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Datsun 240z Vs Scion FR-S

Filed under: Automotive History
by Alvin G @ 11:42 am on August 30, 2012


Modern sports cars have put on weight and sacrificed performance for luxury. An interesting article in Automobile Magazine compares the iconic 1971 Datsun 240z with the new Scion FR-S as a reminder of how going back to the basics can produce a rewarding and exciting affordable sports car for today’s enthusiasts. Check out the full article HERE

Long Live the Z!





The ZCG Datsun 2000 Roadster

Filed under: Featured Cars and Projects
by Alvin G @ 8:32 pm on August 27, 2012

 

Rob at ZCarGarage is now the proud owner of this 1967.5 Datsun 2000 Roadster. For many Datsun fans this specific model is well known as a highly collectible and sought after vehicle. What makes it so special?

The Datsun roadster was produced from 1962 to 1970 and it came in many flavors and trim levels with exterior/interior and drivetrain changes thoughout the years. Early on the roadster was offered with 1500 and 1600cc pushrod engines both with 4-speed transmissions. In 1967 though, Datsun introduced the “2000” model with a larger 2000cc OHC engine backed by a 5-speed transmission and a host of go-fast goodies like a 160mph speedometer and 8krpm tachometer…things dreams were made of back in ’67.

 

Following the factory hot rod theme Datsun also offered a “Competition” package that boosted output from 135hp to 150hp with the addition of twin Solex-Mikuni carbs, hotter “B” camshaft and a deep, 7qt. finned aluminum oil pan. Needless to say Datsun won plenty of races with this setup:

 

On the outside, a new handsome “D” badged grille, Satin-finished headlight buckets, “2000” badging, and a thin metal license plate trim helped identify this rare specimen:

 

Only 1000 of these ‘67.5 2000s were made and according to the registry less than 100 are accounted for in the states: Rob’s is SRL #00248. For more information on the ’67 2000 and roadsters in general please visit Datsun.org.

Though not a factory “competiton package” optioned car it does have all of those parts installed. The suspension consists of Mike Kerr front coil springs, NISMO rear leaf springs and larger front sway bar.The light blue paint is color code 563: Sora Blue. It is difficult to photograph and changes from a pastel blue to almost turquoise under varying light. The interior has red seats and panels with black carpeting, a combo not offered from the factory with Sora Blue paint but still very cool to us.

 

A little history on the car…SRL-00248 gained notoriety by its owner from 1998-2003: Michael “Calspeed” Carion. He made sure this rare Datsun was not a garaged-trailer queen.  He took it to road courses all over California and made some impressive road trips too, inspiring roadsters enthusiasts(including me).  Rob remembers vividly how Carion gave him his first ride in a Datsun roadster back in ’99.  Carion added the go-fast parts, Panasports with AO32R tires, racing stickers, roll bar, front spoiler, and other nice touches with the help of restorer Mike Young. It was not uncommon for folks to refer to the roadster as the “Calspeed” car:

 

In 2003 Raul L. caught the roadster bug and started acquiring several Datsuns. He bought #248 and enjoyed it immensely.  We had a friend help us remove some of the racing decals and I remember cruising with Raul in my then U20-powered roadster…good times. He even let me drive it for a few days and I will never forget the sound of the Solexes accompanying the thrust as the tach needle swept past 4krpm…see videos below!

 

Just recently Rob was given the opportunity to own SRL-0248. When Raul wanted to focus on getting his other roadsters running he decided to give Sora Blue a new home. Rob couldn’t be happier as this was his dream car and the keys were passed from one Datsun Nut to another. Raul took great care of the car as it was pretty much exactly as I remembered it in ’03: sweetness.  Phenomenal shape with clean footwells and a few things that needed work like hydraulics and some carb tuning. Note how clean the inner rear fender is!

 

Even the 45year-old speedometer is spot-on! Sora Blue is a blast to drive:

 

Here are a few videos of  the roadster running after being in storage for years:

 

Rob’s vision for the roadster is to keep the car as close to stock as possible without doing a “Rob” full-on restoration. Preserving some of the “patina” its acquired over the years is the goal.  Undoing the “racer” image started with removing low-hanging front spoiler and remaining decals. The most striking change is in the footwork:  the Panasports were replaced with freshly some powdecoated steelies with whitewalls…the result is beyond words:

 

Notice though how wicked the stance is with the taller sidewalls filling the wheel wells. Camber + zero fender gap = awesome. It is equal parts of the mystique and aura created by the poster below, mixed in with some bad-boy hot rod mojo:

 

Congrats to Rob, and welcome to the Roadster Brotherhood! We look forward to seeing you Enjoy the Ride!

Lots of detailed photos in the gallery to enjoy!
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Datsun Roadster Fun Run 8/26/12…Pictures!

