Dare to Be Different in a Datsun 240Z

One of my bucket list projects is to build a classic Japanese car with a naturally aspirated tuned inline-6. Engines like the Nissan RB’s and Toyota’s JZ series are popular for their ability to hold huge amounts of boost, but the balance of the engine format also lends itself to the buttery smooth high rpm operation need for NA power. One of the obvious foundation choices for my project would be the S30 Datsun 240Z. They are definitely becoming a pretty legendary in the Japanese classic car arena. This video by Petrolicious does an excellent job of explaining why:

Source: Petrolicious on YouTube

Liberty Walk at SEMA 2013

Japanese tuning house, Liberty Walk, first made waves last year with their wide body Lamborghini Murcielago. They continued to turn heads at this year’s SEMA show with body kits for the Nissan GT-R and the Ferrari 458 Italia:

It turns out that Liberty Walk’s founder, Wataru Kato, had set an ultimatum to shut the company down had their Murcielago not been a big hit last year. GT Channel got a pretty in-depth interview with him where they talk about where Kato-san got his influences and how he manages to promote the Liberty Walk brand image despite of not speaking any English.

Source: Photo M.D. and GT Channel on YouTube

1994 JGTC Round 4 – Sugo

Designer Jon Sibal posted this video on his Facebook page for Throwback Thursday. It’s footage of a young Keiichi Tsuchiya racing the Advan Porshce 964 Turbo in the Sugo round of the 1994 Japanese Grand Touring Championship (JGTC). There’s a pretty eclectic mix of cars on the starting grid including a Ferrari F40, R32 Skylines, Supras and RX-7’s. I believe Tsuchiya-san is racing with his mentor who eventually became his team principal at the ARTA NSX team.

Source: YouTube user rocketpencil

On-Board With The 1991 Mazda RX-7 IMSA GTO

SEMA2011-30a_MazdaRX7_FC_IMSA-GTO-1 via JapaneseNostalgicCar.comThis is on-board footage from the 1991 Mazda RX-7 IMSA GTO race car as it laps Laguna Seca during this year’s Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion. Mazda won the 1991 season with this car. The GTO class of IMSA racing was for engines above 3 liters in tube frame cars that had production car silhouettes. Motivation for this car comes from a 26b 4-rotor engine that makes 600 hp at 8500 rpm and 390 ft-lbs of torque at 7000 rpm putting power down through a Hewland 5-speed transmission. You can see two of the three other 4-rotor cars that Mazda had at the event racing on track with this RX-7.

Source: Road and Track on YouTube and Mazda USA

Keiichi Tsuchiya’s Touge Monster AE86 2013 Test and Tune

Hot Version just released this video of a test and tune session of Keiichi Tsuchiya’s personal AE86 which is used as the 200 horsepower class Touge Monster on Hot Version’s Touge Challenge series. The car used to be tuned exclusively by Sakurai-san of Toyota Racing Development who unfortunately passed away recently. Now¬†Tec-Arts has taken over working on the car. They have plenty of experience from regularly campaigning a successful car in the revived AE86 N2 racing series. Tsuchiya-san wanted more displacement so they built him a 20v 7AG using a 7AG crank, custom rods and AE101 silvertop pistons. They also sourced some custom camshafts after discovering Sakurai-san had been making power on the stock cams. The first three minutes of this video is from the Tec-Arts shop during the tear-down:

Between S-Tires and added engine power, Tsuchiya-san was able to set an outright sector time record on the Gunsai Touge beating out cars like the Amuse S2000 and the RE Amemiya FD RX-7. It’s about time I got my AE86 back on the road.

Source: GT Channel and 2kwik2c on YouTube