Home > Best Of > CENTER STAGE> Shakotan S30 240Z
shakotan, S30, 240Z, heartbreaker, yuta akaishi

Last weekend at the Japanese Classic Car Show, the Showa car lovers that gathered in Irvine California for this year’s event were treated to a sensory overload of Japanese nostalgic cars of all sorts – from Skylines to Corollas to rotaries to Hondas to Datsuns… Oh, the Datsuns!

There were so many cars from Datsun/Nissan lineage represented at this year’s JCCS, it was hard to focus on them all. Everything from Japanese style G-nose S30s to US market 240Zs were in abundance at the event this year, but there was one Z in particular that had a certain combination of presence and shock value. I just knew I had to feature it on our site… but there was just one problem. The car (and its owner) live in San Jose, California. And they would both be returning to the Bay Area on the morning after the show.

I had to figure out how (and where) to somehow shoot the car before it went back to San Jose – and I knew I didn’t want to do one of those “on the grass” photo shoots after the show, because I think photos of cars on the grass are cliche, unimaginative and overdone… especially since there were 236790 photographers from different magazines doing the same photo shoot on different spots on the grass after JCCS.

Datsun 240Z S30 Shakotan zombie Yuta Akaishi Heartbreaker Autoworks Gworks Hayashi bosozoku JCCS

The owner of this shakotan (super low down) boogiemonster is Yuta Akaishi. Let’s pronounce it together. His first name is Yuta, pronounced like “Utah” and his last name is pronounced “Aka-ishi.” I was first drawn to this amazing 240Z because it is just so damn low… it’s mind boggling, seriously! The car may be showing its age with the presence of surface rust and dents here and there, but hell… to me, it’s just a sign that this car lived a full life. It’s kind of like battlescars on a seasoned fighter – they actually ADD to the look.

Encountering Yuta’s 1973 S30 on the street is like meeting a veteran cage fighter in a dark alley; its metallic skin is bruised and weathered, but it stands confident and aggressive, making other Zs cower in fear as it approaches. Its stance is nothing short of perfect. Yuta may be only twenty years young, but he can certainly teach “veteran Z owners” a thing or two about making a 240Z look good. It’s all about the stance. That’s step one. And Yuta’s definitely got that one covered.

Even though the car has made its way to a Motor Mavens “Center Stage” feature so early in its career, Yuta’s 240Z is far from finished. In fact, he only purchased it (from his friend Henry Nguyen) and began building it up a mere FIVE months ago. Rather than go on and on about how impressive this Z looks even in its early stages, I think we should put Yuta in the spotlight a little bit so he can describe the car in his own words…

Datsun 240Z S30 Shakotan zombie Yuta Akaishi Heartbreaker Autoworks Gworks Hayashi bosozoku JCCS


A little basic history on myself – I’m Yuta Akaishi and I am currently 20 years old. I have loved machines since I was just a child, and for the past ten years or so my life has been completely consumed by cars. I bought my first copy of AutoWorks (a popular Japanese magazine that focused on older cars) back in 2001 when I was 12 years old. Prior to that, I read Super Street and saved up money to get a subscription to Sport Compact Car, which in my opinion is still the best magazine the US has ever seen (24.99 is quite a bit of saved-up change for a 10 year old).

I bought my first S13 when I was 15 years old, and got my first job around the same time, while I spent the summer in Japan with my family. We would visit every year, and as much as I would have liked to hang out with my cousins, instead I found a job at Yamazaki Bread Factory in Chiba Minato, and at the end of that summer, I bought my first set of coilovers (KTS to be exact). I would say my cars have been the center of my life, but that would be incorrect because as cheesy as it sounds, my life IS my cars. As soon as I turned 18, it has just been a blur of working – everything from construction to a valet at a hotel to working on cars and driving. I have owned a few cars since the first S13 – like an MX73 Cressida, a TE31 Corolla, an EK Civic, two other S13s, and now this 240Z.

One day, I plan on taking this Z, which I have fallen in love with, back to Japan and live out there. I have always loved aggressive car styling. I kind of built this 240Z like I would have built an S13 – make it as low as possible, buy the widest wheels I could find, and MAKE it all fit.

As far as inspiration goes, I grew up reading Autoworks Magazine and my family is from Chiba-ken, so I guess my style is a mix of the street drifting cars and bosozoku machines out there… that is, if I had to put a label on my style.

