top of page
  • Writer's pictureVilner

Datsun 280Z by Vilner Garage: from gold to cobalt

Vilner Garage presents one of the most unique projects ever to come out from the Bulgarian atelier.


It’s based on Datsun 280Z ‘Fairlady Z’ and the story of the car is no less interesting than the project itself.

“We’ve literally puled the car out of the owner’s living room,” says Atanas Vilner.“ The ex-owner is from Germany and his family three can be associated with Erich Hartmann – Bubi, the most successful flying ace in history. “We’ve removed some of the window assembly to pull the car out,” adds Vilner.

The relative of Bubi felt in love with the car in the States. Two months later he managed to shipped this ‘Gold Metallic’ Datsun 280Z to Hamburg. The car was sharing a container with some parts from a… Messershmitt Bf 109 which was also connected to Erich Hartmann. The owner didn’t want to tell us the full story but, anyway, Vilner was interested in the ‘Fairlady Z’, not the Messer.

A few years ago the vehicle was shipped again, this time to Vilner Garage in Bulgaria. And then ‘restomoded’ with the support of BASF R-M The Code art program. Vilner developed a special color - ‘Vilner Copper Rose’ – within the program and used it for the ‘Superlite’ styled wheels, for the front grill, the back of the car and for some interior details. The main color is called ‘Vilner Cobalt Matt Metallic’.

“Every single piece of that car is checked, changed, refreshed or replaced with new,” says Vilner. “As far as the ‘restomod’ modifications, I’ve kept the car as close to the original. As my imagination allowed me to do so…”

The exterior. You can see a full LED headlights and taillights, a LED ‘Z’ badges for a side indicators on the front wings, machined side mirrors and fully customized exhaust system with side silencers, just in front the rear wheels. For a cleaner look, Vilner removed the bumpers, both front and rear.

“The goal was a silhouette as clean as possible. We’ve managed to do it with gracefully executed metal work,” adds Vilner.

The interior. It’s phenomenal. Almost 100% of the panels are wrapped in Vintage leather with the exception of the side panels and the central tunnel. The latter is covered with blue felt. Blue is also the color of choice for the floor mats. If you look closely, you’ll spot that they’ve edged with leather and badged with metal ‘Fairlady Z’ lettering. The seatbelts are also blue and the top liner – it’s shaped like the seats but that shape also provides a sound deadening effect.

The “20 Years Vilner Studio” badge. Last time when Vilner used it was on his amazing Shelby Mustang Super Snake project back in 2018. Here you can see it on the Fairlady’s seats. The next car that will receive a similar attention will be in 2021. So, this 1976 Datsun 280Z is much more than another Vilner Garage’s project.

‘Vilner Copper Rose’ can be found inside the car, too. The central mirror cap, the ‘DATSUN’ plate on the dash, on the steering wheel and even on the gear lever button.

The tech bits. This car was disassembled to the last nut. Every part is refurbished, replaced with an OM one or with better one. Stainless steel is used for the whole exhaust system, handcrafted and polished. The car sits 20 mm closer to the ground due to Eibach springs.

“To sum up the project with some numbers? It’s impossible,” says Vilner. “The amount of work put into this project is beyond any car done from my team. And I can guarantee that this Datsun 280Z ‘Fairlady Z’ is one of the most unique cars on the planet. Even the asking price of €75k is modest when you consider the amount of work and materials put into this project, not to mention the art art work,” ends Atanas Vilner.

1976 Datsun 280Z ‘Fairlady Z’, 2792 cc, in-line 6, 170 hp, 221 Nm, 3-sp. auto, RWD, 1304 kg

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page