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PostPosted: Sat Aug 20, 2011 8:56 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 09, 2008 5:53 pm
Posts: 12339
Location: CT
When the Z stopped production in 1997, the world mourned. Most of us thought the line was stopped forever, until the advent of the amaZing 350 in 2003.

But those 'dark ages' were actually filled by some pretty ingenious ideas in the Nissan back rooms. They weren't saying much, but the Nissan engineers and designers were hard at work trying to find the right combination of sport and sex appeal worthy of bearing the letter "Z".

Here are two of the interesting back room creations which never made it to the street; Either of these could have been parked in your driveway if they had been pushed thru to final production:

http://auto.howstuffworks.com/nissan-35 ... -cars1.htm

http://auto.howstuffworks.com/nissan-35 ... -cars3.htm

_________________
1970 240Z


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 21, 2011 7:35 am 
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Joined: Thu May 14, 2009 9:24 am
Posts: 1209
Location: Webster, NY
I remember that time period all too well. The Z32 was one of the most advanced sports cars of all time, but it had priced itself out of its market - the typical Z buyer who got a lot of sports car bang for the buck. With the TT running in the mid to upper $40k range, buyers with that kind of money were turning to Porsche, Corvette etc. The traditional Z buyer was left out in the cold.

We are fortunate that some visionaries within Nissan still saw the Z as the success symbol of the company and kept pestering for a new Z. When Carlos Gohsn came from Renault, he too felt that way, thank God.

The 1997 mid-4 concept missed the mark as a Z-Car as far as I'm concerned, BUT it did have some radical technological innovations that eventually found their way into the 350Z and even the GTR. The 1999 concept, the "Field of Dreams" car, was pure Z in my opinion, with the exception of the 4 cylinder engine. :shock: That car LOOKED Z. Long hood, short deck, 2 seats ONLY, rear wheel drive. I felt at that time, and still do, that it correctly carried on the Z heritage.

Unfortunately, Nissan decided to go modern instead of retro with the second Z concept which eventually became the 350Z. Yes, it had Z cues, but an S30 it was not. Obviously successful in the showroom, but not successful due to heritage as today's Mustang is for example. The Mustang got it right with styling AND modern performance. The 350 is a GREAT car, I know I had one, but NOT a 240Zs great, great grandchild.

Today's 370Z has styling more reminiscent of the S30, specifically the roofline, but it is more a developmental progression to the 350Z.

My next new Z will be the 2020 model, the 50th anniversary. THAT's the one I want parked next to my original 1970 240Z in the garage. Here's hoping that it more closely respects its roots and heritage. Even if it is called "550Z".

:wink:

_________________
John Taddonio
1970 Datsun 240Z "70 ZCAR"
1984 Datsun 300ZXT "ZCARNUT"
President, Z Car Club of Rochester
www.zccr.net
zcarnut@hotmail.com


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 21, 2011 5:53 pm 
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Joined: Sun Sep 20, 2009 7:19 pm
Posts: 1301
Location: 5 mi. from Frank
John, that was a terrific treatise, and I thank you for sharing it with us.
But what were you when the '90-'96 cars were leading us toward the
demise of the Z, 15 years of age and dreaming of the nice cars you
could get when you turned 16 and got your license? :lol:

By that time I had no idea what was going on in Datsun/Nissan, for I
had left employment at Bob Sharp by then. I had never so much as
touched a computer, so I didn't have the slightest notion that anything
in a negative sense was occurring. All the Z clubs I knew of except for
Group Z (out around L.A.) had long since disbanded (I suppose by 1980
or so). Thus I didn't have any like-minded friends to hang out with who
might have filled me in, in the absence of other resources.

If anyone was in the dark, it was me. When Frank wrote for the
NissanSportMag article that "Rick SADLY but lovingly stored his Z Cars
away" or words to that effect, he couldn't have encapsulated my chagrin
any better. I think I really felt abandoned.

I really don't remember anything about the 350Z coming out in 2003.
Or was it late 2002? (Let's not get into that, everybody knows I get
into way too much detail.) But when I finally came to my senses and
learned that the Z Car had indeed been reintroduced in the form of the
350Z, I had mixed emotions.

Z enthusiast that I am, I was elated that the Z Car had been revived.
Z purist and originalist that I am, I was disappointed that the 350Z
wasn't "Z-ish" enough for my tastes, meaning that it didn't resemble
the old original very much.

I suppose I've "matured" some in the last 8 years, because I've come
to a position of liking and respecting ALL Z cars. But I also suppose
that having been a Z Car owner virtually since they were first introduced
(October will be 41 years), my brain has been branded indelibly with a
concept, indeed a mindset, of what I think a Z should be like.

I hope y'all don't hate me for that.
~Rick~

_________________
All Z Best,.......Kathy & Rick

1969 Z.CAR (#00013 10/69) 8/30/76
1969 ITSA.Z (#00171 11/69) 8/24/73
1970 OLD.Z (#06289 6/70) original owner
1971 510 2dr since 12/31/75
1969 1600 rdstr (our 160-Z)
1971 (#19851 1/71) sold
1975 75.Z (#01343 1/75)


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 21, 2011 10:13 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2007 4:29 pm
Posts: 170
Location: Danbury, CT
Actually, the Z32 300zx was continued to be produced over in Japan until 1999. So, for them it was only down for 3 yrs, but the point is sound Frank. It could have been the end of Z car for sure, if Nissan went down another "street".


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2011 7:47 am 
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Joined: Thu May 14, 2009 9:24 am
Posts: 1209
Location: Webster, NY
Kathy & Rick wrote:
John, that was a terrific treatise, and I thank you for sharing it with us.
But what were you when the '90-'96 cars were leading us toward the
demise of the Z, 15 years of age and dreaming of the nice cars you
could get when you turned 16 and got your license? :lol:

~Rick~


Actually Rick, the first time I laid eyes on the 240Z was the spring of 1971 when I was 13. My dad had a 1970 Jaguar XKE roadster that had my eye and heart at the time. A friend of his stopped by the house with his new 1971 240Z and the Jag instantly became a distant second to me. I then wanted a 240Z BADLY and it took another 8 years before I got one.

Still have it.

:D

_________________
John Taddonio
1970 Datsun 240Z "70 ZCAR"
1984 Datsun 300ZXT "ZCARNUT"
President, Z Car Club of Rochester
www.zccr.net
zcarnut@hotmail.com


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2011 9:43 am 
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Joined: Mon Sep 21, 2009 3:55 pm
Posts: 3585
Location: Naugatuck CT
i have seen the second one but not the first one. first one is definitely no Z. but the 99 is definitely close to the 350Z. i would love to see a retro Z.

_________________
Mike Tubiak
1978 Datsun 280Z - HLS30-438694


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