The Datsun 240Z won the East African Safari Rally in 1971 and 1973. The brand pays tribute to those victories by building a modern Z with styling inspired by the classic competition machine for the 2023 SEMA Show. A replica of the original is coming to the event, too.

Tommy Pike Customs built the Safari Rally Z Tribute with a look inspired by the 1971 East African Safari Rally winner. It features a dark red body and a black hood. The front features additional lighting on the lower bumper, hood, and the base of the A-pillars. A small, tubular guard and skid plate attach to the nose.

Gallery: Nissan Safari Rally Z Tribute For 2023 SEMA Show

Inside, the Safari Rally Z Tribute features Recaro Pole Position seats and a bar for mounting a four-point harness. The passenger-side dashboard features a map of the East African Safari Rally course and some retro timing equipment.

This Z rides on a custom KW Safari suspension that lifts the ride height by 2.0 inches. The upper control arms, outer tie rod ends, front and rear end-links, rear mid-links, and rear traction arms are all adjustable so that someone can fine-tune the ride for the conditions. Prototype Nismo Safari wheels have a 17-inch diameter and are 7.5 inches wide. A set of chunky Yokohama Geolandar M/T G003 tires wrap around them.

This car receives an AMS tune that pushes the twin-turbo 3.0-liter V6 beyond 400 horsepower, though Nissan doesn’t specify the exact output over stock. There are also a bounty of Nismo parts installed, including a twin-disc clutch, flywheel, heat exchanger, coolant expansion tank, cold-air intake, carbon-fiber engine cover, and cat-back exhaust.

Nissan Safari Rally Z Tribute For 2023 SEMA Show
Nissan Safari Rally Z Tribute For 2023 SEMA Show

In addition to the new rally-inspired Z, a replica of the original Datsun 240Z from the East African Safari Rally is also on display at SEMA. The vehicle is on loan from a collector who built it in 2013. This car even appeared in a recent Nissan commercial.

In July, Nissan expanded the Z lineup by introducing the Nismo model. It boosts the twin-turbo V6 to 420 hp. The nine-speed automatic receives revised tuning versus the gearbox in the standard model. The suspension features new sway bars, retuned dampers, and stiffer springs. Prices start at $66,085 after the $1,095 destination fee.

Nissan delivered just 1,309 examples of the new Z in 2023 as of the end of the third quarter in September. This was up from 86 cars in the same period in 2022.

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