Nissan set to thrill off-and on-road at 2021 SEMA Show

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Starting with a 1972 Datsun 240Z – Nissan rolls into SEMA

Nissan returns to the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show this week with six vehicles – three new and three favorites.

They are:

  • “DocZ” – safari-rally-inspired 1971 Datsun
  • Project Overland Pathfinder and Project Overland Frontier upfits
  • “DocZ” – safari-rally-inspired 1971 Datsun
  • Rebelle Rally 2021 Frontier
  • “Altimaniac,” a four-seat, 2000-horsepower purpose-built drift
  • The all-new 2023 Nissan Z Proto Spec.

Sung Kangs’s “DocZ” Safari Rally-inspored 240Z

“DocZ” Safari Rally 240Z

Some Z cars live only in memory. Some achieve an ongoing status. For example, the Datsun 240Z 1971 East African Safari Rally winner has lived many lives, most recently as a star vehicle in the new Nissan commercial in North America. The original rally winner Z also lives on in the hearts of Z enthusiasts around the world – including actor/producer Sung Kang of Fast and Furious fame.

Kang and his mentor Erick Aguilar (Erick’s Racing) found a complete 1971 240Z in Los Angeles replete in East African Safari Rally homage livery. Broken down, rusted out and in extreme disrepair, Kang and his crew came to the rescue and created something far greater than his original resto concept.

Assembling a team of craftsmen from around the country, Kang’s first instinct was to drop in a fresh Skyline engine like in Kang’s notorious FuguZ. However, some of his mentors steered him another direction – toward an original L24. This would not be an ordinary L24, however. Stroked to 2800cc, with a custom head, triple Weber carbs and custom exhaust, the “stock” engine produces healthy amounts of horsepower and torque.

Putting that power to the ground required completely refreshed suspension and brakes, along with 16-inch ’78 Nanakorobi Yaoki’ wheels, which are a tribute to the Kobe Seiko-style wheel that was standard on the Z432.

The body also needed a total makeover, including a replacement roof and new panels. Coastline Autosport added the unique koi fish ghost effect over red and black two-tone paint, worthy of this Z.

“The DocZ is a representation of the best of my community,” said Kang, who hopes his incredible rescue/restoration/reimagination project will inspire other Z enthusiasts to do the same.

Project Overland Pathfinder

Overland Pathfinder

Family adventure-ready straight off the factory floor, this unique Project Overland Pathfinder is also perfect for home schooling – as in home on the range and learning what simple modifications owners can install to help it get farther off the beaten path.

Upgrades include a number of special modifications, starting with a prototype NISMO Off Road 2-inch lift kit featuring custom Bilstein-sourced high-capacity monotube gas-pressurized shocks. Meeting the road are custom 18 x 8-inch NISMO Off Road wheels mounted with 265/60R18 Maxxis RAZR AT tires.

Exterior additions include a prototype NISMO Off Road expedition roof rack, ROAM Adventure Company 83L Rugged Cases, NISMO Off Road 6-inch Driving Lights, a custom

fabricated front bumper guard with Rigid 4-inch D-Series driving lamps, custom fabricated rock rails and RIGd UltraSwing Multi-Fit Hitch Carrier with UltraTable.

The Project Overland Pathfinder interior includes an Egoé Nestbox Camper Conversion Kit with camp kitchen and sleeping platform system.

Project Overland Frontier

Overland Frontier

Already reimagined from the ground up, the Project Overland 2022 Frontier is designed to cover even more challenging ground with added confidence and style – demonstrating its potential for customer modifications using readily available components.

The chassis has been upgraded with a NISMO Off Road Performance Suspension Kit, adjusted for +2-inch lift in front – along with SPC Front Upper Control Arms with xAxis sealed flex joints for increased travel.

In the rear, NISMO Off Road performance shock absorbers with remote reservoirs provide improved damping and greater fade resistance. Custom NISMO Off Road rear leaf springs provide a 2-inch lift and greater load-carrying capacity and 17 x 7.5-inch NISMO Off Road AXIS wheels with 285/70-17 Maxxis RAZR MT tires complete the package.

The factory exhaust has been replaced with a full NISMO Off Road Performance Cat-Back System featuring a polished tip with laser-etched NISMO logo.

The long list of exterior modifications includes a NISMO Off Road Heavy Duty Bumper with NISMO Off Road 4-inch round driving lamps, NISMO Off Road Overlanding Bed Rack and NISMO Off Road rooftop tent.

In addition, hood-mounted NISMO Off Road ditch lamp mounts with 4-inch round driving lamps, a Front Runner Slimline II Roof Rack and their Hi- Lift Jack Mount with Hi-Lift X-TREME Jack and a pair of Roam Adventure Company 83 Liter Rugged Cases help make life off the beaten track more manageable. Filling-out the bed,      is a TruckVault All-Weather bed drawer system complimented by an ARB Elements Fridge mounted on a drop-down slide and an ARB Twin Air Compressor.

