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v12horse last won the day on August 31 2017

v12horse had the most liked content!

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About v12horse

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    Work in progress

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    Burlingame, Ca


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My Z Cars

  • Zcars Owned
  • About My Cars
    1974 260z (RLS30)

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  1. 1972 240Z Rebuild

    It sure looks like you're having a lot of fun with your Z. I have enjoyed reading about your progress as well as the show and track day. Keep it all up!😀 Your car has the look too.👍 Ben
  2. 260Z dream car

    Often lately I wonder why I am doing all of this with a car? I am at the point of no return and although I am really excited about the outcome I am scared. I will not get into my fears, but here are a few updated photos. Esmit, your post still pulls at my heartstrings. The cars are cool, but our kids... I kind of just look at the cars as adventure mobiles, communication builders, and ways to keep us away from trouble. I sent my dad a picture of the car on the movable dolly and he had a great response. "It looks like it would be hard to drive." He has a dry sense of humor. On the driver's side front wheel well there was extensive rust that I had known about. The mechanic was thinking of tackling this when the car gets painted(someday), but I am so glad we got it repaired now and he did an amazing job. It was from a poor repair that was done after an accident that occurred in the late 1970's according to my records! p.s. I mentioned in an earlier post about having more than one car. I want to correct that statement for the record as I only desire my 260z; nothing else and nothing more. Well, I have to keep my Rav4 too. Ben
  3. Two Dads, a 260Z, and the Open Road

