It’s as if the planets have aligned. Just as we posed a QotW about Japan’s ugliest car, a reader unearths this long-forgotten piece of motoring history. Behold, the Datsun 210ZX!
The 210ZX was a body kit for the 1974-78 Datsun B210 manufactured by a company called F.E.D., who bragged that it “replaces over 50% of your Datsun’s body area with rust resistant fiberglas.” It included zero performance modifications, but it would turn your “docile little street car into sizzling super street charger,” “YOUR DATSUN INTO A CHAMPION,” and, quite likely, your dignity into a cloud of vapor.
A reader from Prosper, Texas managed to find be-kitted B210 still largely in tact, and here it is in all its glory. He rescued it from the crusher after it appeared several times on craigslist with no takers (we wonder why) and plans to campaign it in a 24 Hours of Lemons race.
Amazingly, it’s held up pretty well over the years, despite the fact that the ad copy hilariously instructs you that “a professional-appearing installation requires the use of a saber saw, rivet gun, electric hand drill with discs, body-working tools, and a torch.”
The creator seems to believe in all earnestness that the kit is a huge improvement on the stock Sunny‘s looks, but it makes the hydrogen-powered B210 shine like the prom queen in comparison.
Sadly Thankfully, this is not a Nissan sanctioned product and thus it is ineligible for our QotW, or else we’d have a clear winner by a landslide.
Images: [Autolit, Prosper Performance]
Rust resistant makes it sound like there’s a chance the fiberglass will rust…
If I had that thing it would be tempting to get a nice paint job on it just to preserve that rare (if ugly) body kit. I doubt another in that good of shape even exists.
haha, yeah – same to me. it’s ugly as hell, but something too rare to just get it destroyed…
Wasn’t Fiberglass all the rage back then? Manta Cars for example……….
I like it – you’d be tempted to make molds (esp. if racing) and sell.
i love it.. throw some wide sticky tires on it, a decent suspension, and an SR20..:D
I wouldn’t put that in the Lemons race. I would leave it as is and just repaint it. I have a soft spot for old 80’s wide body kits.
Its the bastard child of a Sunny and a Camaro IROC!
I dig the second pic with Libre wheels and what I would assume is a red paint job. This maybe ugly but it has the same allure as a Sunchaser Kit on a TE51 Corolla. Too rare to just throw away!
i am interested in finding out more about those extra wide Libres on the rear of the car in the second picture.
and i think there are uglier kits out there that ruined nicer starting cars, like the “Mulholland look” kits for Datsun Z cars that converted the lights to rectangles.
PS Matt, calling other people’s cars ugly is grounds to have your account deleted without warning 😉
Not if the owner himself calls it ugly first 🙂
There was a fella in Portland Craigslist that had a set of wide Libre wheels on his te72. He said they were American Racing? Replicas I’m sure, and I’ve seen others made new that were wider but don’t know who is making them.
I’m pretty sure American Racing is the original maker of Libres, therefore they would be legit.
Well, I didn’t know about this car before now. I’ve googled pictures and I just have to question why in the hell would you put a kit on a car that looks that good in the first place?
Many people consider the B210 to be one of the ugliest cars ever made. I like ’em because they’re funky.
I would hate to see this thing destroyed in a Lemons race.
This car is a waste of space and time. Disgusting.
Ok i’ll admit it i built one of these in the 70s
go to smugmug.com surch DOWNTOWN510
youll find it there
DOWNTOWN510 – Thanks for sharing!!!… AWESOME pic!… It’s good to see another B210ZX existed… Any idea what happen to the car?
yeah i gave him the link to the pic
in dallas too with my project…about 4 or 5 sunny’s running around in dfw
can any of u help me with a tech question?
i want to put a turbo on my 81 datsun b210 coupe, 2000lbs with 53/47 weight distribution, 92″ wheelbase
1488cc A15 motor stock reverse flow cooling
76mm bore x 82 mm stroke, 90.78 cid with 85 hp @6500 rpm, 64.78%V.E
i found a pick n pull turbo, schwitzer 3LM-311115 oil cooled with chausson intercooler from 1989 Mack midliner cs-200 with renault engine 235hp
can this be used on a gas engine and if so one with only 90 cubic inches?
