Simple & Nimble: The Mizukami Auto 240Z

Keep it simple, make it nimble. It’s not quite as clever as Colin Chapman’s “Simplify, then add lightness” ethos, but feel free to make it into a bumper sticker if you like.

Over many decades, Saitama-based kyusha specialists Mizukami Auto have been perfecting their own lightweight recipe, and the fruits of their labour have been distilled into this bare-bones, time attack-spec S30 Nissan Fairlady Z.


When I visited Mizukami Auto last month, Hakosuka Skylines and Porsche 911s were a common sight in the outdoor storage yard, but there were no shortage of Z coupes around the place, all waiting to offer up their bodies to any project in need. Inside the shop, it became clear that the S30 is their favourite.


Mizukami-san told me this all started out as a hobby, and back in the day he built Z-cars for the zeroyon (quarter mile). The hobby soon blossomed into a vocation, and Mizukami Auto was set up to buy, build and sell a wide variety of cars, which enabled its camera-shy owner to work on his own projects on the side.

With its staunch rear end and long aerodynamic ‘g-nose’, in some ways the Fairlady ZG was the perfect Japanese drag car base in its time. In fact, if you head along to any Japanese drag racing event today, there’s a good chance you’ll still see a bunch of old Z-cars hitting the strip.


But times change, and while Mizukami Auto’s demo Z is still all about straight-line speed, these days it’s about speed through corners too.


I keep hearing the phrase ‘simple is best’ on social media and in train conversations around Tokyo. It’s a tad pretentious but It rings true here in a number of ways. The easiest way to improve a 50-year-old car’s power-to-weight ratio is to put it on a diet. Less mass equals more fast. Simple.


Inside, the S30 has been gutted, bar the dashboard, which makes sense because it’s a thing of beauty in original form.


A roll cage that extends all the way from the rear suspension towers to the front suspension towers plus extensive spot-welding throughout the shell keeps things rigid and safe, while carbon fibre door cards keep things civilised. Mizukami-san has also fitted a Bride seat with TAKATA Racing harness, a Nardi Classic steering, and various gauges and meters from HKS, AEM, Stack and AccuTech


Under-hood, Mizukami Auto could have gone crazy with turbocharging, but that would have added weight and over-complicated things. Instead, Mizukami-san has built the best version of the original L-series, now bored up to 3.1L.

Additional power-making upgrades include three Weber 55DCOE side draft carburettors, a custom pie cut 6-to-1 header and exhaust, and MSD ignition products to produce 375hp and 39kg of torque at the crank.


The fuel cell and surge tank in the rear ensure uninterrupted delivery of dinosaur juice through hard cornering.


The suspension is by Spirit, and there’s a brake bias adjuster next to the driver that enables split control between the 4-pot AP Racing front callipers and the 2-pot HiSpec units at the rear.


Outside, the 240ZG benefits from front and rear overfenders, with custom Mizukami Auto canards providing smoother airflow over the front and rear wheels. The rear of the Z is already pretty sleek, but the ducktail spoiler adds a little more stability.


The wheel and tyre combo is classic JDM – RAYS Volk Racing TE37Vs shod in Yokohama Advan A050 semi-slicks.

And that, my friends, is all there is. A simple machine from much simpler times, updated and refined for the modern era. It’s a beautiful thing indeed.

I’ll leave you with a clip of Mizukami-san driving his Z around Tsukuba’s TC2000 course back in 2011.

Toby Thyer
Instagram _tobinsta_



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A 1.05 lap is absolutely respectable for a modified S30. Well driven too!

One thing though. Should put bolts instead of countersunk phillips screws on that steering wheel and put the Nardi bezel over them.
Just looks wrong like that, in the pictures (Did have the Nardi bezel on the video).


Those aren't phillips screws.


Man this S30 is so nice just simply well done


Wearing a mask, while inside a car; by yourself. Brilliant.


nothing wrong with that..


There's a lot wrong with it. What in God's name are you afraid of?


you do know that mask are not just for keeping away sickness right?


the Japanese have been wearing masks for decades way before the pandemic and mostly due to privacy.


The Japanese have been doing this for decades.


375hp and 39nm of torque is a sick setup! lol
Beautiful machine and very well executed




Nothing beats a Z with an N/A L-Series, love it


What a monster. Looks like it's been enjoyed for over a decade as well. You can tell both love and knowledge were poured into this thing. The six-into-one headers is just icing on the cake.

Small pedantic note, on larger webers like 55's the "E" in DCOE is dropped. Formally these would be 55 DCO's.



A tad bland. Maybe it’s the TE37s…

It’s beautiful but lacks somehow lacks soul…

Kinda like Taylor Swift.


really? i like it simple like this. what wheels would be better? i mean besides watanabes (which almost every S30 has) i like seeing TE37's on it. the build reminds me of the devil z, but white and N/A


It’s just TOO static.

There’s the saying that “the sum is greater than the parts.”

Well, in this case, the sum is detrimental to the parts.

Refrigerator white, a conservative drop, six-spoke wheels, chunky (damn near square) tire setup, etc…takes all the “tension” or drama out of the aesthetic.

It’s clean, but not captivating.

Even a slight rake could bring some edge back in.

To be honest, the wheel choice is subjective, but the finishing doesn’t add anything to it.

The aero is compelling, yet another missed opportunity to bring in some interest or color contrast.

As is, it’s a little Vanilla Ice…ice…baby.


What makes it a ZG? I thought the long nose cone made for a ZG. Great car. Love it. (I note the article does allude to the nose, "With its staunch rear end and long aerodynamic ‘g-nose’, in some ways the Fairlady ZG was the perfect...)


Where’s the rest of the front end to make it a gnose? Or did he swap front end back to a standard 240z nose and headlight buckets etc?


I hope 39 NM of torque is a mistake,that's about 28.76 foot pound and the Z in the article is not a g nose, a g nose looks very different from the stock 240z front end.


Not a g nose and 39 NM of torque is 28.76 foot pound of torque. My Z cars have waaaay more torque then that.


ZG? Where's the long nose though?


Don't know if Colin Chapman would agree to have such a gap between the wheel and the brake, but cool car