copyright  Auto Active / PLD Productions 2003



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East African Safari Rally Car:
Datsun 260Z For Sudle Motorsport

Initially Auto-Active was commissioned to produce a 'replica' East African Safari Rally car, which would resemble the original successful Nissan works team 240Z, driven by Shekta Mehta, to have appropriately increased performance for the road and perhaps club rallying in the UK.

>> Click here for the full vehicle specification

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This early specification evolved over a period of time to become a more serious project with professional rallying potential and late in the day the decision was made to have a go at the East African Safari Rally in 2007.

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The original concept and project were abandoned in favour of a new build, fully strengthened early 260Z shell, reinforced with full roll cage and engine bay bracing, modern competition suspension and brakes, large capacity aluminium fuel tank, rally specification engine, and all 'state of the art' accessories to do the 'real thing'.

The project was shipped to Kenya in early September 2007 where it was to be fitted out with its rally equipment and livery, trials and testing by the Sudle Motorsport team prior to the rally event in late November.

We at Auto-Active are proud to have been involved in such a prestigious project, and would like to thank all those involved who worked so hard to make it happen.



Personnel:

Jak Goodyear: Specialist welding/fabrication
Adrian Francis: Mechanic
Robbo Robertson: Shell preparation
Sean Day: Welding and enthusiasm
Rufus: Transportation


Suppliers:

Rally Weld Fabrications: Competition fuel tank and fixings
Merlin Motorsport: Various competition accessories and fittings
Exact Engineering: Braided hoses and fixings
Stewart Wilkins (Australia): Competition M.C.A. suspension and limited slip differential
Lawrence Evans: Front vented disc brakes and callipers
Hugh Myers: Rear brakes and spares
Sira Motors: Paint
MJP Eastern Auto: Competition (neoprene) bushes, hoses and various accessories


Our congratulations to Harpal and Harvinda and the Sudle Motorsport Team on successfully completing the rally. Position: 36

Auto-Active - constructors and sponsors of East African Safari Rally Car No57 Reg: RMJ 620M for client from 1 March 2007 to 11 September 2007

Vehicle Specification

Body

Early (1974) 260Z 2 seater, stripped to bare metal and all rust cut out and replaced with new steel.
*NB Donor vehicle and all parts supplied by Auto-Active except for items marked *, supplied by client

  • Inner sills reinforced, front and rear
  • New outer sills
  • New floor pans and reinforced lower bulkheads
  • New heavy duty chassis rails
  • Spare wheel well removed and new floor installed to accommodate large capacity fuel tank and fixings
  • Front chassis torsion bar supports double skin reinforced
  • Inner wing to chassis rail double skin reinforced
  • Radiator support panel lower cross member reinforced
  • Full internal welded roll cage, welded to shell via floor/sill pedestals and to rear strut towers
  • Welded in, solid rear strut brace
  • Detachable solid steel front strut brace
  • Engine bay reinforcement (roll cage tubing) chassis rail to strut tower to bulkhead via bulkhead anchor plate
  • Front anti roll bar mounts reinforced
  • All remedial and new panel bodywork seam welded, also extra seam welding to rear wheel arches, rear chassis, front air tubes, front bulkhead and engine bay. New floor pans overlap jointed and double seam welded. Underside of shell primered and painted with two coats of glacier white acrylic prior to assembly

Glazing

Standard front screen and rear quarter lights, 'polycarb' rear screen and door 'glass' with competition sliding apertures both sides. All fitted with new standard body kit rubber and stainless trim.

Decoration

Datsun emblems to front wings and rear quarter vents

Lighting

Standard front and rear lights fitted and tested

Brakes and Clutch

Both systems fully overhauled with new copper tubing throughout fitted internally, and new braided flexible hoses externally. Rear brakes standard*. Front brakes Hilux 4 pot calipers with vented discs and spacers*.

Suspension

All suspension components cleaned and painted and refitted with new 'poly' competition bushes, including new anti-roll bar links and bushes. Rear wishbones seam welded. Competition compressed air struts* fitted all round. with new wheel bearings and bushes. Minilite wheels* and rally tyres*.

Gearbox and Differential

Standard gearbox from donor car cleaned and refitted with standard clutch. Limited slip differential* fitted with safety strap, standard drive shafts and prop shaft.

Engine

260Z rally spec unit specifically sourced for this project with high compression, polished and ported head. Rally cam and triple 40 DHLA DELORTO carbs with filters and fuel regulator. Jan speed six branch manifold and stainless system, custom fabricated. 280ZX electronic distributor and coil, oil cooler and new large capacity three core radiator.

Fuel system

Custom designed and copyrighted large capacity, light weight aluminium fuel cell and fixing straps. Duel facet* fuels pumps, braided hosing running internally from inside rear compartment to fuel regulator in engine bay. Electronic cut-off switch.

All further specialist rally equipment fitting out, seats, steering wheel, mud flaps, spot lights, navigation aids etc was undertaken by client's team in Africa as was all final testing and setting up of the vehicle for the rally. Congratulations to them all for a magnificent achievement.

As sponsors of this team as well as vehicle supply, construction and assembly as commissioned by Sudle Motorsport, Auto-Active supplied separately:-

  • Australian aluminium competition 'roo-bar' bumpers, front and rear
  • Complete, duplicate, standard suspension, including drive shafts and prop shaft
  • Spare differential
  • Spare standard gearbox and clutch
  • Engine ancillaries - starter motor, alternator etc
  • Good will and encouragement (unlimited)

As featured in Banzai Magazine January 2009



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