Creating The Perfect 240Z
Start From Scratch

If you’ve ever owned or spent any real amount of time driving a classic car, you’ll be able to appreciate that in today’s day and age, and on today’s roads, they’re often, well, not very good.

I know, it’s a damning statement to open with alongside these images of one of Bradford-based MZR Roadsports’ gorgeous ‘Sport-Design’ 240Zs, but hear me out.


Speak to classic car owners and you’ll hear words like ‘character,’ ‘endearing,’ and ‘charm.’ Delve a bit deeper and you’ll also hear phrases such as ‘running issues,’ ‘off the road,’ and ‘I hope it gets me home.’ For all of the fun and quaintness that comes from motoring in a classic car, and for all of their period charm, mechanical nature, timeless styling and often gorgeous looks, there’s always that niggle thought in the back of your mind that something is about to go wrong.

You expect it, so when it does happen you can shrug it off knowing that, whatever it is this time, it’ll be a relatively easy fix. Or so you hope.


Even when fully restored to original standards, classic cars are also often quite terrible to drive. I’m talking vague, floaty suspension, steering with no immediate correlation to what the front wheels are doing, engines that seem to contribute very little to speeding you up, and brakes that seem to contribute even less to slowing you down.


There is a cure for all of these problems, however, and that comes in the form of restomodding.

The phenomenon of taking a loved classic and rebuilding it from the ground up while applying modern technology is one that almost all of us will be familiar with by now. Names such as Automobili Amos, Redux, Alfaholics, Lanzante, David Brown and, of course, Singer, all spring to mind. Each is synonymous with a particular make or model in which they specialise.


I’m sure Martin and Rahail from MZR Roadsports are fed up of hearing it by now, but their company is to the Datsun 240Z what Singer is to the 911.


The 240Z is a model that wears its years remarkably well in standard form. It’s also a model that’s long been the fascination of modifiers around the world, but no-one is building them quite like MZR. We’ve got a couple more in-depth stories about the company to follow, but for now I wanted to quickly show you around their (starting from £99,995) Sport-Design demo car, just to give you an insight as to the sort of quality that you should expect to see.


Yes, it is a lot of money.

But MZR specialise in one thing – they offer turn-key bespoke 240Z builds, from bare metal to brand new car. You choose your basic level of specification, give them an insight into any additional modifications that you’d like making, tweak the spec to your liking, and they do their thing.

And my God do they do it well.


All of MZR’s cars are sourced and imported from the United States’ west coast, acid-dipped back to bare metal, and then rebuilt to exacting standards. Cars of this era aren’t famous for their resistance to corrosion, so importing is the best way to ensure that as much of the original metal is left intact as possible.

The customer gets to choose whether the car remains left-hand drive or is converted to right-hand drive. Every single component that goes back onto the car is either brand new or completely refurbished.


MZR’s approach is not only sensitive to the Z-car’s original design, but to design aesthetics in general. There’s a level of care and attention that’s been bestowed upon every element of each car that immediately strikes you. Sitting in an MZR custom carbon fibre bucket seat trimmed in Lamborghini basket-weave leather, there’s Swiss heather loop carpet beneath my feet, a nappa leather wheel in front of me, and a very Porsche 917-esque shift knob to my left.

From the materials used to the fit and finish and the selected colour schemes, the Sport-Design 240Z is a very nice place to be.


But of course Martin and Rahail aren’t just rebuilding these cars, they’re reengineering them for the 21st century. There’s a choice of power derived from the L28-series engine under the bonnet, rebuilt from scratch in either 2.9 or 3.1-litre configuration and featuring MZR’s own electronic fuel injection and Jenvey throttle bodies amongst a host of other contemporary upgrades.

Big disc brakes, uprated adjustable suspension, motorsport LSD rear differential and heavy duty axle conversion all make the cars drive like new, but it’s the quality of life options like push start, LED lights, DAB, Bluetooth, and A/C that make these cars feel new.