Datsun 240Z S30 Shakotan zombie Yuta Akaishi Heartbreaker Autoworks Gworks Hayashi bosozoku JCCS

So let’s talk about my S30Z. I actually bought the car from my friend Henry bone stock about 5 or 6 months ago. He found it in Millbrae, ridiculously clean, all original with only 63,000 miles on the odometer. A couple months later, he found another Z with more miles – that car’s interior was not as clean, but the exterior was in better shape, and it had triple Weber carbs. He offered to sell the first car to me, so I jumped on the opportunity. At the time, I was driving an EK Civic hatchback that was great in terms of gas mileage and very capable in the mountains since I kinda got into it and built the suspension quite a bit. I liked driving my Civic, but the car itself just didn’t do it for me…

I couldn’t just stare at the Civic and appreciate the beauty of the machine like I could with an S13 or a Z.

Needless to say I no longer own the Civic. I began researching the aftermarket options for the Z immediately after purchasing it, and I came to see that everything available for it was very “functional,” catering to the overall majority of Z owners. All the 240Z coilovers available in the US would not go low enough for what I wanted.

For the car to be REALLY low, I would have to droop the springs excessively and I had no idea if I would be left with any travel. At first I tried using S13 coilovers. I cut the lower brackets to fit over the stock shock tubes, but to my dismay they wouldn’t go low enough, and I was left with less than an inch of travel at the height I was aiming for. I then started looking at different coilovers; ones meant for Miata, S2000, etc. I settled on coilovers meant for the Integra DC2. I drove out to the East Bay to pick up a used set of Function Forms, and figured I would use them as a guinea pig to see how compatible they would be with the car. They actually worked great. I went ahead and welded the lower brackets to the shock tubes in a similar fashion as I did with the S13 coilovers, except this time I would adjust pre load and ride height independently. To be honest, I was not expecting much from these coilovers, but for the time being I am quite satisfied. They ride well, very smooth, but don’t allow for excessive travel nor are they bouncy.

Other than that, the rest of the modifications are readily available bolt-ons. I purchased the front/rear lower control arms, tension rods, roll center adjusters and camber plates from Techno Toy Tuning. The tie rods and the roll bar are from ZCC (the roll bar is a replica of the old OS Giken model.)

Datsun 240Z S30 Shakotan zombie Yuta Akaishi Heartbreaker Autoworks Gworks Hayashi bosozoku JCCS

The wheels I’m using on the Z are old Hayashi Racing 505s that I bought from a friend. The rear wheels (in the photo) are sized 15x11J – 30 and they have Yokohama ES100 225/25/15 tires mounted on them. Yeah, the weld marks are still visible on my rear quarter panels, but at least the hardware for my overfender flares are new!

Datsun 240Z S30 Shakotan zombie Yuta Akaishi Heartbreaker Autoworks Gworks Hayashi bosozoku JCCS

My wheels up front are 15x10J – 10 offset and they required 15mm wheel spacers (Project Kics) to clear the tie rods. The tires mounted on the front are 205/50/15 (Azenis RT615). To be honest, most of the modifications I’ve done and the true reason for all the adjustable arms is to fit these wheels. I was also set on running nothing wider than these replica 240ZG flares from Motorsport Auto.

Datsun 240Z S30 Shakotan zombie Yuta Akaishi Heartbreaker Autoworks Gworks Hayashi bosozoku JCCS

Okay, don’t laugh. Well actually, it’s okay if you laugh. As for my engine, it’s still an all stock L24 engine at the moment, except for the early model stock SU carburetors, which prompted the removal of all the emissions related components too.  I also added a header which is all f*cked up now. The exhaust is something I just welded up out of random 2.5″ piping that I had laying around.

Datsun 240Z S30 Shakotan zombie Yuta Akaishi Heartbreaker Autoworks Gworks Hayashi bosozoku JCCS

My strut tops were replaced with steel camber plates from T3 cause they were cheap. Yeah, I know it’s a really ugly weld. I messed up on that, because it was the first time I tried welding with gas. I borrowed the welder from my friend, and when I started using it, I messed up and forgot to turn on the gas!!! I’m going to grind it all down and reweld it, but I haven’t gotten around to it yet.

Datsun 240Z S30 Shakotan zombie Yuta Akaishi Heartbreaker Autoworks Gworks Hayashi bosozoku JCCS

You may be wondering why only one of my SU carbs has an air filter on it. These were actually filters that I adapted from a VW bug – I just cut the filter and then clamped it back on to the air horn… but one of them fell off. I need to fix that. But I’m planning an engine swap anyway.