    Thanks for all the compliments with my son. He is totally into his own thing. I am not sure how kids end up being attracted to big trucks, but he is. He loves watching videos of trucks in action working. I have learned all the different vehicles of a construction site with him and its a lot of fun. I didn't even tell everyone how we met. My daughter was sleeping in my lap while I was submitting a post on another thread and Leon's infant was on his lap and he was posting too. I literally put the kids in the stroller (once they woke up), walked around the corner, and there was Leon. Classic Z Car just made the world a bit smaller! Thanks Mike. Thanks for the compliments on the writing too. I am trying to somehow elevate my car writing into stories. I get a lot of inspiration from automotive writers and Peter Egan is my favorite. I have been reading his column since I was a kid. Leon, I'll see you in the hood. Ben
  4. I look at watches and cars as instruments. They respectively tell the time and get us from place to place. Today I was to meet Leon a neighbor of mine with an example of Nissan’s first generation Zcar. The air in my bedroom was still and the sun was just beginning to peak through the curtains as I scanned my dresser for an appropriate watch to wear; an odd yet rewarding ritual I do upon waking up every day. I was meeting someone new and we were to go on an adventure so I strapped the old Japanese dive watch to my wrist. It is Seiko’s first dive watch and the concept was for it to go to the ocean’s darkest depths. While there the wearer could explore knowing how much time had elapsed beneath the water’s surface. This was crucial for the early scuba divers to calculate how much time they had before their oxygen tank went dry. In the watch world a diver is known as a ‘tool’ watch. I literally just met Leon a neighbor of mine yesterday and we would be going out for a short drive in his dark green 260Z. The bond between car people forms quickly as if we are migrants from the same foreign country and we are some of the only ones around that speak the same language. He is a new father with a two week old son. My children are 2.5 years old and 7 months, but it has been such a blur. I never wanted the time to go so fast, but like the saying goes ‘time flies when you’re having fun.’ Raising a family is both the best thing in the world as well as being an exercise in torture. Its a good thing babies are cute. With all kidding aside I am a better person than I was before. I have learned tolerance and my ‘me’ time is no longer taken for granted. This time with Leon and the Z would be a bit of ‘me’ time for the both of us young dad’s. The suburban roads were quiet as the town was still asleep and before I could see the beautiful sheet metal of the 260Z I heard it. It was the sweet sound of an L28 with a set of 45mm Weber DCOE carburetors. In no time at all the car was around the corner and before me. I had told myself that I was going to get some photos of it in motion, but there was no point. I was mesmerized by the car and I was not about to experience this Z for the first time through a viewfinder. I had to see the car through the lens of my own eyes. The car was gorgeous and I stood in the road like a deer staring at its killer. Before Leon could cutoff the engine, I had opened the passenger door and hopped in. The comforts inside a Z are so welcoming and something I was so familiar with. Outside of the thick gripped steering wheel the interior was perfectly original. I had figured all of this out after a few seconds as Leon and I had already said hello and were onto deciding where we were headed. It was a Sunday morning and with my wife being a pharmacist she would be at work soon. I couldn’t find a sitter in time so we had exactly 45 minutes. “Crystal Springs” I recommended. This is a short network of canyon roads close to where we live that would be fun to traverse. We cruised on the big boulevard that is El Camino Real heading towards the hills. The car was compliant and surprisingly quiet; civilized if you will. I knew only a bit about Leon’s background and that was that he is familiar with wrenching in a garage as well as being a world class driver on the track. I came to find out that his 260Z reflected his skills as the car was dialed. It was relatively original in appearance, but at its core it was a ‘tool’ being functional. We got to the canyon and Leon ‘opened the car up’ so to speak. I imagined the butterflies of the venturis’ flapping, but oddly butterflies were not growing inside of me. He was pushing the car and it handled so neutrally that I was at complete ease. I trusted him and the car. The vision of my car under construction at the Z Car Garage came into view and I only hope that it shares a bit of this racing spirit. We arrived at a parking lot at the top of Skyline and I had planned that I would turn down the opportunity to drive, but my soul wasn’t about to say no. I slid into the driver’s seat and pushed the shifter up and forward releasing the clutch and gently easing into the gas pedal. The engine made noise, but there was no movement. I must have been in third. “The car has a 10lb flywheel and it engages when the clutch is pulled up super high.” Leon said. I pulled away not making a smooth transition from stopped to rolling, but this car didn’t like to be stopped. It was a mover. We made our way down the canyon and the throttle was on. There was definitely a learning curve to the setup of the car, but I liked that because the few (emphasize few) times that I was smooth it was very rewarding. With time I would become attune to the clutch. This bit of challenge made the car alluring in a adventurous way. It had the appearance of an original, but the heart of a thoroughbred. Leon’s influence from the track gave it a dash of magic while still being civilized enough to still be comfortable. It was the perfect balance of performance and everyday usability. I had forgot about anything that wasn’t keeping me on the road. Z’s do this as they are consuming cars to drive. They are so analog and they require focus and the right inputs from the driver. It is this simplicity and balance that brings people to the early Zcar’s and keeps them there. There are no electronic aides, but there’s no need as they are predictable. Our time was just about up so I drove us to his place so we could walk around the car and examine it from the outside. Leon’s 260Z is painted in a beautiful British Racing Green. It has such a nice sheen that it still looks wet. Much of the excellent handling characteristics are in due part to the wheel and the tire selection as it sits nicely on 16” Panasports. The car even has European taillights with contrasting amber turn signals only the obsessive notice. The emblems are NOS and the car really was well built preserving so much of an original Zcar while being uniquely Leon’s car. We could have talked for hours, but my time was up. We said our goodbyes and we both went to care for our family’s. This morning I started out trying to decide on a wristwatch to wear and the one I chose could not have been more fitting. The car was a ‘tool’ and it was not the track scalpel that some might think, but rather a grin machine. It did all the right things and made all the right noises without being tame or being a hair-raising racer. Thank you so much Leon for the ride.
  5. VINTAGE Z auction in JAPAN

    I remember that safari gold car in Nostalgic Hero. He had modified it in some ways yet still maintaining a very "original" vibe. The twin pipe exhaust is what I loved the most. How was the auction Kats? That red car with the Monte bumper and the Works rally wheels is divine. Ben
  6. 260Z dream car

    Leon, Hi neighbor. You have a pm. Ben
  7. Datsun-240z Vs Fairlady-z432

    Those Works Rally air cleaner assays are amazing. I thought of a making a set someday for another car. You have originals and NOS at that! Keep up the awesome thread Kats. This is what dreams are made of. Your cars are phenomenal and I have only seen pictures of the museum your cars are at in the pages of Nostalgic Hero. Sincerely, Ben
  8. 260Z dream car

