Z Automobile Fiesta: The Fairlady Proprietor-Solely Celebration


Final Saturday, I made a decision to take up a sort invitation to take a look at the non-public Z Automobile Fiesta.

The highway to this closed-to-the-public occasion in all probability started earlier this 12 months at Tokyo Auto Salon, once I met Chris Karl, the person behind the Z Automobile Membership Affiliation (ZCCA) and Z Automobile Conference (ZCON) within the USA, and some of the diehard Z otaku I’ve ever met. Chris and I stored in contact, as I expressed my curiosity to finally try ZCON, however the stars didn’t align for 2023.

Speedhunters - Alec Pender - Z Fiesta-2

To not fear although, as a result of there was one other alternative to take a look at a assembly of all issues Z – this one just a little nearer to residence – and Chris got here by way of with an invitation.

Speedhunters - Alec Pender - Z Fiesta-1

In order that’s how Alec and I discovered ourselves down on the Nissan Grandrive proving grounds in Kanagawa at 8:00am final Saturday morning for the 2023 Z Automobile Fiesta.

Speedhunters - Alec Pender - Z Fiesta-4

This is a long-running occasion that was initially held at Nissan’s plant in Utsunomiya, however shifted to Grandrive over a decade again. As talked about it’s an invitation-only affair, the place members from varied Z golf equipment throughout Japan are introduced collectively to satisfy members of Z golf equipment from the US.

Speedhunters - Alec Pender - Z Fiesta-51

Consider it as a cultural change of all issues Z; a spot the place the eagerness for this iconic Nissan mannequin might be shared.

Speedhunters - Alec Pender - Z Fiesta-31

Automobiles had been neatly organized by era, beginning off with the S30 Fairlady Zs and 240Zs. I’ve used each title variations, as the sector was dotted with a mixture of vehicles from Japan in addition to imported, left-hand drive USDM Zs.

Being a Nissan-sanctioned occasion, I used to be pleased to see modified vehicles included. There was a caveat to this: any modified Z wanted to be highway registered, couldn’t be leaking oil, and needed to have a catalyst (catalytic converter) fitted. In case you’re questioning how the organizers managed this, on entry each automobile needed to drive up on ramps over mirrors so a visible under-body test might happen.

Speedhunters - Alec Pender - Z Fiesta-38

For me, the S30 has been, and can in all probability all the time be, the daddy of the JDM tuning automobile. I’m all the time impressed by simply what number of methods the S30 Z might be modified.

Speedhunters - Alec Pender - Z Fiesta-60

The automobile’s easy, timeless design completely emphasizes all modifying types.

Speedhunters - Alec Pender - Z Fiesta-46

This 240Z ticked all of the packing containers with a clear pearl white exterior and a properly executed L-series with outsized carbs underneath the hood.

Speedhunters - Alec Pender - Z Fiesta-42

Inside, low-back Bride Histrix seats are fitted.

Speedhunters - Alec Pender - Z Fiesta-40

Stacked tail pipes function out again, with basic SSR Longchamp XR4 wheels in any respect 4 corners to complete issues off.

Speedhunters - Alec Pender - Z Fiesta-44

No Z meet in Japan can be full with no uncommon 432 variant, and the 2023 Z Automobile Fiesta had two of them. The orange automobile above…

Speedhunters - Alec Pender - Z Fiesta-35

…and this superbly primary white instance.

Speedhunters - Alec Pender - Z Fiesta-36

The 432 was a restricted run Fairlady Z created to satisfy homologation necessities for Japanese endurance racing in 1969. What makes the mannequin particular is that it got here factory-fitted with the famed S20 2.0L DOHC engine from the C10 Skyline GT-R.

Speedhunters - Alec Pender - Z Fiesta-34

This was a real race-bred engine that Nissan deemed a more sensible choice for motorsport over the extra production-oriented single cam L24 that got here fitted within the common Fairlady Z. The ‘432’ naming comes from the S20’s configuration – 4-valves per cylinder, 3 carburetors and a couple of camshafts. Regardless of having 400cc much less capability than the L24, it developed 30hp extra.

