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Philosophical discusion on build dates


Zedrally

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Originally posted by 26th-Z

I would say that the car becomes a car when the OK sticker is slapped on. Prior to that, it is "under construction".

I would say that a "production" car is a production model intended to be sold and the rest are "test" or "study" examples. When we discuss production cars, we should exclude those cars which were not intended to be sold to the public.

Finally, for lack of better information, I suggest the stamped build date be used to identify and date the car to the letter. We have no better information and it would be purely subjective to discuss a date earlier than what is stamped on the door jamb, or in the case of the AU cars, the engine bay plate.

What and where were the domestic cars stamped? Is there such a chassis as HS30-00026? PS30-00026? What were the build dates for those early cars?

Hi 26th-Z,

Good example of what I meant by a 'philosophical' discussion.

I don't necessarily agree about the car not being a car until the inspector slaps that 'OK' sticker on it. In my mind, and in my heart, I envision the car becoming a car somewhere further up the production line. I understand what you mean - as to all intents and purposes the car was not finished, or fit for sale to the general public until Nissan said it was, but even a faulty / rejected car, or one that accidentally got damaged on the production line was still a car with a positive identity.

I suppose that I might actually be inferring that an 'identity' of a car ( through its stamped firewall VIN prefix and chassis number combination ) exists as soon as its punched into the metal. I might be influenced by experiences with old race cars, which can certainly be a can of worms, and an area where one always has to expect some skulduggery and intrigue!

Actually, this part of the discussion about when an identity is taken on reminds me of some parts of the very sad abortion debates one reads about...........

As mentioned elsewhere many times, NOT all markets - and therefore not all cars - had an officially-applied DATE OF MANUFACTURE stamp on them. Japanese-market cars certainly did not, and UK-market cars certainly did not. Australian cars had their door jamb tags applied in Australia ( as far as I am aware ) and this would lead me to suspect that the data applied to them would be easily 'tweaked' to fit in with any agenda the importer might have had ( import quota / tax / model years issues? ). I also believe that the door jamb tags of the USA-market cars were possibly applied somewhat arbitrarily, and not even at the Factory ( I was once told they were applied at Honmoku ). I certainly don't trust them, for the reasons I gave on my first post in this thread.

Yes 26th-Z, there would have been an HS30-00026 ( probably went to Australia ) and a PS30-00026, and don't forget poor old S30-00026 too! However, none of these cars would have been "manufacture date" stamped in Japan. In the case of HS30-00026, if it went to Australia I believe it would have been fitted with its door-jamb tag in Australia, or at least just before it went to Australia, and NOT on the production line.

Its only possible to get near to the actual production date on non-US cars by cross-referencing the manufacture date of COMPONENTS - which, as we can see, can be slightly confusing and not entirely scientific.

Alan T.

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Originally posted by Zedrally

You mention the numbers in the door jamb, Aussie cars don't have this.

Are you saying that UK delivery did?

No HS vin car imported by Nissan in the early 1970's to the UK had the date plate in the door jamb.

As far as I know they had no dating on them at all. So engine/Vin number is the only way to date UK HS series cars.

Andrew

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Originally posted by 26th-Z

What and where were the domestic cars stamped? Is there such a chassis as HS30-00026? PS30-00026? What were the build dates for those early cars?

Hi 26th-Z,

Actually, I don't think I ever thought to mention this to you before:

HS30-00026 - along with HS30-00024, HS30-00025 & HS30-00027 -was one of the first Nissan / Datsun "Works" 240Z rally cars. They debuted in their first official team rally on the 1970 RAC Rally here in the UK ( in November 1970 ).

HS30-00026 was issued with the Japanese 'carnet' registration plate number "TKS 33 SA 696".

The car no longer exists, although its 'identity' still does ( the VIN plate and stamped VIN number are privately held here in the UK )........................

Alan T.

ps - here's a pic of TKS 33 SA 696 on the 1971 Welsh Rally:

post-2116-14150793874595_thumb.jpg

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This topic sounds a lot like a topic I wrote an essay on last semester... that is, when is a human bestowed with his/her human rights? Of course, to answer that we must first determine when a human 'begins' (struggling to find an appropriate word here). That is, at conception? Embryo? Foetus? Basic Senses? Birth?

Of course, this topic isn't quite the same, but I find it amusing that we're talking about our "babies" with such passion...

Basically, I think to determine a point in time when a car becomes a car (optimistic, eh?) the first step could be to list all of the options. So I'll try:

- When the bare shell is complete

- When the VIN is stamped on

- When the engine is placed in the car, and the VIN tag is attached (with VIN and engine number)

- When the car is complete (at the end of the production line)

- When the car has been OK'ed for quality control

- When the car arrives in the country it is to be sold in

- When the car is sold.

What do you think of this idea? Any additions? Or am I just talking crap??

(Of course, I'm ignoring the fact that many of these stages can't be determined, but this is a philosophical discussion. And since when was philosophy practical :P)

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Good morning everyone! What a great conversation. "Zeeological Carcheology" at it's best! :classic:

Kats, you always send me scrambling to my boxes and bags of parts to see what I have. You challenge me. Thanks. I will post photographs of the papers for you. The original owner's manual has interesting information also. The only other dated parts I know of (now) are my wheels - date stamped 10 / 69.