    Happy New Year! The car is making progress! I spoke with the lead mechanic recently and we went over the parts to be cad plated, silver plated, and powder-coated. I am really going for a factory finish, but with hidden modifications. Even looking at the engine bay I plan for it to be OEM in appearance. One of the latest developments is the installation of the Datsun Competition bucket seat. This seat has gone from closet to closet in the various dorm rooms, houses and apartments I have lived in over the past 15 years. I was always hesitant to install the seat due to my interior being cream and the seat being black, but I had to put my style eye aside and put where it belongs. The car is literally a shell with an interior at the moment as there is no suspension or drive train installed. We have figured out the big pieces to the car, but the brakes are a challenge with the 14" wheels. If I was willing to go with a 15" wheel a larger set of brakes would fit with no problem, but I am not willing to do that as I love the look of the small wheels and the tall sidewalls. It goes along with the overall look I am going for; original 260 meets Works Monte Carlo Rally car. The mechanic was thinking of a custom set of Stoptech 4 piston calipers, but the wheels do not have enough clearance. He is going to try a very thin spacer and see if that frees up enough room, but if it doesn't we're back to square one. I stress the need for better brakes because I have always had a problem with the braking power of the car. I was not sure why as everyone raves about the original units working so well. The calipers are red and I always thought they were the original units that a previous owner had repainted, but when I got out the thick manila envelope of records sometime in the late 1970's they were swapped for a set of Midas calipers! My dream was to put MK63 calipers on, but my mechanic has already recommended against this. I cannot imagine why as they were used on the factory race cars, but I am also not about to tell my mechanic to do something he doesn't want to do. Do any of you guys have any recommendations for an excellent set of brakes that will fit 14" wheels? I would prefer not to have to change the master cylinder if possible. I have been without the car for nearly 8 months and I really miss driving it. At the same time I am not sure where the time is going to come for me to drive it the way I imagine. I have a 2.5 year old son, a 7 month old daughter (who is sleeping on my lap as I write this) and a wife that all keep me very busy. I will find the time to at least stretch the car's legs once a week presumably early in the morning or late at night. I love the cool weather and the quiet roads during these hours. This entire journey with mechanically restoring a car is a fun one. I have the collector instinct and if money, time, and space permitted I would have multiple cars. However, all my excess resources are going to this car and part of me hopes that in some way it will always be a project. I love that project approach in that dreams are not yet realized. Thus, the magic of the mind is still there. This is presumably why people go on to different cars once one project is over. However, I am not yet the builder. I am the driver and plans for driving are infinite; autocross, a cross country trip, track days, coffee shop runs, and the list goes on. In my lifetime I would love to visit Kenya and touch the dirt that was kicked up by the famous Works Rally Z's of the early 70's, maybe even participate in the Safari classic or the Peking to Paris rally. This is what makes it all fun for me as there is never an end to the imagination. I am 35 years old and still don't feel that I understand the Z car. I ultimately want to learn Japanese, travel to the Land of the Rising Sun, and learn more. Unfortunately, a lot of the people that brought the Z to where it is today from design to motorsport are no longer with us. The car is turning 50 soon and the people that were with it from the beginning are in their 70's, 80's, and beyond if still around. This is a window in time in which a good number of those people are still alive. Who am I kidding as I have a family and a business to run. All these things are at my fingertips, but no matter how much I look at Japanese magazines or browse the internet it is not enough. Time is both on my side and not. I look forward to giving updates with the car and ultimately reporting on the driving experience. Sincerely, Ben
  9. 260Z dream car

    Esmit, it looks like you are having a lot of fun with those boys! I am right there with you having an almost 2.5 year old son and a 4 month old daughter. The journey is the destination. It took me a long time to figure that out and at times I still have to remind myself of how much fun it is to be in the midst of a project. One day I do intend to have a garage stocked with an arsenal of tools . Then I can wrench on those Z's the way you are doing so marvelously. JSM, I really hope that the 50th Z Convention will be in 2020, but I have a feeling they will do it sooner in 2019. My son will be a bit over 5 in the summer of 2020 and possibly ready for such a big trip, but at a bit over 4 it might be tougher. Only time will tell. Sincerely, Ben
  10. 260Z dream car

