Posts Tagged ‘Datsun’

COVERAGE> Japanese Classic Car Show in LBC

Every year, one of my favorite events to attend in Southern California is the annual Japanese Classic Car Show in Long Beach. JCCS is like a big reunion of old school friends, surrounded by the finest pre-1990s vehicles made in Japan. The water surrounding the iconic Queen Mary cruise ship and the Downtown Long Beach skyline is a perfect backdrop for Skylines, 510s, Zs, Celicas, Corollas, Starlets, Land Cruisers, RX7s, RX3s, Civics and all sorts of other interesting Japanese old school cars!   Read more...

ARCHAEOLOGY> John Morton’s 510 & 240Z at RIAM

When a 21-year-old John Morton took a job in Carroll Shelby’s Cobra shop in the mid-1960s, sweeping floors and chasing parts, he had a dream. Much of that dream came true for him, but in what could be called a great and celebrated road racing career, he does have regrets and disappointments.   Read more...

PAPERCUTS> Road&Track Magazine Closing?!

Road&Track Road and Track Magazine shuts down shutting closing closes doors last issue

I can’t believe it. I just received word from a reliable source that Road&Track Magazine will be shutting down its Southern California offices. Can this be true?! This is insane. Everyone knows that the print media industry has been hurting for a while, but hearing reliable sources say that Road&Track is shutting down… that’s one piece of auto industry news that’s hard to fathom. (more…)


CARSPOTTING> Crashing A Vintage Porsche Event

There really is nothing like a vintage Porsche 911. Ever since the first time I was able to actually see and hear an actual 1970s Porsche 911 race car running through Nurburgring Nordschleife on my first trip to Germany, I've been lusting after a 911 of my own. Shortly thereafter, I was given the opportunity to visit the Porsche test track in Leipzig, Germany, where I got the chance to get up close and personal with an authentic 1973 911 Carrera RS, which was wheeled out from the Porsche Museum so I could take it out on the track! I really need at least one of these in my life.

Needless to say, I was beyond excited when I attended this gathering of Porsches in Woodland Hills, CA. There were several gorgeous cars from different model years in attendance, but none of the cars truly captured my attention like these retro race-themed 911s.   Read more...

OH SNAP> Garage Autohero Datsun 510 Snowed In

Garage Autohero Datsun 510 turbo turbocharged Ray Stonehocker Watanabe Yoshi Shindo rusty snow Nissan Bluebird

This past week, the Pacific Northwest experienced a snow storm which left thousands without power. I was even stranded at home for a little while! I can’t even remember the last time Washington got so much snow! However, as I pondered the situation more, I realized that this could be one of those “lemons into lemonade” moments (or, is that “ice into ice cream“). (more…)


COVERAGE> HIN LA & Wekfest Hawaii Live Blogging

There were so many great automotive events going on this weekend! As usual, the MotorMavens Crew had to split up in order to check out the best cars at each event. In Southern California, Tamer Omran, Antonio Alvendia and I attended the Hot Import Nights event at the LA Convention Center. Meanwhile, Seattle-based MotorMavens Crew member Raymond Vazquez flew out to Hawaii to take photos at Wekfest Hawaii!

We've been live blogging photos from the actual events, using our iPhones and various lens adapters - both our Olloclips and our Owle Bubos. If you have an iPhone, join @MOTORMAVENS on Instagram to see our photo feed in real time! If you're on a Droid or a non-smartphone, you can still follow @MOTORMAVENS on Twitter or Tumblr.   Read more...

COVERAGE> New Drift Program at Infineon Raceway

"Drifting will continue to grow, but that's only if we continue to support drifters on the amateur level, and most importantly, the people who organize the grassroots drifting events. After all, it is those people who are building new drifters and teaching them how to drive." - Antonio Alvendia in Drifting: Sideways from Japan to America
Despite the obvious plug (forgive me), what Antonio said in 2006 is evident five years later. These grassroots events are where many of the nation's best drifters first made their marks. While Japan was fortunate to have small, frequent drift events, Americans were left to figure out ways to get their tracks open to such a sport. Now, after years of consistent growth and the expansion of our own small drift events, we've come to see plenty of tracks around the nation become accustomed to drifting. These events have been paramount in molding skilled drifters, some of whom have made it in the big leagues. However, for many years now, the San Francisco Bay Area hasn't been able to provide a consistent outlet for its "home grown" talent. Sure, the ThunderDrift events are great, but those are nearly two or three hours away from The Bay. Many drivers simply don't want to make a four-to-six-hour round trip. Now they won't have to.   Read more...