Alan, I am in perfect agreement with you - especially when you bring up the race car chassis scenario. Good point. The records of Ford GT-40s and Porsche 917s are littered with "spare" and "uncompleted" chassis numbers later used or completed out of production sequence. With the idea that not all cars were date stamped as US delivery cars were, lacking uniformity, we cannot simply apply a birth date. And yes, this discussion could be very similar to a Roe vs Wade debate!

I don't want anyone thinking that I claim HLS30-00026 is a 1969 model year car. It is clearly a 1970 model. Evidence points to production in the fall of 1969.

And now I will close with words of wisdom from my Porsche fanatic friend; "The VIN is the birth certificate and the OK sticker is the first doctor's appointment".

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Originally posted by 240 in OZ

Mr C

Do you have anything to back up the reported RHD car number 003. I (and many others) thought that RHD #004 was the first bought into Australia in 1970.

This is interesting. Is there any pics of the car anywhere??

Thanks for any reply

Joseph

As Darth Vader said "I find your lack of faith disturbing"

I've seen the car, the compliance and nissan tags. What more "reported" proof do you need?

Next time I see the car i'll take more notice of the numbers.

It has the fairlady grill, fender mirrors, so i think its a japanese domestic model that was sent to australia.

I took a photo of the plates. Looks like it arrived in Aus in 1971, but the photo is out of focus.

So you all you non believers, heres the photo i took of the plates.

post-1278-14150793875097_thumb.jpg

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Mr C

OK well this makes a big difference. Looks like RHD#003 was a Japanese home market car and it was privately imported into Australia at a later date.

Looks like RHD#004 is still the earliest car into Australia that was destined specifically for this market.

Do you blame me for being sceptical!!

Joseph

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Hold on there a minute Joseph,

Just because this car was wearing a few parts that were common in the Japanese market doesn't automatically make it a Japanese market model. A grille is a 'bolt-on', and as for Fender Mirrors - well, some UK-market cars even made it over here with them on. Truth be told, the earliest of the HS30 prefix cars had a very rubbery spec that was somewhat being made up as it went along.

In fact, its VERY unlikely that it was an OFFICIAL Japanese-market model "HS30", as Japan did not get the HS30 officially until late in 1971 ( with the debut of the L24-engined 'Fairlady 240Z' models ( Fairlady 240Z, Fairlady 240Z-L & Fairlady 240ZG ). Those cars had VIN number sequences that were shared with the "Export" model HS30's - so none of them were as low as 'HS30-00003' anyway.

A number that low WOULD have been made very early in HS30 production ( just before HS30-00004 probably! :classic: ) but I don't think anyone call tell for sure on what EXACT date it was made. I think its dangerous to presume we KNOW what date such low numbers as HS30 #3 & #4 were actually made. Looking at L24 engine numbers and comparing them to those on other cars will not necessarily get us all that much closer to an exact build date for the HS30's. Certainly not to within certain weeks, anyway.

Personally, I still don't discount the possibility that one or two ( or even more ) 'HS30' prefixed cars were amongst the very first cars produced during the latter part of 1969. They may not have been product that was intended for sale to the general public, but they very well may have actually existed. The spec on these cars was different to the others, and I get the feeling that Nissan might have been working hard on finalising the spec details, and researching the L24 engine / FS5C71-A trans / 3.9 R180 diff combination that was not seen on other models at that time.

Mr C. - I'm very interested to see the firewall stamping on that car. If you ever get near it again, please try and get a good photo of it for me. I'd love to see that. The lowest HS30 number I've seen 'in the metal' was HS30-00013, and that was hanging on the wall of a friend's workshop! :classic::ermm:

Cheers,

Alan T.

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003 certainly is going to re-write the history in Oz [as I see it anyway].

The most important point to remember with this is the ADR compliance plate. [Note, Alan T, not on door jamb]:classic: . Interesting it's above the factory label though, as later models I've seen had them fitted on the fire wall

If this vehicle was privately imported [and I would doubt that], it would NOT have a compliance plate fitted. These where only available for factory imported vehiclesand fitted for Australian Delivery.

This vehicle is certainly a mystery and any information that is available would be apprechiated.

Had Mr C confirmed the existance earlier we may have all stopped wondering about 004's fate and concentrated on this earlier survivor!

MOM

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HS

I think we are talking different things here, and I apologies for that. I am talking about the first car bought into Australia, not the first, or earliest RHD car made.

I was under the belief that 004 RHD made it to Australia in 1970 and was the roadtest car used by Aussie scribes at the time.

Mr C reports that 003 RHD made it to Australia in 1971. Sure it MAY have been made first, Im not discounting that...buy 004 was here BEFORE 003.

BTW, Aussie cars DID NOT!!!! get the door data tags.

Joseph

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Its OK guys,

When I'm talking about door jamb tags, I'm only talking about the USA / North American market cars.

I understand that they were the only ones to have the door jamb tags with the 'date of manufacture', and that your Australian market cars had compliance plates added in the engine bay.

