If you’re getting bored with the sight of Gran Turismo on your PlayStation, here’s a chance to upgrade to a real version of one of the more popular cars from the long-running series – the Tommykaira ZZ.
Kyoto-based Tommykaira became a successful Japanese tuning specialist in the 1990s, finding particular fame with its souped-up Nissans, Toyotas and Subarus.
Although its creations were generally modified and rebranded versions of existing models, the M30 of 1988 was an almost clean-sheet design and came to be regarded as Japan’s first genuine high-performance production car. That was followed in 1996 by the fully-integrated ZZ that established the niche firm’s status as a manufacturer – until the collapse of the Yen three years later put paid to production.
Kyoto may be a long way from Norfolk, but that did not stop Dereham-based Breckland Technology buying the rights to the ZZ and building 257 cars before abandoning the project after Tommykaira returned to business with the ZZ2 (the one commonly associated with Gran Turismo).
Of the 257, all but six were exported to Japan. Of those six, one was crash tested, another sent to the US, a third was used as a development car and a fourth ended up in a private collection.
Around 15 years ago, local classic and race car dealer and competitor John Timewell spotted the ZZ pictured here in a mothballed state on the roof of Breckland Tech’s internal storage unit. Having seen how well the fifth of the aforementioned six examples performed on track in a 750 Motor Club Roadsports event, he decided to buy the car and rebuild it from the ground up as the first-ever ZZ developed purely for racing (as opposed to the model’s originally intended role as a fun road/track car).
Despite completing the car to a high spec – complete with a rare, specialised Nissan race engine built by tuning guru Graham Dale Jones – Timewell has now decided to sell it.
With styling that hints at numerous other designs – we see a bit of Ford RS200, a bit of Lotus Exige and perhaps some Porsche 959 in the shape – this unique ZZ SE R (for Special Equipment, Race) offers something different. According to Timewell, the 2-litre engine is similar to those used in the Nissan Primera Super Touring race cars of the ’90s, and is alone valued at £25,000.
It produces around 260bhp, which might not sound outrageous by today’s standards, but with a mere 650 kilos of chassis to propel, it is said to provide rather blistering performance.
Interested parties with around £45,000 to spend should contact Timewell direct – assuming they can tear themselves away from Gran Turismo…
Tommykaira ZZ SE R
On sale at Performance and Classic Cars, Norfolk. Asking: £45,000.
Performanceandclassiccars.com +44 (0) 1603 963544.