COVERAGE> Northwest Nissans Golden Gardens

It's hit or miss, in Seattle, in the early Spring. Some days the sun is out and shining - some days, something resembling a monsoon could turn the parking lots into lakes. Even though it's only warmed up to nearly 55 degrees outside, Seattle-ites treat it like mid-Summer. That's what we are accustomed to here in the Northwest. Still, every year, toward the end of March, rain or shine, the Northwest Nissans' Golden Gardens Meet is always a huge success.

This year, unfortunately, it was a bit wet with the sun only barely shining though the thin veil of overcast clouds later in the day. Weather aside, this year was just as packed as previous years with three main lots filling up. The parking overflowed along the street for at least a half mile. I could tell it was going to be a meet well worth checking out!   Read more...

COVERAGE> Grassroots Drifting Action in NorCal

A couple of weeks ago, I shed some light on the Comrades FC3S Truckasaurus RX7 from Fatlace WordUp!, a drift and gymkhana session in held once a month in Santa Clara, CA. The event is only open to 15 drivers and members of the media - no spectators are allowed. It is the closest thing we have to Drift Day in the Bay Area and is centered on providing a safe venue for those who wish to better their skills in a safe environment.   Read more...

COVERAGE> ThunderDrift ProAm at Thunderhill

With the Formula Drift series starting up in only three and a half weeks, this means that the Pro-Am series will be starting up as well. New drivers from around the country will be competing for an opportunity to drive on the next level. One such an event, is Thunder Drift, held just outside Willows California.   Read more...

CENTER STAGE> SR Datsun 620 WarMachine Pickup

"I couldn't find the sports car of my dreams, so I built it myself." Ferdinand Porsche

Datsun didn’t make a fast enough truck for Chad Copeland, so he followed Ferdinand Porsche’s example of persistence and built his own. After three tours of duty in the Middle East as a part of the Air Force, Chad took some driving courses and practiced on Eglin Air Force Reservation trying to slide his truck around corners and hang it out as far as he could. This was long before the artform of hooliganism now known as drifting became a sport.

That first truck is now long gone but Chad is keeping the interest alive in the form of his current Datsun 620 pickup. At first glance, it’s obvious that this isn’t your everyday 620…just in case you happen to see these every day. In fact, as much as this truck shows you with its exposed components and armed forces-inspired livery, there is more to be found beneath the proverbial surface.   Read more...

OH SNAP> Shakotan S30 Street Scraper Returns!

shakotan slammed S30 240Z Z Yuta Akaishi low down stance offset camber hippari tire stretch tsuraichi hella flush fitment japanese classic car nostalgic show bosozoku

The past few days have been super hectic! I’ve basically been shooting photos every single day since Friday! I decided not to post up our Formula D and JCCS stories just yet, because I wanted to focus my very limited time on linking up with good friends from out of town and doing some photo shoots with their cars while I was chillin out with them.

I suppose that’s the difference between MotorMavens and other websites. Some of the other sites go to the shows just to grab as many pics as they can and then leave quickly so they can post them before anyone else. MotorMavens has a different way of thinking, and a different agenda altogether. Instead of racing to get photos up before the other websites, MotorMavens values quality when it comes to the things published on the site. Posting photos quickly is important to me, but I also make it a priority to spend my valuable time with my good friends in the car scene – after all, I know that without the support of our loyal friends (this includes YOU, our awesome readers!), MotorMavens would not have come as far as it has today.

So here’s a teaser photo; this will give you a taste of what I’ve been up to over the past few days. This is Yuta Akaishi‘s shakotan S30 240Z from Northern California’s Heartbreaker crew. He just got back from spending summer in Japan a few days before the Japanese Classic Car Show. He refreshed the car really quickly, and then scraped pavement all the way from San Jose to Long Beach for JCCS! (more…)


CENTER STAGE> JCCS Award Winning Sakura 510

Building a car from the ground up isn't an easy task to do - physically or mentally. Some might already know exactly what they want to do, while others may have a general idea and focus on one thing at a time. Plans always change (which is the exact reason why my S14 has been sitting for over a year) but one thing that all these owners have in common is...Dedication.