Datsun 240Z S30 Shakotan zombie Yuta Akaishi Heartbreaker Autoworks Gworks Hayashi bosozoku JCCS

Inside the car itself it’s all relatively simple.

Datsun 240Z S30 Shakotan zombie Yuta Akaishi Heartbreaker Autoworks Gworks Hayashi bosozoku JCCS

The steering wheel was purchased from Works Aero, and I modified a Grant hub to work with the 6 bolt Momo pattern as I could not find a hub short enough to work with my hub extender. I insisted on using that hub extender because I just love the way it looks.

:: Yuta Akaishi


Datsun 240Z S30 Shakotan zombie Yuta Akaishi Heartbreaker Autoworks Gworks Hayashi bosozoku JCCS

There you have it. Cars like Yuta’s 240Z are the reason why I have chosen to follow automotive culture around the world. This is exactly what I love about street car culture. It’s so personal and so expressive. I absolutely LOVE how low this Z is! It must be difficult as hell driving this thing around. I’m sure Yuta scrapes road reflectors on the daily, and speedbumps? Forget it.

Datsun 240Z S30 Shakotan zombie Yuta Akaishi Heartbreaker Autoworks Gworks Hayashi bosozoku JCCS

I realize that aggressive stance, stretched tires, and camber aren’t for everyone, and that’s fine. However, there’s just something so undeniably PURE and RAW about Yuta’s shakotan S30… it’s inspiring without trying to be. Everything from the ridiculously low ride height to the perfect fit of the Hayashis to the raw patina of the 240Z shell to the Motorsport Auto ZG wing and flares to the tsurikawa (subway train handle) hanging onto where the rear bumper bracket should be.

Yuta’s S30 might not have shiny paint and a perfect body, but in my opinion, it sure has a damn near perfect SOUL. To me, this Z is the embodiment of what a pure Japanese street car should be. It has so much heart, and so much soul… I wish more cars these days were like that.

Thanks, Yuta, for bringing us back to the essence.

:: Antonio Alvendia

More Heartbreaker stories on MOTORMAVENS

You may also like
PROJECT CAR> Lexus GX470 Is Civilized For Overland and Offroad
Lexus IS300 Advan RSII Wheels
PROJECT CAR> Is The First-Gen IS300 Better for Mods Than Newer Lexus Models?
A90 Supra, Toyota, GR Supra
Even A90 Haters Will Respect The GR Supra Heritage Edition
E36 BMW M3 4door 5 speed Getrag BBS M345 Garage Welt
Cult Classic – S54 Swapped E36 M3 Sedan

126 Responses

  1. Pingback : Shakotan S30 - Dopest Shit Ever. - Zilvia.net Forums | Nissan 240SX (Silvia) and Z (Fairlady) Car Forum

  2. Pingback : Shakotan S30 240Z | VAJA Club :: Vehiculos Antiguos Japoneses El Salvador :: www.vajaclubsv.com

  3. rich elizaga

    Awesome photos Antonio!! This is one wicked looking 240Z! I can’t wait to see more of it on Motormavens!!

  4. Pingback : How low, can you go - TrueStreetCars.com

  5. I agree with MaydayJohnP, raw is the perfect word for it. I want to see some nice wide tires on there, and a more spirited motor under the hood. I also want to hear it, I’m sure it’s such a monstrous beast.

  6. SN

    How is this an inspiration? This guy went and got coilovers and fat wheels, all the while his car is rusting! Fvcking fix that rust first or you won’t have a car! idiot. if he really cared about that car that would have been his first priority. car enthusiast my ass.

  7. RC

    So after driving a number of 240Z’s on the street and on the track for as many years as Yuta’s been alive I can say a couple of things…

    I am sure that this car is close to undrivable due to the fact that it will drag over just about any imperfection on the road…My coilover clad shortened strut housing street driven 240Z sat a little higher than this car and would regularly grind off sections of the exhaust and splash sparks out on the freeway, I can’t imagine what this car leaves behind…

    No worry about rust getting to this car as the unibody will be trashed well before then by bottoming out the chassis on road while driving.

    So is this car a cool “look”, sure! And I applaud anyone who colors outside the lines.

    I was at the JCCS with one of my race cars this year and looked at this car, because it was not your standard fair…Does it exude soul…maybe. From a racing stand point it is an unsafe, wanna be race car…

    To me this car belongs on a movie set and not on the road…

    Shakotan Road Warrior? What is Mel Gibson doing these days?

