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RACING: Hakosuka Runs The Spring Classic!

Filed under: Events,Featured Cars and Projects
by Alvin G @ 12:32 am on June 12, 2017

 

We had fun participating in the inaugural Spring Classic event held on May 19-21 at Mazda Laguna Seca Raceway. The weekend was filled with vintage races celebrating cars from the 70s, 80s, 90s and the Datsun/Nissan presence was impressive!

Racing the Hakosuka

Our duty was race support for Driver/Owner Alex McDowell and his 1971 Nissan Skyline.  This Hakosuka was originally built and raced by Jim Froula who successfully raced it at the famous ROLEX Motorsports Reunion in 2014 and 2015:

IMG_4558 DSC01432
 

This was our first time running the Hako at a road course, and a first time for Alex at the helm. One of the goals of this event was to familiarize ourselves with this machine. Alex, however, is familiar with the Laguna Seca road course having run Spec Miata and his own R32 Skyline GT-R on several occasions:

 

The Hako had fueling issues early on but with some sorting we finished the final race on Sunday, an accomplishment we are proud of.

 

Here is a short video showing the sights and sounds of the Hako on the racetrack, turn the volume up and enjoy!

 

Datsuns Galore in Trans-Am 2.5 liter

My favorite part of the Spring Classic was its “mini” Rolex event-like feel.  All the excitement of wheel-to-wheel battles with your favorite vintage race cars…in a relaxed atmosphere without the huge crowds. One of the most anticipated and action-packed races was the 2.5 Trans Am Liter group including almost a dozen Datsun 510s!

 

 

Our friends Jim Froula, Dave Stone, Steve Link and Troy Ermish put on a show in their B-sedan Datsun 510s. Heated battles can be seen in the nice video below assembled by Steve and Mary Walker:

 

Troy in his Blue/Black (38) 510 won both Trans-Am 2.5 Liter races on Sunday, dueling with a 911 and eventually passing him for the win.

 
 

Troy is an amazing guy and phenomenal driver.  See video below:

 

Adding to the Datsun Domination were several Z cars running alongside us in the 1967-1972 Formula B group.  John Wilkins 240z and Less Cannaday’s 280zx:

 
 

Glenn Chiou and his beautifully prepped 240z.

 

Trans-Am Muscle

I love muscle cars. The Trans Am group is my personal favorite and the Spring Classic did not disappoint. Despite the laid-back atmosphere these heart-pounding machines still got adrenaline flowing and ears blazing.

 

The line-up from pit lane for Trans-Am…HEAVEN!

 

Epic Paddock Finds

Another highlight of vintage racing events at Laguna Seca is finding eye candy in the paddock. Top of my list had to be this street-converted 1979 BMW M1 Procar, restored by Canepa. Look at those wheels!

 

 

Air-cooled magnificence. 356, 993-4S and race:

 

Radical race cars from wayback:

 
 

Lastly, how can we forget our very own Ms. ButterZ that Rob commuted in, followed by Alex’s Kenmeri Skyline. This is how you arrive and drive at ‘Seca!

 

Thank you for all the friends that stopped by to say hello and Michelle Schall for the track photos. We hope the Spring Classic becomes a yearly staple to keep historic racing fans happy!

Please visit our photo gallery for more pictures!


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Two Datsun Events This Weekend!

Filed under: Events
by Alvin G @ 2:17 am on May 19, 2017

 

 

May 19-21

Come join us at Mazda Laguna Seca Raceway for some vintage racing in the Spring Classic event! We are racing a 1971 Nissan Skyline in Group B with driver Alex McDowell and there will be almost 15 Datsun 510s and Z-cars racing!

 

May 20

 

 

Get your car ready for the May 20th gathering at Blackhawk! This is a fun event we have been attending for many years thank you ZONC!





EVENTS: 2017 Solvang Datsun Roadster Show!

Filed under: Events
by Alvin G @ 1:23 am on May 4, 2017

 

The 2017 Solvang Datsun Roadster show took place on April 22. Now in its 30th year, this event continues a tradition of uniting owners from all parts of the world in a little town just outside of Santa Barbara. There is something for everyone here: shopping, food, wine-tasting, outdoor activities, and in the last weekend of April an epic gathering of Datsuns!

  
 

This year I was fortunate to bring my roadster and family to enjoy the weekend…

 
 

…and it was a fantastic show with perfect weather and close to 100 Datsuns on First Street in downtown Solvang:


Photo: Michael Anderson

On to the cars! Here are some highlights from the day…there were only a handful of 1967 2000 roadsters this year. Some of these cars are considered the “cream of the crop” with full restorations or OEM levels of detail like Mike Young’s SRL #266:

 

Winning best of show was this SR311 #0086, frame-off restored by Steve Pettersen:


This Right-Hand-Drive model had neat details like Enkei Compe-8 wheels, rear parcel shelf bracing and a km/h speedometer:

 
 

Roadsters were arranged by year and class, either stock or modified. The organizers did a phenomenal job of staging everyone!

 

Going the Distance

The Solvang Show draws roadster owners from all over the US, and world! We can always count on Jim and Susan to make the trek from Sonora, Mexico in their ’68 SRL with matching trailer.  Richard and Erika visited from the Netherlands and drove from Bellvue, Washington with their host, Ted Heaton. Catch their Roadster road-trip over on 311s.org.

   
 

Stock is Good

Solvang showcases everything from pristine to highly modified examples of roadsters. These two early 1600s were very sharp with requisite whitewall tires, chrome-ringed gauges and classy red interiors:

 

Sitting perfectly as a bookend to the low-windshield 1600s was Mike’s 67.5 SPL.  With a Solex carb’d R16 stroker, factory (high) roll bar, red interior and Watanabe wheels this car is very tasty:

 

 

Engine Swaps

Like the 510 and Z cars, the Datsun Roadster chassis accept many engine swaps and several caught my eye this year.  It is worth mentioning that this year’s show had the most SR20 swaps to date. I parked in a row of about 8!

 

I first saw this VG30-powered ’67 last year:

   
 

The S2000-powered ’69 SRL made a return appearance and it still blew my mind. Such a clean, OEM-level install:

   
 

Two SR20-swapped roadsters deserved some further inspection. John Daly’s ’67 sported a neatly integrated A/C unit on the NA S15 and a factory-like hardtop. What I thought were SSR MKii wheels were actually “Migu” units. Note split front bumpers:

      
 

Kevin Desirello’s ’69 had a simple, clean aesthetic. S14 SR20,  Z32 brakes, RS-8 wheels and clever “SR20” badging were all nice touches:


   

It is always good to see show favorites returning year after year with constant evolvement. Ted Heaton drove his Spriso Motorsports-built ’66 all the way from Washington.

 

The Plymouth Prowler Orange beauty has an S15 SR20DET with 6-speed and Ford rear end. Other nice details include wide RS-8 wheels and Mercedes G-Wagen headlights! Ted was very proud of his power-adding badges :

  
 

Trends?

If you think engine swaps are gaining popularity what other trends are developing? Hardtops are slowly showing up. With factory-like options from aftermarket companies you too can have a body-color (or any finish) hardtop for your roadster:
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ZONC Blackhawk Show 5/20

Filed under: Events
by Alvin G @ 12:27 am on April 21, 2017

 

Get your car ready for the May 20th gathering at Blackhawk! This is a fun event we have been attending for many years thank you ZONC!

From 2006:

 

2009:





The Z Car Garage R34 Skyline GT-R!

Filed under: Events,Featured Cars and Projects
by Alvin G @ 3:27 am on March 1, 2017

 

It is #WaybackWednesday how about a nice little stroll down memory lane with us? In 2004 we were lucky to own a 1999 Nissan Skyline GT-R V-spec. We sold the R34 in 2006 and never heard about it until 11 years later and a few days ago Sean from Import a Vehicle.com informed us that the very same R34 had resurfaced. And it was for sale. Yes, after all these years it still looks fantastic!

 

At the time we purchased it in 2004, the R34 was 1 of 11 Motorex Skylines that were fully legal to own/drive in California. The R34 is currently not legal to import into CA until it meets the 25yr rule (like the R32) in 2024, making this specific car rare fruit indeed. Sean even sent us a picture of the original 5/2006 sales receipt from Rob, found inside the car. This started the reminiscing…and the fact that I didn’t give our Skyline a proper send-off blog post!

 

From 2004 to 2006 we had an absolute blast with this car. You couldn’t go anywhere without drawing a crowd. It made all the right noises with fireballs coming from the APEXi exhaust and distinct BOV. It was Bayside Blue. Here she is, Bayside in front of (conveniently) the Bay Bridge at the Treasure Island Meet in 2005:

 

We attended many shows, always driving there and never trailered.  Hot Import Daze 2006:

 

In October 2015 we drove down to Los Angeles for the car casting of Fast and the Furious 3. No,  the R34 didn’t make it into the movie, but our friend Chad’s LHD G35 did! (Right) The R34 bookends the Z Car Garage display at the 2006 Silicon Valley Auto Show. I always find a way to squeeze my roadster into the shot, I mean c’mon…it’s an R34 Skyline GT-R!!!

 
 

Make no mistake the Skyline was not a garage queen either in our hands. At Sacramento Raceway in 2004 it ran an 11.2 second 1/4 mile! This ranks pretty high on my all-time favorite car memories:

 
 

Putting Skyline’s vicious ATTESA to the test on the track at Thunderhill Raceway in both wet and dry conditions in 2004/2005:

 

A short video compilation of the R34 in action. Don’t expect any HD quality, it was 12 years ago!

 

I asked Rob what his fondest memory of the R34 was:
 “Just after buying it I was driving to William’s to get some paint correction done on the R34. On the freeway people were circling around the car and taking pictures. They had no idea what was going on with the driver inside though. Here I was in a car that I grew up pining after and now my feet were connected to its pedals and my hands were on the steering wheel of it. It was surreal”

I remember washing the R34 before it left for transport. I also remember driving it for the last time and ogling all its crazy features. What a masterpiece of Nissan engineering. It may have been supremely heavy and undesirable amongst hardcore Skyline enthusiasts but it was magical for us.


To this day, the R34 has remained on our (update coming soon) website!

Thank you Sean for thinking of us and for making people’s dreams of owning rare Japanese vehicles come true. Good luck and we hope the new owner enjoys the Skyline as we did!

 

More pics in the gallery
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