Shop Talk for
Z-Car enthusiasts!

Click here to go to the Z Car Garage home page...Click here to go to the Z Car Auto Parts home page...Click here to go to the Z Car Blog home page...
Performance Parts for Nissan, Inifiniti and Datsun Cars
Search:

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!


…[read more]




More Power and Good Times: Eric’s DR30 Skyline

Filed under: Featured Cars and Projects,Performance
by Alvin G @ 12:32 am on April 18, 2017


Last week our friend Eric Straw visited us for tuning on his incredible RB26DETT-powered 1984 DR30 Skyline. You might remember Eric stopping by the shop last year on his way down to the JCCS show, where the DR30 put down 462hp/348tq on our dyno. Eric expressed interest in more power without sacrificing reliability:

“The only plans I have for it at this point is a pair of GT2860RS, new injectors and Haltech Platinum Pro Tuning by Z Car Garage in spring”

 
 

So spring arrived and Eric collected his parts including new GT2860RS turbos, Radium Engineering fuel supply, Injector Dynamics ID1050x injectors, and a Haltech Platinum Pro from ZCG. Rob began dyno tuning sessions and road data-logging.

 

Eric wanted the Skyline to run on Oregon’s readily available pump gas, and the result was 532hp/389tq to the wheels on 92 octane. Power delivery is very linear and Eric’s fastidious chassis-prep harnesses the power so well it is hard to believe you are riding in a 80’s Japanese car!  Here is video of the DR in action:

 

Our good friend Michael Spreadbury accompanied Eric on the roadtrip down from Oregon. Michael was instrumental in the DR build and is a well-known Datsun-guru building some killer SR20-powered roadsters from his shop at Spriso Motorsports. While the two were in town Rob shared the Nissan Patrol and had the boys put some miles on the DR30 after the fresh tune.

 
 

On Saturday 4/15 we had a great opportunity to take the DR30 to Laguna Seca and watch
Patrick Chio race in the USTCC and our customer Kevin B enjoy a track day. I had to join in on the fun with my roadster 🙂

 

The Skyline was impressive to watch on the freeway. From inside it feels like it is carved from billet with surprising balance between ride stiffness/NVH. Oh, and that RB26 is velvety-smooth with thrust for days. We think Eric is quite happy look at that RHD smile!

 
 
 

Laguna Seca was filled with plenty of eye candy. We even saw a few BAYZA Z32s/Z31s! Always fun to see owner’s solutions to the ever-changing sound restrictions:

 

Laguna Seca also makes a fantastic backdrop for photos.

 

 

At the end of the day we snuck into the garages to capture some “pretend” race-day shots:

 

The trip home was exhilarating. The DR30 has some glorious 80’s lines and those after-burner tail lights glow just right at dusk:

 

We had a rad time with you Michael and Eric!  Enjoy The Boost!

More pictures in the gallery below

More pics in the gallery
…[read more]




80’s Perfection: Eric’s DR30 Nissan Skyline

Filed under: Featured Cars and Projects,Performance
by Alvin G @ 3:30 am on March 22, 2017

 

Eric Straw is a long time friend of the shop and hails from Oregon. Last year he visited Z Car Garage on the way down to the JCCS show where he debuted his latest masterpiece, this 1984 Nissan Skyline RS-X. Most Americans are familiar with the classic 70’s Skylines and later GT-R series, but this 6th generation (R30) chassis remains unknown unless you are a JDM-nerd. In Japan the R30 sold well and had a great following with Nissan enlisting the famous actor/racer Paul Newman to appear in ad campaigns. The R30 also formed the basis for the insanely cool SuperSilhouette race car:

  
 

The details of Eric’s R30 are endless. I don’t want to reveal too much as it deserves a major media feature first. It would be easy to write thousands, if not ten thousand words about the character, the touches, and the simple uniqueness that make the “Straw30” one of a kind. Where I fall short of storytelling, I hope photos suffice.

To get an appreciation of Eric’s talent as a fabricator and his build aesthetic take a quick look at his other Datsuns, a 1969 Datsun Roadster and 1971 Datsun 510:

dsc05084
 

 
 

Both deserve their own feature but can you see a theme starting to build here? Eric has a penchant for white paint and red valve covers…and turbocharged Nissan powerplants!

 

Finding A Skyline

It all started with an ad spotted on our good friend’s site, Bring A Trailer for a 1984 Skyline without an engine. This appeared to be the perfect specimen with the distinctive Tekkamen or “Iron Mask” front end compared to pre-facelift models with a conventional grille. Fellow Datsun enthusiast/restorer Michael Spreadbury of Spriso Motorsports joined Eric on the trek to Washington to pick up the R30.

 

As with most of these vintage Japanese cars, rust was a hidden issue as Eric discovered:

“When I first saw the car I wanted to make a really fun driver with lots of power and for sure RB powered. I didn’t plan on restoring the body when I bought it. After digging in, it was obvious I had to do a complete restoration as there was a lot of rust.”

Chassis restoration

What begun as an engine swap turned into a full blown bare metal restoration. Eric’s work simply goes beyond an OEM restoration. There are so many areas of custom fabrication throughout the chassis. We simply have not seen this level of care and love executed on an R30.  Here is Eric putting in work:
…[read more]




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
…[read more]




MEDIA: OS Giken Hakosuka in Super Street Magazine

Filed under: Featured Cars and Projects,Performance
by Alvin G @ 4:29 am on February 19, 2017

 

The 1972 Nissan Skyline we built for the 2016 SEMA Show is now featured in the latest issue of Superstreet Magazine.  We are honored to share the spotlight with Ginash George’s Hakosuka and Chris Forsberg’s S30 all from the SEMA. The magazine is on newsstands now, enjoy!




Older Articles »