Originality Is Dead: Tony’s Datsun
Written and Photographed by: Dario Serino

Originality is dead. Inspiration seems to only be seen in the form of plagiarism. Tony, a kid whose car I have drooled over for years, seems to be one of the few still walking his own path.  So where to start exactly?Well, besides a bottle of Fireball, I guess PlayStation 4 is the best explanation of how we met. Long days of work lead to long nights of gaming with a few buddies, one whom first introduced me to Tony.
Our polar opposite styles quickly seemed to change to agreements and praise as each hour of gaming passed. At first I didn’t realize Tony’s Datsun was the one I drooled over show after show, nor did I understand the amount of work put into this true unicorn. Being from the E36 world, parts are more readily available than an opinion on the Internet.
Listening to Tony explain how he had to fabricate such simple parts as coilovers for his car simply blew my mind. It never up until this point, really dawned on me, that certain cars are hardly every differed from OEM + and when they are, support is almost non-existent. His coilovers, bought from Craigslist, for an Integra I believe, were modified to fit. The exhaust from an Accord, once again was also chopped up and reassembled like a mash up of different puzzle pieces that somehow formed a brighter and better picture. The paint, far from the norm, but a beautiful satin grey off the Audi’s TT.
Tony and I have talked for months about finally setting up a proper shoot, sadly we struggled like a fish out of water to setup a date that worked for us both. With the constant struggle of New England weather, our work schedules and of course the car being in pieces for build season, an opportunity to shoot seemed dismal.
On one murky day, the stars seemed to align and the time was right. Staring at the magnificent creation in the dismal fog, made me feel like I was staring at 007’s DB5 in “Skyfall”. The lighting was perfect, the scene although dark was a breath of hope and inspiration. The fog allowed for the focus to remain on what was important, the Datsun, not some flashy background or some crazy editing skills. Until this day, there has never been a car I have wanted to call my own besides this one. The pure concept of what was in front of me seemed wrong, but when fused together in what is the classic chassis that gave birth to the legendary Z-Body, just worked so well.
Tony sculpted this masterpiece using materials that to others were pure trash. His whole build was assembled on a budget. No big money parts, no fancy shops and no one else’s ideas. Tony built his Z by himself and should inspire others that “baller” wheels and other big money parts are not needed to be cool. The soul of a car is in the detail, any asshole can call Rotiform and order a set of $6,000 wheels. What truly makes a car stand out is the hours upon hours spent shaving, fabricating and brainstorming how to make what is in front of you into what you want.

  • L28et
  • Stock block and head
  • Holset HX35R Turbo
  • Custom Intercooler Piping
  • Custom 3inch exhaust
  • Tial 38mm waste gate
  • Tial 50mm BOV
  • Ecu Megasquirt MS3


  • Borgwarner T5 Transmission
  • 4:49 Welded R180 K Diff
  • Custom Driveshaft


  • Integra DC2 ene piece suspension
  • MSA 1″ Swaybars




Privacy Settings
We use cookies to enhance your experience while using our website. If you are using our Services via a browser you can restrict, block or remove cookies through your web browser settings. We also use content and scripts from third parties that may use tracking technologies. You can selectively provide your consent below to allow such third party embeds. For complete information about the cookies we use, data we collect and how we process them, please check our Privacy Policy
Consent to display content from Youtube
Consent to display content from Vimeo
Google Maps
Consent to display content from Google