MZR Roadsports are building cars that feel very sympathetic to the Z’s identity, and making them classics that can not only be used every day, in any conditions, but higher specification cars that drive and feel like they’ve just rolled off the factory floor, only better. You can’t say that of many cars from the 1970s.

Coming up soon, we’ll be taking you behind the scene at MZR, as well as an in-depth look at one of their more extreme customer cars.

Jordan Butters
Instagram: jordanbutters

Cutting Room Floor


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Jordan I can't wait to see the rest of the coverage from MZR. I saw the teased image of the gunmetal grey one and it got my foaming at the mouth. And now these?? I love garage shoots. But these are amazing. The lighting, the backdrop, the car. All of it is just magnificent. I don't know enough people in the industry/community to get this kind of access and I wish I did.


Thanks Jay. If you want to shoot people's cars, just contact them and ask them – it's easier than ever with social media and the like.


Looks like a Singer 240Z, amazing.


All that money and to put it on BC coilovers.....


uhm... but what is exactly wrong with BC coilovers? I'm not trying to argue, I just haven't heard anything bad about them. I guess it might not be THE best on the market, but why is it so bad?


Yeah really. I have BCs that were custom-built to my specs for way less than the KW V3s I sold. Whatever your needs, they'll work with you, and what's more, they seem to be happy to do it! My car has two logos-- theirs and the "Alpina" embossed into the airdam


I seem to remember that each car has the ability to be built in nearly any configuration the new owner wants/needs, so the use of certain parts here and there is just the owners' will and not as if that's the best or only way to do things.
Or, that these guys only want to cater to YOU.


Just because the owner wants something does not mean its the right part that has been chosen. People make suboptimal choices based on bad (or lack thereof) info all the time, and its worth it to have someone there to go "hey this is probably not the best idea for this car". Not everything is subjective.


Agree, this company should have the balls to turn around and say no. That part is rubbish, these are the approved components. Their name is essentially tied to this build, it doesn't say much when someone pops the bonnet and sees that crap on the car. And this was their show car!?


What would you fit in their place?


Ohlins or Bilstein shocks with some Hyperco or Swift springs. If you need adjustability then using an adjustable sleeve (w/ aforementioned springs) is fine, as long as the shock & spring are good.


Fair enough, but not a direct comparison for a true adjustable coilover setup with camber top mounts. Either way I’m pretty sure MZR allow you to spec different suspension if you wish - this is the standard spec they offer.


How is it not a true comparison? Those shocks can be paired with any number of aftermarket adjustable tops... that also do caster.


The attention to detail on this car is stunning! Those guys do great work.

And your notes about driving an older car are spot on. I dailied a mint 1980 straight six Mustang for five years. It had plenty of "charm" that's for sure, but there was always something that needed attention. New cars are better in every way, but they just don't have the same feel.


This seems to be the best of both worlds, if you have the money.


Exactly! It'll be interesting to see what future classics this approach will be applied to one day.


There’s a company called Lunaz Design going one step further in bringing older cars up to date and are converting classics to full electric power.


Gross, stick with electric in The Prius and Teslas of the world. It’s sacriligious to go back and electrify a classic car, especially a iconic car with an iconic power plant like the L in old Z cars or the 302 in old mustangs.


It’s actually a pretty interesting idea I think. The EV lifestyle kinda suits classics as they’re often only driven short distances for pleasure and not used as often.


This car is beautiful and looks like a dream come true.and jordan when i read the part where restomodding was written , it was ole orange bang that came to my mind first

I know what the Hell I’m talking about

Not bad, but here’s some items that could be improved upon.

