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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]




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]




Alix’s Twin Turbo 370z

Filed under: 370z,Featured Cars and Projects,Performance
by Alvin G @ 8:38 am on April 14, 2017

 

Alix V comes from Salinas, CA and we first met him in 2014. With 4,641 miles on the clock he brought his 2012 370z in to have us correct several items from a dealership that tried to install a GTM Twin-Turbo kit.

 

We installed a Z1 25-row oil cooler, resolved the turbo kit installation issues and got it running well.  Over time the GTM exhaust manifold started to crack. With GTM going away we had to wait for the new company Gamma Motorsports to release a V2 of the manifold.

 
 

They changed the metallurgy with a new updated design as well and gave Alix a set for us to install. Although power levels stayed about the same (383whp/371tq), boost was no longer able to escape from an exhaust leak so we were able to make more area under the curve:

 
 

 

We also installed new Whiteline diff bushings:

 
 

Finally, the PLX Devices is a great product that is perfect for any owner with a forced induction setup on their 370z. We all know the clock is the clock.  No need to keep time when driving your Zed, just need the vitals:  coolant temp, air intake temp, and of course A/F ratio:

 
 

Enjoy The Boost, Alix!

 

 

 

 

 




Alex’s 350z Convertible

Filed under: Featured Cars and Projects,Performance
by Alvin G @ 12:29 am on April 12, 2017

 

We worked on Alex M’s 2004 Z33 ‘vert about 5 years ago and it is a familiar Z sporting Central20 bumpers, 5Zigen wheels and a host of bolt-ons. Alex travels around the world on business frequently so his car sat idle for a long time. With just 56k miles on the clock he brought it to ZCG for a thorough once-over.

 

A full 60k-mile service was performed, new battery installed, new thermostat and we sorted out all of the issues. First, the car was lowered without adjustable camber arms so we installed SPC f/r control arms and Whiteline diff bushings. A full alignment followed:

 
 

A few other issues were corrected like a failed oil pressure sending unit, passenger seat problem and blown stereo fuse. The Stoptech brakes were old/weathered since their install in 2004.  We upgraded them to yellow ST40/ST45 calipers, turned rotors and our favorite 309 pads:

 
 

The 5Zigen SMB wheels were re-refinished and wrapped in new Bridgestone S-04 tires:

 

The Z had many bolt-ons but had never been tuned so we put it on the dyno. Baseline numbers of 234hp/230tq to the wheels indicated it was low on power. Rob UPREV tuned picking up power everywhere in the rev range for a total of 254hp/257tq to the wheels, gains+20hp/27tq. This is a great example of having a proper tune to maximize gains from your bolt-ons whether it is DE, Rev-up, HR or 370. Alex is happy with the final product:




Nick’s Vortech Supercharged G35

Filed under: Featured Cars and Projects,Performance
by Alvin G @ 8:45 pm on March 27, 2017

 

Nick K has been coming to Z Car Garage for several years. He makes the trek all the way from Sacramento and we’re proud to be the only shop that gets to work on his 2004 G35 Coupe. In 2012 we first met Nick, UPREV flashed his car and performed routine services.  He had daydreamed of one day doing a supercharger kit.

 

A year later Nick K’s engine was tired. With 209k miles on the clock he dropped the G35 off at ZCG in preparation for a fresh start and…boost!  We removed the ailing VQ35 engine and installed a complete VQ35 from a customer who wrecked his car with 50k miles on it:

JC 41414 124 JC 41414 127
 

With the engine out it was prudent to install a JWT HD clutch/aluminum flywheel. We did a Vortech tuner supercharger kit using our recipe of 1000cc injectors, GT MAF, and Aeromotive 340 fuel pump. To keep everything cool in Sactown heat we installed a 25-row oil cooler. In 2013, Nick was on his way with a new engine and boost, enjoying a nice 140hp/105tq bump in power for a total of 386hp/334tq to the wheels:
…[read more]




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