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Photos! Blackhawk Auto Show 2009

Filed under: Events,Uncategorized
by Forbes @ 6:01 pm on June 30, 2009

Let me start off by saying thank you to everyone who had a hand in this event, especially the entire ZONC crew.  Secondly I would like all of you individually to give a few claps of the hand to ZONC for getting a NISMO 370z to this event!!  Seriously, if you only new the kind of elbow grease it took to pull this one off!!

About the NISMO 370z.  It looks amazing in person.  This is the first one that I have seen with my own eyes and it did not let me down.  While the revised front fascia will still take some getting used to, the rear is spot-on from the factory.  I love the look of the new spoiler and the rear bumper has small vertical vents that are very reminiscent of a GT3 Porsche.  The car doesn’t appear to sit too high in stock form, as did the outgoing Z33 NISMO, and the subtle changes inside were not too flamboyant for my taste.

I would love to offer some sort of driving report on the car but I was only able to move it around for a few of the photos that were taken.  I’m sure one of our customers will pick one up as soon as they hit U.S. soil so I’ll be sure to take the keys then.  Haha.  Anyways, thanks to Dublin Nissan as well for bringing out the other while 370z base model as well as a GT-R for a small Nissan family get-together.

Back to the show!  We left the shop almost on time (7:45am) and arrived at the show around 8:20 or so.  The weather was absolutely perfect in the morning and I had the windows down in the Red 280zx Restoration all the way up there.  After moving all the cars into place and saying our “hellos” to faces we haven’t seen in a year I began to notice the lack of the Z32 300zx population at the show.  This group of cars has been fifteen strong in the past and I think the grand total this year was under five, crazy times in the Z world.  Maybe Z32 owners don’t like the heat, the projected forecast for the day was in the mid-nineties.

All of the other groups had pretty strong showings but I was blown away by how many early cars made the trip this year.  Most of these cars were in really good shape if not fully restored.  In this group are the three cars that now wear the ZCG Big Break Kit.  This was our first show with the full production version installed on customer cars and the response was outstanding.  I talked with both owners of the newly installed kits and they couldn’t be happier.  I will have a full post on the production version of the brake kit shortly.

After taking an early, and long, lunch to beat the heat we made our way into the museum.  We were not surprised to see that the cars had changed a little but most of the first floor held something new!  Right as we walked in we were greeted by a beautiful Porsche 959 prototype that was developed a full three years before the existence of the 959 was released, one of three ever made.  Off to a good start!  We proceeded to wander around the first floor in awe of the great cars in front of us until we checked our watches and realized that the trophy presentation was going to start in about fifteen minutes.

We picked up the pace and headed up stairs to the second show room and were greeted with some of the more economical cars of the past, the Honda N600 and the BMW Isetta.  Both cars achieved similar gas mileage to today’s hybrids, albeit today’s cars are much more functional that these micro gas sippers.

Heading into the main upstairs room we are greeted with quite a few cars that we have seen in previous trips, and they are still just as stunning as the first time I saw them.  This room is filled with the large saloon cars of the thirties, all cars of overwhelming opulence in a time when America was at it’s worst just following the great depression.  These cars have the strangest ornate features such as the snakes on the fenders of the car you see below.  It was also interesting to see that SU carburetors, as seen on early Z cars, were used even in these early days in high horsepower applications such as the supercharged Bentley also pictured below.

At this point we got the call wondering where we were and we made haste back to the show.  It turns out the awards presentation was just about over.  Quite a few of the cars we brought with us as a shop had taken home a prize, and we can’t thank ZONC and all the other participants for making it all happen.  Next year’s show promises to be just a good although I’m not sure what car Ann is going to try to get from Nissan next time.  You may just have to show up to find out!!

The full gallery of the show and museum is after the ‘read more.’

I have also have received links to galleries from friends’ photos of the event so expect to see another post pop up about this show.  Enjoy.

…[read more]




Updates are coming!

Filed under: Uncategorized
by Forbes @ 10:11 pm on June 29, 2009

I have ended up writing a bit more than a thought for the car shows that took place over the weekend (and haven’t edited the photos yet) so please hang with me for one more day on these posts.  I’ll have more than a few interesting things up this week as well.  You guys rock and it was nice to see a good amount of you this weekend.

Z you tomorrow





ZCG Caravan to the Blackhawk Auto Museum 6.27.09

Filed under: Uncategorized
by Forbes @ 6:48 pm on June 25, 2009

Okay, I’ve spoken to Rob about the ZCG caravan up to the Blackhawk Auto Museum on Saturday.  The plan is as follows:  Meet at Z Car Garage at 7:00am, leave for the show at 7:30.  The drive takes about a half hour which gives us perfect timing to get there when registration opens at 8:00am.

If you are thinking, “Boy that’s a pretty long day.” Don’t worry.  The show and the Museum are located in one of the nicest malls in the bay area with a movie theater and lots of fine dining for lunch and what not, NOT TO MENTION THE AMAZING MUSEUM.

We hope to see as many of you at 7:00am at ZCG on Saturday as possible!!  Long Live the Z!!!





Nissan’s Electric Future

Filed under: 370z,Uncategorized
by Forbes @ 4:27 pm on

Most of us know that Nissan has been in the hybrid market for a few years now with offerings in the mid-sized sedan lines.  A not so well kept secret is that this technology is actually on loan from Toyota, so yes that hybrid Altima you just bought is more closely related to a Prius than you may wish.

Recently Nissan has made a very strong effort to break out on it’s own in the new electric craze.  The all electric Nissan-Cube test vehicle (officially named the EV-02) has been roaming the world’s test tracks and city streets for some time now indicating that the factory must be close to making some sort of decision on where to head with all of this.

Back in February news broke that Nissan had in fact filed for a loan from the US Department of Energy through the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Incentive Program.  In just the past few days the loan has been approved for such automakers as Tesla, Ford, and our beloved Nissan, which is set to receive around $1.6 billion US.  Where will this money go?  In the loan, Nissan agrees to spend the money on furthering its “GREEN” production on US soil and on products that it will sell here.  The plan as of now is to begin building an electric vehicle assembly line at the Smyrna, TN plant where Nissan North America is headquartered.  The new line will be capable of pushing out up to 100,000 ‘green-ish’ vehicles a year.  I say green-ish because there is no official announcement as to what will actually be produced here, full on electric vehicles (EVs) or hybrids of some sort.

SO, HOW DOES THIS RELATE TO ZCARBLOG???  Nissan plans to release it’s first hybrid (of it’s own original design, no Toyota parts) sometime between 2010 and 2011 most likely in the M35 (M37 by then?) sedan.  The kicker here is that this platform uses the same VQ heart as the Z Car.  What is stopping Nissan from putting this nifty electric hybrid motor under the Z sheet metal?  Would you like better gas mileage in your Z? Of course you do, but would you trade in the signature VQ exhaust note for it?

Please leave me your thoughts, I’m interested to hear what all of you think on this subject.  If you have a long response simply email rob@zcargarage.com with the heading of “HYBRID Z” and he will forward them to me.  Thanks!!!





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