BRE #46 Datsun
All projects like this are an evolution and this is no exception; I have owned several 240Z’s over the last 15 years, after being turned on to them by my best friend in high school. One summer I helped him repair his 71 240Z, and get it back on the road. I drove the car a little that summer and was hooked on Z’s. Eventually I purchased that 240Z from my friend and drove it as a daily driver, parking it about 12 years ago.
Five years ago I looked to convert the Z listed above into a street / open track day car, but after many years on the road and a few fender benders I decided that was not a good project car to do a restoration. Instead, Les Cannaday of Classic Datsun came across a very clean, very original 72 240Z that was a great candidate for a restoration and I bought the car intending to make a fun weekend track car / street car.
I started collecting parts to build my project when I could. I scraped together deals and traded parts to get what I wanted and needed. As this evolved, I became more interested in building a purpose built race car…then I saw an add on www.zcar.com for a BRE race motor. I got lucky, reacted quickly and purchased this motor from Mark Belrose. Mark had purchased a race car that was built by BRE back in the 70’s for Bill Martin, a popular and successful club racer in Southern California. Mark was looking to take the car to the next level competing at VARA Events in C Production racing and had purchased a big 2.8 liter dry sump race motor to be more competitive in his class.
Mark’s car had a number of rare and hard to find BRE race parts. With the purchase of the motor I enquired about several other original parts that went along with his car. Mark eventually sold me the original Solex Carburetors, Nissan Comp Manifold and American Lemans Magnesium wheels. All of which are on my Tribute BRE today.
This purchase pushed me over the edge, away from the streetable car into a copy of the BRE #46 240Z. I had seen several attempts by a number of people to build a BRE replica, but all of them had fallen well short of the original car that was destroyed in Phoenix back in the 70’s. I decided to do it right.
Once again I went to Les Cannaday and discussed my thoughts and we started looking for additional resources to find out what were the correct items in order to build the car correctly. Les put me in touch with John Morton, Peter Brock, John Caldwell and Gerry Mason. After extensive research the build up of the car began.
We started with the donor shell striped out all of the interior and drive train to a rolling chassis and proceeded over to PDK Fabrications to reinforce the chassis and install the roll cage. Marc Mc Kinley, the owner of PDK Fabrication stepped up and stripped the undercoating away and started bending up roll bar tubing, and welding up a full cage. At first we made a copy of the BRE roll cage then added to it to meet SCCA specifications. From there we stitch welded the chassis and built the custom fuel cell enclosure. In the mean time, I contacted Design Products Racing and had them fabricate a modified dual master cylinder pedal assembly, coilover suspension, monoball suspension pickup points, adjustable TC rods, camber plates, tubular sway bars, solid differential mount and adjustable rear control arms.
When the chassis was completed we sent it out to be media blasted to remove 30 years of old paint down to bare metal. From there PDK fabrications repaired a few minor rust problems and prepared the car for paint.
I contacted Gerry Mason the owner of the #3 BRE Z and he was kind enough to forward me paint color samples to match the correct colors on his car along with a fabricated copy of the original BRE race header and collector.
From there we took the car to its first show, the 2004 MSA show where the car one best work in progress, in primer as a rolling chassis. Two and a half months later it was painted, decaled, the interior installed, and the engine and transmission installed (although not running) for the National Z convention at Nissan Headquarters.
Shortly there after we were contacted to use the car in a TV show called “Full Throttle”. That aired a few years ago on the History Channel. The car was used in background shots of John Morton and Trevor Harris of BRE fame.
From there we completed the installation of the drivetrain, and exhaust and plumbed the car with Earls AN lines (a special thanks to VW Paradise in San Marcos CA). Installed a new electrical system and the car is as you see it today.
Into the future:
We have started to shake down the car, for all the “little” problems prior to racing the car. The Car may be raced some time in the future. Currently my Tribute BRE Z car is shown at several events on the West Coast.
I am proud to say that my BRE tribute car was the first officially licensed BRE 240Z in Peter and Gayle Brock tribute program. At present the Brocks now offer a tribute program to those interested in recreating a BRE tribute car and as a part of their assistance they will officially license your vehicle as a Tribute vehicle.
We have been invited to the Mitty at Road Atlanta, this event takes place every year in late April and is put on by Classic Motorsports magazine. In 2010 BRE will be the featured Marque and several of the original BRE cars will be on hand for this event. Peter and Gayle have requested that I bring my Z out in place of the original BRE #46 240Z.
Hear my Z run:
BRE 2.4 liter motor, Slover modified E-31 head, Venolia Pistons and Iski Cam. BRE Oil filter adapter, early Nissan Comp crank damper and Nissan Comp oil pan. Traco oil filter mount, Mocal oil cooler, Canton Mecca 3Qt Accusump with electronic valve.
Close Ratio Overdrive Nissan Comp Transmission with companion flange
Differential: R-190 4.44 LSD
Intake and Exhaust:
44mm Solex Sidedraft carburetors on a Nissan Comp manifold. Exhaust, is a copy of the eight piece BRE racing header and collector into dual exhaust with dual megaphones
DP Racing modified pedal box for dual master cylinders with a balance bar and Tilton adjuster.
Vented front rotors and Toyota 4 piston Calipers (front)
79 ZX rear Calipers and solid rear rotors
Brake pads; Porterfield R4’s
Modified stock strut tubes (shortened aprox. 2”) with 5 way adjustable Tokico Illuminas.
Hypercoil springs and adjustable collars for ride height adjustment.
DP Racing prepared front control arms, adjustable TC Rods, Cross member and adjustable Rear A-Arms.
DP Racing adjustable front and rear swaybars; Front bar 1 1/8” tubular bar. Rear 5/8” solid bar.
Wheels and Tires:
American Lemans Magnesium 14” x 7” wheels, zero offset with Hoosier 225 x 50 x14’s
Custom 10 point+ integrated roll cage tying into the front suspension pickup points, with door bars, all designed around an original BRE Roll bar fabricated by PDK Fabrication.
Stitch welded throughout, suspension pickup points re-enforced, battery tray relocated, spare tire well modified for an ATL Fuel cell. Bulk head installed between passenger compartment and fuel cell, fabricated by PDK Fabrication.
All rust repair and bodywork done by Marc “Pops” Mc Kinley
Done by Adam Padilla of Padilla Auto Body, Oceanside CA
5 lb., 2 nozzle Fire Bottle
“It’s a Snap” 20 circuit wiring system. Installed by Nathan Hall; owner of Specializing in Competition, in San Marcos CA.
Autometer Phantom mechanical and electrical gauges
ATL 12 gallon “Well Cell” with an internal surge tank, to 2 Carter fuel pumps, Canton Mecca fuel filter and Holley fuel pressure regulator.
Custom overflow tanks and brake fluid reservoir fabricated by DP Racing in Huntington Beach CA.
Ron Davis Aluminum cross-flow Radiator
Fiberglass Hood, front “Spook” and Rear Spoiler from Classic Datsun, Vista CA
Custom Battery Mount by Williams Machine in Murrieta CA
Custom Fiberglass Racing Dash from PDK Fabrications, Oceanside CA
Decals by Rouse Sign, Vista CA
Marc Mc Kinley
Mark “POPS” Mc Kinley
Molly at VW Paradise
And my wife, Gretchen Carter
BRE Z 240Z #46 1:18 Scale Kyosho has just been released!
This model was based off my Tribute car and is now Available from BRE!