WhichCar
Powered by
  • WheelsWheels
  • MOTORMOTOR
  • 4X4 Australia4X4 Australia
  • Street MachineStreet Machine
  • Trade Unique CarsTrade Unique Cars

BLOWN AND INJECTED LS2-POWERED 1973 DATSUN 1200 UTE

By Andrew Broadley | Photos: Matt Everingham, 31 Dec 2017 Features

datsun ute 1896

Everyone should have a Datsun ute with a blown and injected V8 up front

With a 1000hp blown injected LS on board, Adam Ursino's Datsun proves good things can come in small packages

This article on Adam's Datto ute was originally published in the September 2016 issue of Street Machine

SOMETIMES it’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the blown injected V8 in the dog. In spite of its comically oversized engine, Turbo 400 auto and nine-inch rear end, Adam Ursino’s Datsun 1200 ute weighs in smack-bang on 1000kg, making it a lightweight by any measure. And with its LQ9-based, 8/71-blown meth-chugging motor good for a neat 1000hp, you don’t need to be a rocket surgeon to run the numbers on the power-to-weight ratio.

Datsun uteYep, it’s fair to say FUKDAT is a pretty sprightly little beast. It’s brutally tough, easy on the eye, and wonderfully unique, all at the same time. And better yet, it was built almost entirely at home in a suburban Sydney shed by Adam himself, with a little help from his brother Dom and a bunch of great mates.

800hp turbo 1968 Datsun 1600 GL

Datsun ute rear“I’ve always wanted a blown injected car, and when I first bought the Datto 11 years ago I said: ‘I’m going to put a blown V8 in this one day,’” Adam says. “I also wanted to build an all-’round car for burnouts, drag racing and occasional street use.”

Datsun ute sideThe body boasts shaved door handles, tailgate, blinkers and vents, flush-fitting front and rear ’screens, and custom one-piece side glass. The stance is spot-on, and the little ute rolls on Simmons FRs, which are a hefty 19x11in on the rear

It’s certainly no daily driver, but Adam does plan on taking the Datto to the streets when the mood takes him, and who are we to say he can’t? “People laugh when I say I’m going to drive it on the street, but I am,” he affirms. “And I can’t wait to take it down the quarter-mile and run a number in it, then blow a set of tyres on the burnout pad.”

Datsun ute engineOn top of the blown and injected LQ9, there’s plenty of hardware jam-packed into this tiny little engine bay. There’s a header tank for the fuel system, a dry-sump tank, and two breather tanks, along with a custom PWR radiator

When Adam first came to own the Datto it was powered by a Commodore V6, and he did a couple of skid comps with the car before repowering it with a naturally aspirated 5.7L LS1. That was all fun and games for a while, until his desire to throw a blower on the car got the better of him. It ushered in a ground-up rebuild and a ton of fab work, which took the car from the skid pig it once was to the piece of rolling art it now is.

Datsun ute engineNote the smoothed-off strut tops, which required plenty of lateral thinking and fab time to achieve

As one would expect, jamming a 1000hp blown LS into a little Datsun 1200 ute is not a straightforward proposition. The front end was built from scratch out of chrome-moly tube, and the firewall, removable trans tunnel and two-inch headers were all made by hand by Adam and his brother. They also tackled the four-link, tubs and tray in the rear end. “We’re self-taught and we do everything at home,” Adam says. “The only thing I didn’t do was build the motor; Sam from Westend Performance took care of that.”

Datsun ute engineFor a package that makes 1000hp on a lowly 8psi of boost, there’s certainly nothing exotic about the engine. Built around a factory GM LQ9 block, it displaces 6.2 litres and runs an OEM crankshaft. JE pistons and H-beam rods were used along with a Peterson dry sump set-up, but there are no fancy aftermarket heads and no massive solid camshaft involved. A relatively mild Comp hydraulic-roller was used to minimise time on the tools in between events, and factory L98 heads got a bit of a birthday before being torqued down tight. Of course, it’s the 8/71 blower and Big & Ugly hat that are largely responsible for the car’s power output, as well as its larger-than-life presence.

