Select RPM readers might recall the Datsun era, but some may not. Datsun was in fact an early offering for export-only from Nissan, and by the mid-1980s the name was phased out and future offerings bore the Nissan name. To see a Datsun anywhere these days is a rare sight, but one that runs a top-level drag race class, and is competitive in it, is all but impossible. Enter Ryan and DJ McCain, who make the near impossible a reality.
Many younger people in drag racing impact the sport, but the McCain brothers Ryan and DJ are at the top of the game in the No-Time scene, and known for taking down the top-tier guys. Ryan has many years of tuning experience behind him, and DJ typically drives, however, both are equally talented behind the wheel or under the hood. They’ve followed in significant footsteps; their father, Lester, has been racing since he was a teenager. After dominating in a previous typical Fox Body Mustang build, team McCain wanted to be different. While looking for that ‘different’, they happened to stumble across the shell of a 1971 Datsun 1200. Ryan explains; “Arriving at the original owner’s house, our first thoughts were that we couldn’t believe how small the car actually was, and that there was no way a V8 LS would fit in it. But with travelling so far, there was no way we could come back with an empty trailer.” Fun fact; these little cars have a wheelbase of just under 92 inches which isn’t the ideal platform for hardcore V8 power, let alone what the McCain’s had planned for it. Generally, the McCain family handles 90% of their work, but for this task, they needed help.
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