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PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2018 2:31 pm 

Joined: Wed Apr 09, 2008 5:53 pm
Posts: 13013
Location: CT
We are all aware that next year celebrates the 50th Anniversary of the 240Z. It is being saluted and celebrated in different ways around the world.

Our member in Germany, Thorsten Link, sends us this notice about a really cheap weekend at some really wonderful historic locations around Europe. I am trying to gather information about how complicated it might be to get a Z from here to there and be allowed to drive it without modification to Euro specs: May in Spa, July at Silverstone, and September in Scotland!
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
Hello friends,

more informations about 50th anniversary events in Europe:

Spa 2019
Next year, May 2019, Club Datsun France invites all Z owners, especially the S30s to join us and celebrate the 50th birthday of the Z, beginning with what we know in Europe as the 240Z !
Why Spa ? It is central to western Europe and easily accessible.
It also has one of the worlds' finest (if not best) racing circuits and YOU can drive YOUR Z there with us during the weekend.
Coupled with the Spa Classic racing weekend, we can offer you a great socialising time, stretch your Z on the track at your own speed but also enjoy the shops and restaurants of Liege, all in the beautiful Ardennes forest.
We book in a nearby chalet/restaurent complex - peaceful, tasteful and together to share a birthday weekend.
What is Spa.....? Pictures tell it better !
But so does video :


We are also planning the participation at two major indoor French shows to make some noise ; 50 years old - it has to be NOW or never that our cars 'get on the map' and firmly in the classic car world !
Contact me, Sean at sean@datsun-france.fr or Sylvain (who regularly organises our event there) at sylvain@datsun-france.fr

Silverstone Classic 2019
Veranstaltung für The Datsun Z 50th Anniversary · Gastgeber: Jon Newlyn
SilverstoneSilverstone Circuit,, NN12 8TN Towcester, Northamptonshire

26. Juli 2019 um 09:00 – 28. Juli 2019 um 18:00 UTC+01
A celebration of the 50th anniversary of the S30 series, all Z models are welcome. It's highly likely that we will able to be part of the parade lap on one of the days.

Let's see if we can get 50 Zs there on parade!

There is racing on all 3 days
A free fun fair
Both pits are open to the public with double-decker buses to transport you around.
Camping is available next door at Woodlands. (circa £49 for the whole weekend)
It is one of the largest outdoor classic shows in the world.
There will be live music on the Friday and Saturday nights
Early bird tickets are normally available from December 2018, price is circa £99, for 2 people, plus your car, for all 3 days! That's less than £17 per person, per day!

Scotland 2019:
Sept 16 - Sept 20
NC500 TOUR - 500 miles to celebrate 50 years
Öffentlich · Gastgeber: Jon Newlyn
Jon Newlyn hat dich eingeladen
16. September 2019 um 11:00 – 20. September 2019 um 14:00 UTC+01
Inverness, Scotland


1970 240Z

Last edited by Frank T on Sun Nov 25, 2018 9:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2018 5:36 pm 

Joined: Sat Feb 01, 2014 9:21 am
Posts: 762
Location: Somers CT
:P :P :P :P :P Drooling at the thought of being on such historic tracks.

W.Karl Walton
Somers CT

75' - 280Z - HLS30203249 - #304 Gold Metallic (stockish)
96' - 300zx TT - JN1CZ24d3TX960293 - Black on Black (enhanced)

PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2018 11:40 pm 

Joined: Wed Apr 09, 2008 5:53 pm
Posts: 13013
Location: CT
During the decade btwn the mid-'50s and the mid-'60s, my tiny world revolved around formula-1 Grand Prix car and motorcycle racing. I subscribed to every car and bike racing magazine in print and knew all the cars and driver's names and achievements. I attended every race I could afford (and get a ride to) and spent a fortune on b&w film for my Brownie camera. For a kid I was pretty dedicated to (obsessed with) a sport in which I had no chance of competing. Racing is a rich man's sport and we were poor.

