Lightning Vol.204 VINTAGE AUTO Z | The Z Club of Great Britain
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Lightning Vol.204 VINTAGE AUTO Z

Discussion in 'Hybrid Z cars' started by Robbie J, May 31, 2019.

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  1. Robbie J

    Robbie J
    Z Club Member

  2. Albrecht

    Albrecht Well-Known Forum User

    I've got a copy here. Lots of nice engineering, but also lots of bad taste that's going to look naff in a couple of years. Quite a feat to get them all in one mag.

    And none of my cars are "standard"...
     
  3. franky

    franky
    Z Club Member

  4. Robbie J

    Robbie J
    Z Club Member

    not sure what "dumbed down US spec cars" are they were all built in the same factory but anyway I'm glad you like them
     
  5. Albrecht

    Albrecht Well-Known Forum User

  6. Robbie J

    Robbie J
    Z Club Member

  7. Albrecht

    Albrecht Well-Known Forum User

    Same tin, different contents.

    If you were at Nissan Shatai's Hiratsuka factory in 1969 I might be impressed. My hunch is that you are talking about a different factory and a different decade.
     
  8. Robbie J

    Robbie J
    Z Club Member

    I was a bit young in 1969 been to 5 plants 2 in Japan. The old prince dealer was the best bit with all the memorabilia, shame I gave most of it away when I sold the GTR

    my contents will be leaner more efficient RB
     
  9. franky

    franky
    Z Club Member

    You own one, I own one, both dumbed down us spec versions.
     
  10. Albrecht

    Albrecht Well-Known Forum User

    Did you visit the Nissan Shatai plant at Hiratsuka?
     
  11. Robbie J

    Robbie J
    Z Club Member

    sorry Tochigi
     
  12. Robbie J

    Robbie J
    Z Club Member

    I'm in the national geographic megafactories nissan gtr, OK its really hard to see me but I'm there
     
  13. Albrecht

    Albrecht Well-Known Forum User

    "Quite impressive factory..."

    These cars were made at the Nissan Shatai plant in Hiratsuka.

    You do actually get the leg-pulling stuff about the 'dumbed down and softened up' North American market models, right? Dumbed down (slower steering rack ratio, wide ratio 4-speed transmissions, 3.3 ratio diffs, no carpets or HRWs in initial sales) and softened up (softer springing and damping, skinny front ARB and no rear ARB) in comparison to all other market models in a like-for-like, year-on-year comparison. Of course, none of that matters if you're prepared to modify (as pretty much all of us are...) but it's worth noting against the "made for the USA" sales flannel that gets taken as gospel truth.

    Imagine that the USA got the R32 GTS whilst the rest of the Export territories got the R32 GTS-T and Japan got the R32 GT-R, but the USA was somehow convinced it got the 'top of the range' model. It's like that.
     
    Woody928 likes this.
  14. Robbie J

    Robbie J
    Z Club Member

    Yes and you know I will be changing all of that... but at the moment I will be driving as is with those wide gaps in the gears so at least I will meet some people at an event and not just be a keyboard warrior... you are casting dispersions on my current drive!
     
  15. Robbie J

    Robbie J
    Z Club Member

    I did lose the bumpers so it will be a little faster
     
  16. uk66fastback

    uk66fastback
    Z Club Member

    I have a standard US car and have no intentions of upgrading anything.

    Sorry for having an inferior car! As if I care!
     
  17. SacCyclone

    SacCyclone
    Z Club Member

    Instead of dumb downed US spec cars, I prefer to think of them as lesser performance spec'ed Zeds.
    I'm sure many of us would have stepped up to the performance oriented bits had they been available to us.
    Just sayin!
     
    Robbie J likes this.
  18. Albrecht

    Albrecht Well-Known Forum User

    I have a 1970 HLS30U too.

    You understand why the 'softened up and dumbed down' point gets made though? It's simply a Newtonian equal and opposite reaction to being told - time and time again - that the Z was "made for the USA" and "an American car, made in Japan" and that 'Nissan didn't care about anything other than the USA market'. The inference is that the USA spec was somehow prime, and - by default therefore - superior.

    I think its clear that the HLS30U was somewhat de-contented and simplified for the North American market (earliest deliveries didn't have carpet or a heated rear window for example, aligned with the Japanese market's 'Z-Std' base model rather than the 'Z-Dx' Luxury spec) and that was part of the pile 'em high and sell 'em cheap mass market philosophy adopted for the territory. Only one mechanical and trim spec available (apart from Auto transmission) and dealers in North America were adding bolt-on extras and charging premiums for them. An extraordinarily low base price (the dealers were making more than Nissan were...) that only made sense if maximum volume could be made and sold. Other manufacturers were doing the same thing at the same time.

    If you were designing and engineering a new car purely for the USA market (and even ignoring Canada) with a clean sheet of paper, would you put the driver - with all his pedals, steering, instrumentation and controls on the same side of the car as the carbs, airbox and filter, inlet manifold, exhaust manifold and distributor? Would you route the exhaust pipe under his right foot, which he can't take off the accelerator pedal if he wants to continue making progress? On which side of the tunnel would you put the handbrake lever? This is some of the stuff most of the "made for the USA" people don't even seem to consider.

    So I think its fair comment to point out the differences. These are facts, after all.

    Aren't they the same thing? If we consider the S30-series Z as a 'Sports' car - as Nissan did - then the relative sportiness of different variants is a real thing, isn't it? If we were talking about Limousines then the best appointed and most luxurious model would be considered more Limousine-like than one with less, right? I think its fair to cite a 5-speed close ratio transmission couple with a 3.9:1 (or 4.44:1) final drive ratio as being more 'sporty' than a wide ratio 4-speed and 3.3:1 combo. Likewise a 'faster' steering rack ratio is more 'sporty' as is firmer springing and damping. Road-tested aero tweaks (stock front and rear spoilers) combined with a dedicated suspension package clearly shows a desire to cater for the more serious driver in the European mainland, but not seen in North America?

    Of course. But the point is that there was no choice on the showroom floor, was there? If you wanted a 5-speed O/D transmission and matched final drive ratio you had to buy the car with the 4-speed and 3.3 and then spend extra buying and fitting the parts yourself. Meanwhile the local Porsche dealer had a whole range of models for buyers to choose from. There was a trade-off for that circa 3.5k USD base price and it was in the content of the product. Good enough for the market of course. Hot cakes.
     
  19. Robbie J

    Robbie J
    Z Club Member

    "Meanwhile the local Porsche dealer had a whole range of models for buyers to choose from. There was a trade-off for that circa 3.5k USD base price and it was in the content of the product. Good enough for the market of course. Hot cakes."
    what's funny is I have one of those porkers with all the options except the carbon brakes and knock off wheels, its just to good for most driving on the road unless doing warp speed, perhaps I'm getting old
     
  20. Albrecht

    Albrecht Well-Known Forum User

    Carbon brakes?

    I'm talking about your options as a new car buyer in the North American market circa 1970. If you went into your local Porsche dealer you could have bought a 914, 914/6, 911 T (Coupe or Targa), 911 E (Coupe or Targa) or 911 S (Coupe or Targa). All those 911s came with option of Manual or Sportomatic. If the dealer was well connected he could probably have got hold of a 911 T/R or 911 R for you. By 1972 you could have bought a 3.0 RS or RSR from him. However, he couldn't sell you a 4-door family car or a little pickup truck...

    Meanwhile over at your local North American 'Datsun' dealership, if you wanted a 'Sports' car it was an HLS30U model 240Z in plain vanilla only.
     
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