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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:
…[read more]




Restoration Corner: Art’s 1971 Datsun 240z

Filed under: Featured Cars and Projects
by Alvin G @ 2:21 am on February 14, 2017


Art H. has owned this 1971 S30 since it was new! He had driven and enjoyed it for years but in the 80’s left it parked indefinitely in his garage…sometimes life gets in the way. Now retired, his family discussed moving out of San Jose to the Sacramento area and the Z had to move with them as well. Art was ready to get the Z back on the road so he met with Rob and went through the car.

 

A little background on Art…turns out he has an absolutely rad motorsports history! Back in the 70’s he was an SCCA racer, Datsun lover and tinkerer and all-around car enthusiast. Art kindly sent us these photos of him racing Formula V at Sears Point Raceway. He’s the young lad in the race-suit, long hair and ‘stache:

*Eagle eyes will note the Datsun 510 and other cool vintage cars in the paddock!*

 

The plan for Art’s Z included a mechanical and chassis restoration. As shown above, the Z had to be towed to the shop because the L24 engine had seized from sitting for decades.  Teardown revealed severe corrosion:

  
 

Our first task was to remove the engine/transmission and prepare the engine bay to look nice again. All accessories, hoses, hydraulic lines were removed and sorted. A/C components from back in the day removed and many parts were powdercoated:

 

The engine bay was in good condition:

 

We repaired and refurbished the heater core and removed the crazy 70’s-style stereo business:

  
 

The transmission was resealed and a new clutch was installed:

 
 

The new heart for Art was a fresh Rebello 2.8L stock-style rebuild using Z-Therapy SU carbs:

 
 

Other items in the engine bay included a new battery, upgraded 280zx alternator, Pertronix ignition, MSA header and Koyo race radiator. The engine bay looks fantastic now:

(More pictures of the restoration in the gallery after the jump)

Chassis work included a complete braking system overhaul with new wheel cylinders and drums. New T/C rods, rack bushings, ball joints, steering couplers and stock-style KYB gas shocks return tight handling the Z is known for.

  
 

The rear suspension was freshened with TechnoToyTuning (T3) control arms:

 
 

Stock half-shafts were replaced with Ermish Racing CV axles.  FYI ZCG will be making CV axles for high horsepower Z cars soon!

 
 

Full fuel tank refurbishment. Corrosion and disintegrated fuel hoses were replaced:

 

Our ZCG 2.5″ exhaust with Magnaflow resonator/muffler and slash-cut tip:

 
 

Finally, the only cosmetic detail we handled was to repair the rear bumper and brackets:


Art wanted to keep the stock dealer option slotted mags so we installed new 195/70/14 tires. With a rich motorsports background and a passion for cars it’s easy to see why Art loves his Z so much. It was a pleasure working with you and Long Live The Z!

 


…[read more]




EVENTS: 2016 Solvang Datsun Roadster Show

Filed under: Events
by Alvin G @ 12:34 am on February 3, 2017

IMG_5189
 

Dear Zcarblog readers, this is my 2016 Solvang Datsun Roadster Show report. Although long overdue, it serves as a reminder that the 30th Annual 2017 Solvang Datsun Roadster Show is just around the corner. So mark those calendars for April 22!  Enjoy.

-Alvin

 

The 2016 Solvang Datsun Roadster show took place on April 23. Now in its 29th year, this gathering 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 the last weekend of every April a huge gathering of Datsuns. I did not drive my roadster this year but I still enjoyed the show with my family!

 

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 and Rodney N’s SRL #485:

IMG_5053 
 

Winning best of show was SRL #233 completely frame-off restored by Kevin of KRD:

  
 

Speaking of attention to detail…fully restored factory gauges artfully assembled by Jon Frampton could be seen on multiple cars. The gauges are truly little jewels that give owners a range of options with lighting, lettering and even inner workings all without going to aftermarket gauges.

Left: Factory mechanical gauges behind Corey’s R20 stroker powered SPL

Right: Factory gauges converted to electronic behind Harlan’s SR20DE-powered SPL

 

While were on interiors, check out this cool Datsun Competion (by Kaemeri) steering wheel looking great in Corey’s SPL:

 
 

At the other end of the spectrum and far from stock is Shannon’s ’69 SRL. Modern gauges and A/C vents adorn the dash with a touch screen in the center console:
…[read more]




Restoration Corner: David’s 1972 Datsun 240z

Filed under: Featured Cars and Projects,Performance
by Alvin G @ 2:22 am on January 25, 2017

 

At Z Car Garage we feel that every Z car is worth restoring and making a customer’s goals become a reality is our passion. David B picked up this 1972 Datsun 240z in 2001 and he always wanted to restore it. He made an appointment with us and we began our assessment of the car. The interior needed nothing more than a thorough cleaning, a testament to it being a serious survivor. We love 918 Orange!

 

Before digging into it we gave the car a full inspection and got it running after being idle for many years. A full steam clean revealed what we were working with and a plan was made to address the following areas: drivetrain, engine bay, suspension and exterior. The goal was not a “concours” style restoration but more focused on making David’s Z an enjoyable driver, with some ZCG touches of course!

Drivetrain

The tired engine was replaced with a Rebello 2.8L using new Z-therapy SUs. All nuts/bolts/fasteners were zince plated and many parts like the intake manifold were powdercoated:

 
  
 

More upgrades included an MSA 6-to-1 header, Pertronix ignition,  280zx alternator( int. regulated), Koyo race radiator and our custom 2.5″ exhaust system.  Here is the engine is assembled with the MSA header:

 

Backing the fresh engine were the 4-speed transmission and factory rear end. Both were disassembled, resealed and painted. No more leaks. No more whines:

 

Engine Bay

With the engine out, we restored the engine bay. Aside from dust/grime accumulation the paint was in great shape:

 

A few areas needed attention due to minor corrosion, like the battery tray. Repainting entire car wasn’t in the plan just yet so we got a custom mix to duplicate the existing orange paint to spot in after clean-up:

 
 

We zinc plated all of the brake/clutch lines, and metal parts found in the engine bay:

 

The end result is an engine bay that looks fantastic!

 
 

Chassis/suspension

All suspension bushings were replaced and parts were zinc plated/powdercoated while it was apart. Techno Toy Tuning (T3) T/C rods and lower control arms were installed.  Our favorite non-coilover setup included 5-way Tokico shocks with Eibach springs.

 
 

The crown jewel of the suspension is our ZCG Big Brake Kit consisting of massive 13″ rotors and 4-piston calipers (finished in red). This track-tested setup provides the ultimate in fade resistance and pedal feel:

 
 

In addition to almost infinite reserves of braking capacity even with street pads, the ZCG Big-Brake setup fits under the lovely 16×7 Panasport wheels. Sticky Bridgestone Potenza re-71R tires are sized 225/50/16 all around.  Rounding out our chassis work was a full undercoating:

 
 

Fuel system

The aging fuel lines to the gas tank were frayed and cracked. We started by removing and cleaning up the gas tank:

 
 

All recovery lines and related hoses/rubber/parts were replaced while were there. Old vs new and before/ after shown below:

 
 
 

Exterior

When we cleaned the car we noticed it had that ubiquitous side molding which is NLA.  To hold us over while we do paint, our man William installed a vinyl stripe in place:

 

Icing on the cake was a full detail of exterior. It is amazing how well older paint jobs clean up. We hope you are out Enjoying the Ride, David! Thank you for letting us get your Z back on the road.

 

When the word “restoration” is mentioned it can divide the classic car world.  A number of different descriptions and configurations exists like the full restoration, the nut and bolt restoration, the mechanical restoration and the cosmetic restoration. Whatever stage of restoration you have in mind, let Z Car Garage take you there!

Please visit the gallery for more pictures
…[read more]




Surprise! It’s Your Datsun: Ken’s 1971 240z

Filed under: Events,Featured Cars and Projects,Maintenance
by Alvin G @ 11:33 pm on January 11, 2017

 

“Love cars. Love people. Love life”
-Mr. K

Here is a memorable throwback that inspires us at ZCG, enjoy!

 

To Rob and team of Z Car Garage,

Thank you for being a big part of reuniting me with my 1971 240Z on my 50th birthday.


I’m not sure whether you know, but this was my very first car, purchased for me by my father when I was 16 years old. Did I have a cool dad or what? He paid $4700 for the car in 1978. Although it was about 7 years old when I got it, it was in great shape and probably the most awesome car I could have had during high school. After a year, the seller experienced seller’s remorse and actually contacted my Dad to buy the car back. Of course, there was no way I was giving that car up, and over the next 20 years, my 240Z was my pride and joy.


Besides being a reliable means of transportation, I have numerous fond memories of this car, most notably proposing to my wife in this car 19 years ago. On that night, we had dinner in SF and afterward, I drove to the Marin headlands. With a romantic view of the City, Golden Gate Bridge and some champagne and strawberries, I proposed to my then girlfriend, who might very well have said yes because the car made me so cool.

 

But, after 20 years, I unfortunately started to notice exhaust fumes seeping into the car, and by this time, it was no longer my primary mode of transportation (more of a weekend car). With the exhaust issue and the fact that I didn’t have room at my new home for three cars, I decided to store the Z at my father’s place. My plan to temporarily store the car until I had time to address the exhaust issue turned into a 12 year separation between me and my 240Z.

  

For my 50th Birthday, my cousin, Trent coordinated with my wife to get my car running again and secretly moved the car from my dad’s place to your garage. Along with many assorted relatives, they planned to surprise me with the restored car during a party we held at my house. Of course, it was a HUGE surprise to walk out my front door and see the Z sitting on my driveway after 12 years in storage! It’s amazing how good it looks, and I especially appreciate how the restoration is not “over-the-top”- as close to stock as I maintained it.

 

Everywhere I drive now, someone comments on how good it looks. Besides looking great, it also runs great. The carburetors are perfectly tuned, the clutch is tight, and the suspension has greatly improved the handling. And it’s not bad for my ego either.

It’s great to have my 240Z back and I can’t help but smile whenever I get in it.


Thank you again to you and your team,

Ken M.

As you can imagine we were very eager to help Ken’s family bring the Datsun back to life and back on the road. ZCG focused on making this car sharp looking with an emphasis on driver enjoyment. Cosmetic upgrades included re-chroming and straightening both f/r bumpers with fresh OEM rubber trim:

  
 

Requisite 16×7 Panasport wheels shod with Bridgestone Pole-Position Re760(225/50/16) tires are at all four corners:

 
 

Underhood the engine bay received some serious attention with a full clean/detail, all new coolant bypass hoses and upper/lower radiator hoses:

 
 

The intake manifold was removed, cleaned and de-smogged. New intake/exhaust manifold gaskets installed along with a new header and full exhaust system. Driveability being a priority Rob and the crew tuned the carbs to perfection: steady idle, crisp throttle response, and smooth power delivery in all gears. I drove the car briefly to take photos and even I fell in love with it 🙂

  
 

The chassis also got some serious love with a complete front/rear suspension rebuild that included new bushings throughout, 5-way Tockicos, Eibach springs, sway bars, and new steering rack bushings. The interior on this 240 is incredibly clean. We added a Kenwood head unit and an MSA rear speaker box: Nothing flashy in this handsome cabin!

  

Thanks to Ken and his family for letting ZCG be a part of their Z Car passion. This is what we live for!

Please view more pictures of the restoration in the original gallery HERE




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