    I have been told by Rob at the Z Car Garage that him and his team are working like "gangbusters" on my car. Check out that Nissan blue engine block! I am so excited to get the old girl back on the road. I am planning for an early morning drive through the forests of Woodside once it is done. It looks like this will be sometime in the fall so all you enthusiasts in the SF Bay Area keep your eyes open and make a mental note for a sunrise drive on a weekend soon. Z's are not required, but bring an appetite for food and conversation as we will be talking cars, eating breakfast at Alice's in Woodside at the fabled four corners, and the coffee will be flowing. The roads are divine for some spirited and safe driving. I am not sure how well I can plan a drive like this, but I figure with the internet we can do anything! All the best, Ben
  11. 260Z dream car

    Hello everyone and thank you for the positive feedback. I will keep you posted on the progress. I haven't heard anything new from my mechanic, but I am not one for updates and I don't want to interfere. He has free reign. It's hard for me to let go as I am not one to just trust anyone with my pride and joy, but he is a person I truly believe that treats other people's cars as his own. Upon meeting Rob I quickly understood that he gives everyone special treatment. I do hope that my son and daughter get into the hobby of cars somehow or some way as it is so dynamic as we all know. Even if they enjoyed cars a bit it would be fun. There is an infinite number of lessons to learn from a car; critical thinking, patience, perseverance, discovery, and escape among other things. My kids have attended a ton of car shows and my son has gone to the Monterey Historics two years in a row. I changed his diaper at the world famous corkscrew!!! As a dad I have no shame. I am also lathering them in sunscreen and the ear protection is on at all times. I am not trying to create 'car-kids', but I am living my life and until they start telling me where to go and what to do I am going to continue educating them on cars. On a funny-note, we were at the Hillsborough Concours and a row of Ferrari's were in the distance and my 2 year old son turned to me and said, 'let's go check out that Datsun.' I was a proud papa. Maybe a Daytona to a toddler looks like a Z. I will never know. Here is my son at the Historics this year with our own Ron Carter's 2000 roadster. Sincerely, Ben
  12. 260Z dream car