  8. GECM

    I agree with what SN says to a point. There are several things about this car that need attention before wheels with tires that don’t fit and suspension that is now nearly non-functional. First off it takes less than five minutes to put an air cleaner on an airhorn, that’s just lazy. Second, those welds on the camber plates are unsafe and need to be redone before that car ever touches a public road. As a Z-car owner myself, I admit that car looks kind of cool that low, but I value function much higher than form. It’s only a matter of time before he rips his oilpan, crossmember, floorboards, or god-knows-what else off the car. The bottom line is the car is unsafe for public roads. He should have stuck to the Honduh…

  9. J Shara

    I agree, his floorboards will probably have holes worn through them from grinding on the pavement as opposed to most Z’s by rust lol. The car does look kind of cool, if thats your thing, i prefer a mostly stock Z myself. And as for the engine swap, i say fuel inject that L24, an turbo it, or slap some weber carbs on that thing.You can get plenty of power out of those old L24s

  10. Gosh I feel that I have been transported to 2001 and we have so cal sentra and 200sx members flaming honda civic owners for race car functionality haha fucking elitist retards. Great you autocross and think you know it all, fun is only to be had on the track.

    You forget at one time you were 20 years old.

  11. GECM

    Actually, I am 20 years old right now. I just don’t understand why someone would spend money on something that’s dangerous and adds nothing in performance, but I guess it take s all kinds.

  12. Edward Uche

    Exactly why your car’s arent featured. ITS STOCK and very common!!! How many stock Z’s do you see around? Plenty.

    The one individual who actually does something unique catering to a different culture of tuners, and he gets comments like “This guy went and got coilovers and fat wheels, all the while his car is rusting!”. The form Yuta’s car exudes is exactly why he’s on MotorMavens. It’s different.

  13. Illestrait

    I’m surprised at how much negative feedback there is on this article, but being a Z owner as well, have any of you guys even seen his frame rails? I mean honestly, surface rust is nothing and can be taken care of easily. Yeah it’s low, and the welds might suck, but even he admits it. Not an advantage for racing? Since when were you even allowed to race on a street. Everyone’s got their own preference, stick to your own and get over it already. There’s just always has to be that crowd that tries to bring someone coming up, down.

    I personally love how low it sits, of course a lot of care must be taken into account of, but overall it looks good. I found this article real inspiring honestly. It makes me wanna finish mine for next year’s JCCS! Dope article!

  14. its fuckin crazy. i’m faping on it allready for 2 weeks))) best s30z ever. true…
    u are realy shakotan maniak;)
    thank u, for cars like this-she is perfect.
    greetings from Ukraine;)
    Good Luck and more interesting projects!

  15. perfect stance, perfect fitment=perfect car. it’s all about this. i’m faping on it for 2 weeks and it’s still exciting me)
    Man, U are realy best. Thank U for giving us cars like this;)
    Good luck and greetings from lowclub.com.ua;)

  16. Pingback : Twitted by kyleshell

  17. d boyzzzzz

    Very boro Z, but why do you hate boro corollas and love this Z enough to make an article Antonio? I thought you were a Corolla guy?

  18. I agree it’s a distinctive look, but those tires would break a bead tearing around the first set of cones at an autocross! Obviously, that’s not the role for this 240Z. I trust Yuta will be working more on the aethetic & performance values as his car evolves & finds it’s meaning…it will be interesting to see his work as it progresses!

  19. EssDirty

    I’m down with the style but I wouldn’t go as far as to say its the best S30 ever? I’m sure even Yuta would be the first to say yes if anyone were to ask him to swap cars with almost any one of the other S30’s that were showing at JCCS this year. LOL

    I remember when I used to think cars were “my life”, until I found out how painful it was to realize what real “adult” priorities are. But hey he’s only 20 years old so you do what you can with what resources you have so lighten up on the kid and let him enjoy his short youth!

  20. entity

    its so funny how people are now considered innovative just because they slap a good set of wheels on a car…

    shit.. whats next.

    throw some unpainted bubble flares on an pulsar and rock some 9 inch width meisters that need to be refinished?

    anything functional about this car is totally gone.

    if gangster is hitting a speed bump and ripping your transmission out of your car, than this guy is leagues above everyone else.

    i dont get how a rusted car beyond its years (NOT WELL TAKEN CARE OF) can get so much press just cause its slammed and has some nice era correct wheels on it.

    is this car a mirror image of the industry itself right now? cause its in the shitter.

    i thought motormavens was about posting innovation in tuning and track cars, not something that is gonna break down after a few miles of city driving.

    all of these old school cars seem to think right now that rust is in, thats good, nature can take its toll on your car overtime so you dont have to make the decision yourself to destroy the rotted piece of metal your scraping around.

    now im not against rust… hell for some reason that stanced bmw pulled it off very nicely. this car just looks like its beat to hell and the guy threw a set of bubble flares, coils, and wheels on it.

