OF THE RISING SUN
the Japanese Invasion. We beat them in W.W.II, but they came right back and
beat us in electronics, cars and many other things. But in all these fields
they built reliability and technology. The Datsun Fairlady may be a direct copy
of the MGB, but it was a better car. The Zs and RX7s were light weight rocket
ships with great styling. Although they really hurt the US auto makers, they
made street and race drivers very happy.
along with Lotus, and probably my first, favorite marque is the Datsun. Always
made by Nissan Motors, but back in their heyday, and in the days and years I
raced them, they were just Datsuns. Once
they were started to be called Nissans, they had lost any resemblance to a sports
car. During the mid and late '70s, I raced a 1972 240Z in SCCA C Production
and a 1971 510 Coupe in B Sedan. Mostly in the Z-Car. In fact the 240Z is still
active as of 2003. It's owned by a guy in Houston, and he finished in the top
10 of class at the 2002 National Championships at Mid Ohio. These were simply
race cars right off the dealer's floor. In production classes you had to stick
quite a bit to factory items. At the time Datsun Competition had a 60 page catalog
of 'factory parts' and Datsuns dominated their classes for years.
This was the second Fairlady. Never saw one
in the flesh till I got this one. The first Fairlady was the 1200, but
I don't think they ever were imported here. The 1600 came here in late
This one is apart and hope to get to the body shop soon. The 'real' photo
will be up soon, but looks just about like the 1600 roadster.
This was the second Fairlady, with the lower
early version windscreen. A great roadster. 1.6 liter engine, with twin
SU carbs. Five speed tranny and a great car for street or track. Got this
fella in Arizona with no rust and was an easy restoration project. These
were tops in G-Production, and pretty much still are. Thanks to 'General
This was the last Fairlady, a great roadster.
Big 2 liter engine, with twin SU carbs. Five speed tranny and a great
car for street or track. Got this one in California as all the ones on
the east coast rusted away years ago. 135 hp and a top speed of almost
120 mph. In race trim, they dominated D Production.
This is the other car that I raced in B-Sedan
in the 1970s. Guy out in Seattle made this one look like my old car. He
ran it in some SCCA rallies. 2.0 liter engine, dual Mikuni .44 sidedrafts,
comp suspension, 4.44 rear end, 15 inch wheels and other goodies. Then
he put in Lexus seats and race harnesses. Fiberglass flared fenders, and
of course, I had to add the rear wing.
DATSUN 240Z COUPE
Same year as my old race car was. In-line six
with 147 horsepower and a top speed of 125-130. The '72 race car had 310
ponies and a top speed of 165 plus. Even more fun to drive, especially
at Lime Rock or Watkins Glen. Gonna rebuild the engine kinda to the race
car specs. 280 block, 240 head, triple Solexes and a slalom cam.
NISSAN 300 ZX ROADSTER
Only made for two years. 3 liter V6, 222 horsepower.
Top speed of about 155 mph. Pretty much stock except for fore and aft
wind deflectors. Handles well, but not much in the way of exciting power.
Just too big and heavy and comfortable to really be a sports car. No wonder
they stopped making them. Also priced out of the market. (Sold this in
DATSUN 240-Z RACE CAR
The old race car, don't have it any more but
thought you might like a look. Bought it new in 1972, and sold it in 1980,
but this is where the love affair began with this breed of cars. Mostly
fiberglass, 280 block .40 over, early 240 head with triple Mikuni Solex
carbs and every trick part known then. Car weighed 2100 pounds and turned
out 310 bhp. Handled like a dream! Won a LOT.
ROCKETS & MORE
The Wankel engine
was designed and built in 1957, and used in the German NSUs, and then taken
on by General Motors for use in the newer Corvettes which never materialized.
But it really took off when Mazda, then Toyo Kogyo Motors, got their model going
in 1967. RX7s were simply one great and fast sports cars. The old RX3 was a
neat little sedan as well. Honda began making some pretty nice sports cars in
the 90s with the Acura NSX and finally the S2000 roadster. Of the 4 main cars
in the movie The Fast and the Furious Two, one was the 3rd generation RX7 turbo,
and another the S2000.
MAZDA RX7 TURBO II
Second year of the series two body style and
the first year of the turbo. Stock was 160 horsepower. Played a lot with
this engine and turbo system, and now get 255 horses out of the car with
adjustable boost. Top speed about 175 mph. Thank you very much Corky Bell
and the guys at Car Tech in Dallas. (Sold in 2005)
MAZDA RX7 ROADSTER
normally aspirated twin rotor engine. Nowhere near the power of the RX7
Turbo, but handling is almost identical. Interesting convertible top with
two panels. Can take off the front top and get a Targa effect, or just
retract the whole thing and get a really nice looking roadster. (Sold
MAZDA RX7-R1 TURBO
RX7. Made from 93-95, and the R1 Touring edition only in 1993. Stock had
255 hp, but this one has dual Peter Farrell intercoolers, M2 air induction
and computer and much more and gets over 350 hp. Last guy also added wheels,
racing brakes, exhaust, new paint, leather interior. The entire suspension
and sway bars are all fully adjustable. Out and out race car. This fella
is a real one of a kind and a real kick to drive.
First year that
this neat little thing was made. Limited production. 2 liter in-line 4
with dohc shafts. This engine turns out 120 hp/liter, more than any other
non turbo car ever made. All aluminum engine with the Honda VTEC valve
train. Double wishbone suspension, front and rear stabilizer bars make