The 432 Z had a bunch of different attention-grabbing little touches, like thinner metal and glass and magnesium wheels. The craziest factor is it value double the worth of a daily Z again within the day, and now these items aren’t too removed from the ¥100 million mark (roughly US$680,000 at present), which is simply wild.

Speedhunters - Alec Pender - Z Fiesta-47

Each Z in attendance had a likelihood to take a fast blast across the observe, utilizing one half of the oval course and the twisty part in the back of the compound.

Speedhunters - Alec Pender - Z Fiesta-30

The generations continued…

Speedhunters - Alec Pender - Z Fiesta-23

There have been a pleasant choice of Z31s…

Speedhunters - Alec Pender - Z Fiesta-60-2

…together with a number of fiftieth Anniversary fashions that all the time look so rattling good. However in the end it was the Z32s that actually stole the present.

Speedhunters - Alec Pender - Z Fiesta-11

It was so cool seeing Mizota-san, the ex-owner of Revolfe, out together with his legendary 330km/h-capable, 650hp Z32 Mid Evening membership avenue racer.

Speedhunters - Alec Pender - Z Fiesta-13

Mizota-san bought the automobile new in 1990, and hasn’t stopped modifying it during the last 30+years. Now it’s up on the market, however solely to the correct particular person; somebody that sees it for the piece of Wangan racing historical past it’s, fairly than simply one other modified 300ZX.

The Revolfe S.A. Z was not alone…

Speedhunters - Alec Pender - Z Fiesta-17
Speedhunters - Alec Pender - Z Fiesta-25

It was joined by the Abflug Z32, a construct that Revolfe collaborated on again within the day. This was a full redesign and widening of the bottom Z32 into one thing oh-so-’90s. One of the simplest ways to summarize it’s to make use of the slogan on the hood: ‘Revolfe SPL Conclusion’.

Speedhunters - Alec Pender - Z Fiesta-21

It was so cool to see such necessary items of JDM tuning tradition at an occasion like this.

Very similar to the S30, the Z32 has all the time captured the minds of fanatics, serving to them specific their very own distinctive methods of automobile modification.

Speedhunters - Alec Pender - Z Fiesta-9

Previous the sea of Z33s and Z34s…

Speedhunters - Alec Pender - Z Fiesta-5

…the RZ34 ended the row lineup.

Speedhunters - Alec Pender - Z Fiesta-6

Having spent a while with the new-gen Z – which after all isn’t that new-gen per se – I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s primarily a inventive execution of previous assembly a new-ish engine. However we simply should be grateful that this factor really exists. Everyone knows simply how a lot Nissan struggles as of late at getting sports activities vehicles on the market. The final time it tried making a GT-R was 16 years in the past.

The RZ34’s roots might been within the 2002 Z33 350Z, however hey, beggars can’t be choosers. It’s now the most effective execution of that chassis and it lastly has a turbocharged engine so we are able to have actual enjoyable taking part in round with it.

Speedhunters - Alec Pender - Z Fiesta-59

Talking of which, Nissan had a bunch of Nismo Zs on the occasion to demo and present individuals how a lot sharper it’s than the usual mannequin.

Speedhunters - Alec Pender - Z Fiesta-52
Speedhunters - Alec Pender - Z Fiesta-58

Other than the redesigned exterior, the horsepower ‘achieve’ is a mere 20hp, however the automobile has been fine-tuned on the dealing with facet of issues. In Japan, the Nismo Z retails for ¥9.2 million (roughly US$62,500 in the present day), which is one hefty worth hike in case you take into account the bottom handbook Nissan Z prices ¥5.4 million (US$36,750). I feel I must borrow one to seek out out precisely why it value 40% extra.

Speedhunters - Alec Pender - Z Fiesta-57

My first time on the Z Automobile Fiesta was a memorable one. Now, hopefully I could make it out to ZCON quickly and see how they have fun the Nissan Z stateside.

Dino Dalle Carbonare
Instagram: dino_dalle_carbonare

Images by Alec Pender
Instagram: noplansco


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *