed some time back when he was over in Dubai covering one of Ken Block’s fun trips.


We headed out to the back of the Autodrome on a blocked-off access road that loops around the track, just as golden hour was starting.

The interior, like most of the car, is still pretty much stock, just dotted with a few chosen additions including more supportive seats, a sportier steering wheel and a very strange looking shift knob.


The shifter actuates the 4-speed automatic transmission that came bundled with the 1UZ-FE 4.0-liter engine package. The whole ensemble was donated by a Lexus LS400, a lazy quad-cam V8 which while not known for its power or torque is definitely bulletproof.

Saeed has added a Land Cruiser radiator for extra reliability in Dubai’s climate, and power steering to make it easier to live with. For now it remains a fun cruiser, but he will be building it up into something a bit more focused in the future. Perhaps a manual transmission swap, some added forced induction, improvements to the handling and brakes, and even a roll-cage for added track safety.


The big-bore exhaust accentuates the very much un-Z-like V8 burble, adding that all important character.


It was great finding a Japanese legend like a classic Z in an area of the world I would have never expected to see one, and it’ll be cool to catch up with Saeed again in the future to see how far his car has evolved.

Dino Dalle Carbonare
Instagram: speedhunters_dino



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Its not what I expected... but somehow I like it... :) Regards!

Dino Dalle Carbonare

It's all about standing out. As soon as he cranks the engine into action you know straight away something is up!


Whoa! Total surprise to see that drivetrain in what appears to be a really nice Series 1 S30. Any info on why/what the motivation was for this swap?

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Same reaction I had. Something different for sure.


Looks pretty nice! Even though the 240Z was a couple decades before my time, nonetheless it's a car I've really fallen in love with. :)

Dino Dalle Carbonare

It's one of those accessible classics that people down't frown upon when you start doing crazy stuff with one.


Excellent cruiser. Very nice.


Honestly thought it would be a turbo LS under there. did not expect the UZ. That's so mad especially cause the car looks so well restored/maintained

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Yeah that's exactly what I was expecting when he told me about it first


You guys should check out accounts like qatif_show on instagram to get a better feel for car culture in the Persian Gulf (for financialy normal gearheads), it might not be what you expect...

Dino Dalle Carbonare

It's incredibly diverse. I've fallen for the place. I have to go back and explore a lot more!


Probably me but the "Devil Blue" looks good in the pre-Z31 Fairlady Z s.

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Blue rocks in any shade and on any car. I am a tad biased however :)

Richard Clayderman

1UZ all of the things


Ooooo, I like that one a lot in its sublety. It would definitely stand out in its own way out there amongst all of the extravagant exotics.

Does the sky always look like that in Dubai?


often times it's the dust that lingers after a dust storm.

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Yeah I found it crazy! When I landed in Dubai I couldn't even see the Burj Khalifa and the city skyline even though it was right in front of me. Plus being winter it can also cloud over.


I'm glad I marked it before you got there.

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Haha when was that anyways?


This is far more interesting than RWB churning out another 3 abominations for people who have more money than sense