One Unbelievable Story: 1977 Nissan 280Z

This 1977 Nissan 280Z came to Kelly-Moss in somewhat-decent shape for its age, showing  a color change, some rust and a little wear and tear around the edges. Although the 280Z is a great classic vehicle, nothing in particular stood out about this one until the owner shared the story behind the car.

Kurt, the owner and one of our current racing clients, was passed down his love of speed from his Father, DJ. Kurt can remember going to races as a young boy to watch and cheer his father on, quickly catching the racing bug in the process. One of Kurt’s favorite track-day memories is his yellow t-shirt he wore to every race with the saying, “When the green flag drops, the bullshit stops” across the chest.  This was no simple parking lot autocross race either, Kurt’s father actually won two National Championships in SCCA Showroom Stock (both in 1977 and 1978) all behind the wheel of his 1977 Nissan 280Z! Years later, DJ sold the 280Z but the passion for racing never left Kurt.

Fueled by found childhood memories and an aging father, Kurt had always been on the lookout for the same 280Z his father raced, but over the years never had any luck. During a typical race weekend at Indianapolis, everything was going pretty normal until Kurt came across a note on his Porsche 991 Cup Car that changed his streak of bad luck. The note read, “Kurt, I have your Dad’s 280z Nat Champ Car here in Indy area – Have log book – Any interest? Needs restored – have complete engine, trans, and parts”.

Kurt immediately contacted the seller and Kelly-Moss actually picked it up with our race transporter before we left that same weekend! We brought it back to HQ in Madison, WI where we did a full restoration on the car back to the exact spec Kurt’s father raced it in.  Kurt presented the gift to his father in July and said that was the only time he has ever seen his dad cry.

Memorabilia, newspaper clippings, Log Books from the race events and even the famous yellow shirt are all still intact and included when Kurt presented the car.

Stories like this is why we do what we do. We love the memories and joy vehicles bring to people and were happy to be involved in such a lifelong family project.