Driving Chris Forsberg's Datsun 280Z

The car is a 1975 Datsun 280Z. It’s a beloved project beast owned by champion drifter Chris Forsberg, and it was completed with support from a number of sponsors including Clarion.
The old L-series engine is gone. In its place sits the mighty RB25DET, which is a turbocharged engine usually found between the fenders of the R32 Skyline. Here it’s been tweaked and upgraded so that it’s producing somewhere in the neighborhood of a reported 500 horsepower.
Inside the car, (and you can find gorgeous photos of all of this on Speedhunters) is an interior with a bunch of Forsberg’s own logos and plenty of suede. There’s the massive hydraulic brake lever you’d expect to find in a drifter’s daily, and a pumped up audio system with navigation.
The steering responds to inputs with immediacy. There’s some lag from the turbo, but keep your foot planted and the revs rise up then you’re into some serious boost. It sounds amazing and reminds you that if you’re not hearing that noise, then you’re not driving the car hard enough.
Still, it’s a project and all projects are nearly always just that. The car is running hot because Chris is letting ham-fisted journalists have a go. The throttle is sticking, so the engine sounds a bit upset between shifts. Finally, the gearbox is a bit sloppier than I expected. Chris could find gears in his own gear with no issues, but I was trying to stir a bowl of spaghetti. With more time, that would be a non issue but it’s daunting when the owner of the car is riding shotgun and you’re staring down turns on a racing circuit.
It’s a gorgeous machine and an absolute blast to drive. Thanks to Chris and Clarion for the opportunity.

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4 responses to “Driving Chris Forsberg's Datsun 280Z”

  1. salguod Avatar

    Was this car at SEMA last year? I seem to remember it, or one much like it.

    1. Jeff Glucker Avatar
      Jeff Glucker

      I know Sung Kang’s 240Z was there, but I’m sure Chris’ car would probably show up there soo

        1. Jeff Glucker Avatar
          Jeff Glucker

          Sweet – Yeah the car was pretty awesome but I definitely needed a bit more time to feel comfortable in the car.