All I have to do is type “240Z vs R1” or “Darius 240Z” into the search bar and I’m greeted with an old friend. I press play, wave hello, and nod with a contented smile on my face. That’s because I now get to watch a video that’s been seared into my brain for quite some time now. It’s a short, simple clip but it tells an amazing vehicular tale. A Datsun 240Z lines up way down the road against a Yamaha YZF-R1. This should be no contest for the bike but there’s an engine noise that arises to let you know things are not as simple as they seem.
The two vehicles come roaring towards the camera and as they pass the 240Z is ahead of the literbike!
I remember the first time I watched this. I was in college and barely knew shit about cars (insert, not much has changed jokes here). I had a 1985 Nissan 300ZX but always wished it was a 240Z. And I wasn’t too knowledgeable about the world of engine swaps. So when I saw this 240Z packing insane V8 heat, my worldview expanded greatly. How could a 240Z keep up with, or even beat a superbike in a race? The answer is with an LT1 swap and then the addition of a supercharger. This 240Z, owned by a motorcycle stunt rider named Darius Khashabi, is the one who built this beast and I’ve been in love with it ever since.
Rolling highway burnouts? Wild. V8 noise in a small Japanese sports car? The stuff of dreams. Crazy power in a machine that doesn’t look up to the task of delivering? Perfection.
Darius still has the car, interestingly enough. I just did a quick Instagram search and there it is albeit more modified now and outfitted for Shift Sector-style half-mile and mile drag race events.
Regardless, the car and those early videos still make me smile. What videos do you keep coming back to? Share in the comments below.