How Sung Kang’s Datsun 240Z aka Fugu Z came to be

Fugu Z is a bit of an anomaly. On one hand, it is single-handedly one of ’15’s most celebrated project cars. On the other, it is just that: one person’s project car, albeit a very famous person’s cherished project. If you were to strip away all the hype, the media (social media in most of this) coverage, flashing lights, and everything and everyone it took to get Fugu Z where it is today, it’s nothing more than a simple S30 chassis and its most basic essentials: a motor, suspension, a somewhat there interior. Regardless of these things, Fugu Z is a great project with a sincere backstory.

Fast and Furious Star, Sung Kang's 1972 Datsun 240Z

Aside from being a project belonging to Sung Kang (yes, that Sung Kang), this car represents more than its famous owner. There are plenty of things you can see online to give you more than you need to know about the who/why/what of the build, and it would be beyond repetitive to repeat it here. To those thinking he used his status to build a car for free, you’d be dead wrong. Did his name help establish the right connections to build one of the best projects to come along in recent memory? You bet your ass it did. Fugu Z wasn’t intended to become a SEMA sensation. It was supposed to be a car three best friends could work on together on weekends with the one hopeful intention of taking it to a track event. It just so happened that it would evolve into the phenomenon it is now because of the team that came to be, to help bring it to life and far beyond a weekend racer.

Fast and Furious Star, Sung Kang's 1972 Datsun 240Z Engine Machine

In the very capable hands of GReddy is where this story really begins to take off. Sung took a couple tries but found the right donor car in Southern California, the perfect donor car that had no major accidents and needed but a little love to get it where it is today. Together, Sung (with his two best friends) with the guidance of Kenji Sumino (and support of the GReddy team), pulled everything off the car, had the chassis stitch-welded, the incoming engine lined up for proper fitment, and a custom rollcage set in place, all before it could be sent to Signature Autobody’s for its paint restoration. That silky Kilimanjaro White paint—it’s an original Datsun color. And the aero—a very appropriate Rocket Bunny/Pandem creation, one that fits the Z’s original lines nicely.

Fast and Furious Star, Sung Kang's 1972 Datsun 240Z Rear

Completing Fugu Z was not without its small hiccups. Up until the weekend before SEMA, leading up to the reveal party at GReddy’s headquarters in SoCal, the GReddy team literally worked around the clock to have the car start up in time for the covers to be pulled off. The engine’s kinks were worked out, a light tune brought it to life, and the last remaining Fugu Z emblems were proudly put into place by Sung himself.

You could see the excitement in his eyes and you felt every emotion as he and the GReddy team introduced the car to the public that night. But the car still had one final destination: SEMA. Though the original intent was to drive the car from Orange County to Las Vegas, since the engine wasn’t finely tuned, it had to be towed up. Along the way, Sung did manage to stretch Fugu Z’s on some of the desert’s open roads, and once in Sam Du’s hometown, took a few victory laps on the Strip before it was time to bring it inside SEMA.

Readmore at: superstreetonline