A Brief History Of
One "Factory Works" Z Car

by: Mr. Nick Howell and Carl Beck
html as of 9 July 99..cjb

HS30LW -00023 or 00026 - Started life as a light weight, "factory works" rally car. Assigned to Shekhar Meta and Dave Doughty for the 1972 East Africa Safari Rally. The team finished 10th Overall that year, and took third in class. Below is the rest of the story about this historic Z Car.

After the 72 EAS Rally, HS30LW 00023 was shipped back to Datsun UK under whoes auspices it had been initially prepared for competition at Old Working Garage. After receipt from Africa by Datsun UK, was stored ....

The following has been excerted without permission (at present -but for fair use) from a book by Colin Shipway. "ESSENTIAL DATSUN Z - 240Z To 280ZX. To obtain your copy of this book see "Where To Buy" in the Z Car Reference Library Section"or Click Here To Go To The Reference Library

Mr. Shipway writes:
Racing in the UK.....
The level of support for racing the 240Z in the US was not, unfortunately, present in the UK because Datsun UK Ltd., the independent importer, chose to have no involvement in competition. But several 240Z's were campaigned by privateers, the most notable and successful being Samuri cars.

Samuri, had been producing modified road cars for a number of customers who were using them for competition. As a result Spike Anderson, the proprietor of Samuri, and his partner Bob Gathercole, acquired the ex-Rauno Aaltonen rally car (registered TKS33 SA 695) and began to build it into a race car to contest the 1974 Blue Circle Modsports series. This car was named "Big Sam" and was driven by Win Percy, who had been running a Samuri-modified 240Z in sprints and hillclimbs. The season proved to be both eventfull and successful, with Big Sam contesting the overall honours with Porsches.

The engine blew up a couple of times and was eventually re-built with a one off Gordan Allen crankshaft, which allowed it to rev to 8000RPM and produce 250+ HP. A major accident after hitting oil at Brands Hatch resulted in a very sorry-looking car which required a new bodyshell. Anderson contacted Datsun UK Ltd. and was offered the remains of one of the rally cars, Shekhar Mehta's 1972 Safari car, which had led a hard life but had a bodyshell in infinitely better condition. Ten days later, with the replacement shell straightened and the mechanical components transfered, Big Sam was up and running again, although its paintwork was still in primer.

By the end of the season Porsche was becomming rather worried about Big Sam, and for the last round brough in an ex-works Carrera for the leading driver Nick Faure. This car expired on the third lap, leaving Big Sam to cruise to a championship won by a single point.

Big Sam was then sold, but raced on in the hands of various drivers, including Martin Sharpe, who had lost the use of his leg in a motorcycle accident and for whom the car was modified with hand controls. Big Sam still exists and in semi-retirement occasionally streches its legs at Club Events, still putting up respectable times.

Click Here To Read About The Restoration Of Big Sam, by: Nick Howell.