  21. Henry Chung

    Come on everybody. We all love the look! And yes, Yuta will pay for it over the long haul. Had several s30 Z’s, like you guys, and even though I would never drive in such a state, IT LOOKS HELLA’ COOL!!! Great stance and static looking “street toughness”!! That’s what we all can appreciate here.

  22. Taka@Daimyo Boutique

    Yuta! car looks amazing! so glad you like the wheel it looks so good in this car.
    thanks for the shout out to Works Aero <3


  23. Pingback : Puregroove and Garage Zero » Blog Archive » Shakotan S30 240Z on MotorMavens

  24. Kevin Truong

    People always got to talk $hit. I have visited this page so many times. This youngsta has done something to create all of this talk. Why can’t all you fools just enjoy it? Give props where it’s due? I’m sick of motherphuckers always bashing other people. That’s why I’m tired of them forums. Fools get on their thinking they know their shit because they learned it on a forum. Go and build real $hit for 15 plus years and then go on their and talk. When you fools really get the experience and knowledge. Not some overnight $hit. Now the old skool guys, the humble and real guys, I ain’t disrespecting you. I just want to slap some motherphuckers when they are rookies and talk $hit about whats right or wrong. Just enjoy your $hit! Fcuk!

    Yuta, props again on making a statement.

    Antonio, I’m glad you shot this car before Yuta jammed back up to SJ. I personally missed the show this year, but hopefully I’ll catch the next.

  25. Pingback : CAR FEATURE>> THAT 240Z - Speedhunters

  26. Pingback : Shakotan S30 240Z - Teamspeed.com

  27. sneakerjunkie

    only people crying and hating on here are the ones just mad cause there garbage ass car isnt featured on here, sick s30

  28. Quicksilver

    i wish i knew where he got his tsurikawa, i have been looking for one for a while but can only find them on Japanese auction sites -_-

  29. EKjoe

    YOi love this car man! right now i have an ek with a GSR motor swap omni coil overs it handles great! but i aways love the z cars and ia saw this one it pushed me over the rdge im now lookin for one to build. ive been in to cars since 5 my dad always working on cars motor body paint etc at home. i did the same at dealer ships but now that is what i want to build a raw machine! your car is the badest ive seen and it doesnt even have paint on it peace! man

  30. EKjoe


  31. SPIT!!!



  32. Pingback : CARSPOTTING> Lowdown Heartbreaker S12 200SX – MotorMavens

  33. 240Z RB

    Akaishi san, kimi no zedo wa totemo iidesu yo. Kore wa, boku no ichiban ski na kuruma desu.
    (Mr Akaishi, your Zed is very nice! It is my favorite.)

    Putting my poor Japanese aside … what air dam did you use, and where did you get hold of it? I am keen to get one like it for my current build. If any Australians are reading, do you know where to get one like it in Oz?

    Also, disregard any these paint and styling suggestions. Go ‘rat-rod’ style and live the ‘rust look’. Battle-scars rock!

    Arigatoo gozaimasu
    (Thank you)

  34. neyv4483

    Dude, this is one of the sickest 240Z i have ever seen, currently i am rolling in a 300zx TT and my next car is a Datsun Z for sure. DO NOT touch the paint bro it looks gorges like that. WOW keep up the good work bro.

  35. josh

    hello i have a 1973 240z i would like to drop it down on the ground cause i love the way this car sits maybe i could get som more details on what he did exactly to the suspension to get it to ride right thanks -josh

  36. Pingback : Z « Sneakernuts's Blog

  37. jose

    dude this is by far the best looking Z ive ever seen. no joke the best…did a hell of a job im thinking of even trading up my te31 for one of these. its unique in so many ways and thats exactly what im trying to do with my te31. now i want to drop the shit out of my car haha good job man.

  38. Pingback : Function Form Type 1 Coilovers Cheap!

  39. Pingback : Tweets that mention CENTER STAGE> Shakotan S30 240Z – MotorMavens -- Topsy.com

Leave a Reply