I heard that the Fugu Z, Sung Kang’s legendary Datsun 240Z, was undergoing a few upgrades. But when I asked for a few details about the build to write up on Sung’s Garage, I was shocked to hear that Sung was more than happy to waste some of his time with me talking cars. In particular, the upgrades that he and his team are doing to the iconic, white Fugu Z.
After two years of the car being garaged with GReddy, hiding from its sudden fame, the Japanese sports car was pulled from the shadows into a world that wasn’t looking as spotless as the naturally-aspirated RB26 underneath its bonnet. The global pandemic had thrown people into a state of disarray.
Sung, being a guy who always wants to help, learn, and make a difference, knew that this would be the perfect time to reawaken the legend that made its name at the 2015 SEMA show.
“The COVID situation, I think it changed all of us. Either you went internal and it was about you and survival, or it’s about what can I do to contribute and help this problem and help people get over this?”
“I looked around and I said, well, what can I do? I’m not the picket line guy and I’m not curing cancer, I’m just an actor, man, that just likes cars.
“What can I do to put that smile on your face, Alex?”
Sung’s attention then turned to the Z.
“I realised I had it in the garage. I was like, well, she needs to come back out.
“People need to see her, they need to drive her, they need to touch her, they need to smell her and hear her. Do you know why?”
He smiles at me, “it’s because she’s coming to twin-turbo!
“She went to the surgeon, Kenji Sumino, and she got some twin turbos – some TTs! Some big TTs!”
I promised him that would go in an article…
“What’s the endgame, what’s the goal?” I ask him.
“Endgame is going back to what the car was designed for. I want the car to be safe, and I want it to be reliable and fun. And I want it to be able to go on the track, the canyons, and then to the grocery stores. I want to be able to teach people what this car means to me, I want to be able to explain to people the evolution from the L24, to the NA, to the twin-turbo RB26.”
He continued to explain how there were a few brake issues that came from a misbehaving brake cylinder, and CarbonSignal had built a beautiful interior, but due to the rush of getting the car to SEMA, some if it needed to be finished. These are getting looked at, plus a collaboration with NRG has resulted in a new, custom steering wheel that’s the same 370mm diameter as the original wheel and with the original patterns.
“I want a gentlemen’s racer,” he told me. The car is maturing as it grows five years older.
I didn’t ask him what power figures him and the team are looking for because it’s clearly not a numbers car. What this is, is a mission of learning. What happens when you add twin-turbos to a car? What are the problems and how do we solve them? This car is a reflection of the community that guided Sung and helped build it, not a selection of numbers in an article.