Stolen, Recovered & Rebuilt Better Than Ever

As an automotive enthusiast, just the thought of being tied up on the floor while your dream car gets driven away is bad enough, but that’s exactly how this build started.

Callum, the 300ZX’s owner, took two years to find this particular car after looking for something Nissan and different. Being one of only 30 Z32s originally imported and sold by Nissan South Africa in the early 1990s, the rarity box was ticked, and the fact that the car’s previous owner, Charl, had already put a few years’ worth work into it after originally picking it up as a non-runner made the Z too much of a good opportunity to pass up.

But after just one year of ownership, the car was stolen during a home invasion. Most importantly, no one was hurt during the incident, but the same couldn’t be said for the 300ZX.


By all accounts, Callum was lucky that the police were able to recover his car, but when he got it back it was not in the same condition. The motor was blown, the bodywork damaged, and the interior was torn to pieces. While others may have given up, this was the point Callum decided to rebuild it better than it ever had been before.


Callum wasn’t interested in chasing big dyno numbers or quarter mile times; he just wanted a fun street 300ZX that was responsive and enjoyable to drive, and of course looked the part. For me, one of the best things about this build is the fact that all the work was carried out in Callum’s garage. We’re talking everything from the engine rebuild to the bodywork and paint.


Not wanting to go crazy on the exterior, Callum has kept things simple with a few select upgrades. The front bumper is an Abflug item from Japan, as is the Central20 rear spoiler, but the headlights were custom-modified by Callum with HIDs and integrated DRLs. The paint hue is Mazda’s slick Soul Red Crystal.


Along with being thoroughly detailed and color-coordinated with the exterior, Callum has given the VG30DETT up front a mild work over. The 3.0L V6 engine’s cylinder heads were ported and the twin turbochargers upgraded with hybrid T28 units.


You’ll also find Nismo 740cc injectors, a Devil’s Own water/methanol injection kit, twin front-mount intercoolers with custom piping, and a custom exhaust system. Callum says the car’s already a lot more responsive than it originally was, but there’s still more ECU fine tuning required to get it where he wants it to be – around the 600hp mark.


The 300ZX retains its original 5-speed manual gearbox, but a Clutch Masters clutch kit has been added to cope with the engine’s extra output. In the suspension department, Tein coilovers and urethane bushes were fitted and the factory HICAS four-wheel steering system was disconnected, while the brake system now benefits from 350Z Brembo calipers and 370Z discs.


Callum was always set on creating the complete package, hence why the interior has been given a subtle overhaul that’s totally in keeping with the 300ZX’s clean exterior look. The seats and panels were all completely reupholstered in black leather with red stitching, the center console was modified to accept a bunch of gauges and a GReddy boost controller, and a Momo Jet steering wheel was added.

Having your pride and joy stolen unbeknownst is bad enough, but the way in which this 300ZX was taken from Callum is worst case scenario stuff. Despite that, there has been a silver lining, and that’s the opportunity it presented to build the Z32 he always dreamed of. Hard work took care of the rest.

Stefan Kotzé
Instagram: stefankotzephoto



Comments are closed.


by Oldest
by Best by Newest by Oldest

Be careful as Nissan might buy this and sell it as new ^__^
really cool build. specially the interior. Perfect for relax and spirited driving.


Nissan is set to unveil a bunch of new cars soon. It should be interesting to see if a new Z is among them.


Is there a side shot of the car that we could see? I feel like I can’t get a good idea of what it looks like overall :(




The paint looks stunning, I can't believe he did that in his garage!


imagine having to live in a shithole like south africa and then be sad when shit gets stolen lol


Imagine paraphrasing Donald sir are an idiot!


imagine having to be you, and then be sad for being you


Man, that’s kinda offensive


This car is beautiful


What is the yellow button on the steering wheel?


Its a button that switches the engine from a Gallo 12 to a Gallo 24


Now this is a 300ZX done right
Definitely one of the best builds ever!


Man this 300ZX is amazing
It brings back the days of the '80s and '90s


Wow Stefan- now you've REALLY come up with a nice one here! Not only a stunning Z32, but a really strange story behind the car as well.
Kudos to the owner for staying with his Zed and continuing to make her better.


Wow amazing to see how far this has come, i remember it when Charl owned it..think it had a two tone paint scheme if i remember correctly. Sad to hear about the theft and all...part of me thought such a rare car would be less likely to be stolen...just like here in Zimbabwe it's not exactly a car that blends in...still its an awesome build, definition of a silver lining for sure