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EVENTS: The ZONC Annual Car Show

Filed under: Events,Featured Cars and Projects
by Alvin G @ 3:07 am on December 4, 2017

 

Love for the Z is strong in Northern California

The Z Owners of Northern California (ZONC) is one of the oldest Z car clubs in the nation. In its prime they had over 600 members with close ties to Yutaka Katayama (“Mr. K”) and Nissan USA. Of the many events and fun runs they host throughout the year including the famous Blackhawk Museum Show, we had a wonderful time attending their ZONC Annual Car Show in Brisbane, CA held on July 22, 2017.

 

 

This was a relaxed, relatively small gathering of enthusiasts that we shared with a group of ZCG customers and friends. Our Saturday morning caravan to the show began at the shop with seven Z cars, one roadster and a C110 Kenmeri Skyline:

 

Here is a short video of the ride to Brisbane with all of our cars…just Enjoying The Ride on a Saturday!

 

Highlights from the show

Still to this day, 240Zs are the most represented model in the club. Expansion over time currently includes all recent Z models and the GT-R, but also reaches back in time to include the Datsun Roadsters and 510s.  41 cars were displayed this year, each one of them special and showing pride of ownership. The only model missing from the show was the Z31 300ZX and that’s because the only one registered somehow overheated on the way.

 

From showroom stock to wildly-modified the S30 selection was diverse. We are very proud of ZCG customer James S’ 1972 240z. This hot rod sports a Rebello 3.2 L-series engine with boost provided by a GTX3576R turbo and Haltech management.  The exterior is quite menacing with large carbon fiber flares containing 17″ VOLK TE37 wheels wrapped in sticky Kumho slicks. ZCG Big Brakes are at all four corners. Stay tuned for a full report on this beast as we dial in the E85 tuning!

 

  
 

Frank Burkeen’s stunning Series 1 240z is the result of a full rotisserie restoration. We will have a full report on this build soon, but if you take close look at that stock engine bay it’s impossible to tell that it makes about 50hp more than stock!

 

Frank is also a long-time ZCG customer and his wife drove his other Z car, a bright orange fuel-injected canyon carver. We love the Chevlon mesh wheels and they do a superb job of framing our ZCG Big Brakes!

 

Our friend and fellow vintage racer Glenn Chiou’s 1971 Nissan Fairlady 240Z-L is a RHD model with a Rebello heart and a host of period goodies. The original paint is impressive and this car just looks so “right” from all angles.

  
 

260z and 280z

ZCG customer Joe A showed his pretty 260z, fresh from the shop (full report on the blog soon)

  
 

Linda W’s 1978 280z

 

S130

Who could forget the S130 280zx! Black Gold too:

 

People

We like this show because of the laid-back atmosphere and good folks that organize it. You won’t find Drake or EDM blasting through loudspeakers here. No bikini contests.  Just Z-car and Nissan/Datsun enthusiasts simply sharing their love about cars.

Z32

 

11 Z32 300zx cars were displayed ranging from high-mileage survivors with original owners to show-spec pristine examples. Kevin N and Joe K’s Z32 Twin Turbos are both top-level examples of highly modified yet tasteful machines:

 

Jack and Yolanda’s famous widebody Z32s. Jack is the creator of the original “primadonnaZ” back in the 70’s.

 

This 1994 NA Z32 caught our eye because it had 332k miles from its original owner!

 

Z33


If you are a fan of Japanese classic cars there’s a good chance that you have visited Japanese Nostalgic Car. JNC’s senior minicar correspondent and all-around J-Tin guru is Ricky Silverio and he is also a Z-car owner! Here is his pristine, 10k-mile 2003 350z Track model that we will be performing services on soon. Like his other sports cars, Ricky shows impeccable taste in his “OEM+” mods. Check out more pics in the gallery as there are many “easter eggs” in his Z!