This Datsun 510 project was started 13 years (and three owners) ago. The original owner (Joe Smith - sounds like an alias), had the body and paint done. He also accumulated a lot of NOS (new old stock) parts though the Nissan dealer he worked for but the car was never finished. Eventually the car ended up seeing two other owners before Dom Stokes bought it.   Read more...

COVERAGE> Nisei Showoff Returns To Little Tokyo

I'm sure many will agree with me when I say that I'm glad that the City of Los Angeles didn't complete its bulldozing and reconstruction project surrounding Downtown LA's newly built Alameda Street train station... this allowed Ken Miyoshi and his Import Showoff crew to continue their tradition of throwing the Nisei Showoff in the heart of Little Tokyo. According to Ken, this year marked the 10 Year Anniversary of the Nisei Showoff, which always took place in conjunction with the historic Nisei Week Festival in Little Tokyo, celebrating the culture of second generation Japanese living in the United States.

This year, there were a ton of new cars that made their debut at the show, and several regulars that received makeovers. According to Ken Miyoshi, one of the things that has always separated Nisei Showoff from the other carshows is the face that Showoff has a really qualified panel of carshow judges who really have expertise in the automotive aftermarket. Nisei Showoff's judges include people who have a background of working with companies like HKS, Blitz, Toyota, and places like that. This may be a major differentiation factor to some people, but to me, it's completely different.

Nisei Showoff just has a particular vibe to it. It starts early in the morning, in the exciting hustle and bustle of the competitor load-in, as the cars form ridiculously long lines, jamming up the streets of Little Tokyo as they wait for the show staff to let them in the gate and park at their assigned spaces. It continues throughout the day, as the noontime sun heats up the entire place, and you get to bump into old friends and catch up on the things that are going on in everyone's busy lives. For me, the excitement continues on to the late afternoon too, as I complete my rounds through the show and stop by the cars that catch my eye, making new friends and checking out all the subtle things that everyone has done to their cars. Probably the most fun thing about Nisei Showoff (for me at least) is the fact that Ken Miyoshi has asked me to be the official emcee for the awards ceremony. I've been doing this for the past three (or four?) years now... and that part is really fun, because you get to see what the owners of the cars look like, as they come up and receive their trophy at the stage.   Read more...

ARCHAEOLOGY> Super Silhouette Pics from Japan

I just love Japanese Super Silhouette cars from the late 1970s to the mid 1980s. I actually saw these photos posted sometime last week on the Team Obscurity website, but didn't get a chance to post them up until just now. These Super Silhouette cars were said to have influenced the Bosozoku/Yanki style of crazy aero kits, fat lip wheels, and humongous front chin spoilers... obviously!

Just check out this famous S110 Nissan Silvia, which was raced by legendary Japanese racer Kazuyoshi Hoshino's team, Impul. Hoshino-san has reached God-like status amongst race fans in Japan because of all his HISTORY. He actually raced in two Formula 1 races*; both of them at Japan's legendary Fuji Speedway - the old school course, with the famous old (and dangerous) banking, which is now closed and sits on the side of Fuji Speedway as a holy relic of the Shizuoka prefecture's glorious racing days of the 1970s and 1980s. In fact, I'm still kicking myself because I had the opportunity to chill out in the Impul/Calsonic Super GT pit area when I attended the Pokka 1000kms Super GT race at Suzuka Circuit, and Hoshino san was standing right freaking THERE... and I didn't even take a photo with him or ask him to autograph something. What an IDIOT I am. I still regret it.   Read more...

OH SNAP> A Sunny Excellent Day with Tomei

We’re long, long overdue for posting this photo (and a lot more) from this year’s Japanese Classic Car Association New Year’s Meeting in Tokyo. We received this photo from an Australian-on-holiday named Ian Hancock, who is a die hard fan of Japanese nostalgic cars, and the owner of a Datsun Sunny himself.

