Speedhunters' Larry Chen Shows Us Around His 'Orange Bang' Datsun 240Z

With an SR20DET out of a Formula Drift car, Larry Chen's 240Z is the perfect Frankenstein.

Hoonigan / YouTube screencap

As a long-standing photographer for Speedhunters, Larry Chen sees some of the raddest builds across the world. Most recently, Chen accompanied the Hoonigan team to Pikes Peak to film Climbkhana with Ken Block's nasty Hoonicorn V2, now a 1,400-horsepower brute compared with 850 hp in its V-1 form back in Gymkhana Seven. Over a long and illustrious speedhunting career, Chen's seen it all, but what does he drive himself?

Chen has owned an orange 1970 Datsun 240Z, affectionately known as "Ole Orange Bang," for 12 years. On Friday's episode of Hoonigan's Daily Transmission, Chen brought his Z to Donut Garage HQ for some good old-fashioned shenanigans.

At first, Chen's 240Z started off stock, save for a larger L28 engine swap. But after years of autocross and various track use, the classic straight-six finally gave up, which prompted him to get a little creative under the hood. Now, the 240Z is working with an SR20DET straight out of a former Formula Drift car. Chen was quick to note that the motor isn't from the current era of 700-plus horsepower, but it still makes a respectable 300 hp and 300 foot-pounds of torque to the wheels.

The Frankenstein components don't stop there. Chen's 240Z also has upgraded HID headlights, LED taillights, a five-speed from an S13 240SX, Toyota truck brakes, Porsche 911 axles, Subaru STI rear diff, and more. The latest mod is A/C, which required a bit of fab work that prevented Chen from driving the Z for quite a long time.

Although the Datsun 240Z is quickly on the rise as a collectable sports car, Chen strictly wants to enjoy a streetable, fun daily road warrior that doesn't have to worry about. Rock chips are worn with pride as Chen has used the Z as a camera car to chase behind the likes of Hert and his FC3S RX-7 drift car as well as Magnus Walker and his "277" Urban Outlaw Porsche 911. Chen even noted that the slicks on Magnus' Porsche are so sticky, it kicks rocks all the way into Chen's mouth.

Chen's happy-go-lucky attitude was put to the test when Hert stepped outside to ask for a burnout from the old Z. Of course, Chen obliged and gave some entertaining plumes of smoke, including one that could have spelt disaster for the Z's fender if it got even a fraction of an inch closer to the loading dock outside the garage.

Ultimately, the "Old Orange Bang" 240Z was meant to be built around Chen to serve whatever functionality necessary to suit his lifestyle. Are you a fan of the classic Datsun Z? How would you build yours? Let us know in the comment section below.