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Saturday, January 25, 2020

Here's the Nissan's legend, the Fairlady Z

Almost all car manufacturers in the world always assume that Northern America is a quite promising car market. And made one of the barometers that serve as benchmarks for the successful conditions of car manufacturer products on the market.
Here's the Nissan's savior legend, the Fairlady Z. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/2Rq3AWh)
When Nissan was still a small company that had a big vision of success in the automotive world. And at the same time in the 1960s where sports cars and muscle cars were booming in the land of Uncle Sam. Finally, almost all automotive manufacturers in the world at that time competed to create products that could meet the American market demands, Nissan was no exception.

As one of the long-standing players in the world of sports cars, Nissan's executives see one great potential opportunity, along with plans to make the latest sports cars. And made America as their main target. Then Nissan collaborated with Yamaha to design a sports car prototype and all the ideas began in early 1960.

In 1964, Nissan apparently did not concur with Yamaha's 2.0 liter DOHC engine and afterward, the sports car project was ceased. On the other hand, Yamaha still continued the prototype which then submitted the proposals to another Japanese automotive manufacturer, Toyota and the results were later manifested in the figure of the Toyota 2000GT which was first launched in 1967.
Datsun 240Z, one of the most successful Japanese sports cars in the world. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/2Rq3AWh)
Yutaka Katayama, President of Nissan USA at the time, realized the importance of a sports car model at an affordable price. At that time Nissan had achieved success through the Fairlady Roadster model which was able to compete with roadster cars made in England and Italy. Then, the production staff wanted to make a Grand Touring (GT) car that was good, innovative, fast, but still relatively inexpensive and could share parts with other Nissan products.

The clay model prototype made in 1966 as a mock-up. This project was undertaken by a design team led directly by Yoshihiko Matsuo, head of the Nissan Sports Car Styling Studio in the time. Then the Nissan Z production process began in October 1969 which was made in two versions, one for the Japanese market and the other for the American.

As all we know, if Fairlady Z has a basic four-cylinder engine design from the Datsun 510, the Japanese version uses a 2.0 liter L20A 6-cylinder engine with 130 hp power and 5-speed transmission. Meanwhile, the 240Z has a 2.4 liter L24 6 cylinder engine powered by 151 hp and a 4-speed transmission system. Furthermore, the latest Z variant, the Z432 (PS30) has a high performance 2.0 liter S20 DOHC 6 cylinder engine from the Nissan Skyline GT-R.
Datsun 240Z sold about 1.6 million units around the globe in five generations. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/2Rq3AWh)
In the time, indeed available a 3-speed automatic transmission option, but consumers do not like it. Then in the legs sector which is one of the superior features possessed by this car model has the four wheels with independent suspension by MacPherson strut in front (taken from Datsun Laurel C30) and Chapman strut for the rear. Front disc brakes and rear drum are also installed as standard devices.

In Japan, the car is always known as the Fairlady to remind Nissan's predecessor sports car. However, Katayama tried hard that cars shipped for the abroad market by using the DATSUN emblem. In the early 1970s, the 240Z model had its 240 emblems on pillar B. There was an air hole under the glass on the hatchback door. While, in mid-1971, the emblem on the B-pillar was replaced with the letter Z, and there were no air holes in the hatchback door.
1970 Datsun 240Z #46 BRE (Brock Racing Enterprises) that won multiple SCCA National Championships (in 1970 and 1971) with John Morton behind the wheel. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/37x4sh0)
The Z Series is one of the best selling sports cars of all time, with 1,685,000 units ever made in five generations. Good performance and known as Nissan's savior in the sports car segment of the American market. And the 240Z also managed to erase the image of a Japanese auto company that was only able to make small cars but also provided inspiration for many tuners in other countries.

The first generation Z series is known as a car that has fast acceleration and steady handling. This car can even rival the era's sports car, call it Jaguar, BMW, or Porsche 911, but with more affordable prices and also has lower maintenance costs. This factor makes the 240Z very popular because it is not burdened with fuel emissions regulations due to equipped with a high compression engine. Even in 1998, Nissan had resold the fully restored 240Z to its official dealers.
Datsun 240Z, often follows various world racing championships, one of which is safari rally.. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/2Rq3AWh)
At present, the 240Z design still looks fresh, even though its age is almost half a century. Moreover, the sexy body curves always imply that this car is able to run fast and has an exotic value like an Alfa Romeo. Yes, it looks more like an Italian-made car, although actually the 240Z was born from a Japanese mass car manufacturer. And until now Nissan also often launches concept cars based on these car models such as the Nissan Idx Concept Series in 2013 and lastly the Nissan 370Z 50th Anniversary Edition in 2019.

The aura of a sports car era of the 1970s is very pronounced with a low sitting position and a dashboard equipped with various indicator panels. The atmosphere of the cabin is far from luxurious because Nissan wants a functional interior style. In other words, the car comes with a simple style, but not cheap.
Nissan Fairlady Z also used by the Japanese police departemenr. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/2Rq3AWh)
Although the sound of its six cylinders is relatively smooth and flat, and the exhaust sound is very similar to a V8 engined car. It seems that's one of the reasons why this car is quite attractive to the Americans. In addition, 240Z engine torque has been available since the engine is in the lower rev, so it is enough to walk in crowded modern urban traffic or be speeding on the highway.

Although the engine design was taken from the Bluebird Datsun 510, the 240Z aluminum cylinder head is equipped with a larger valve, higher compression, and a higher degree camshaft profile. So that when the gas pedal is fully stepped on, then all the components will help the performance of a pair of SU-Hitachi carburetors to flow fuel so that it can be changed to become a capable power when accelerating on the road.
The suspension is pretty steady for highway use, but the rear wheels still feel a little nervous if forced to cornering sharply. This is why 240Z is considered as a highways king. Another advantage of the 240Z is the application of the rack-pinion steering system. So that the control and correction of steering direction can be done quickly and precisely. Because when the faster 240Z goes, the front will feel lighter too.

At that time Nissan had tried to boost the 240Z credibility through the world of motorsport, both in the circuit racing and rally. The car always grabs the leading position in prestigious events, such as the Monte Carlo rally and the Safari rally. But the American market is a part of the 240Z sales success.

It can be said simply that the 240Z provides a complete package that is expected by everyone such as a sexy body, sharp handling, and great performance engine, but with enough comfort, a fairly spacious interior, and the simplicity of technology of Japanese typical products. *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | MOTORIS]
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