    This writing is not as technical as the majority of the content posted on forums. This is a personal account of my 260Z in a nutshell upto this point. If it were not for members of this forum my car would not be where it is today. Thus, I am very thankful. I hope that some of you get a laugh or some inspiration out of this story. You can also be critical of me as I am trying to hone my writing. Sometimes I just do not know what I am doing. I am spending a lot of money on my 260Z and there is no justifiable reason. Its money I have that I should be saving for the future or for my family, but strangely the car has called. The Z started as my college car 14 years ago and I have held onto it. I drove it regularly during that time going from school to home a hundred miles away, to the coffee shop where I studied, and to where ever I desired. It was the freedom of having a car; an American dream. I then went on to dental school and the largely original 260Z went to my best friend Rich’s backyard where it sat in the baking sun. My intent was to visit the car, cover it, or drive it. Dental school was way too demanding and the car was put to the back of my mind. Once I moved off campus a year later my dad and I went to Rich’s house. The 260Z had been my father’s car and he had loaned it to me as I needed my own transportation and he was at his wits end. The Z had broken down on him too many times. But when my father and I saw the car after that year of being in the open, tears welled up in his eyes. It had cobwebs, corrosion on the chrome and the paint was faded. That was all he saw, but all I saw was my car and its potential. It had not fared well, but there was nothing I could have done. My father would have preferred to get rid of it right then and there to start anew with some other car. I kept it and over the course of nearly ten years the car was used on and off and eventually it sat in a carport dormant and neglected once again. Layers of dust caked on its surface as I was too busy for the car. The 260Z was an eyesore and even more, a stab to my car enthusiast’s heart. I could not do anything with it and nor was I ready. It was blocked from my mind and the shear mention of the car from a family member put me in panic-mode. Sports cars had failed me in some way. I worked for a dentist that put himself before his patients doing too much work and at a sub-par level to fund his car hobby. I needed a break from having been obsessed with cars for so long. I also lived two miles from work so I rode my bicycle. My wife and I then had a newborn son and I was now the one at my wits end with the car. It was time to sell. I did all the necessary things to ready the car for the new owner; tires, fluids, new battery and a thorough cleaning. I still remember the day I started it up for the first time and drove it around the block. The wiggle needed to unlock the door, the finesse of the throttle, and the quirkiness of the four speed all for smooth driving. There was an understanding of this car I still possessed as though it had been on the road all along. What was happening? I was reacquainting myself with the Z from a better place in life. My wife said she had a buyer. Her father. Why? I thought. For his grandson. My son!!! I was crying. It would be at my in-laws in their backyard under a tarp. There was no way that I was going to let the little car be forgotten again. A new chapter was opened and the future was uncertain. I got reacquainted with cars and the car scene I had missed for so long. Life got in the way, but now I had a bit of time. Over the course of a year and a half I drove the car, made improvements and realized that this was my car. I have had the pleasure of driving many sports cars, but the 260Z fit me better than the rest. If I could describe why that is I would. Years of this car’s existence has been in dormancy. Prior to my father and me owning the car it sat in a garage in Wisconsin for seventeen years. My dad resurrected the car respraying it in the original color, new bumpers, new vinyl seat covers, and a set of 72’ SU carburetors. The history of the car is now changing and there is no turning back. As a college student I searched the internet and Japanese car magazines to come up with my idea of the ultimate Z. That idea was always there and now with the help of a highly skilled mechanic it is becoming a reality. I only wish I was the one doing the restoration, but with a carport, few tools, and no time outside of work and family I have placed this project in the hands of Rob Fuller at the Zcar Garage. My vision is to build the 260Z into something largely original down to the colors and the appearance of the engine bay. Underneath will lurk a beast. The engine will be a 3.0 liter built by Rebello, TechnoToy coil overs, a Fujitsubo Legalis R exhaust, and a Datsun competition interior (driver's bucket seat, steering wheel, and shift knob). Much of the inspiration of my car is from a silver 72’ Fairlady Z in Japan owned by Dr. Suzuki. Exteriorly the only modifications are the ride height, Watanabe wheels, factory headlight covers, and the exhaust. Earlier I mentioned that I don’t know what I am doing and why I am placing so much effort and money into this car, but it has everything to do with my lifelong passion for sports cars. Since the time I can remember I have been afflicted with the car-bug. What is it that excites car enthusiasts? The sound, the speed, motorsport, the sleek lines of a sport cars? All of that I am not sure, but the persona of me the driver and the driving experience is what attracts me most. I have a passion for nearly all cars and to say I am a Zcar guy would be wrong. This Z encapsulates all cars in some unexplainable way and I can’t wait to share my passion when its finished. This writing has been long in the making and my story of the car will continue. My goal is to put as many miles on the 260Z as I possibly can. I ultimately want to do a cross country road trip with my son for the 50th anniversary of the Z. Thank you all for the knowledge and inspiration and I will keep you posted on my car’s progress. Sincerely, Ben inkbendental@gmail.com
  13. Hello Alan, Thanks again for sending me to Kameari Engine Works. I corresponded with Shigeo Mori and he was a pleasure to work with. I only wish I could speak and read Japanese and I have not yet written this quest off, but I need a plan... The headrest arrived today and the bucket seat will be installed in the next few months. Slowly my car is coming together and it is so exciting. With the headrest came a beautiful Kameari catalog. There is a lot for me to learn about the history of Kameari and I told Mori that I plan to visit him and his shop one day. Thanks again. Sincerely, Ben
  14. Hello Alan, Thank you for the tip on Kameari. I have an email out to them on the headrest. Thanks for the ID on my headrests. If you know anyone that needs a set they are sitting dormant. Sincerely, Ben
  15. v12horse