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						Reaction Research Zgt A7

Reaction Research ZGT

We’ve seen a lot of donor cars come and go over the years, serving as platforms for various replicas and unique designs. While John Washington of Reaction Research has been using Datsun Z-cars as donors for many years (see ZTrix.com), his latest project employs a whole new type of Z-car, the BMW Z3.

Built from 1995 to 2002, this platform has a lot going for it. With some 279,000 units
manufactured, there’s a plentiful supply, and given the cars’ ages, resale values are steadily depreciating.

As for mechanicals, the Z3 is a sweet little car. It’s a crisp corner-carver, and the aftermarket offers a wide range of chassis upgrades. Factory engines range from 1.8 to 3.2 liters, delivering outputs from 115 to 333 hp, and providing a wide spectrum of power offerings. All told, the Z3 has good bones for a rebody.

Which leads us to Washington’s new body package. Inspired by BMW’s iconic 507 from the late ’50s, Washington’s ZGT brings it forward. Design elements from the 1950s and ‘60s blend together in an organic melding. In contrast with the donor car, the ZGT elongates the stubby styling of the Z3, along with adding clever details such as covings in the doors, side skirts, door caps, and a bigger tail treatment with a subtle spoiler. Overall, the shape is trim and athletic, effectively concealing its donor car origins, even from BMW enthusiasts.

The ZGT’s bolt-on body panels are made of 3-ounce cloth saturated by hand with marine-grade resin, and start at a base price of $9,875. The estimated DIY build time is less than 100 hours total. For those customers who prefer to have a ZGT built for them, the estimated cost of installation labor on a customer’s donor is $2,450.

Washington acknowledges that some prospective customers have requested removal of the kidney grilles on the nose, a feat that’s easily accomplished. Vent mesh is planned as an option, as well as a “ZGTR” version with wider fenders for competition or just performance street use.  

Given the need for new donor cars, this body conversion offers a whole new approach. After all, the Z in Z3 stands for Zukunft, which is German for “future” — which could equally apply to the Z in ZGT.

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