AFTER a 15-year build process, Todd Bulkeley is justifiably proud of how his impeccably presented Datsun 1600 coupe has turned out. But ‘proud’ wasn’t exactly the word that came to mind when he first took ownership of the car.
“It arrived in my driveway on my birthday – and it was horrible. It looked like it’d been dragged behind the boat the whole way – rust, rust, rust. I was totally gutted.”
After being stuffed around by a couple of shops, Todd was advised to give John Zelukovic Smash Repairs a try.
“Ben [Zelukovic] came and looked at the car and said yes, but they wouldn’t be able to get to it for a while,” he says. “After having already sat idle for 12 months, I was like: ‘Arrgh!’ But, true to his word, Ben came ’round three months later to pick it up. That was in 2003.” It finally rolled out of their workshop just in time to make Summernats 2017!
While its looks stunning, SIRDAT is not just all show; under the bonnet is a stove-hot FJ20 that’s been punched out to 2.2 litres. Built by PMC Race Engines, it sports plenty of goodies: CPC billet intake, 70mm throttlebody, CP pistons, and Spool crank, rods and valve springs. There’s also a custom sump by Clayton’s Creations, plus twin Bosch 044 pumps, Bosch 2000 injectors, four AEM coils and a big-arse Garrett GTX3582R turbo With E85 in the tank and only a run-in tune in the Haltech Elite 1500 ECU, the mighty four-pot still managed to twist the dial on the Mick’s Motorsport dyno all the way to 515hp at 23psi!
Todd’s preference for manual cog selection presented an unusual problem. The Billet Specialties brake and accelerator pedals connect to custom-made hand controls on account of Todd being wheelchair-bound, which doesn’t leave him a whole lot of limbs left over for shiftin’ gears. The solution: a full-manual, reverse-pattern C4 auto outfitted with a Powertrain Control Solutions (PCS) paddle-shift set-up.
SIRDAT may have been a long time in the build, but the results speak for themselves. On its first outing at Summernats 30, the coupe collected a Top 20 plate, along with Top Retrotech and Top Custom Interior. Since then, this stunning SSS coupe has won a string of major awards, including Neatest Engine Bay, People’s Choice (twice), Best Paint, Top Undercarriage, Top Interior, Top Coupe, plus Best In Show awards at both Capital Jam and the Datsun Nationals.