Evo has been doing a pretty interesting Car vs. Bike track battle series. The latest installment is particularly interesting because they put a KTM motocross bike up against some rally cars. Up first is a hardcore Safari rally gravel spec 240Z followed by a tarmac spec Mitsubishi Evolution. I won’t spoil the results, but it’s interesting to see how the driving styles are changed for running long travel suspension and gravel tires on tarmac. There’s also a jump on the course where the effects of vehicle weight on speed are hyper amplified.
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:
Nissan USA did an interesting project last year to promote the 370Z as a tuner car. They crowdsourced the tuning decisions on their Facebook page. Fans got to vote for which modifications went on the car. This competition that was put on with the help of Motor Trend is the final phase of the project 370Z. Fans got to vote for another tuned car to take on the car they helped build in a series of competitions. The car that was picked is an enthusiast built Datsun 240Z powered by an RB26 turbocharged inline-6 from a Nissan Skyline GT-R. Here’s how it went down:
This week’s episode of Jay Leno’s Garage features a restomod 1971 Datsun 510 owned by the prop master of the Tonight Show, Greg Elliot. Greg bought the car as an empty shell and did a full restoration on it. The engine has been punched out to a 2.3 liter and most of the drivetrain has been upgraded to beefier 280Z parts. Jay and Greg also discuss how the 510 is an affordable Japanese classic and then take it out for a spin.
There’s something about old Datsuns that seem to inspire a cult following. From the full range of Z-cars to the legendary 510 and the humble little Roadster. The Datsun Roadster hit upon the Miata formula long before Mazda got to it: add Japanese reliability to the fun of a classic British roadster. Petrolicious brings us the story of Dandridge Marsh, a roadster owner whose journey began when he moved to Napa Valley. He wanted to pursue the romantic notion of driving a classic car through the wine country. That pursuit eventually led him to this 1.6 liter Datsun Roadster. It’s definitely not hard to see the appeal with a backdrop like that.