Dream garage #9 – Datsun Z


I honestly don’t know much about the Datsun Z-cars in terms of technical specs and history. For that sort of thing, I’d simply direct the reader to the Wikipedia article, and their types of engines, 0-60mph times and production dates can be mulled over in whatever time is deemed necessary. This is one of those cars that have a more lasting appeal in other regards.

For example, for me its impression on me has always run deep for two main reasons. First, I had a Matchbox or Majorette die-cast toy version which was one of my favourites, and second, other major significant characteristic about it that will have definitely made an unmistakable and lasting image of it was that it was a Transformer, and furthermore, two of the cool Autobots (as opposed to the uncool ones, like that crappy ambulance or the people carrier, though I digress).

It’s a car that grabs you from the moment you look upon those superb lines. Nissan boss Charles Ghosn described the original car as having “European styling, American muscle, Japanese quality and global desirability.” The bit about European styling is no lie, and I’d refine it more to British-like design. In fact, an interesting tidbit of information regarding its original design conception was given by none other than Lionel Richie when interviewed for Top Gear, when he said the 240Z was designed to look like a Jag E-Type, “which it did”, in his words. I’d also say there was a bit of classic, lightweight MG sports car in the mix too. This is a car that can be lauded and loved simply for its beautiful styling, like an Alfa Romeo, but it goes deeper than that, as its tremendous popularity attests.

Unfortunately, popularity brings its problems along. It’s like Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin: absolutely great music and such, but so widespread that hordes of utter morons will try to imitate them. What I mean is that it’s analogous to vast diffusion of 70’s Z-cars, and that for the million or so sold, a good percentage of those are true modding retards who have wanked them up beyond belief. And for a beauty such as these Japanese works of art, it truly is a serious crime.

One thing that makes it modder-bait (apart from its relative cheapness and inherent “sportiness”) is how it wears do many different colours so well, like a Citroen CX. You’ve got green, yellow, orange, brown, gold and so forth, and these hues look great. For my part, I’d love to have a 240/260/280Z in my dream garage, in its pristine, factory-spec state, and in a rare colour, like that chocolate-brown or racing green.

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