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PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2017 11:43 am 
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Joined: Wed Apr 09, 2008 5:53 pm
Posts: 12973
Location: CT
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g0THeCmVmC4

We've all seen stills of this historic event, but this is the first time I've ever seen the actual film of it.

Our Chicago member TENGU found this silent flick on YouTube and it's worth the 33 minutes. Since the only comment was posted just hours ago, I have to assume the video is new today.

In 1969, Datsun sent a few pre-production factory "mule" cars to test the 240Z platform in many North American driving conditions. They drove several thousand miles thru the USA and Canada and filmed the trip on what looks like 8mm home movie film. We've seen a few "stills" of these famous trips, especially the two Zs and the company Chase Car filling up at the gas station. After the trip these two Zs were returned to the factory and completely disassembled, looking for wear or breakage. These trips resulted in several improvements in the intended 240Z platform before Rick Morgan's #13 was released for sale here.

I'm sure Carl Beck knows the actual VIN of these two cars, as well as the drivers and co-drivers.

What I see of interest:

09:30 Yutaka Katayama in the blue shirt, inspecting the 240Z test car on US soil
11:00 Pete Brock (#46) racing his 2000 Roadsters in the California desert
16:00 Front and rear bumpers tested for lifting/towing (both failed, were redesigned)
16:30 Spare parts arrive from Japan, Techs unpack wearing ties and white gloves
19:00 Testing defroster in ice and driving on ice
20:00 Cylinder head pulled off for unknown reason

As much as this is a factory confirmation film, it also looks a lot like a tourist video for those Japanese back home who have never seen North American driving conditions, snowplows, racetracks or elk.

Let's hear some comments and round of applause for TENGU for finding this.
Frank T

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2017 10:53 am 
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Joined: Thu May 14, 2009 9:24 am
Posts: 1250
Location: Webster, NY
These cars were HLS30-00004 and HLS30-00005. Both were left hand drive and silver. One was manual, the other automatic. Neither car had any emblems identifying manufacturer or model.

They were pre-production cars sent to North America for extensive road testing in Fall 1969. They drove from LA to Texas (hot weather) and back again, then LA to Calgary (cold weather) and back again. After the testing, they were sent back to Japan for disassembly and analysis. It is assumed that they were then destroyed.

A couple of problems the cars revealed were cracking of the plastic headlight scoops (later changed to FRP) and problematic drivetrain vibration caused by excessive half shaft angles. This was resolved by moving the differential a bit rearward, which caused redesign of the fuel tank making it smaller. The fuel tank issue set off a chain reaction of events to maintain gas mileage (Datsun was an economy car company that sold cars on fuel economy, even with the Z). To help keep desired fuel economy, much of the chassis used extremely thin sheet metal to reduce weight to compensate for the smaller gas tank. Add that to air and moisture and it explains why many of the early cars rusted away. Quickly.

HLS30-00006 (Green), HLS30-00007 (Red) and HLS30-00008 (silver) were used in the first 240Z brochure, then sent to North America for the auto show circuit and press reviews, they are the cars you see in the car magazines of early 1970. These three cars were then sold (or given) to race teams for competition. Today two of cars are owned by ZCCR members: 00006 (Allan Robbins) and 00008 (Tom Bork). Until recently, they were still successfully raced in Vintage competition. 00007 was last known to be in California, but disappeared a few years ago.

HLS30-00009, 00010, 00011 and 00012 are unknown. Theories are that they were built and destroyed in Japan in regulatory crash testing. Another thought is that they were sent to Canada for exclusive testing there and never seen again.

As you know, our own Rick Morgan owns HLS30-00013, the first 240Z released from the factory for retail sale.

FWIW......


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John Taddonio
President, Z Car Club of Rochester NY
zcarnut@hotmail.com
FB: Zccr zcarclubofrochester


Last edited by ZCARNUT on Sat Feb 25, 2017 2:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2017 11:42 am 
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Joined: Fri Dec 25, 2015 7:39 pm
Posts: 457
Location: Long Island, N.Y.
Fascinating story, John. I love the history lessons. Thank you. :thumbs_up: :mrgreen:

Howard J

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1985 300ZX- GLL Dark Pewter Metallic - Survivor


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2017 2:52 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 09, 2008 5:53 pm
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Location: CT
Nice wok John, sending you an email.

Frank

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2017 9:28 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 12, 2009 6:22 pm
Posts: 441
Location: Clearwater, FL
Hey come on guys - you have to help me promote Mr. Uemura’s book. He was the head of the US Test Team and has an entire chapter devoted to it.. Lots of interesting very early history there...

http://www.lulu.com/shop/hitoshi-uemura ... 79948.html

FWIW,
Carl B.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2017 8:45 am 
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Joined: Thu May 14, 2009 9:24 am
Posts: 1250
Location: Webster, NY
Carl Beck wrote:
Hey come on guys - you have to help me promote Mr. Uemura’s book. He was the head of the US Test Team and has an entire chapter devoted to it.. Lots of interesting very early history there...

http://www.lulu.com/shop/hitoshi-uemura ... 79948.html

FWIW,
Carl B.


The book is AWESOME. Couldn't put it down!

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John Taddonio
President, Z Car Club of Rochester NY
zcarnut@hotmail.com
FB: Zccr zcarclubofrochester


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2017 3:44 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 09, 2008 5:53 pm
Posts: 12973
Location: CT
WHY don't I have one of these??? Is it in Engrish? :shock:

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