-Wheel/tire combination is a little safe. The wheel design also looks cheap...which doesn’t help.
-Modifying and tucking the bumpers would go a long way towards making it look more refined.
-Reducing/relocating or eliminating utilitarian fixtures like the door lock cylinders and finger-pull for the gas filler door would clean things up.
-Custom emblems (IE: 240Z fender units) with a better font would improve what wasn’t great from the factory.
-The tail-panel where the license plate mounts needs attention. It’s too bland and generic for this tier of customized car.
-Graphic stripes should’nt be white. There’s virtually NO white anywhere else on the car. A bronze that matched the wheel color would’ve tied it together more cohesively.
-Window drip rails could be modified to tuck in more than factory.

This is a $100,000 car, people.

You’re welcome.


yeah sure lemme know when you make one, ill order one, people like keeping original hardware to keep the original lines.


Let me know when you’ve built your first one and orders are filling up and I’ll come shoot it. You’re welcome.


HECk this is good.


solid and beautiful car. not a fan of push start on older vehicles, but still a gorgeous piece of machinery


I love how MZR has taken the time and effort to give the S30 all the love and attention it deserves.
Yes I am going to mention the "S" word here, bare with me.

I just wish MZR came out BEFORE Singer did. Can you imagine if it did? This "sport design" spec version just looks like a total Singer-inspired/lifted/emulated (insert your word here) build. Not that there is anything wrong with that! I guess I just don't want to be reminded of all the touches Singer uses in their know what I'm talking about from interior/engine bay colors/textures etc.

Now, that grey flared car I think is much more interesting to me, and not "hey what if we treat this like a Singer" design language.

Just my gut feelings. The car looks properly restored and modified, but the theme is what gets me.
I hope I'm not being a negative nancy...there is lots of details to drool over especially in that engine bay...anyone notice the cam cover? And I'd love to see the chassis, if we are on the whole "Singer" style I wonder if the underside is as developed.

Yes, the BC coils on a "bespoke" 240z was totally surprising to me, imho :)

Looking forward to the next part!!!


The grey car is coming!


it might just be the lighting, but the rear flat black panel looks patchy and beaten up


I don’t remember it being beaten up when shooting it. It would’ve stuck out like a sore thumb against the rest of the paint and body.


I don't like how a lot of these features come across as paid advertising. This car is very tastefully put together, yes. But I look at their website and to be honest , their cars look very similar and seem like more marketing hype than anything.
Their website is vague on details of their different models and seems to cater to rich people who are easily impressed.


$125,000 and you don't get forged wheels (or even good castings) or a decent looking stereo? I suppose all the money went into installing that foolishly expensive, Kickstarter-brand clock. "Onykx"? Really?

What really indicates a quality restomod isn't the trimmings, though. I want to know how wet it gets inside when you throw a bucket of water at it.


Amazing feature Jordan! Can't wait for the garage tour man, keep up the great work!


XXR wheels... Seriously? Watanabe or Panasports would have been a much better touch.


Except they aren’t XXR.


Seriously? You think these are XXR brand wheels? Why?

They are custom made wheels, the design is MZR's own twist on the Watanabe.


Wow. Beautiful car.


Absolutely gorgeous~


I wish I had something more intelligent to say than


@Jordan Butters-- Fantastic photos! They always are, but I just realized how fantastic the lighting and depth-of-field effects enhance the engine and interior. Well-done work like this makes me happy every time. This is why I come here.

The engine compartment detail, the interior, and for some reason, the heat shield around the tips...understated and flattering.


Take a bow Jordan


No offense...but this car is not a Porsche. Im not sure why the MZR guy's are taking so many design cues from it. The center exhaust doesn't suit this car and neither does the side graphic. The shift knob is also a Porsche design. The OEM Z wooden shift knob is way cool. With some refinement it would be such a nice piece. I like all of the nice attention to detail in the paint and motor as well as wheel sizing, brake upgrades etc... But you could build this same car for less than 100k and have it be true to Japanese styling while not borrowing from Porsche. The whole reason for buying a Z is to be driving a Z...not a Porsche. With that said, this is my personal opinion so if you have the money and you like it, that's cool. Not my cup of tea though. My 2 Cents.


How would you start or get employed by a business like this. that cars look seriously hot and so well made