Merged image of a V8 engine, Sherman Tank,  Clementine the Cat, and my MGA in the Alpes

Datsun 240Z:

Initial Inspection

Chassis Jig

Front Chassis

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Datsun 240Z Body Restoration

This Datsun was imported from the US. While largely rust free it has a lot of poorly repaired accident damage possibly resulting from a roll, and a pragmatic US bodyman has cut bits out, straightened them, then welded them back on. Squint.

As received - the initial inspection

As Received - Inspection

This page includes photos from an initial inspection of the shell.

The shell is largely rust free. Only the floors and a few other localised areas show any sign of rot. But it appears to have been rolled at some point and poorly repaired.

The majority of the work you'll see on these pages is intended to properly repair that damage, and make the shell straight and safe.

It would be cheaper and quicker to repair a rusty shell, but given this shell as a starting point the finished job should be better and cheaper than buying and repairing another shell.

Building the chassis jig

Chassis Jig

A rusty but straight car can generally be repaired without the need for a jig. The car can be braced, and measurements can be taken from the other side of the car ensuring the new parts end up in the right place.

On the other hand a jig saves a whole lot of measuring, and with the shell bolted down it has less chance of going out of shape during repairs.

This shell is far from straight, so a chassis jig is needed to make sure that everything ends up in the right spot. This detail page describes the building of the chassis jig.

Front Chassis Repairs

Front Chassis

After a long delay (mostly due to other projects) we're back in action.

I'm still trying to get the car to sit on the chassis jig, and I've come up with the cunning plan of making a chassis to fit on the jig and then welding the rest of the car to that.

Replacement front chassis rails are the first job.


After all that I gave up! I was busy doing other things, the owner had bought another 240Z in Canada (where he lives) and the car had turned out to be more bent than either of us had expected.

The shell has been sold on together with the chassis jig. It was rust free so still useful. The trick bits have been shipped to Canada and a trick 240Z will be running around there soon without the bother of rebuilding a car.

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