1970 Datsun 240Z
Performance Restorations

"This breaks all of our building rules here. We just don't do Japanese cars," Brent Jarvis said about this 240Z going together at Performance Restorations. "But when one of your best friends asks you, you say ‘yes,' and give it the best you have. So this is a first for our shop and it should turn out to be quite a cool, fun, fast car when done." Brent's friend, Jim Campagna, has had the Z since he was a young man, but once he got married and had kids, it was put into storage. The plan was to eventually bring it back as a father-son project, but unfortunately the gearhead gene skipped a generation and his son doesn't have the same interest in cars that dad does. So now that the kids are away in school, dad is doing it for himself.

While it may not be his usual cup of tea, it's not too hard to like the formula: a pocket-sized 2,400-pound car with a great chassis and suspension. Toss in a reliable 500hp LS engine underhood, and you've got a recipe for some really fun, fast handling track action. You didn't think Brent would keep the original six in it, did you? The aluminum LS engine is actually lighter than the old iron straight-six.

Styling wise, the Z is being accented with vintage flares, front air dam, headlamp covers, and rear wing to give it a classic road race look. The flares will be molded in rather than bolted on as they were 40 years ago. Campagna is a very experienced race driver, so the Z will be giving muscle cars fits on the autocross, the road course, and speed-stop challenges.

By The Numbers

1970 Datsun 240Z

Engine: 500hp LS2
Trans: Tremec T56 six-speed
Rearend: Q45 Infiniti with 3:45 gears
Suspension: Arizona Z Cars suspension with single lower control arm, double-adjustable coilover struts, and custom adjustable swing arm sway bar in the front; Arizona Z Cars suspension with custom halfshafts, single lower control arms, double-adjustable coilover struts, and custom adjustable swing arm sway bar in the rear.
Brakes: 13-inch drilled and slotted rotors on all four corners with race-spec Wilwood 6-piston calipers in front, 4-piston calipers in the rear
Wheels & Tires: 17x9.5 & 18x11 Forgeline DE3P wheels with 255/40R17 & 295/35R18 Michelin Pilot Sport PS2 tires
Contact: Performance Restorations; 847-566-7469; www.PerformanceRestorations.com

1970 Ford Mustang
Pure Vision Design

One of Steve Strope's favorite design directions is to cross elements from different vehicles of the same era, and just by looking at the Tavis Highlander illustration, Ford nuts probably already see the vintage GT40 design cues. But for those of you who need a little refresher course in GT40, here is the basic rundown.

While GT40s ran small-blocks and 427 FEs, Strope opted for Jon Kaase Racing's new 520ci all-aluminum Boss '9 with their new eight-stack EFI injection. The idea behind the Kaase Boss '9 is that it resembles the Ford big-block racing engines of the 1960s while bringing more power and driveability. It also reduces weight on the nose significantly. The future owner—who insists on his privacy—is a successful high-level businessman who is a part-time racer, so no ordinary transmission will do. Taking the grunt from Kaase's Boss will be Keisler Automotive's new dog box clutchless six-speed manual. Continuing with the vintage race theme, the stripe patterns are modeled after the original GT40's hood and rocker stripe package, like the Ford lettering in the rocker stripe just behind the door of the GT40. Recognize those wheels GT40 enthusiasts? Most GT40s ran Halibrand wheels, but Strope opted to work with EVOD Industries to recreate the Gulf Racing GT40's six-spoke wheels with three-blade spinners in an 18-inch diameter. And the color? Why Gurney Blue, of course.

By The Numbers

1970 Ford Mustang

Engine: 520ci all-aluminum Kaase Boss '9 with Kaase eight-stack EFI injection
Trans: dog-box clutchless six-speed
Rearend: Heidts PRO-G IRS
Suspension: JME Enterprises billet aluminum cradle, control arms, and spindles with in-board cantilever-style pushrod-activated JRi coilover shocks and Hyperco springs in front. Heidts PRO-G IRS with JRi coilover shocks and Hyperco springs in the rear.
Brakes: 14-inch Baer Brakes with 6S 6-piston calipers
Wheels & Tires: Gulf Racing GT40-style six-spoke wheels with three-blade spinners by EVOD Industries
Contact: Pure Vision Design; 805-522-2232; www.PureVisionDesign.com

1971 Plymouth 'Cuda
Rad Rides By Troy

This one is a real horror story, and proof that sometimes it's just best to go back to the original source when you want to emulate a high-end show car. Back in 1971 when the movie Vanishing Point debuted, Roger Byrd's father had a Challenger very similar to Kowalski's that the local drive-in theater borrowed to get moviegoers revved up. That mental pic of people crowding around his dad's car stuck with the younger Byrd. Years later when his chiropractic career was doing well and he was contemplating getting a Viper, that image of vintage Mopar muscle crept back in. Rather than a Challenger, though, Roger opted for a 'Cuda convertible.

He took the rolling shell to a builder in Southern Florida with dreams of building a 'Cuda badder than Sick Fish, the '70 'Cuda built by Rad Rides for Joe Rogan. Well, unfortunately the only part they got right was "bad." The 'Cuda was originally slated to debut in Chrysler's booth at the 2007 SEMA show, but when Roger arrived he was told that it had been turned away since it was hastily thrown together and incomplete. Back to the shop it went. In 2009, it did make the SEMA show, but ran and drove so poorly that Roger only racked up 70 miles on it.

Thoroughly through with that shop, Roger contacted Troy Trepanier at Rad Rides to rescue the 'Cuda. Unfortunately what Troy found was a carved up car full of filler, a poorly designed and installed suspension, and an engine with washed cylinders. After stripping the paint, every single panel except one doorskin had to be replaced.

Roger was so disgusted he didn't even bother to call Troy for a year, preferring just to let his crew work. Now eight years into a project that was supposed to only take two years, Roger is starting to get reenergized since the end is in sight. He should finally be driving "Whiplash" by this spring.

By The Numbers

1971 Plymouth 'Cuda

Engine: 850hp 572ci Ray Barton Hemi, Big Stuff 3 ECU
Trans: Bowler TKO 600
Rearend: Dana 60, Eaton posi, 3.50 gears
Suspension: Magnum Force front, DSE QuadraLink in the rear
Brakes: Wilwood; 13-inch rotors with 6-piston calipers in front, 12-inch rotors with 4-piston calipers in rear
Wheels & Tires: 18x8 & 20x10 Billet Specialties
Contact: Rad Rides; 815-468-2590; www.RadRides.com