 
 

Z34

This is the first show since 2009 that Nissan USA helped support and ZONC was very happy to have a new NISMO 370Z  on display:

 

We spotted this pair of of white NISMO Z’s. Nissan’s final evolution of the Z34 is the best looking, in our opinion:

 
 

510s

 

Three Datsuns 510s showed up, two with KA24s and one sporting an L-series. Datsun die-hards may remember this familiar 510 that belonged to builder Gary Jervis:

 

Our favorite (and the crowd’s too) was Matt’s 510. This boosted KA24DE Dime ticks all the right boxes for our love of low-flying bricks, and he also won 1st place for Best 510!

The Kenmeri Skyline

Alex M lent us his C110 Skyline to participate in the show. It was well received and even won an award!

Roadsters and Best of Show

The lone Datsun Roadster, and winner of Best of Show award went to Dan M’s pretty ’69 Datsun 2000. Dan also brought his ’72 240z!

 

Vanity plates

It’s no secret Z car owners have the best vanity plates! Some notables:

  
 

Parking lot finds

The beautiful venue is also a public park so plenty of folks stopped by to check out the Z’s.

 
 

Award Winners

It is always great to see ZCG customers carrying home awards for their pride and joy.

James S won Best Modified and Super Modified! Joe A won best 260z and Frank M won Best Stock 240z!

 

See you next year!

Spending the day at the ZONC Annual Car Show was a welcome experience that reminded us to, in the words of the late Mr.K, ” Love cars. Love people. Love Life.”  We look forward to the next show keep an eye on our event updates and Z you soon! Don’t forget to check out our picture gallery below! Big thanks to the ZONC organizers and Ricky Silverio for sharing his photos with us.

 

 

 

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EVENTS: The 2017 SEMA Show!

Filed under: Events,Featured Cars and Projects
by Alvin G @ 5:27 am on November 29, 2017

 

SEMA was a blur this year—but that’s really no different than any other year for the most intense sensory overload in car show form on the planet. This trade-only show features all of the latest and greatest builds, technology, and creativity in our industry. While the show has historically been populated by American marques and their aftermarket support, in recent years the influx of Japanese metal (Nissan included) is undeniable.

 
 

We only attended the show for one day and while the crowds were as appalling as ever in the Las Vegas Convention Center, the quality of cars made it all worth it. It wasn’t just “cars” that got us excited, it was the astonishing number of vintage Datsuns/Nissans! The variety was astounding. We counted 16 cars from a 1972 Datsun 510 to 1983 Skyline and everything in between.

 

Year of the Datsun!

Our Datsun-hunting at SEMA started with Datsun 510s. Pro-drifter Chris Forsberg built this hot-rod 510 wagon for his wife. The Mazworx-built SR20DET is backed by an automatic transmission and even sports air-conditioning. Deep-lipped SSR MKIII wheels fill out the box-flares that are part of the “Hakobird” kit from Carbonsignal. This might be the closest thing to Hakosuka Skyline wagon!

 

Our friend and fellow 510 racer Troy Ermish built this ultra-clean 510 2-door for actor Daniel Wu. We dig the bronze Watanabe wheels and subtle paint color. A built L-series breathing through dual-Mikuni’s and stock-ish interior also makes us happy. You can learn more about the build from our friends over at JNC.

 

Our final 510 sighting was the legendary Pete Brock’s personal car in Braille battery booth. Affectionately known as “Datzilla”, we remember first seeing this 450hp small-block V8 beast back in 2008 at the MotoringJ Style show.

 
 

Z Car Fever

A total of NINE S30 Z cars were at SEMA this year. That may not seem like many, but consider just 3 years ago only two Z cars were present. It was hard to pick a favorite but we were impressed with the Gas Monkey Garage 280z and the ChasingJs 240z built by Big Mike and Dominic Le, respectively.

The Gas Monkey Garage 280z

 

Big Mike was commissioned to design/build this 280Z 2+2 for the TV show Gas Monkey Garage. We loved how he took a often un-loved chassis and created a unique car that Datsun fans and American-iron alike can appreciate. Some quick details that caught our eye: the huge void found in front of the 4-cylinder SR20DET was filled with an OEM-like air filer box. The stock interior features vintage buckets with matching rears. The body color choice was perfect against bronze Volk TE37V wheels. Watch for two episodes covering the build airing on Fast n Loud TV on the Discovery channel!
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EVENTS: Datsun Roadster Fun Run 7/30/17

Filed under: Events
by Alvin G @ 12:47 pm on July 31, 2017

 

Our local Datsun Roadster owners enjoyed a great Sunday drive yesterday. I’ve been organizing these “Fun Runs” for several years and it always makes me smile to see fellow Datsun owners Enjoying The Ride on our backroads here in the Bay Area. We began in downtown Saratoga with a meeting point just before Big Basin Way. By coincidence we spotted ZCG customer James S in his 240z coming down the mountain!