There were many more 'race courses' back in those days than there are now. After WWII, all of Europe was broke and in shambles, and each community in every country on the continent was eager to make money any way they could. Thanks to the personal immediate after-war efforts of CT fighter pilot John Fitch (who had built Lime Rock Park and raced before the war, been shot-down and spent months as a guest of the Gestapo until the war ended, then chose to remain in Europe instead of coming home), car and bike racing got a rapid re-start after the war. Fitch personally visited many Heads of State to convince them to resume European racing as soon as possible. People brought money and a picnic lunch to sit on the hillsides and watch the old European and new American cars fly around makeshift circuits in every town's back country roads. (The village of Watkins Glen NY followed the same idea, racing thru town until they made enough money to build a dedicated race track).

In the 1950s the concept of 'Grand Prix' (big prize) involved really hot race cars which could be driven on the street, or street sports cars which could be raced on a track. Mercedes, Ferrari, Maserati, Allard, Jaguar, AutoUnion, Porsche, Lancia, Cunningham, Corvette, and other supercars were the dual-purpose racers which people loved to watch race. Because they had to be useable as street cars, these racers were raced around "road circuits" which were simply connected city streets and country roads. Huge races such as the Targa Florio (a lap around Sicily), the MilleMiglia (1000 miles around Italy) the Nurburgring (18 miles of connected back country roads thru the German Rhineland), the 9 miles of backcountry roads around Spa and others were real-life tests of streetcar durability and speed.

Because the races only lasted a weekend, no preparation was made to convert these common roads into proper 'race courses' except the placement of a few hay bales and direction arrows on corners. It was during that era that Spa Francorchamps in Belgium linked together a few narrow back-country farm roads to make one of the fastest 'race courses' in all of Europe.

Below is a video of the old (longer) course of the 1950s and early 1960s.
Notice, if you will, there are very few flagmen or cornermen (a concept which hadn't been thought of yet), no emergency vehicles evident, very little crowd control and a thousand places you could freely fly off the course. Cops actually stood in the road, with their badges to protect them :roll:. Count the brick walls, trees, telegraph poles, ditches, spectator crowds and houses you could hit if you blew a tire and lost control.

As the '50s progressed and racing became more popular (and lucrative), single-seat "formula" cars became popular. They were dedicated open wheel racers, not required to be street-able, and were much faster than their sportscar counterparts. In the late '50s, open-wheel race cars were given a new specification called Formula-1 and they became horribly fast.

The circuits, however, remained very much the same. Good drivers and fast cars terminated their lives on the unimproved backcountry roads which served as good sportscar Grand Prix circuits; the Formula One cars were just too fast for those roads. Probably because Germany received U.S. reconstruction funds, they were among the first to improve their race courses and build dedicated speed parks to attract racing. Rheims and the Nurburgring were two of the fastest and safest tracks of the late 1950s/early '60s. Italy and England followed, improving old courses and (England) converting dis-used WWII airfields into race tracks (Goodwood, Snetterton, Silverstone, Brooklands, et al), or closing down the old courses which couldn't be made safe enough for the faster new cars. France built 1/2 of a race park and attached it to 12 miles of surrounding country roads, including an 8 mile straight away. They named it LeMans.

Spa in Belgium was Europe's very last 'race course' to be improved. It remained a very fast and very dangerous 9 mile triangle of back country roads and a killer of great drivers well into the 1960s. World Champion Jackie Stewart led an all-driver boycott to have it improved or shut down. Today it is a magnificent, fast and safe circuit, professionally rebuilt as a dedicated Grand Prix racetrack. But it remains steeped in huge history and a hundred bar stories.

Here's the short video giving you an idea of how rudimentary the Spa course was:


It would be a breathtaking honor to drive my own Z around Spa.
Very carefully.

