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Dominic Le Builds a Datsun 240Z SEMA Show Car in His Home Garage

With only a month left until SEMA, Dominic shares the progress on his one-of-a-kind home-built Datsun 240Z show car.

The SEMA show is less than a month away. We shared an extreme Moab off-roader concept that Hyundai will bring to SEMA in collaboration with Rockstar Energy earlier this week. Last month, hot rod legend Chip Foose also teased his custom ’71 Mustang Mach 1. But SEMA isn’t only for big manufacturers and automotive icons. Case in point: Dominic Le is building a Datsun 240Z into a SEMA show car inside his garage.

With only 30 days left until SEMA on the day of the video, Dominic still has tons of parts scattered across his garage floor and his Z looks far from finished. Exterior-wise, the Z received a classic red paint job with some period-correct ZG over fenders to allow for a meaty tire setup. Under the hood is Nissan’s ever-popular SR20DET motor; this one is tuned to make approximately 400 to 450 horsepower. 

At a glance, this particular 240Z isn’t particularly groundbreaking. SR20DET swaps have been done before. Just look at Larry Chen’s Orange Bang. But if you lean in a little closer, Dom shows us what makes this one so special. 

First, the SR20 is moved a couple inches to sit behind the strut tower for optimized weight distribution. This also makes room for massive intercoolers and radiators in the front. Dom also designed and fabricated a custom gusseted titanium shroud for the intercooler, which helps to direct more airflow for cooling. However, Dom notes that the custom radiator setup still needs to be welded at a shop and it just goes to show what a stressful time-crunch these SEMA show car builds can become. 

Moving on to the inside, Dom shares a glimpse of his custom interior, complete with a one-off full carbon fiber dashboard and center console. Below is a custom titanium heel plate that matches really well with the intercooler shroud design mentioned before. Quality of materials and craftsmanship seems to be the theme of the build and it’s incredible to see how much Dom managed to achieve from the handful of tools in his home garage.

To finish off a clean yet period correct aesthetic, the Z features shaved side markers, clean body lines, and ZG fenders. A special “reflection” carbon will also be used to finished select exterior trim pieces along the bumper. Last but not least, the wheel well will be filled in with a handsome set of old-school-stye Work Equip 40 wheels.

We’re very excited to see the finished product of Dom’s latest Z. Last year, Dom brought his first 260Z to SEMA, a black “Chasing J’s” G-nose with a turbocharged 2JZ making 700 horsepower, which you can check out in the video below.

Are you a fan of the latest restomod movement for the classic Datsun 240Z? How would you build yours? Let us know in the comments.