The LS-Swapped 1973 Datsun 240z

Quite possibly the most influential JDM road car ever built, the Datsun 240Z or Nissan Fairlady Z —depending on which part of the globe you reside in — laid the foundation for import GT cars to be stylish, innovative, quick, and most importantly, affordable. Still widely surrounded amongst fans, there aren’t as many cars that elicit such feelings across generations as the 240.

Take Sammi, the owner of this 1973 Datsun 240Z restomod, for instance. Beginning life around American muscle cars with her grandfather and father, who were also certified Z nuts, it wasn’t a surprise when Sammi fell in love with the S30 chassis. However, her appreciation for American muscle left her wanting more from the Datsun. So she did what any self-respecting gearhead would do and swapped an LS2 engine into the Z.

Taking it several dozen steps further, Sammi, with the help of her family, ended up building one of — if not the best restomod 240s ever engineered. Something automotive photographer and YouTuber, Larry Chen, agrees wholeheartedly with as he continues to go in-depth with the gear heads at the LS Fest in Texas.

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It’s A Family Affair

Having fallen in love with the multiple Zs her father owned, Sammi became obsessed when her father brought home a flared 240. Since then, it’s been her quest to build an LS-swapped S30 deserving of the Fairlady name. With more than 60 years of car building on her side thanks to her father and grandfather, the result is nothing short of spectacular.

More than just your average LS swap, Sammi addressed every nut, bolt, and gasket on the 50-year-old Japanese icon with careful detail, transforming it into a true restomod.

RELATED: 1972 Datsun 240Z Combines Two Worlds: American Muscle And JDM

A Symphony Of Destruction

However, Sammi also wanted to force people to double-take and scratch their heads wondering, “what the heck is this?” when it comes to the surprise underneath the hood. As you already know, you won’t find the standard straight-six engine that came from the factory.

You will however find eight shiny little trumpets sitting atop the eight cylinders. Take a closer look and you come across a familiar “DATSUN” logo on the valve covers, leaving Nissan enthusiasts wondering if Datsun ever produced a V8.


While underneath the cover lives and breathes an LS2 engine, Sammi threw purists’ concerns out the door when she cut out the original valve cover logo from the straight-six engine and welded them onto the updated valve covers.

Producing around 420 horsepower — and one of the best idling sounds around — Sammi not only built the 240Z we would love to have but one that will last another couple of generations to come.

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