"Meticulously built" Datsun 240Z Safari Rally special. | The Z Club of Great Britain
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"Meticulously built" Datsun 240Z Safari Rally special.

Discussion in 'Rally & race' started by Albrecht, Jun 9, 2021.

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  1. Albrecht

    Albrecht Well-Known Forum User

    Of course, it's nothing of the sort.

    The latest of Larry Chen's Hoonigan AutoFocus love-ins is with collector Randy Jaffe:

    First tooth-itching moment - apart from the title - is when Jaffe describes Nissan's L-series engines as "tractor motors" and "Mercedes designed". Wow.

    The car in question was built by somebody else, then sold on Bring A Trailer (where it was described as a "Accurate replica" [its not] which is where Jaffe purchased it. He has been adding to it (a set of M-Speed's lookalikes of the Nissan works Kobe Seiko 'rally mag' wheels, supplied by Jay Ataka's 'JDM Car Parts' is one example, although Jaffe calls the originals "Seiko" wheels) and he says he will shortly be sending it to Rob Fuller's Z Car Garage for more work.

    First of all, Larry Chen doesn't seem to be able to tell the difference between the '73 Safari winner and the '71 Safari winner, but Randy Jaffe seems less than well informed about the details on the original works cars. He apparently believes that the suspension on the '71 Safari winning car was "stock". Bizarre.

    This car is being hyped up to a ridiculous level. Its a nice enough thing in its own right, but there's nothing "meticulous" about it and as the camera hovers admiringly over the dash on the passenger side we see an interior light from a Huey helicopter (?) and a pair of aircraft type clocks, one of them apparently from a Russian MIG jet (?). Fun, but nothing to do with works rally cars. Do these people believe their own hype?

    Sorry, but getting someone to measure up sticker and signwriting positions is base level stuff. There's no real depth to what's been done here. Rather than pay 'tribute', it misleads.

    Main subject content starts about 20mins in.
  2. uk66fastback

    Z Club Member

    Will have a look later at this. It should be all in the detail but as we know with this and other cars, some people really don’t care, which is sad.
  3. Rob Gaskin

    Rob Gaskin Treasurer Staff Member Moderator

    Watched it all the way through. I liked the general discussion about racing in the 70s. I was rallying in the 70s, my neighbour was racing in the 70s and things were so different to now. That's why I don't get too hung up about shiny cars.

    It is a bit cringing to hear some of the stuff and naivety about the grab-handles etc.

    That car is just a poor copy (not even RHD) and I just think about Kevin Bristow's 'works' car and what a 'gem' that is.

    I enjoyed the video though - I usually do.
  4. Rob Gaskin

    Rob Gaskin Treasurer Staff Member Moderator

    To add that those tyres are a joke! That just reinforces that the car is what I think he described it as, a full scale model.
  5. Albrecht

    Albrecht Well-Known Forum User

    See, this is what happens. THIS is why these cars have never been properly understood and appreciated.

    I made some comments about the claims being made for this car elsewhere and in return I got the same old "who are you to criticise?" and "show us YOUR car then" type comments. It's like it is somehow beyond reproach, and any 'problem' must be in the eye of the non-believer...

    So, I ask, where's the "meticulous" level of detail? Where is the depth of flavour, let alone the level of understanding and sympathy? I just don't see anything much more than paint, stickers and a few add-ons. This car is not even prepared to a 'Natter And Noggin' style regularity rally standard, let alone a Clubman rally car. How is it any kind of 'tribute' to the original '71 Safari winner? I watch the video, listen to the reverence being given to it, and wonder if I'm even on the same planet as these people.

    It's a nice enough car in and of itself. I'm not knocking the car (duh), just the total nonsense being spoken about it. Is it untouchable? It seems to me that many of the people who class themselves as 'collectors' and enthusiasts of these cars are just WAY below the standard expected for other marques.
  6. AD240Z

    Z Club Member

    So its the people - the enthuisasts and colectors that dont meet your exacting standards now ......?

    Or are you really saying that other marques are of a higher standard?
  7. Albrecht

    Albrecht Well-Known Forum User

    Let me take a shot at explaining.

    Randy Jaffe is described as a marque specialist 'collector', and Larry Chen is a well known S30-series Z owner with a high profile through the Hoonigan channel. I'd say they are both seen as 'faces' in the all-dominating USA Z scene and that a lot of people tune in to video presentations like these. These videos have been all over social media in the last few weeks and they get hundreds and thousands of views. And yet - for example - the people involved don't really seem to have much clue about the nature, content and details of one of the Z scene's most iconic symbols: the 1971 East African Safari Rally winning car.

    As I've mentioned, one of the first things that Randy Jaffe says in the above video is that the Nissan L-series engine was a "tractor motor" (huh?) and a "Mercedes design" (not that old trope again), which makes it hard hard for me to take him seriously. So no, he doesn't meet my "exacting standards". Does he meet yours?

    Basically, yes. No use beating around the bush.

    In my experience, some of the highest profile people involved with these cars simply don't know what they are talking about. I can't imagine anyone getting a free pass (let alone fawning encouragement) to do this kind of thing in - for example - the scenes for Porsche, ALFA Romeo, Triumph or any other major marques, the vintage hot rod/Kustom scene, historic rally car scene or even the Austin 7 owners club.

    The standards I'm talking about are not really mine. I would have thought they were the minimum required for fan-to-fan marque and model appreciation in broadcast media. It's not a private chat among friends. They are putting this stuff in front of us.

    Lack of knowledge is not any sort of crime, and we are ALL on a voyage of learning and discovery, but wrong is wrong and I think it needs pointing out if for no other reason than to pay due respect to the people who designed and built the cars in the first place. That is, in my opinion, the best way to pay 'Tribute'...
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