The 2023 Nissan Z is a 400-horsepower, rear-wheel-drive, retro-styled car with zippy acceleration and fun handling. As is, the production car only has a passing resemblance to the Datsun 240Z rally car that won the 3,800-mile East African Safari Rally in 1971. For this year’s Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) annual extravaganza, Nissan went out of its way to represent the Z car's rally heritage.
Nissan turned to Tommy Pike Customs for a modern Z that’s fit for the dirt. Using the Datsun rally car as inspiration, the Safari Rally Z Tribute, unveiled Monday, is fitted with several enhancements to whet the appetites of Z owners looking for a customization muse.
Typically, the sports car offers 4.8 inches of ground clearance, which is fine for cruising the highway. Tommy Pike and his team gave the Safari Rally Z Tribute a two-inch lift with a KW Safari suspension and NISMO suspension parts. The car wears 17 x 7.5-inch prototype NISMO Safari wheels wrapped in Yokohama tires designed for off-roading. A skid plate and new bumper protect the car body while a custom roll bar with four-point harnesses keeps passengers securely in their Recaro Pole Position seats.
Other goodies include a street twin-disc clutch and flywheel, NISMO Track cat-back exhaust system, coolant expansion tank, and heat exchanger inside, and LED lights on the outside.
A vintage replica of the rally-winning Datsun 240Z borrowed from collector Randy Jaffe will sit next to the Safari Rally Z Tribute on the SEMA show floor. Fans will also want to check out the limited-edition Seiko Safari Z watch, which will be available starting October 31; only 240 will be produced.
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