I know that Skylines, Bluebirds, and Sunnies like this one were prime racetrack adversaries for the TE27 (and KE20) Toyota Corollas that I love so much, so the Toyota Motorsports fan in me should force me to boo a car like this, but I just can’t. How could you NOT like this car? I think it looks incredibly awesome – from the works overfenders to the fender mounted aero mirrors, the simple, boxy front chin spoiler, the FRP headlight covers (With vents! Cool!), and the vintage racing livery, which I absolutely LOVE! Why can’t people learn to make their race cars as cool looking as this one? I just don’t get it! Oh, and let’s not forget the wheels… oh hell no, we can’t miss out on the wheels!

A closer look and a skilled eye will tell you that these wheels look like Campagnolos, but they’re not Italian. (more…)


WEBMINING> Club EPS Works B310 Sunny

I was randomly browsing the internet over the past few days, and noticed this photo on the BeeOneOneOh blog in New Zealand, which I only recently found…. very cool site! Seeing these two vintage Nissans line up together on a track is super cool. Old school Nissan power… two generations of Nissan Sunny together at the same time.  In the front, we have the Club EPS Works Sunny from the TS Cup. Don’t you just love those old school Advan Racing A3A wheels? Especially in BLACK with the red outlines.

I used to have a set of those wheels, but had to sell them when I was raising money to buy my TE27. Sigh… I loved those wheels, but it was a worthy cause. It’s so lucky that the owner of this B310 Sunny has a set of these wheels… and they have such great sizes too! They fit perfectly underneath the works flares; finding aggressive sizes of Advan Racing wheels is very rare indeed. I love satin black Advan Racing A3A wheels!!!

:: Antonio Alvendia

BeeOneOneOh

Club EPS Technical Factory


RANDOM DOPE> S30 Fairlady 240Z by Jan Trondsen

HOLY FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF. I'm currently trying to recompose myself; you wouldn't believe how hard my jaw hit the floor when I first saw these renderings. I must have been shaking my head, muttering expletives for a good 20 minutes.

AMAZING. Now THIS is what it's all about. This is a 3D sculpted rendering of a 1972 S30 240Z, which apparently has ZG flares and a standard Z432 nose with a BRE front chin spoiler.

The artist behind all this is actually an old school friend of mine; his name is Jan Trondsen (pronounced yawn, like you're sleepy), and he is first and foremost a car guy that's passionate about vintage Datsuns, and he has been that way since the first day I met him, over ten years ago. Nowadays, Jan is an alumnus of the prestigious Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, and a professional 3D sculptor working for a major car company... but it wasn't like that when we first met. When we first met, we were just a bunch of super broke car enthusiasts from the SF Bay Area that frequented the illegal street races, hardly able to scrape together enough funds to buy rebuild kits for the Mikuni 44phh carbs we wanted for our cars.

Nothing makes me happier or more inspired than seeing good people like Jan progress in their careers, all without losing focus on what made them passionate about cars in the first place. Let's face it. There are WAY too many corporate schmucks working within the auto industry; men and women that don't give a rat's ass about WHY people devote their whole lives to cars, or what makes cars cool. There are way too many non-car-people out there that scored jobs at big car companies just because they had degrees and were looking for a big corporate job with benefits after college. Jan is definitely not one of those. I'm glad to see there are still some folks out there who are intensely passionate about cars like all of us are (by all of us, I'm referring to the MotorMavens readers).   Read more...

COVERAGE> Garage Zero in Atlanta

The guys at Georgia-based Garage Zero had an open-house to their newly-acquired facility located just outside Atlanta's perimeter. Aren't familiar with Garage Zero? Well, it is time you get acclimated. These guys are all about old school Japanese car lifestyle and culture. To put it in simpler terms, these guys make "keeping it real" seem passé. Their new facility houses an eclectic mix of classics and wild project-cars.   Read more...

COVERAGE> SoCal Roadsters at Datsun Museum

Anyone that worships at the altar of Nissan must, some day, make a pilgrimage to the Datsun Heritage Museum. Located in Murrieta, California, it contains a treasure trove of Datsun and Nissan memorabilia, a library of pre-digital reading material and, of course, cars. For many southern California Datsun enthusiasts, it also serves a community center where meets and events can be held. Last weekend, the SoCal Roadster Owners' Club held their annual charity toy drive and car show there.   Read more...

