Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

When I wrote the last entry on the ZONC show, I was tempted to slip a couple more cars in to the fray, but I felt that these two in particular deserved a little more attention. They are cars of a very special sort – the ones that will make any Nissan fanboys, or JDM worshipers in general, weak in the ball-joints.

Both cars sport heritage that is legendary among followers of both vintage and modern alike. The commonality between them (besides the Datsun/Nissan name) is that they both nod towards the iconic Nissan Skyline, a car that has a bloodline littered with victory at the racetrack, pride in the mountain tougues of its native Japan, and loyalty of near cult-like admirers.

 

The first car here isn’t a Z car, but it is a 2000 GT model KGC10 Skyline. While it wasn’t sporting it’s original L20 engine, it did have a beating, throaty sounding L28, made even grizzlier thanks to a set of individual throttle bodies – a proper upgrade for any old school ride to put some more hair on your chest. Hopefully those trumpets don’t scare the joey kangaroo on the windshield washer fluid pouch hanging on the inside of the fender.

 

While not the beast of an inconic Skyline as the GT-R of its time, the 2000 GT still makes for one heck of a respectable machine, and has plenty of appeal, as demonstrated by the orange shirted onlooker.

 

The appeal carries further as you peer inside the Skyline. The seats are not original, but I’ll be damned if that isn’t a great looking interior. The black leather and vinyl accompanied by the faux wood trim, polished wooden knob, skinny hand brake, and AM/FM radio…all of it just spells out classic. This is a car that just carries an air of boy racer turned (mostly) gentleman.

 

 

Next up is a Z car of the S30 variety (which are always the best kind, lets be honest). This particular 240 is quite a sleeper. It’s a clean sleeper, no doubt, but a sleeper nonetheless. It’s also the sort that once woken up, will likely chase you down then eat you and your children both before having a smile and a nap.

Its exterior, while kept simple and stock, looks terrific. It could be your father’s town cruising Z…until you start to notice the custom 2-peice Panasports that just barely squeeze over large red calipers, which squeeze the large drilled brake rotors. And then you notice the heart of the monster – this is no regular Z, but a Godzilla in Z’s clothing!

This 240Z has had a Skyline GT-R RB26 transplant, and it looks like the surgery was a success, if the engine bay is any indication. The Skyline motor matches the silver body paint very closely and just looks right, sitting snug in the bay of a Z car. The owner said that he intended it to look like it could have come from the factory that way, and he’s done just that.

I’ll part with you until later, where I’ll wrap up the rest of the show with some quick snapshots.

ZONC, or the Z Owners of Northern California, recently held their annual show down on South San Francisco’s Brisbane Marina. The show itself was a pretty humble gathering, with a small group of Z owners – nothing like the large gatherings in Long Beach – but there were still some nice standout cars that showed up.

Cars ranged across nearly the whole spectrum of Zs, from early series 1 240Zs to the current 370, although the 240 crowd was the largest and most attractive, with 350s being the second most populous.

 

 

The majority were not show cars either, as many were daily driven or merely street tuned. Nothing to write home for, but a good gathering nonetheless. Somehow in this respect it felt more like a meet than a show. I think what was missing was a large barbecue and a slather of red meat.

 

The gathering, as I should refer to it, was not all Z cars though. A few GTRs showed up, including a R35 V-Spec, and also the R33 below.

 

 

 

I’ve run into this particular R33 Skyline before at Performance Options in Oakland. The car was built and tuned by Joey at Performance Options, who happens to be the same guy who did the camber kit and setting for my RSX. The Skyline is owned locally is running an aggressive street setup on what I believe are HKS turbos on pretty high boost, if I’m not mistaken.

 

There were of course the obligatory 510s and 1200 / 1600 / 2000 Roadsters that showed up as well. Despite being a Z owners club, this is still the Datsun family of course, and Zs, 510s, and Roadsters seem to roll together well, though each sort of owner tends to have a very specific and biased reason for owning whichever pick of vintage Datsun he/she does.

 

One Roadster in particular was pretty noteworthy. It sported a hardtop, which I don’t think I’ve ever seen on one of these cars before, panasport rollers, and most significantly, an SR20 powerplant – a terrific choice to shoehorn into the little engine bay all while keeping it in the Nissan family.

 

 

The interiors of the Zs were done very nicely for the most part. I’m partial to a classic stock interior myself on the S30s, and maybe a nice tastefully modded simple interior on the modern Zs, as evidenced by the Z33 below.

 

 

I’ll leave you with a couple shots of these super clean orange 240Zs before returning later for more coverage from the ZONC show. While not my favorite 920 Gold (none of which I’ve seen in person since selling my own 71 240 some time ago), these orange Zs still do it for me. Something about the oranges, whether 920 Gold or Burnt Orange just sells that 70s spirit. I’ll be back with more highlights from the show soon.

 

For the final post from the Global Tuner Grand Prix I will leave you with a photoset of several Audi Quattros that are just mind boggling. Might I say, they’re absolutely Audi this world? I’ll let the pictures do the talking.

Aside from Christina’s lyric-slip and Green Bay taking home the trophy, the 2011 Superbowl had some great eye candy for gearheads. Some of the car commercials were utterly confusing, others good, but only two of them great. I won’t post them all as they are all over the internet but here are the two standout commercials (in my humble opinion) of this past Sunday’s game.

#1: Mercedes-Benz “Welcome”

This commercial wins for its sheer beauty. Seeing legions of Benzes rolling through the night, vintage next to modern, modern next to concept, was stirring. It reminds us of the incredible pedigree with which a company like Mercedes stems from, and continues to build off of.

#2: Chevy Camaro

The first Camaro spot was annoying, if only for the fact that it featured a Transformer. This one however, took the cake home for best Superbowl ad on a psychological level. In fact, it stole the cake, and then kicked the moist fluffiness out of it before eating it off of the cleats. The reason being is not only is it awesome, but it makes so many pleas for testosterone secretion in the court of man. During what is arguably the most testosterone driven television event of the year, Chevy hit advertising gold with this one.

Ok, so in the end, I didn’t choose Chrysler’s “Imported from Detroit” or VW’s ultra-adorable “Baby Darth Vader,” but the Chrysler commercial, while harrowing and inspiring, showcased a car that nobody cares about and simply didn’t fit the bill of either luxury or power. VWs ad was undeniably super cute and clever, but it wasn’t much of a car commercial. The top awards go to Mercedes and that mullet-bearing lovechild of a muscle car, the Chevy Camaro.