PS: And this guy is just irresponsibly stupid:


1970 240Z

PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2018 8:19 pm 

Joined: Wed Apr 09, 2008 5:53 pm
Posts: 13013
Location: CT
Forty-seven racers and 4 marshals have been killed at Spa-Francorchamps. This list doesn't include the countless highs-speed wrecks which have ended the careers of world-class racers.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_C ... fatalities

Believe it or not, my wife is throwing the credit card at me and begging me to take the Z to Germany and attend this for 10 days. :shock:
I'm sure she read my insurance policy before she made that decision.
* * * * * * * * * * * *
Here's an excerpt from World Champion F-1 racer Jackie Stewart's career summary, describing one of his experiences at Spa/Francorchamps:

"Racing safety advocate[edit]
At Spa-Francorchamps in 1966, Stewart ran off the track while driving at 165 mph (266 km/h) in heavy rain, and crashed into a telephone pole and a shed before coming to rest in a farmer's outbuilding. His steering column pinned his leg, while ruptured fuel tanks emptied their contents into the cockpit. There were no track crews to extricate him, nor were proper tools available. There were no doctors or medical facilities at the track, and Stewart was put in the bed of a pickup truck, remaining there until an ambulance arrived. He was first taken to the track's first aid centre, where he waited on a stretcher, which was placed on a floor strewn with cigarette ends and other rubbish. Finally, another ambulance crew picked him up, but the ambulance driver got lost driving to a hospital in Liège. Ultimately, a private jet flew Stewart back to the UK for treatment.

After his crash at Spa, Stewart became an outspoken advocate for auto racing safety. Later, he explained, "If I have any legacy to leave the sport I hope it will be seen to be an area of safety because when I arrived in Grand Prix racing so-called precautions and safety measures were diabolical."[14] By Stewart's reckoning, a driver who raced for five years had a two-thirds chance of being killed in a crash.[15]

Stewart continued, commenting on his crash at Spa:

I lay trapped in the car for twenty-five minutes, unable to be moved. Graham (Hill) and Bob Bondurant got me out using the spanners from a spectator's toolkit. There were no doctors and there was nowhere to put me. They in fact put me in the back of a van. Eventually an ambulance took me to a first aid spot near the control tower and I was left on a stretcher, on the floor, surrounded by cigarette ends. I was put into an ambulance with a police escort and the police escort lost the ambulance, and the ambulance didn't know how to get to Liège. At the time they thought I had a spinal injury...." (NOTE: because Stewart's driving suit was completely saturated in high octane fuel and was burning his skin, the other drivers stripped him naked and lay him in a pile of hay in the back of a flatbed van. A group of French nuns ran to lend their medical assistance and were presented with a full-frontal nude of the World Champion racer, who was cussing and swearing about his burning skin. All were embarrassed but the nuns took an unusually long time cleaning him up. True story).

"I realised that if this was the best we had there was something sadly wrong: things wrong with the race track, the cars, the medical side, the fire-fighting, and the emergency crews. There were also grass banks that were launch pads, things you went straight into, trees that were unprotected and so on. Young people today just wouldn't understand it. It was ridiculous.

"In response, Stewart campaigned with Louis Stanley (BRM team boss) for improved emergency services and better safety barriers around race tracks. "We were racing at circuits where there were no crash barriers in front of the pits, and fuel was lying about in churns in the pit lane. A car could easily crash into the pits at any time. It was ridiculous." As a stop-gap measure, Stewart hired a private doctor to be at all his races, and taped a spanner ['wrench'] to the steering shaft of his BRM in case it would be needed [to remove the steeringwheel] again. Stewart pressed for mandatory seat belt usage and full-face helmets for drivers, which have become unthinkable omissions for modern races. Likewise, he pressed track owners to modernize their tracks, including organizing driver boycotts of races at Spa-Francorchamps in 1969, the Nürburgring in 1970 being joined by his close friend Jochen Rindt, and Zandvoort in 1972 until barriers, run-off areas, fire crews, and medical facilities were improved.

"Some drivers and press members believed the safety improvements for which Stewart advocated detracted from the sport, while track owners and race organizers balked at the extra costs. "I would have been a much more popular World Champion if I had always said what people wanted to hear. I might have been dead, but definitely more popular", Stewart later said.

1970 240Z

PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2019 8:19 am 
User avatar

Joined: Wed Nov 04, 2009 10:32 am
Posts: 564
Location: Germany
Driving my Z on the Spa Grand Prix circuit in Frank‘s splipstream this year -
what a giant adventure.

BTW: had filmings last year for a TV documentary about the VW Käfer among others in Spa. Watch the last 10 minutes, there are some impressions.

https://swrmediathek.de/player.htm?show ... 5056a12b4c

T. Link
1971 240z (HLS30-16506)

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