The interior is highlighted by a Garmin Overlander all-terrain GPS system, Garmin PowerSwitch digital switch box for electrical accessory control and a 67 Designs Device Mounting System. Finally, special overlanding specific gear includes a Dometic PLB40 Portable Lithium Battery Power Source and an Overland Solar – Bugout 130 Foldable Solar Panel.

The expanding list of new NISMO Off Road parts (many found on Overland Pathfinder and the Overland Frontier) will be available through Nissan dealers, select NISMO retailers or via starting in early 2022.

Nissan Rebelle Rally Frontier

Rebelle Rally Frontier

Coming off a sixth-place finish in the recently completed 2021 Rebelle Rally is Team Wild Grace’s NISMO Off Road-equipped 2022 Nissan Frontier PRO-4X.

Co-captains Sedona Blinson and Lyn Woodward stole the show all along the nine-day, 1,200-mile trek through the Nevada and California deserts with their Frontier wrapped in the red, white and blue livery of Nissan’s famed Hardbody racers of four decades ago.

Modifications to the 2022 Frontier PRO-4X include the following Nismo Off Road parts: driving lights, performance suspension, cat-back performance exhaust and Axis wheels.

Nissan has competed in all six runnings of the women-only Rebelle Rally, which is considered one of the most demanding off-road rallies in America.

NOTE: Blinson and Woodward will be talking about their Rebelle Rally experiences at the booth on Tuesday, November 2.

Nissan “Altimaniac”


Three-time Formula Drift World Champion Chris Forsberg has built the world’s most insane Nissan Altima. In an epic partnership with Valvoline and Nissan, the GT- R-powered, four-seater drift machine has been dubbed a fitting name: The Altimaniac.

With the dream to not only build the world’s most advanced four-seat drift car but the world’s most powerful, too, Forsberg’s team set to work. Since there were no plans for competitive motorsports, but more of a way to scare three friends at a time, the Altimaniac   was able to come to life free of the constraints of any rulebook.

Starting with a 2021 Nissan Altima, the car was completely stripped down to a bare body and 3D scanned to create a fully digital model.

Chassis engineering firm Tekk Consulting then helped turn Forsberg’s dream into a reality by designing a tube chassis to fit inside the stock Altima body. Using a powerplant developed by T1 Race Development, the Nissan GT-R’s VR38 twin-turbo V6 now develops a reliable 2000 horsepower. An RTS 6XD Sequential Transmission handles lightning-quick shifts, while a fully adjustable custom race suspension helps Forsberg control the angle of the drift.

Inside, unlike a Formula Drift car, are four carbon fiber seats designed by Recaro Automotive. Each passenger is protected with a full double-halo roll cage around them. Outside, a custom livery was designed by Team Valvoline and optimized for 360-degree drone footage, with each side being a different color

2023 Nissan Z

2023 Nissan Z

The all-new 2023 Z offers a sleek, attractive exterior with a silhouette including a long hood and low rear stance, it honors the original 240Z.

Inside, the driver-centric cockpit includes a 12.3-inch customizable racing-inspired TFT meter display, available leather- appointed sports seats and 8-speaker Bose Audio system.

All 2023 Nissan Z models are equipped with a 400-horsepower 3.0-liter V6 twin-turbo engine and choice of 6-speed manual transmission with motorsports-inspired EXEDY high- performance clutch, or a 9-speed automatic transmission with aluminum paddle shifters.

The 2023 Z is offered in Sport and Performance grade levels and is scheduled to go on sale in spring 2022. The special Z Proto Spec edition, which is limited to only 240 units for the U.S. market, is on display at the show.

The Nissan vehicles are on display Nov. 2-5 at Nissan Booth #52157, located in the new West Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center.

Source: Nissan 2021 SEMA Press Release

Tailpipes and Tacos is back Memorial Day weekend! It’s been a while but the popular Tailpipes and Tacos cruise-in returns to the Lupe Tortilla Tex-Mex in Katy…Saturday, May 25th! Bring your hot rod, Classic or Modern Classic to compete for one of the famous Chili Pepper trophies AND get a FREE breakfast taco! Just make a donation of any size to God’s Garage and Lupe’s will match it. You’ll be helping single mothers who need a set of wheels.

It has been a year in the making so you won’t want to miss Tailpipes and Tacos, Saturday, May 25th 8 to 11 AM. Cruise-in, donate what you want to God’s Garage and grab a free Lupe Tortilla breakfast taco. Tailpipes and Tacos ony happens at the Lupe Tortilla Tex-Mex in Katy at 703 West Grand Parkway at Kingsland Blvd…just south of the Katy Freeway.

It’s car show season and what better way to kick it off than a free taco and comradery at Tailpipes and Tacos, Memorial Day weekend, Saturday, May 25, 2024, 8 to 11 AM. 

The In Wheel Time Car Talk Show will be there too.

Proceeds benefit God’s Garage

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