… This Datsun 280ZX Turbo I spotted at Atlanta’s Sunday morning car show, Caffeine and Octane. This car rolled into last weekend’s show and immediately captured everyone’s attention as the undeniable sound of a turbine engine filled the parking lot. It took us all by surprise when we realized it was in fact coming out of that black Datsun you see here. As the owner finally pulled into a spot, and with massive amounts of heat refraction coming out of the bonnet, the largest crowd I’ve ever seen around a single car was in complete shock to find an auxiliary power unit “out of a military jet” as the car’s source of power. Just because.
With the crowd as big as it was, it was hard to talk to the owner, but if I heard correctly, that’s a Garret GTP turboshaft engine “out of a military jet” living comfortably where the standard straight six used to be. Engines like this are generally used to provide power for aircraft or helicopters, but not here. Through some type of witchcraft, power is sent to the rear wheels through a 5-speed manual gearbox. It supposedly wasn’t built for speed, as the owner claimed power was in the low 200 range.
Apart from the jet fighter sounds, it also has the looks to match with flat black paint and “ejection seat”, “tie down”, and aircraft tail number stickers galore. Above the fuel cap was “jet fuel only”, but the day I saw it she was running on kerosene and can burn diesel and vegetable oil as well.
When asked why he built it (or bought it, not really sure), the owner simply said “just because”. Good man.
Images © Hooniverse/Greg Kachadurian 2012