also plan to mount yamaha r6 carbs as like sidedraft weber dcoe’s and run a universal or interupter style fuel pump to keep constant 3psi
but with the turbo factored in, i need to run at least 10 psi.
seen a youtube video of same datsun running a gt15 turbo @5 psi of boost run 10.71 1/4mi on E-85….stock block and head can hold 10 psi max, but there’s a video of a 30 psi A12 making 321 dyno hp.
do you know any local turbo or datsun guys?… cause all i find in the forums are racers from australia and japan
I saw this on the local CL here in Dallas. I had no idea this was actually a commercial product, I thought it was just someones personal project gone horribly wrong 🙂
The above advertisement adds some quirky coolness to it so I say good on him for saving it.
and plans to campaign it in a 24 Hours of Lemons race.
AWWW HELLS NO!!! Save it as an oddity!!
That is a great pick up for the 24 Hours of Lemons. Can’t wait see it in all its race day paint glory. I would have be all over that find for sure.
Don’t worry people… I will NOT let my “FUGLY” 210ZX be destroyed during any of our 24hrs of LeMons events… I am truly overwhelmed by the responses this car has received online,.. I am going to preserve the ZX look as much as possible,… maybe a BRE paint theme,… or replicate the look from the original ads above… We have already removed all the interior and will be installing a full roll cage, along with a replacement motor & transmission… I am also selling off all the interior pieces and glass that we removed in order to finance the build project according to LeMons rules…. If anyone needs any B210 parts,… please let me know…
You may be aware of this, but since you (and many others) have expressed a desire to not see this car destroyed, I feel I must warn you that a typical Lemons racer gets thoroughly beat to hell during the course of a race. This isn’t gentlemanly competition, it’s people whomping each other in $500 beaters!
I’ve ran several LeMons races, so I am aware of the risk,… should be fun!
A BRE seems like a proper paint job to carry on the sacrilege of this car 🙂
Good luck in the races, I share others concerns that its going to take a beating. Fiberglass isn’t exactly known for its resiliency to impact.
Steel dents. Fiberglass cracks, breaks and shatters. Just ask those Corvette owners how well it holds up.
I hella lold, I would want to be on that Lemons team.
First, nice save, I saw it on craigslist numerous times myself and thought about buying just for the ‘wow’ factor. If you need some funds for the lemons stuff, I would be happy to make an offer on the rims if they are the right size. Plus, I am just north of you so no shipping, I would be happy to drive down to get them. Looks like a fun lemons, you need to enter it in the concours too.
what’s with the trophy in 2 of those pictures. was this the kind of stuff you’d order from the back of a popular mechanic’s magazine?
In the ad it says that one of these abominations won the “L.A. World Of Wheels” car show. That’s probably where the trophy came from. 😉
And personally, I think a LeMons race is a perfectly respectable fate for something like this. Had he not saved it for the race, it would have simply rotted away to nothing in that guy’s back yard. This has to be better right?
As for all those who want to “preserve” it, this thing was on craigslist for two years. At a not unreasonable price. When I called the guy 6 months ago he said not even one person had come to look at it. You had your chance. 8)
So lemme get this straight…you find something this rare, and just say “Fuck it, LEMONS RACE CANDIDATE LOLOLOLOLOL”?
Great, just great.
actually I had been shopping for another Lemons project… and just couldn’t pass this one up as a contender…
It is quite rare,but it’s not that ugly though,it is a champion of course… Here,in Brunei,there is one Datsun look-a-like this but only a 4-door sedan with wide kits.
Overall,this one is a mean looking “ZX”,I say. Good finding.
This really shouldn’t be ruined in a Lemons race. There are common cars that can be sacrificed.
And a 210 has a respectable racing history. They look kinds cool on the right wheels and with the right stance.
Please don’t ruin this car. Ugly or not, it’s a rare bit of automotive history.
PS: Libres were available in 13×7, as the widest I’m aware of. I have a set and they’re not too hard to find.