WEBMINING> Bluebird SSS at Flex Auto Yokohama

Ever since we started the Motor Mavens blog, I've been so busy that I haven't really had much time to cruise the web like I used to. However, there are a few sites that I try to check once in a while, because I really like the content. Al's Car Stuff Blog is one of the very few sites that I see that consistently posts up cars that I like! I don't know much about Al or his background, but seeing these photos of this Nissan/Datsun KP510 Bluebird 1600 SSS on Al's blog brought me back to a Japan trip I took several years ago.

Back in 2004, I went to visit D1 driver Takahiro Ueno and his shop, Sui Vax in Yokohama, Japan. I was doing a feature photo shoot on Ueno and his shop for Modified Magazine at the time, so I spent the whole day hanging out in Yokohama. When I told him how crazy I was about Japanese nostalgic cars, he said he knew a shop that I would love, and he wanted to take me there. That shop was Flex Auto Review - they restore and sell Japanese classic cars! Ueno was absolutely right. I flipped out when we got there! AWESOME. (I was kind of embarrassed afterwards, because I was so obviously excited when I was walking around Flex Auto... and I didn't quite show the same level of excitement when I was hanging out at Ueno's shop earlier that day. Oops, my bad.)   Read more...

CENTER STAGE> Shakotan S30 240Z

Last weekend at the Japanese Classic Car Show, the Showa car lovers that gathered in Irvine California for this year's event were treated to a sensory overload of Japanese nostalgic cars of all sorts - from Skylines to Corollas to rotaries to Hondas to Datsuns... Oh, the Datsuns!


There were so many cars from Datsun/Nissan lineage represented at this year's JCCS, it was hard to focus on them all. Everything from Japanese style G-nose S30s to US market 240Zs were in abundance at the event this year, but there was one Z in particular that had a certain combination of presence and shock value. I just knew I had to feature it on our site... but there was just one problem. The car (and its owner) live in San Jose, California. And they would both be returning to the Bay Area on the morning after the show.


I had to figure out how (and where) to somehow shoot the car before it went back to San Jose - and I knew I didn't want to do one of those "on the grass" photo shoots after the show, because I think photos of cars on the grass are cliche, unimaginative and overdone... especially since there were 236790 photographers from different magazines doing the same photo shoot on different spots on the grass after JCCS.


The owner of this shakotan (super low down) boogiemonster is Yuta Akaishi. Let's pronounce it together. His first name is Yuta, pronounced like "Utah" and his last name is pronounced "Aka-ishi." I was first drawn to this amazing 240Z because it is just so damn low... it's mind boggling, seriously! The car may be showing its age with the presence of surface rust and dents here and there, but hell... to me, it's just a sign that this car lived a full life. It's kind of like battlescars on a seasoned fighter - they actually ADD to the look.   Read more...

COVERAGE> Kop Hill Hillclimb 2009

Set in the beautiful country lanes of Princes Risborough, the Kop Hill Hillclimb is one of the oldest hill climbs in England. During the early 1900s it was one of the largest motorsport events in the UK. The hill itself is a pretty straight road, but it's over 1000 metres long to the summit and rises to 100 metres high. Big crowds would line the edges of the road to watch drivers and motorcyclists try to achieve the fastest times and speeds up the hill. Unfortunately, as the speeds got faster, so did the risks, and on the 28th of March 1925 an accident involving a spectator led to the end of the original Kop Hill event and led to the RAC banning all motorsports on public roads.


On the 26th and 27th of September, organisers decided to do a Kop Hill Commemorative Run to bring the sounds and sights and even smells (mmm, Castrol R) back to Kop Hill again. Over 250 cars and bikes were there, ranging in age from the 1900s right up to 1980s and even some very special modern cars.   Read more...

COVERAGE> Japanese Classic Car Show 2009 Pt.1

I know many have been eagerly awaiting our photographic coverage of this year's Japanese Classic Car Show in Irvine, CA. I would have wanted to post up our photos immediately on Saturday night or on Sunday, but it has been an extremely hectic weekend full of photo shoots with out of town cars!

There were TONS of people at JCCS this year. I really need to give props to Koji and Terry Yamaguchi for creating this show and making it better and better and better every single year. Instead of droning on and on about the history of the JCCS show and talking about how many people traveled from all over the USA to bring their cars to this event, let's just dive into the photos of the cars! After all, that's what you came here for!   Read more...