Only the Locals – Jayrun Mychael’s 1973 Datsun 240z
Jayrun Mychael is a seriously talented and creative builder based in Los Angeles, CA – this 1973 Datsun 240z shows his talent. He has always had a severe affliction for classic Datsun Z cars. Over the last ten years, he has built several classics right out of his garage, and they’ve all culminated to this very build: the 1973 Datsun 240z that he always wanted to create.
As the story usually goes, Jayrun’s passion for cars began at a very young age. Between his grandfather and uncles in Houston, he was exposed to an enormous variety of classics ranging from Datsun Z cars to Porsche 911s. As a child, Jayrun referred to them as “race cars,” and getting to ride in just one of them was the highlight of his family visits. Obviously, the penchant for hi-performance automobiles truly struck at his core, as his childhood helped to shape the trajectory of the rest of his life.
“I started building cars when I was in the 10th grade,” Jayrun recalled. “I started to learn with everything that I broke on the car, that I didn’t trust anyone to fix for me,” he said. This is where one of Jayrun’s uncles came in handy with a sturdy, mechanical background. In the classic, “home built” style of tuning, Jayrun’s uncle taught him everything he knew. This skillset would serve Jayrun well over the course of his early years as an enthusiast, then tinkerer, then builder.
Jayrun moved through various cars, including an EM1 Civic with a B18C5 power plant, an ’05 C55 Benz, and an ’08 E63 Benz. However, many of these cars weren’t quite satisfying the builder’s bug that he felt inside. He longed for something more in depth and raw.
“I looked at a lot of cars, but over time, the 240z just made the choice easy,” he said. “It has a great heritage, and it was something that I grew up enjoying with my uncles. I was after that same kind of joy.”
Many would agree with Jayrun that the Z has a kind of nostalgic value that few classics can boast about. No matter where you go or who you’re with, there is somebody who will stop you to tell you about the Z car that their mother drove when they were a child. Or perhaps, their group of high school friends drove 510s and Z’s back in the day. Whatever the memory, Datsuns are revered and cherished in American car culture.
With that, Jayrun dove into building classic Z’s. This most recent build fully represents his style and intentional way of building from the S30 platform. There are no elements to this car that were not available at the time of its debut (except for the seat belts), and that’s one of Jayrun’s sources of pride. He builds his cars with a period correct flair in mind, which lends to the beauty of the completed project. Because he builds his cars in his own garage, he has a special kind of love for them once they’re on the road. It’s the attention to detail that he genuinely takes to heart.
“The most challenging part of building classic cars is finding the parts I want. I feel like anybody can order new stuff and put a car together. The difficult part is attempting to do things the way they were done back in the day.”
Speaking of “back in the day,” this Monte Carlo Silver 240z is equipped with a simple and well thought out combination of parts; from the Datsun Comp seats inside to the L28 transplant, which houses an Isky cam and custom head work. The triple side draft Mikuni carbs really wake the car up and provide that raspy induction that we all know and love.
There is no flashiness to be found here. No giant, polished wheel lips, no full body conversion kits, and no ego. Jayrun has built his ideal 240z and that’s enough for him. One of his greatest pleasures is going for his morning run, then coming home to hop in the car to open it up on the freeway.
At the end of the day, that’s what it’s really about—enjoying what you’ve built, and sharing it with the world. That’s a quality that we all can appreciate, and we can’t wait to see what else Jayrun has in store for the future.
*If you would like to follow along with Jayrun’s builds, you can find him on Instagram @otl_losangeles. Only the Locals is his media company which is dedicated to bridging the gap between vintage and modern cars. There’s lots of rad material for you to see, so enjoy! Jayrun would also like to give a special thank you to Vintage Dashes for providing quality reproduction dashes for his builds.