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Vilner restores 1976 Datsun 280Z to its former glory and more




This 1976 Datsun 280Z Fairlady Z is arguably one of the most unique projects to come out of Vilner Studio and the story of the car is no less interesting than the project itself.

Rescued from its owner in Hamburg who is associated with Erich Hartmann – Bubi, a successful flying ace in Germany, Vilner says they “literally pulled the car out of the owner’s living room.”

“We removed some of the house’s window assembly to pull the car out,” says Atanas Vilner.

Once in Vilner’s garage, the tuner started restoring the car with the support of BASF R-M. First up, the car was stripped of its original ‘Gold Metallic’ paint job and given a new coat of paint called the ‘Vilner Cobalt Matte Metallic’

Vilner also developed a special ‘Vilner Copper Rose’ colour for the car’s ‘Superlite’ styled wheels, front grille, rear fascia, as well as on the centre mirror cap, steering wheel, gear lever button and the ‘DATSUN’ plate inside the car.

While every single component of the car was checked changed, refreshed or replaced with new ones, Vilner said it has endeavour to keep the car as close to the original as their imagination allowed them to.

Some modern parts include full LED headlights and taillights, LED ‘Z’ badges for the side indicators, machined side mirrors and a fully customised side exit stainless steel exhaust system. For a cleaner silhouette, Vilner has removed the 280Z’s front and rear bumpers.

Inside, Vilner’s magic shines with almost 100 per cent of the panels wrapped in vintage leather, while the side panels and central tunnel are covered in blue felt. Blue is also the colour of choice for the seat belts, floor mats, seat piping and headliner, the latter which has been shaped like the quilted seats to provide a sound deadening effect.

On the mechanical side, the car was disassembled to the last bolt, with every part either refurbished, replaced with an OEM part or with a better one. It retains its 125kW/221Nm 2,792cc in-line 6-cylinder petrol that is connected to the rear wheels via a 3-speed automatic transmission. Vilner’s 280Z also sits 20mm closer to the ground thanks to a set of Eibach springs.

For their trouble, Vilner is asking €75,000 for the car, which they said is modest considering the amount of work and materials that went into the car.

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