 
 

The first stretch of HWY 9 down to Boulder Creek was exhilarating. We picked up another roadster on the way to our next meeting point in Felton:

 
 

 

The cars and participants

The six cars represented an assortment of colors, years and trim level. Everything from SU and Solex-equipped U20s to R16s and SR20 drivetrains. Shown above are 1970, 1969 and 1968 with their distinct rear end treatments.

John B’s 1969 SRL

John B recently moved from SoCal to the Bay Area and has yet to explore the fantastic backroads here so I was excited to have him join us. His ’69 2000 is a prime example of how a Datsun 2000 would have looked back in the day. Sporting period-correct parts and even vintage tires John’s SRL was featured in Automobile Magazine driven by John Morton!

 

 

I drove my 1967.5 1600 with SR20:

 

Joe and Lisa’s 1968 SPL

Joe is an avid rally driver participating in this year’s Faultline and Snowball events with the roadster.  He purchased it recently and it has a 5-speed from a U20. Lisa got some seat time in today’s run too!

 

 

Stacey’s 1970 SRL

Stacey joined us in Boulder Creek with his recently refreshed ’70 SRL. This car got engine/chassis overhaul and a host of upgrades. It was great to see stacey enjoying his new mods.

 

Aidan’s 1969 SRL

Aidan is the youngest roadster owner I know being a high school student.  He is restoring his ’69 SRL by himself and recently completed the 600 mile journey to the Mt. Shasta Datsun Roadster meet. We are proud of him.

 

Eddie Wu’s E9 BMW

Ed is no stranger to Datsun Roadsters. He owns the famous “SAKE RKT”, an SR20 swapped ’66 SPL. He didn’t drive his roadster, but instead graced us with another silver beauty, this E9!

 

Mike B’s 1967.5 SPL

Mike B has been my go-to roadster driving buddy for a long time. His ‘67.5 SPL is built with period looks and modern conveniences. He was our fearless leader/hot shoe.

 

After we met Aidan in Felton we headed back up 9 to Skylinetowards Alice’s restaurant. Then we took 84 down to Pescadero. It was fairly warm even at the coast.

 

After a quick lunch break at Arcangeli’s Bakery we took Alpine Rd to Skyline and ended at the vista point.

 

Here’s a short video of us Enjoying The Ride:

Our route:

You can see past fun run event reports here:
HERE

Thanks to all that came out it was a blast! More pictures in the gallery, enjoy!

 

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EVENTS: 2016 Solvang Datsun Roadster Show

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

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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:

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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:
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The Gimlet: Kevin’s 1973 Datsun 240z

Filed under: Featured Cars and Projects,Maintenance,Performance
by Alvin G @ 4:03 pm on August 12, 2016

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In 2011, the engine inside the “Gimlet” was tired. The owner, Kevin, wanted to keep the 2.4L block that came with his 240z so we built a 2.7L using his existing block. This is a Rebello specialty for customers that want to keep their L24 block.

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The engine/transmission were removed and prepped:

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We installed a JWT aluminum flywheel and HD clutch:

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Engine re-assembly time!

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The triple Webers were re-jetted for the 2.7L:

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A new tach tach adaptor so his tachometer would work with new ignition items like the MSD box:

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We bring up this build from 2011 because we recently saw Kevin for the first time and in the 5 years that’s elapsed he put 3500 miles on the Z. C’mon Kev, you gotta Enjoy The Ride and put some real miles on her!  Here is the 2.7L all buttoned up and back in the Gimlet:

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This time we refreshed the clutch hydraulics, fixed a couple of things in the suspension and performed an alignment.  Long Live The Z!

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