Datsun 240Z's Set Records On The Salt Flats of Bonneville

Contributed By: Carl Beck, IZCC #260
As Of: 21 Jan. 2010
Updated: 15 Oct. 2011
Updated: 3 March 2014

Souther California Timing Association's {SCTA} F/GT Class:
Grand Touring cars were defined as series production sports cars as accepted for Road Racing in the Production Class, as well as cars by recognized manufacturer which are primarily intended for comfortable high speed touring. Datsun 240Z's run in the SCTA's F/GT Class.

"GT" Class rules require stock bodies as produced and sold by the manufacturer's dealers. "F" Class is for cars with engines displacing 123.00 cid {2016cc} to 183.00 cid {3000cc} displacement.

The DATSUN 240Z At Bonneville
Racer Brown, the famous Drag Racer and Camshaft designer had been working with the Nissan Competition Department, as well as the Datsun Racing Teams here in the US. Racer decided that given the slick aerodynamic body and light weight of the Datsun 240Z, it would make a good candidate for a run at the Bonneville F/GT Land Speed Record. Racer Brown sat a new record at 152.134 mph in the F/GT Class Aug. 24th, 1972.

Pictured Below: The Datsun 240Z that established a new F/GT land speed record at Bonneville in 1976. Shown as featured on display at the Lane Motor Museum on loan from Nissan Motors U.S.A.

A team of six Nissan USA employees, working in the Nissan Technical Center, Competition Department and Service Departments built the above pictured 240Z. Tom O'Connor was responsible for building the engine, Milan Micka worked on the suspension and created the paint scheme and graphics. Frank Honsowitz, Matt Bornyasz, Roy Carreon, Max Jones and Bob Stockman worked with Tom and Milan on whatever was needed. Bob Stockman an Engineer from the Technical Center served as Team Manager / Project Coordinator, as well as Driver for the record run. Their efforts resulted in a new record of 166.037 mph. Which stood unbroken until 1985.

Pictured Below: 1985 Bob Norwood and his team with their Ferrari 308 QV {Quatrovalvole}.

With a meticulously prepared Ferrari, Bob and his team set the bar for the F/GT Class a bit higher at 168.721 mph. 2.684 mph faster than the Datsun 240Z nine years earlier. Bob's record would stand for the following 25 years. Although attempts were made to break it.

Pictured Below: John Finch, a well known Race Car Driver made attempts in 2003 and again in 2005 to put the M/B 300SL Gullwing back at the top of the F/GT Class. Neither attempt proved successful as the Gullwing topped out at slightly over 150MPH.

Pictured Below: 2010 - Burton Brown and the Victory Motorsports Team with their Datsun 240Z.
Pictured Left to Right: Burton Brown, Jeff Ihde, Creston Vanderhoff, Tiffany Thulien-Brown and Nikki.

In Sept. of 2010 Buton Brown driving his Datsun 240Z regained top honors in the F/GT class by tripping the timing clocks for a two way average of 172.974 mph.

The Victory Motorsports Team hopes to go back to Bonneville this year. Using the lessons learned and experience gained in 2010 they hope to push the F/GT record up above 180 mph.