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NickD
NickD UberDork
11/6/18 5:28 p.m.

That was what this Z32 Fairlady Z did for me.

I was at Touge Fest 2018 and saw this Z32 and it completely changed how I look at Z32s. To me, they had always been overweight, overly complicated and underpowered. Then I came across this johnnie sitting up at the scenic overlook and talked to the owner and it has me considering looking at 300ZXs

So, he went to Japan for work and found this car, built by a Japanese gentleman in his 40s for some real-life Wangan Midnight high-speed highway blasts, fell in love with it and imported it home. The car has remained stylistically unchanged, with crazy spaced-out rear overfenders, full fiberglass widebody front end, anime stickers everywhere and 18x11/18x13 3-piece Work Meisters. The new owner put together a 500hp VG30 for it, using Pulsar GTI-R turbos and some other old school components.

I get that people may not care for the crazy overfenders, or the stickers everywhere, or the scruffy paint and cracking sideskirts, or the 5" cannon out the back, or that it's one of those cars that isn't really great at anything.  But for me, it all just came together and had this wild presence. I now have a newfound appreciation for Z32s. I'd be lying if I said I hadn't scoped Craigslist to see if there are any nearby. Except maybe I'd go with an LS or JZ engine instead.

irish44j
irish44j UltimaDork
11/6/18 5:47 p.m.

Funny, I've always liked the z32 in a stockish-form as a nicely understated performance car. I've always wanted one but never really had a reason or rationale to buy one, and now not sure I'd want one due to age, since they fall past the "janky but easy to work on" 80s stuff and into the "too complicated and too crowded engine bay, don't want to work on it."

I'd say my reaction to all the stuff done to this one is the opposite of yours (I literally don't like a single thing he's done to it outside of the reported engine), but each to his own I guess. It's a nice story at least.

Also, driving a RHD car in the US suuuuckkks....(and vice-versa in RHD countries)

Stefan
Stefan GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
11/6/18 5:49 p.m.

After all of the work done for those cars in IMSA and other race series and they go with those styling options?

To each their own, but not my cup of tea.  I'm glad they are enjoying it though, which is the important part of it all.

STM317
STM317 SuperDork
11/6/18 5:56 p.m.

Any better pics of the Meisters?

NickD
NickD UberDork
11/6/18 6:04 p.m.

In reply to STM317 :

Nope, I goofed on that. It was cold and rainy and I was busy talking with the owner, who was a super nice guy. They had purple spokes with chrome barrels and some absurdly low offset. The new owner was saying he was going to resize them down to 18x9.5s and 18x11s, just so he didn't have to run stretched tires

NickD
NickD UberDork
11/6/18 6:06 p.m.
irish44j said:

Also, driving a RHD car in the US suuuuckkks....(and vice-versa in RHD countries)

Yeah, whenever I see the people converting their Hondas or whatnot to RHD, I always think "Yup, have fun with that." There are cars that I would own in spite of being RHD, but I would never own a car because it was RHD

vwcorvette
vwcorvette GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
11/6/18 6:06 p.m.

I like them. They appeared while I was in college. I still remember the Road and Track with them and this new thing called a miata on the cover. Then one of the art professors got one from her husband as a gift and parked it right out side the window of the art studio on campus. My art instructor, a car nut herself,  had to keep telling me to stop staring out the window. It was yellow. 

stuart in mn
stuart in mn UltimaDork
11/6/18 6:16 p.m.
NickD said:

I get that people may not care for the crazy overfenders, or the stickers everywhere, or the scruffy paint and cracking sideskirts, or the 5" cannon out the back,

I don't mind those things, but the super wide wheels with not-wide-enough tires does bug me.  smiley

NickD
NickD UberDork
11/6/18 6:19 p.m.
stuart in mn said:
NickD said:

I get that people may not care for the crazy overfenders, or the stickers everywhere, or the scruffy paint and cracking sideskirts, or the 5" cannon out the back,

I don't mind those things, but the super wide wheels with not-wide-enough tires does bug me.  smiley

Like I said earlier, he plans to resize the wheels so that A) The fronts don't crash into the fiberglass fenders on big potholes and trash them and B) he doesn't have to run stretched tires in the rear. That being said, I think a lot of people saw this thing and thought it was all style and no substance, but he was hurting feelings up there on the roads.

CyberEric
CyberEric HalfDork
11/6/18 7:45 p.m.

A Z32 was the first fast car I rode in back in the early 90s, so I have soft spot for them, but I don’t th No I’ll ever own one for the reasons noted above. Too heavy and complicated and not enough performance to be worth it. I still think they look good though.

wheelsmithy
wheelsmithy GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
11/6/18 7:53 p.m.

