Nissan pays homage to its motorsports heritage with the Safari Rally Z Tribute1 built by Tommy Pike Customs and a replica Datsun 240Z Safari rally car at this year’s SEMA show.
Celebrating a multi-decade legacy of rallying successes, the showcase vehicles will appear alongside other Nissan concepts and production models in the Las Vegas Convention Center West Hall, booth #52141, at the 2023 SEMA show, Oct. 31-Nov. 3.
With the seventh-generation Nissan Z winning fans on both road and race track, the Safari Rally Z Tribute imagines how the sports car could translate that exhilaration to adventures beyond the pavement. The styling of the car also pays homage to the Datsun 240Z rally car that won the 1971 East African Safari Rally.
Leaning into the trend for rugged, go-anywhere “safari” builds, Tommy Pike and his South Carolina-based team raised and toughened the car’s suspension, adding commensurate lighting, durability and performance enhancements to ready the asphalt-oriented Z for the dusty world of rallying.
Custom KW Safari suspension and NISMO suspension parts raise the coupe’s ride height by 2 inches, helping accommodate 17 x 7.5-inch prototype NISMO Safari wheels shod in dirt-ready Yokohama GEOLANDAR M/T G003 tires.
Protecting vital powertrain and chassis components are a new front bumper guard and skid plate, while an assortment of NISMO Off Road LED lights deliver additional illumination for dusty conditions or night racing. Key interior enhancements include a custom roll bar with 4-point harnesses and custom-trimmed Recaro Pole Position seats.
For further powertrain enhancements, the Safari Rally Z Tribute features an AMS-tuned, 400+ horsepower, VR30DDTT engine combined with a NISMO Track cat-back exhaust system, cold air intake, carbon fiber engine cover, coolant expansion tank, heat exchanger, and street twin-disc clutch and flywheel. Find full details on the vehicle’s specifications in the complete build sheet.
No recounting of Nissan racing heritage is complete without noting the success of driver Edgar Herrmann and navigator Hans Schüller, who placed first over the 3,800-mile 1971 East African Safari Rally in the #11 Datsun 240Z race car. It’s a milestone for the company that the new, twin-turbo Safari Z Tribute is intended to celebrate.
Notably, the 240Z victory marked the second consecutive win for a Datsun racer, with a Datsun Bluebird 1600SSS scoring the overall win in the grueling off-road contest’s 18th year, 1970.
Bringing this racing heritage to life for SEMA attendees, Nissan is showcasing a vintage replica of the rally-winning 240Z, offering a side-by-side look at the through-line of the company’s racing and sports car legacies.
On loan from collector Randy Jaffe, the car was restored in 2013 to drivable, period-correct condition. Eagle-eyed fans will recognize the vehicle from the recent Nissan commercial, “60 Years in 30 Seconds,” with star Brie Larson piloting numerous heritage Nissan and Datsun vehicles.
Seiko Safari Z watch
Nissan is also building on the Z showcase at SEMA to introduce a limited-edition Seiko Safari Z watch that pays homage to the Seiko sponsorship graphics on the original race-winning 240Z rally car.
The watch is limited to just 240 pieces, with “Safari” and “Z” branding plus a Nissan “23” race number on its face. Each watch will be individually numbered on the caseback. Watches will be available beginning Oct. 31 at nismosafariwatch.orderpromos.com.
- Specially modified vehicle, not available for purchase.