Datsun ute trayLike the bulk of this build, the heavily customised tray was fabricated in Adam’s back shed. Note the killer swage work and nicely rounded tubs

However, the supercharger was also the source of a great deal of frustration during the build. “When I first put the blower on it, I stood back and realised that the motor had to be stepped back four inches, so I had to start again with a lot of the fab work,” Adam says. “I thought I’d be different and run a four-speed Jerico manual at first, too. It was fun, but after frying two twin-plate clutches I decided to put the Turbo 400 in it. It’s easier to drive.”

Datsun ute wheelWeight reduction was a serious priority in the interior, and the cabin looks race-ready as a result. The seats, dash and door trims were all painstakingly crafted from carbonfibre. “I was pretty happy with the interior; it’s something different,” Adam says. To get the look he was after, he bought an alloy Kirkey race seat, then cut the sides down and smoothed it completely. It was then used to make a mould for the carbon seats. He also made the dash out of sheet metal, and it was then taken as a mould so it could be copied in carbonfibre.

Datsun ute interiorThere’s not a lot of Datsun remaining in the cockpit, with just about everything you can lay your eyes on being custom-made, including the carbonfibre seats, door trims and dash. A full ’cage, removable trans tunnel and custom flat floor are also completely bespoke

The body features a stack of modifications, including smoothed door handles, blinkers, door locks, and side vents. A custom tailgate and tray also feature, along with custom side glass to do away with the quarter windows, and flush-fit front and rear screens.

Datsun ute interiorThe store-bought items are limited to a Colorado Custom steering wheel, Racepak dash, B&M Pro Street Bandit shifter and Simpson harnesses

As part of the latest freshen-up, the car was treated to a vinyl wrap job by Phil from Creative Signworx. Combined with the extensive black-out treatment, the grey wrap job makes the Datto a good match for the Capri of Adam’s mate Danny Younis. Danny was instrumental in the build of the Datsun, and he and Adam plan to attack the Australian burnout scene as a team, which they like to call the Blown Outlaws.

Datsun ute interior“The car is fun to drive,” Adam says. “It’s a bit of a handful, because as soon as you stab the throttle in top gear it just blazes the tyres. But we put the ’cage in to strengthen the car, and we were surprised how good it drives for the power it has and the weight of it. I can cruise it and it feels normal until you put your foot down. I have a full street exhaust with mufflers I can put on it and it’s actually pretty quiet. I’ll cruise it out to Cars Under The Stars, do weddings, and take it for the odd drive. All the lights and blinkers work.

Datstun uteFUKDAT in its previous yellow and four-speed manual incarnation at Street Machine Supernats '15

“There’s been many sleepless nights on this car and every time there’s an event on it’s in a thousand pieces, but we always manage to get it back together in time thanks to the help of good mates. And it’s been a goal of mine to build a car and have it featured in Street Machine magazine.”

Adam UrsinoHere we have Danny Younis of FUKYEA Capri fame with his fiancée Talicia on the left, with Adam and partner Amelia on the right

ADAM URSINO
1973 DATSUN 1200 UTE

Paint: Grey Metallic wrap

ENGINE
Brand: LS2
Induction: Mechanical injection, Big & Ugly hat
Blower: 8/71
Heads: L98
Camshaft: Comp hydraulic-roller
Conrods: H-beam
Pistons: JE
Crank: Standard
Oil pump: Peterson Stage 3 dry-sump pump
Fuel system: Magnafuel 800 pump
Cooling: Custom PWR radiator, 15in Spal fan
Exhaust: Custom 2in primary headers, twin 3.5in straight-through exhaust
Ignition: MSD

TRANSMISSION
Gearbox: Turbo 400
Converter: 3500rpm
Diff: Sheet-metal 9in, 40-spline axles, 3.0:1 gears

SUSPENSION & BRAKES
Springs & shocks: Strange coil-overs (f & r)
Brakes: Wilwood discs and calipers (f & r)
Master cylinder: Wilwood remote

WHEELS & TYRES
Rims: Simmons FR; 18x5.5 (f), 19x11 (r)
Rubber: Nankang 165/30/18 (f), Pirelli 295/35/19 (r)