I remember seeing  a Z32 in a mall in the 90's. My thought was "How can a CREAM car look so badass?" The keys were in the glovebox, and I dreamed of setting it free from its consumer shackles.

 

Will
Will UltraDork
11/6/18 8:08 p.m.

Heitkotter's Z32 was more my style.

ProDarwin
ProDarwin PowerDork
11/6/18 8:09 p.m.

That particular one doesn't do it for me, but I love me some Z32.  I had a mint CRP Slicktop and it was by far the best interior of any car I've ever owned, with the possible exception of no tilt wheel.  (Cloth manual seats).

I still regret selling that car

 

Edit, yes Heitkotter's is an excellent execution.  I used to read his for sale ad like every couple days and wonder if I should just pull the trigger on it.

codrus
codrus GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
11/6/18 10:45 p.m.
NickD said:
irish44j said:

Also, driving a RHD car in the US suuuuckkks....(and vice-versa in RHD countries)

Yeah, whenever I see the people converting their Hondas or whatnot to RHD, I always think "Yup, have fun with that." There are cars that I would own in spite of being RHD, but I would never own a car because it was RHD

 

Yeah, there's only one car I'd put up with RHD for, and it's neither a Honda nor a Nissan.  (Spirit R).

 

Grizz
Grizz UberDork
11/6/18 11:19 p.m.

I dig it.

I always love seeing a modified car that's actually lived in though instead of looking like it only sees the road long enough to get to the show.

Stefan
Stefan GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
11/7/18 1:08 a.m.

I think for me it was Keith Tanner’s Targa Miata.

I already had respect for the Miata, but it seemed like it was something fun, but not too serious.  Keith’s Miata changed my mind, especially watching video of how sure footed it was, even after the V8 swap, made me a believer.

The lack of huge flares or large changes in the external styling of the car was the most surprising thing for me.  It just sort of worked thanks to a lot of tuning, tweaking and fettling under the skin.

buzzboy
buzzboy Reader
11/7/18 6:39 a.m.

I never looked twice at the Jaguar XJ. Then I met and drove this one. I've always loved "dancing with fat chicks" on the track and this was like the girl who's a bit thick but stronger than you. A rugby girl maybe? I don't know where I'm going with this. Very smooth power output, compliant but not overly soft springs, surprisingly good brakes, lovely z32 nissan 5 speed. After spending most of my time racing a classic Benz this was a perfect way to keep that feel but go a bit faster.

wspohn
wspohn Dork
11/7/18 12:53 p.m.
irish44j said:

Also, driving a RHD car in the US suuuuckkks....(and vice-versa in RHD countries)

I drove a British car over here for many years, with right hand drive. It was powered by a tuned big block Chrysler V8 and so passing was definitely the rule of the day, but pulling out to pass with the steering wheel on the wrong side was a problem.  I learned to gauge my wife's tone - she'd say it wasn't safe even if the oncoming car she was was a mile off, but her tone varied depending on how close a car was and I learned to pull out at anything short of a full scream, as it was usually safe to pass.  Not the best way to go, but it worked. 

I've also driven RHD cars in Britain without any problem; the only time I had to stop and think was entering a roundabout.

SVreX
SVreX MegaDork
11/7/18 1:00 p.m.

penultimeta
penultimeta HalfDork
11/7/18 3:24 p.m.

I actually love the z32. It's kinda like a fatter Miata to me in that they are driver's cars that are more than the sum of their parts.  A buddy of mine had a N/A '93 with mildly worked suspension in high school. That thing was  a blast to drive.  I think the N/A just happens to get overshadowed by the TT. The only thing that keeps me from owning one right now is that-oh-god-so-tiny-engine-bay. 

Patrick
Patrick MegaDork
11/7/18 3:30 p.m.

Mumpkin

SVreX
SVreX MegaDork
11/7/18 4:11 p.m.

In reply to Patrick :

Wow. I’m honored. 

We should talk. 

Patrick
Patrick MegaDork
11/7/18 5:15 p.m.
SVreX said:

In reply to Patrick :

Wow. I’m honored. 

We should talk. 

Literally hated miatas until i saw that car.  

DrBoost
DrBoost MegaDork
11/7/18 8:36 p.m.

Looks like it was attacked by Pep boyz. They are beautiful stock though. 

CJ
CJ GRM+ Memberand Reader
11/7/18 9:13 p.m.

This.  Saw the first one when I was in high school.  Sir William Lyons got it exactly right.

I had never really thought of a car as art.

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