Reinier Van Den Bout knew that the Nissan 300ZX is an underrated classic. And when he got the opportunity to buy this 1990 model, he couldn’t resist giving it the attention it so richly deserved.
By Chad Miller
The Nissan 300ZX…the middle child living in the shadow of its performance busting GTR big brother and nimble SX little brother. But the 300ZX actually has a lot going for it; from its sleek styling that could come across as an Italian thoroughbred to the untrained eye, a cushy interior that’s better than anything Italy had to offer at the time, and a legendary Nissan V6 upfront; you know what? it’s frightening to think that so many people have overlooked the 300ZX!Out of all those people, you’ll find people like Reinier van den Bout, he knew that the 300ZX is an underrated classic and when he got the opportunity to buy this 1990 model, he jumped at the opportunity!
With a car of this age, Reinier knew that he had to replace a few odds and ends; the first being a leaky rubber hose and if you know anything about the ZX, you’ll know that you need to remove the engine to do almost anything. So out came the motor and all the rubber hoses were replaced with an imported silicone hose kit. Reinier then noticed that one of the turbos needed attention and this is where things got out of hand.
Instead of just replacing the turbo, the motor was entrusted to Steve Clark from No Sweat Racing and that faulty turbo together with its twin was replaced by a set of Jim Wolf Technology Sport 700 ball-bearing turbos. The added pressure that these turbos exerted on the internals meant that forged pistons and conrods were bolted to the polished crank, while the heads were given a good porting and work in conjunction with the Mike Smith manifolds that improves the flow of all that lovely boost. To keep that boost cool, there’s a set of Godspeed side-mount intercoolers and to help those intercoolers, the headlamp washer jets were redirected and now spray water onto the intercoolers. On the electronics side, the OEM engine management system was replaced with a state of the art Haltech Elite 750. The result of all that hard work is a whopping 481kW and 739Nm…bet the GTRs and SXs of the world never saw that coming?!
Those 481kW give the OEM gearbox a good stretching, but thanks to the uprated synchromesh units and Jim Wolf Technologies clutch with lightweight flywheel, things aren’t stretched too far which allows the 18-inch 350Z wheels the ability to break traction with ease! Once those wheels break traction, it’s up to the rebuilt OEM breaks with EBC Yellow Stuff pads to bring things back to civilised speeds. As for the suspension; for those of you who are wondering, the car is sitting at its OEM ride height “GASP!” but that’s because Reinier does not want to damage that Stillen front bumper!Apart from the front bumper, the car sports several exterior enhancements from TwinZ including a rather sexy rear diffuser and wing extension. All of these pieces and the car itself was given a fresh coat of OEM silver applied by Greenstone Autobody. My favourite part though is that Z-Centre vented nose panel, it gives the front-end a much more performance and purposeful look as opposed the flat OEM panel.
Like the exterior, the interior also got a makeover with the most obvious change being the set of leather covered Bride GHIA seats, but if you look a little closer you’ll notice that the rear seats, door cards, steering wheel and dashboard have all been re-trimmed in leather with subtle but sexy double stitch detailing!Apart from that subtle stitch pattern; this car is far from subtle, it’s loud, fast and in your face. It’s the middle-child that’s sick of living in the shadows and the Reinier has certainly brought out the ZX’s wild side!