1973 Datsun 240Z Race Car

Trailing throttle oversteer resulted in far more of them leaving the track backwards than ever drove off straight

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When Spike Anderson went trawling for a bottom-feeder race car in England, he started at a fish-and-chip shop.
Anderson bought “LAL,” a four-year-old Datsun 240Z from a Greek fish-and-chip shop owner, a Mr. Michael. Stripped, prepared, and repainted in Spike’s “Samurai” colors, the car was entered for the Silverstone 6-hour relay race in May 1977, successfully completing 158 laps.
Fired by their success, the team entered the 6-hour relay at Brands Hatch in August. Clive Richardson started at the back of the grid and managed to work his way up through the field to eleventh place before handing off to Win Percy. With rain pouring down, Win had the crowd on its feet, passing a car on every lap, to reach sixth place overall before the race was stopped due to the appalling conditions.
On the restart, Win spun into the barriers and the car was out. Bradburn Brothers, who had been helping Spike, bought the car, stripped and rejigged the shell, and rebuilt it as a rally car. The 1973 Datsun 240Z was sold, unused, to the vendor in 1984.
As a part of the rebuilding works parts transferred to “LAL” include reconditioned front and rear suspension struts, new works-pattern lightweight doors, hood, trunk lid, rear windows and tailgate, works roll bar with two spare wheels, Group 4 brakes, a set of works magnesium wheels, and works seats.
Although not an ex-works Datsun 240Z, examples of which have never come onto the market, “LAL 909K” (its English license plate) has an interesting history both as a circuit car and a rally replica.

Thor Thorson

Thor Thorson - SCM Contributing Editor

Thor grew up in northern Iowa. His father bought a red Jag XK 150 in the late 1950s, and that was all it took; he has been in love with sports cars , racing cars and the associated adrenaline rush ever since. He has vintage raced for more than 20 years, the bulk of them spent behind the wheel of a blue Elva 7. When he’s not racing, he is president of Vintage Racing Motors Inc., a collector-car dealer and vintage-racing support company based in Redmond, WA. His knowledge runs the full spectrum of vintage racing, and he has put that expertise to good use for SCM since 2003.

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