Filed under: Events
by Alvin G @ 6:36 pm on August 26, 2012

 

I just got back from an exhilarating fun run up to Mt. Diablo with a group of Datsun Roasters. Today’s run was organized by Dave The Car Guy and he was kind enough to invite everyone to check out his car collection AND do some test drives! We had 9 roadsters meet in San Ramon this morning and it was great selection of colors with four 1600s and five 2000s: Neil from Davis(’66 SPL), Raul(‘67.5), Stacey from Santa Cruz(’70 SRL):

 

SPL/U20Leo(’69SRL), DaveTheCarGuy(’68 SRL),  Eddie(’66 SPL/SR20):

 

Ken(’68 SRL/KA), Mike(‘67.5 SPL) and  me(‘67.5 SRL):

 

Before we drove up to Mt. Diablo we drooled over Dave’s car collection…and then he put each of us behind the wheel of his special cars…

 

Fisker Latigo and Fisker Karma, ’86 911 Turbo, ’67 Sting-Ray ‘Vette, Cayman,  and  Aston Martin Vantage

 

It was incredible to see all of these exotic cars together on the backroads for some “exercise”. Dave led us on a test loop and every 5minutes or so we all puled over and switched cars. My favorites? The ’67 Vette (yes that’s me behind the wheel!) and the Fisker Latigo:

 

After the adrenalin rush of driving Dave’s cars we all jumped in our Datsuns and headed out to Mt. Diablo for some twisties and photo-ops. The weather was gorgeous and everyone had a blast. Thanks for putting this together Dave!


More pics in the gallery
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Scott’s Nismo Z34

Filed under: Featured Cars and Projects,Performance
by Alvin G @ 1:28 pm on August 23, 2012

Scott W. came to ZCarGarage for some bolt-on goodness on his Nismo 370z. We started with JWT intakes:

The intakes produced modest gains of +5hp/3tq at the wheels:


Next up we installed some Berk Hi-Flow cats:


The HFCs gained 6hp/3tq at the wheels


With UPREV tuning, cats and intakes the Z now makes +16hp/7tq for a grand total of 317hp/261tq at the wheels.

 





Datsun Hero: Todd Green and His VQ35-Roadster

Filed under: Featured Cars and Projects,Performance
by Alvin G @ 12:32 am on August 21, 2012


The Datsun roadster you see above is the creation of Todd Green. He is one of those die-hard Datsun guys that still races a vintage Japanese car against modern sportscars in the highly competitive SCCA Solo autocross series.  On the race track Todd is known as “Todzilla” because of the way he drives…and wins! In 2005 Todd won the SCCA National  Championship in EP class with his Datsun, a tremendous accomplishment considering the level of competition. Here he is in 2005:

The roadster has an interesting racing history from over four decades ago when it was raced as the Barton Special.  Todd recalls how he eventually acquired the car:

“When I was 11 years old my father and brother raced (Solo2 or gymkana as it use to be called) a 510 with all of the BRE parts but it had the interior in it and was driven on the street to and from events. My oldest brother got a 2000 from a junk yard and we made it into a regional DP car. He did solo with it for a couple of years, then got married and sold the car. Since then I wanted to race a 2000 and win a National Championship,” and 35 years later, he did!

The car was set up to E prepared regulations with U20 Carillo rods, Cosworth pistons, Ported head, tulip valves, cam, double disc Tilton clutch, UC tranny, 4:88 gear, 240Z brakes on all four corners, 3-link with a Watts link designed by a friend of his, coil-overs, and 7″ Panasports with cantilever tires. It made about 170hp at the crank:

Beneath those sexy handmade fender flares and bodywork is a full tube-frame chassis that Todd built from scratch. About the only thing OEM Datsun are the clutch master cylinder, uprights and spindles, trunk lid and doors. The best part is that he did all of the fabrication work in his garage with a Mikita 90 degree grinder, cheap drill press, a file and his trusty 34 year old Lincoln Tig 250.

“We got a steering rack from a Rover and fabricated a new one, steering arms, tie rods and column for the car. Fender flairs were made from riveting aluminum flashing to the fenders and laying several layers of fiberglass weave over the flashing, then drill out the rivets and peel the flashing away. Take a cheese grater and file to shape the fiberglass.”  It looks fast and mean just standing still.

The VQ35HR Madness Begins

“I got moved to DP and had to race Miatas (which have more HP than my 15:1 Hot rod engine) and I had to weigh 300 lbs more than they do.”  The SCCA got rid of A Prepared and B prepared and came up with X Prepared: 1200lbs min. weight with +200lbs for every liter of displacement.  Lots of high hp and high $ machines to compete with. In other words, it was time for the U20 to be replaced by something with more power: enter Nissan’s VQ35HR.


We all know that this engine can be uncorked with minor bolt-ons and make 300whp easily…this car weighs under 2000lbs ! It now has a quick-ratio rack from an Australian stock car, Wilwood brakes, one-off zero-scrub front end, over 700 ft. of tubing, Toyota rear axle and gear drive, 4:88 gears and Goodyear 23.5×11.5×16 slicks on very wide custom Panasports.
The handmade exhaust headers showcase Todd’s fabrication skills. 18″ tubular mufflers finish them off. We can’t wait to hear this thing at full song:


The XP class is said to be filled with $100k cars but Todd has spent a little more than a new Nissan Versa on this VQ-powered Datsun Roadster. “I have an SRL311 that looks just like the racer without the larger fenders and wheels. It has been idle since 1989 because I have put all of my time and money into the racer.” Will it be enough to win another championship? With his driving skills, winning suspension and more power we hope to see Todzilla on the podium! Thank you Todd for keeping the Datsun spirit alive.

You can see more pictures in the gallery below:
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