Well, my entry into the Z world kind of came by lucky accident I guess you could say. Back in 2002 I started yearning to have a 'fun' car again. Something that I could play around with and not have to rely on as my daily driver.
A bit of history on the cars I've owned. In the past I have a few 'fun' cars. I've been the owner of such cars, to name just a few, as a pristine 1965 Pontiac Grand Prix with 23,000 miles in 1986, a 1976 Camaro LT (a 4-speed car sold in California), a 1976 Firebird Formula 350, a couple of Chevy Vegas (one of which had a Hooker V8 conversion. I rolled that one... bias ply tires up front and radials in the back on a front-heavy car ain't so good), and a trio of 1969 Firebirds. God as my witness one of my '69 Firebirds was TA. In 1977, still in High School, I traded my 1969 OHC L6 Firebird for the TA at Steve's Car Lot in Reno. I can still remember drooling over the artists drawings of the TA in the Firebird brochure in 1976 when my Mom bought her Firebird Formula. In fact, I bought the OHC L6 Firebird from the salesman that sold her her Firebird. Anyway, after a Clifford Research header install and a factory Quadra-Jet swap on the OHC Firebird, I saw the TA... Pearl white paint with blue stripes... 50s in the back, Gabriel High-Jackers, and a Chevy 350 under the hood.... and had to have it. So like a dork, I traded my OHC Firebird and started the life-long tradition of car payments.
OK, so those cars are long gone. I could still kick myself in the a$$ for getting rid of the Grand Prix, the TA and '69 Firebird 400 I had to restore the TA with. Oh well, life goes on. So back to 2002. I'm driving a VW Jetta, my wife has a Isuzu Rodeo.... and we have a perfectly good, pristine 1989 Toyota Turbo Supra in the garage to play with. And of course I get the itch to play around with another woman... of the 4-wheel variety. I start eyeing the Supra with dreams of coil-overs, bigger turbo, Lexus AFMs and bigger injectors dancing in my head. Suddenly my better judgment steps in, in the form of my wife, telling me I better not touch the Supra. OK, what to do? Look for another car! So....... I start searching for the obvious candidates... Firebirds and Camaros. OH MY GAWD!!! Look at those prices!!! Mind you, this was before BJ auctions were so popular, and had a hand in putting 'American muscle-cars' out of the reach of most of us. A rusted-out POS was going for at least 3 grand. So I remember the fun I had in the V8 Vega... so, I try and find a Vega that isn't half rust, already been converted to a V8 or a Cosworth. Hmmmmmm... dreams on hold.
One day in 2004 I was talking with a co-worker about cars and he mentioned this cool video of a guy named Darius and his V8 Z. So, he shows me this online video of this awesome car!! I was in a daze. I remembered the Scarabs back in the '70s. Right then I decided to search for a Z. Well, I pretty much forgot about looking with work and family being my priorities.
In early February, 2005, I'm sitting in the Sacramento airport, waiting for a flight to Denver. I pick up the Classified section of the Bee that someone has left on the seat next to me. Looking through the cars I spot a 1974 260Z for sale. Good condition. Engine seized. $500.