Posts Tagged ‘roadster’

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.

 

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In a recent edition of the Contra Costa Times I was chewing over an article by Gary Sowerby on his driving impressions of the Tesla Roadster. In his article, Sowerby wrote during a ride along with Tesla representative Hand Ulrud:

We cruise around town while Hans fields questions from fellow drivers at traffic lights and slack-jawed pedestrians on crosswalks.

“Yes it has a hand-built carbon fiber body, regenerative braking and they are for sale now. The future is here!”

There is no problem hearing the questions or answers because the topless Tesla is so quiet.

“Not sure if I like this silent ride though Hans,” I offer, recalling the terrific pitch of my Porsche’s tuned exhaust.

“You get used to it, Garry. Isn’t the sound of chirping birds, gentle breezes rustling fields of wildflowers or the crash of waves on a lonely roadside seascape better than the blat of fossil fuel emissions spewing out a set of quad tailpipes?” Hans has obviously been down this road of questioning before.

I stopped reading the paper at this point and looked up, puzzled. I’m sorry did I read that right? Or did Sowerby just hear that…wrong? Surely a cutting edge company such as Tesla has a better answer than this… or do they not? I have to say the latter is likely correct, because that excuse sound utterly terrible.

Would I rather hear hear birds and flowers and lawn gnomes gobbling lawn and the wings of a butterfly over the sound of triumph? No. Very much not so. If I set into a vehicle of sport, I want to hear growly, purring and snarling tuned creatures of crafted iron victoriously heralding their presence and invigorating you the driver to OPEN. IT. UP.

Such an answer as Ulrud gives might appeal to a commune of Berkeley hemp-worshipers who spend their time eating organic air while curled up in trees. However the biggest fault in his answer is that such a demographic wouldn’t buy a Tesla anyway because they would rather see cars rot into oblivion.

For a manufacturer of a single make marked “Roadster” Tesla must come up with a better answer than that. And no, the Sound Racer is not the answer either. Until next time, Hans, please see the video below.

Oh, Snap! Mystery Car…

Posted: December 18, 2010 in Oh, Snap!
Tags: , , , ,

Can any readers identify this car? I’ll give you a big high five if you do. If you know, leave a comment below the post.

I saw this car roaming around E-Hwa Women’s University in Seoul. If I owned a car like this I’d probably drive around women’s universities as well. You can’t tell from the photo but the girl in the passenger side was quite cute.

Guys in cute cars know exactly what they’re doing, maybe it’s time for me to go invest in one myself.

Edit: for those itching to know what kind of car it is, look in the comments section for spoilers.

article & photography: colbydc5