Actor Sung Kang to Unveil Nissan 240Z Race Car at SEMA
Photographs by Andrew Chen
Nissan’s Z cars have quite the racing heritage thanks to winning teams like Bob Sharp Racing (BSR) and Brock Racing Enterprises (BRE) who dominated the 1970s SCCA racing circuit with the 240Z.
Over the years, this storied sports car has attracted love and attention from some of Hollywood’s biggest names, including legendary actor Paul Newman — who raced on the BSR team in the early ’70s — and comedian/Datsun collector Adam Corolla.
This year will see another Tinseltown star, Sung Kang (Fast & Furious 6, Gang Related), add his name to the Z car love affair as he is building a 1973 Nissan 240Z race car to compete in various amateur racing circuits. And because he wants to share his automotive passion with the world, this project is being chronicled in a five-part documentary series titled Z Dream, with the first episode scheduled to air in October 2015 on FOX Sports Digital.
What originally started as a casual excuse for Sung and his two friends, Michael and Greg, to simply hang out and create something cool, has quickly blossomed into an ambitious and extensive venture as they aim to finish the car in less than 65 days and debut it at this year’s SEMA Show in Las Vegas.
While the talented team at GReddy Performance prepared the bare-metal body of the 240Z for its next stages, Sung and I sat down to talk about some of the things that inspire him for this project.
Much like how Bob Sharp put Datsun on the map for privateer racers with unprecedented access to technical advice and competition parts, Sung chose the 240Z because it’s an attainable car for the average automotive enthusiast. He, like many others, has a special emotional connection with the car, having longed to build a racing Z ever since he was old enough to hang car posters on his wall. The group hopes that the Z Dream documentary will motivate others to also build a car that’s distinctly their own.
And while Sung respects the purists who covet a period-correct example, his wish is to build a 240 that’s fresh and hip, but still honors the heritage of a car that means so many things to so many people. It’s a tall order, but he’s not going to settle for anything but the perfect balance of classic and modern, all while maintaining full racing functionality.
The guys have opted to go with the legendary RB26 powerplant in naturally-aspirated form, and after GReddy adds their magical touch, they’re expecting a rev limit of 12,000 RPM (most likely governed to 10,000 RPM for reliability reasons).
With the car’s critical components planned and laid out for installation, the next step is for the chassis to receive a coat of paint and some custom bodywork from the meticulous artists at Signature Autobody.
For those that are too impatient to wait for the crew at eGarage and FOX Sports to finish editing the footage for Z Dream Episode One, you can follow Sung Kang’s official Facebook page for behind the scenes photos and discussions on the progress of the build.
Z Dream is executive produced by Justin Ching (FOX Sports) and Brian Yang (408 Films).
Update 10-2-15: Z Dream episode 1 releases in about a week on SPEED. In the meantime, here’s an exclusive teaser video: