240z Sound System Upgrade

Post by Mark


When I originally purchase my Datsun 240z, it had an old cassette player and just two crappy speakers in the rear, one of which didn’t work. I was happy with the cassette player since I still had some tapes but because one of the speakers wasn’t working, I went and bought a pair of cheap ones. A week or two after that my cassette player stop working, and I think the speakers I got had something to do with that. I tried finding another cassette player on eBay but either they weren’t old enough (to match the car’s era) or they were just ridiculously overpriced. So I decided to just do a complete overhaul of the sound system since I was spending so much time driving the car anyway.

I had two objectives, the first was that whatever I decided to do, it shouldn’t mess with the look of the car. The second objective was that I didn’t want to spend an exuberant amount since I already did that with my FJ. So I limited my budget but still tried to get a decent sound. So after a bit of research I went with the following:

Pioneer MVHX560BT Digital Media Receiver KD30
240z Front Speaker Panels (the 240z only had speakers in rear) KD28
Rockford P1650 6.5-Inch 2-Way Full Range Speaker KD16
Rockford Fosgate Punch P152 5-Inch Full Range Coaxial Speakers KD17
Alpine KTP-445U 4-channel Power Pack Amplifier KD35
Kenwood KSC-SW11 Compact Powered Enclosed Subwoofer KD42


The Pioneer head unit was perfect since it wasn’t very expensive, had bluetooth and was around half the size of regular units which meant I could hide it in my glove box. That way I could keep the old cassette player visible keeping with the car’s era, but behind the scenes I would have a much newer system running the show. Now when I turn the car on, the head unit automatically connects to my phone via bluetooth and I then can control the music and volume all from my phone without ever needing to open my glove box.


For the speakers I went with Rockford Fosgate because they were affordable and had gotten a lot of praise, plus there was a bit of nostalgia involved since I installed Rockford Fosgate components in my car back in university. For the amp I went with the Alpine model because it was small enough to hide under and behind the dashboard while still being powerful enough to run the speakers. Finally I got a tiny Kenwood subwoofer that fit perfectly behind the passenger seat and away from sight.


The result? The music sounds so much better now obviously but the interior still looks the same so you can’t really tell there is a powerful sound system in the car. I didn’t install the stuff myself, instead I went to my favorite car audio guys Zaharat Al Naseem. It took maybe an hour for the whole install and they did a great job of hiding all the wiring.


For those of you interested I’m starting a build page for my 240z where I will document everything I’ve done and will be doing to it. You can access that [Here]. Also again for those interested, I have a build page for my FJ, its around 4 pages long and I’ve been updating it since 2010, you can find that [Here]

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Daily Driving the 240z

Post by Mark


Back in April I bought a 1973 Datsun 240z that was in pretty great condition for a 43 year old car. When I initially decided to buy a classic car I didn’t want one I could just drive on the weekends every now and then but one I could drive every day if I wanted to. Since I bought it I’ve been driving it at least three times a week, mostly more, it’s become my evening car. The experience has been great so far even though I’ve had issues pop up.

Since I bought the car I’ve improved things in it quite a bit. I replaced all the bushings (rubber thingies that cushion metal parts) which removed all the rattling the car had, I installed an AC system so I could drive it during the summer, added a new carburetor to improve performance and a ton of other minuscule things all to make the car more driver friendly. And it’s worked. The car is more fun than ever to drive which is why I take it out so often.


But the car isn’t without issues. Firstly because the car is so old, there are no warning lights meaning I need to keep my eye on all the gauges all the time. When the fuel is low you don’t get a cute little orange warning light to let you know, instead I need to check the fuel gauge often to make sure sure I’m good on fuel which I’m not used to doing. Such a small thing but I can imagine when the first car came out with a low fuel warning light people must have thought it was the smartest idea ever. What makes things even more unpractical in my car is the fuel dial isn’t even in the dashboard in front of me, it’s on top of the center console to my right and the second dial out of three there. Same with the temperature gauge, while driving home one day during Ramadan, one of the fan belts tore off and I didn’t notice. So my car started over heating and of course I didn’t get a warning light and since the temperature gauge is not in my field of view I didn’t notice the car over heating until water started splashing out from the radiator under the hood. Now I constantly look at all the dials every few minutes to make sure everything is working right. I also now drive around with my full tool kit in the trunk and a Haynes 240z Repair Manual just in case.

If you’re wondering how I still find parts for the car there is a shop locally I’ll be posting about soon called Hakimi where I’ve been getting my engine and mechanical parts from as well as from online shops like thezstore.com. Even with the random issues I’ve been having (and I’ve had a bunch but they’re too boring to list), I still love the car, a lot. I still enjoy driving it like I did the first day I got it and even more since the car drives a lot better now. Part of the fun of owning a classic car is fixing it up, it keeps things exciting.

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Extreme Detailing My Datsun 240z

Post by Mark


I first heard of ProTech Monte-Carlo just over a year ago when they left a comment under one of my photos on instagram inviting me to pass by them. I checked out their instagram account and did a bit of research on them and they turned out to be a pretty legit car detailing setup with different branches around the world. I didn’t really have a reason to pass by at that time but months later when I wanted to detail my FJ I called them up for a quote and quickly realized their services were out of my FJ’s league.

Then last month I purchased my 1973 Datsun 240z. The car was over 40 years old, still in pretty much stock condition but had been parked outdoors for the past 11 years in Kuwait and probably even longer in the States where it was originally imported from. The paint had clearly lost its shine, it has lots of scratches, the plastics and rubbers around the car looked dry and the interior was also faded and looked old. I had already given the car a pretty good wash but it clearly wasn’t enough. Thats when I considered passing by ProTech and getting a quote from them. I was already aware that they had worked on a number of vintage cars before including ones that were worth a whole lot more than mine so I knew I could trust them detailing my Datsun properly. They gave me a quote which I honestly thought was too much since the car really isn’t worth a lot. But, I was still curious to see what they would be able to do to a car like mine, it seemed like the perfect project for them. So I got in touch with the owner and offered him a barter deal where I’d give him a banner on the blog for a couple of months in return they’d detail my car. Two days later not he got back to me, not only did he accept my deal but he also went out and purchased a 240z himself (same color as mine even, it’s pictured in the back of the photo above). I’m telling you guys the Z is such a ridiculously fun car to get.


I dropped off my car on a Monday, spent around two hours with the owner discussing and comparing our Z’s and then left and came back the following Sunday to pick up the car. Usually they take 3 to 4 days for their extreme detailing package but because of the age of my car and the work it needed they took a couple more days than usual. When I picked up the car again, fuck was I impressed. The pictures really don’t do the job any justice.

There are a number of stages to the whole detailing process. When you first drop the car they first give it a proper wash. Once they’re done washing the car they go over it inch by inch with a clay bar which would pick up any small speckle of dirt that was still left on the car Once they’re done with that they start the detailing process. Depending on which package you go for there are different things involved here but in my case we went all out. So first thing they do is polish the exterior of the car. Before they start they mark off 8 different spots on the car so they could test out how aggressive their polish will be. They want to be the least aggressive so they start off on the lowest setting and polish the first spot and see if they can still see scratches. If the scratches are still there they move over to the second spot they’ve marked off and increase the intensity. They keep doing this from spot to spot until they get to a level of intensity that clears out the scratches without damaging the paint.


Once the external polishing of the car is complete they then apply a special treatment to the rubbers and plastics that will moisturize them and bring them back to life. The best example of how successful this treatment was is with the front spoiler of my car which you can see the before and after shots above. Before the detailing I was contemplating getting the spoiler painted black but now it looks brand new.


After the exterior they move to the interior where they once again spend a lot of time cleaning and applying special treatment to the various materials inside the car. My dashboard had faded and dried because of it being parked outdoors but like with the external plastics, they managed to bring my dashboard back to life. Even all the interior black leather that covers my car now looks factory new. It’s just insane how new my really old car now looks. They didn’t only clean my carpets for example, but they removed my carpets, the insulation underneath it and then cleaned the whole tub of the car before putting everything back again.

Once they were done with the cleaning they moved to the final stage which is applying protection. It’s basically a protective clear coat that lasts anywhere between one to two years. This clear coat protects all the detailing work so that any minor scratches will be superficial and not affect the paint. After everything is done they give you a box (a KD45 value usually) containing a bunch of their cleaning products and various types of cloths and sponges so that you could take care of the car properly. If you have a driver that washes your car you could bring him in and they’ll teach him how to properly clean your car.


The cost of this full detailing job? A whopping KD425. Obviously when a car costs as little as mine this really isn’t very feasible of course which is why I did the barter deal with them. You also don’t have to take the full extreme detailing package which I did. Their prices actually start under KD100 but if you’ve paid I don’t know, KD85,000 for a Mercedes 4X4 Squared for example then you clearly want the best fucking shit for your car and this is it. Personally I can’t believe what a huge difference it made to my car. It’s brought the paint job back to life, it’s shinny, it’s vibrant and because of the protective layer it feels so smooth (like super smooth). And the interior? She doesn’t look 43 at all, she looks like she’s in her 20s.

Now just to be clear this is not an ad and this post wasn’t part of the deal. I wanted to write this post because (a) I always need content but (b) because they really did bring my car back to life. I really need to install AC in the car since there is no way I’m going to leave her parked all summer long. Anyway, check them out, here is their instagram page [Link]

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

My Datsun 240Z

Post by Mark


Over the past few months I’ve been on a rigorous search for the perfect classic Datsun Z. By perfect I mean one that fit into my budget, had an original and intact interior and one that required some work but not too much. Finding an original series Z was not an easy task since there were so few of them popping up for sale and those that did either had been modified heavily or were in terrible condition. Then last Monday while jumping from one instagram account to another, I found a small car collector who had a beautiful orange 240Z in his possession. I decided to leave him a comment randomly asking if it was for sale and to my surprise, the next morning I woke up to find a reply that if I was serious to give him a call. So I did and after I was done with work I headed over to his place to check the car out.


The car had one owner for the past 11 years, the exterior was in great shape and the interior was all there, even the original tape player. After taking the car for a small drive around the block I knew this was the one for me. The asking price wasn’t very far off from what I thought was reasonable for a 240Z in this condition and after negotiating with the owner for a little bit, he agreed to drop down the price and take my offer with the stipulation that if I was ever to sell the car to let him know in case he wanted to buy it back. And so just like that, next day we got the paperwork done and I was a proud owner of a 1973 Datsun 240Z.


The car is mostly stock except for the engine and gearbox which are from the newer 280z, a common modification since engine and gearbox parts for the 280z are more readily available. For such a physically small car, the interior is actually spacious. I’m 6’1 and don’t feel squeezed in the car at all, in fact its pretty comfortable. I’ve been driving the car non stop since Wednesday and it’s just a ton of fun on the road. As a pretty OCD this car should in fact be driving me insane since there are a ton of rattles and so many imperfections all ovre. It’s like utter chaos but I think thats why I’m loving the experience so much, it’s the opposite of what I usually am.


Right now I’m not planning any major work on the car, I’m just going to drive it the way it is until the weather gets too hot for it and then will start working on it. I don’t have any plans yet but I did get inspired a lot last night after watching the video above. Come summer I’ll probably do an engine rebuild, replace all the bushings, install an aftermarket AC system and also get a new suspension. I managed to make a deal with ProTech Monte-Carlo and I’ll be dropping the car off to them tomorrow for some extreme detailing. I’m really curious to see how the car comes out after that since it should look factory new especially the interior.


My dad used to have a similar 240Z back in 1973, it was the first car he purchased when he moved to Kuwait and I just recently heard the story on how he got it. My dad’s an interior designer and was working on the interior of one of the properties for Abdulaziz Al Babtain. Al Babtain were the dealers of Datsun and so most of his meetings would take place at the dealership. One day while walking into the dealership he saw them rolling in a 240Z onto the showroom floor. My dad asked Abdulaziz what that car was and he told him it was the new 240Z. He then asked my dad if he liked it and wanted the car. My dad told him it was beautiful but he had just moved to Kuwait and couldn’t afford to buy one right now. Abdulaziz then called the sales manager over and told him to take my dad’s ID and register the car in his name. He told my dad to pay for it whenever he could which my dad ended up doing over time with small installments. The picture above was taken back in 1973 on Plajat street in Salmiya and my dad wants me to reshoot him now in the same spot but with my car. That should be fun.

I hope the weather stays like this for just a little bit more so I can enjoy the car as much as I can. If you see an orange 240Z zooming down the Gulf Road, that is probably me.

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Review: Lotus Exige 380 Cup

Post by Mark

Back in January I swapped out my Lotus Exige S with the Exige 380 Cup, a lighter and more powerful version of the Exige that was more track focused. I still remember when I posted about my Exige S after getting it, I had linked to a Exige 380 Sport video and I remember thinking, damn I wish I had the 380 Sport instead. It was faster, more aggressive and looked slightly better. And now, I’ve got the 380 Cup which is an even more extreme version. Someone pinch me!

Anyway, here is a rundown of the car after doing around 4,500KM on it plus taken it to the Bahrain International Circuit for a track day.

The Good
I was hoping because the car was so stiff and rough, I wouldn’t drive it a lot so I could keep the mileage low, but that didn’t happen. I’ve been driving the car daily since I got it, racking up miles like I would in any normal daily driver. I don’t have sound isolating carpeting in the car, just floor mats, so I can see the aluminum car frame as well as hear alot of the road noise. And I love the sound of the road under my car even the sounds of little pebbles hitting the underside of the car. Just makes me feel more connected to the road.

I also still love climbing in and sitting inside the tiny cockpit, and I love how the car feels on the road. Road clearance isn’t that much of an issue and since I tend to spend most of my time driving from my home to the office using the Gulf Road, I don’t have problems with crappy roads.

Unlike my previous Exige this one has a manual gearbox and I do have mix feelings about it. Not the specific manual gearbox in this car which is incredible, but more on the idea if I prefer an automatic over a manual gearbox. Car guys are going to say manual is the way to go but personally, I’m 50/50 split on this. On the one side, the thing I like most about this car is the analog feel of it. There isn’t much technology in this car, the interior is very simple and so the manual gearbox works really well with the overall feel of the car. I like the metal clunks the gearbox makes when I shift gears, I like trying to match my revs or practicing my heel and toe skills when slowing down. But, I also miss the convenience of an automatic gearbox especially when I get stuck in traffic.

The Bad
I haven’t really had any issue with the car other than the fact this past weekend while on the racetrack the hatch on the front of the car was coming loose whenever I hit 200km/h. Not fun and I had to keep coming back into the pits to push the hatch back down. You can actually see it happening in the video above, if you look at the left corner where the black carbon fiber hatch meets the blue bodywork at the 3:12 minute mark, you’ll see the front hatch lift up.

The Ugly
The only other issue I’ve had isn’t really an issue for me, but more for the cops. The car exhaust has a valve, in normal driving the car is quiet, too quiet which I don’t like. So I usually have the car in sport mode which opens up the exhaust valve. The problem then is the car becomes too loud, like I’d be driving 40km/h but from the sound of it you’d think I was doing 140km/h. It attracts tooo much attention from the cops and since I get stopped for no reason anyway, this doesn’t make life any easier. Oh and I’ve definitely been traumatized by the cops! This weekend while I was on the racetrack, I swear at some points I was worried I was gonna get pulled over or get caught by a speed camera. I’m convinced its some sort of PTSD.

There isn’t much in terms of modifications I can do to this car since Lotus already upgraded everything in it that can be upgraded. The sound system is really shit but I’m not going to upgrade it since I did that with my last Exige and the sound wasn’t that much of an improvement since the speakers that fit are pretty small. So the only upgrade I did was install a harness bar along with a 4-point racing harness for the driver’s seat. I can still use my regular seatbelt for day to day driving but for track driving, I can now use the 4-point belt instead. The advantage of the 4-point system is that it allows you to become one with the car. Once you tighten it up you can’t move anymore, you’re just glued to your seat which allows you to feel the car a lot more.

Plan B
Before I got the 380 Cup I did consider other cars. The most obvious car was the Porsche 911. They’re hot, super practical and really easy to drive. I’d love a 911 GT3 or GT3RS, and I think a black Targa is one of the most beautiful cars out there. But, the problem with Porsches is that everyone has one. They just aren’t special anymore, it’s like owning a Rolex. On track days they’re the most popular cars on track and I wouldn’t want to spend so much money and not feel special. Other cars I considered were second hand Ferrari 430’s and 458’s, as well as second-hand McLarens. My dream car right now is the baby McLaren, the 540c, but even second hand they cost around 50K. Then you’ve got the maintenance costs associated with Ferrari’s and McLarens, I don’t want to worry about that shit when I buy a car. With the 380 Cup on the other hand, because the car is so rare (1/60) it’s instantly special. On the track this past weekend it must have been the most photographed car even though there were McLarens, Ferraris, Lambos and Porsches. I like that.

So yeah, I still really love the car, I love the brand and the online Lotus community. I love the way my car looks and I love it even more with the roof off. I love the sounds it makes, the un-practicality of it, and I love watching my friends try to climb in and out of the car. Do I wish I had a McLaren 540c? For sure but I also wish I had a Ferrari F40, a Porsche 918, a Lancia Delta HF Integrale, my old Datsun 240z, a BMW E30 M3, a Golf GTI MK1 etc.. I’m a car guy so I’m always going to want more.

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Premium Car Wash Home Service

Post by Mark

If you want your car washed at home then there are a lot of companies that offer the service, and there is even an app that can connect you to most of them. But not all car washes are equal which is why I found this latest service from ProTech Monte-Carlo interesting.

ProTech consider themselves a car spa, they offer premium detailing services as well as tinting, paint protection and a variety of treatments for your car. Just flipping through their Instagram account you’ll notice they’ve worked on some of the hottest cars in Kuwait from classics to supercars, and I’ve personally used them twice, first time to detail my Datsun 240z, and the second time for paint protection on my first Exige.

Over the weekend I got a message from them letting me know they’re now offering membership packages for their premium car wash service to your home. For KD40 a month they’ll come by once a week at a prearranged time to wash your car. If you want them to come by more than once a week they have packages for that as well which you can see below:

There are a couple of things I like about this, the first being that they actually know how to wash cars the right way. I know washing a car sounds simple and it is, but there are special techniques to washing the car properly and how to avoid getting swirls in your paint. For example, they’re the only place I’ve seen use clay bars when washing the car. If you’re got an expensive car then the extra care is definitely worth it. The second thing I like about this service is the membership aspect, I like the idea of signing up to a washing service and have them come over say every Sunday at 8AM to wash my car. The only thing is you need to commit to 12 months and I don’t like thinking that far ahead.

If you’re interested in signing up to the service, you can contact them by phone or whatsapp on +965-96912001. Here is a link to their [Website]

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Must Watch TV: Mindhunter

Post by Mark

I just recently finished watching the Netflix crime drama Mindhunter, and I loved it. The show is based on true stories and follows two FBI detectives in the late 70s, during the early days of criminal psychology and profiling. Because it’s based on reality, it feels like a well-done documentary at times like when we got to see how the term “serial killer” came about and various other ideas and interrogation methods we see today on current crime drama shows. Mindhunter is like the prequel to all crime shows.

The criminal cases covered on the show are all fascinating, but the characters and their own stories are as interesting, and by the end of the season, you’ll be attached to all of them. But, one of my favorite things about the show is how they’ve made the 70s cool again, in the same way Stranger Things brought back the 80s. The wardrobe on the show (especially Wendy’s outfits) along with the cars and the vintage electronics (that tape recorder used in the opening scene is so hot) just makes me want to go back and live in the 70s, which I kinda did over the past week…

Over the weekend I borrowed my old 1973 Datsun 240z from my friend whom I had sold it to. I hadn’t been in the car or driven it since I sold it nearly a year ago, but the show really made me miss it. Binge-watching Mindhunter and then stepping into a car from the same era and listening to music of that era, it felt like time travel for a little bit.

If you’re looking for a new show to binge watch and haven’t watched Mindhunter yet, then add this to your list. It’s available on Netflix Kuwait.

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

My Datsun’s Final Send-off

Post by Mark

Last September my Datsun was used in a commercial for the groceries delivery brand Baqal. They were doing an old school commercial and my car fit the theme so they paid me to do donuts in an empty sandlot (always fun). Since then I’ve been waiting for the commercial to come out so I could post about it, and it finally did… a week after I sold my car. So I guess it kinda works out as a final farewell to the Z. She will be missed.

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Goodbye Datsun

Post by Mark


Next week would have been my one year anniversary with the 240z but yesterday, I sold the car. I didn’t want to sell it, but I’m getting another car and it just wouldn’t have made sense to own three cars. The night before I sold the car, I took it out for one last drive and it was just so sad. I felt like I was giving away my dog. Not sure why I was being very sentimental since I had the car for only a year. I think was because I was driving it everyday and had spent so many late nights at my mechanic making her a daily drivable car.


Luckily a good friend of mine who is a car nut bought the Datsun from me so I’ll still get to see it. I’m actually looking forward to seeing what he’ll do with it since he’s restored other old cars before and my Datsun could use a bit more TLC from someone like him. Watching him drive off with the car though was still a pretty sad moment.

So no more Datsun, it was fun while it lasted.

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

What it’s like owning a classic car

Post by Mark


I’ve been getting a lot of people asking me if owning an old car is a pain in the ass. Like how difficult is it to maintain? Is it reliable? How practical it is as a daily driver? I got my Datsun back in April and I’ve been driving it every day since, so I think I’m now qualified enough to answer some of those questions.

Classic Cars Expectations
First thing you need to do is manage your expectations with the car. You’re not buying a brand new car off the dealership lot so you need know that the car won’t be perfect. My car for example has a bunch of quirks if I can put it nicely, here are some of them:

– I need a new gearbox, right now my gears jump to neutral randomly when in 1st, 3rd or 5th gear. New gearbox with installation will cost me just KD150, but I’m not in the mood to get it done because end of the day my gearbox is working fine, it’s just a bit annoying. I’ve got a temp fix right now which is, whenever I am in one of those gears, I just keep my hand on the gear knob so it doesn’t jump out of place and it works. Simple.

– When I close my drivers door it automatically locks. So I ALWAYS make sure the keys are with me before exiting the car.

– When I fill up gas I spend the rest of the day inhaling gas fumes in the car.

– Speaking of fumes, if I have one window open, the cars internal air pressure changes and starts pulling in exhaust fumes from the rear. So I need to either have both windows rolled up or both windows down. So if a passenger rolls down their window I roll down mine, if they roll there’s up, I roll mine up. No biggie.

– When I go through a drive-thru car wash I get soaked a little while sitting inside the car. It leaks water from on top of the door and it’s not because of the rubber seals which I’ve already replaced. The car is just so old that the body has warped a bit and so the doors and rear hatch don’t properly seal.

– It’s really loud, old cars had no sound insulation and I can’t really converse with anyone inside the car. The sound of the road, wind, engine and exhaust just doesn’t make it possible.

These are just some of the “quirks” and I’ve got a bunch more. So when you get an old car expect there to be weird issues. My car is 43 years old and I’ve accepted all the issues that came with it and they don’t bother me at all.

Read the rest of this entry »

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter


If you have anything you think would be interesting to share on this blog
[Email Me]