Just to make it clear; Japanese-market and UK-market cars had no 'date of manufacture' tags, or any other way of reliably knowing when the car was actually made.

Cheers,

Alan T.

Edit: Spelling mishtake..

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Hi,

Andrew,my Z's seat belt tag is Dec 1969.My car is Mar 1970,door jamb has 01-70 and 11-69.I have not seen into steering wheel,when I am in L.A. I will check.

26th-Z,I also want to see your owners manual.I have Jan 1970 and Mar 1970 issued,I want to compare them with yours.My Jan 1970 one is interesting,it has some unique pages which has coverd by revised pictures,I can see the original describ is about throttle contorol.Your Dec 1969 one is the same?

Alan T,

I may not be philosophic,I just want to enjoy guessing and imaginating about how and when the parts are assembled together and became the car,how and when the car departed japan and then...We seem not to able define the actual date of manufacture,I just want to guess and think.

I want to know the engine number of HS30-00003,4,and 13.Alan,if you know the engine number of HS30-00013,please let me know.

It is a good idea to use cross referencing technique.We do not know the actual date of the car,but we can guess and enjoy thinking about ?gwhen it was made?h.I say again,we can not determine the date,just have a fun to imagine.

?gTo list up the parts which shows the date on it as much as you can.?h

For the U.S. owners,compare those dates to yours door jam date(month) plate.When we got several owners answer(or more is better of cource),we can have a general understanding of when the car was made and when the date plate was installed.I think the date plate was installed at the end of the construction,but I want to confirm the date of the plate is the lastest date comparing its other small parts?fs date.i.e.if the date plate march1970,but may1970 on a seat belt tag and the tag is original from it was assembled, in this case my theory is not correct.

For the AUS and U.K. and other countries owners whoes car does not have a date plate,

When we got a kind of general understanding of the U.S. date plate,if it is worth to trust,then compare your engine number to the U.S. cars.Of cource engine numbers are not in sequence perfectly but it is good for thinking about relationship between engine number and the date plate.Mr.Carl Beck?fs web site has a lot of member?fs vin number and engine number.Use cross referencing technique,we can guess when the lowest HS30-0000X or 000XX was made.Using this technique,some HS30 will be considered ?gat least it is not 1969 made?h.

And I recommend ?gcompare small early parts?h.We know some parts are seen in only early s30.Even the parts do not have the date,we may use those parts to guess the date of manufacuture of the car. For example,following items are seen in the car which has 1969 to Jan or Feb 1970 date plate.

Rear view mirror ?gred dot?h

Plastic fuel filer lid and it is closed at vertical position of its knob

?gChrome Z?h for the piller and rear deck 240Z emblem

Cabin air intake has a metal basement

Unique hood bamper on the cowl top

Gray plastic for the heater contorol panel and ash tray

If the non U.S.car have these parts,and engine number is around L24-3000,and seat belt tag or other parts has date 1969,it is "possibly 1969 made".But still this is just my thought.

kats

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Originally posted by Zedrally

You mention the numbers in the door jamb, Aussie cars don't have this.

Are you saying that UK delivery did?

Hi Mike,

No - just to clarify: I wrote "Do we follow the door jamb tags - where fitted - to the letter?"

When I refer to door jamb tags, I am of course only referring to the one market that they were used in: USA / North America.

What I'm trying to get at is that these USA / North American market cars are being used to compare with other market cars in questions of actual build date. My point is that the door jamb tags are not necessarily an ACCURATE dating reference.

Cheers,

Alan T.

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Originally posted by 240 in OZ

HS

I think we are talking different things here, and I apologies for that. I am talking about the first car bought into Australia, not the first, or earliest RHD car made.

I was under the belief that 004 RHD made it to Australia in 1970 and was the roadtest car used by Aussie scribes at the time.

Mr C reports that 003 RHD made it to Australia in 1971. Sure it MAY have been made first, Im not discounting that...buy 004 was here BEFORE 003.

BTW, Aussie cars DID NOT!!!! get the door data tags.

Joseph

Hi Joseph,

Sorry if I got the wrong end of the stick there.

Mind you - if HS30-00004 was elsewhere before coming to Australia, I'd really like to know WHERE it was and WHAT it was doing there.

It might be an important part of the jigsaw puzzle. I'm sure that Nissan were testing some HS30's just before official exports of them began. It would be very interesting if we could prove that one or more HS30's were being used in Japan for R+D purposes.

Cheers,

Alan T.

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Originally posted by kats

Alan T,

I may not be philosophic,I just want to enjoy guessing and imaginating about how and when the parts are assembled together and became the car,how and when the car departed japan and then...We seem not to able define the actual date of manufacture,I just want to guess and think.

kats

Hi Kats,

I think that's pretty much what I am doing - and enjoying doing it too.

I don't actually expect to get an accurate date and time for the 'birth' of each car, but its interesting and fun trying to get close to it.

That's why I originally described this as a "Philosophical" discussion...............

Alan T.

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Originally posted by kats

Just information,

In japan,there is no plate date stamped any where.Engine room ID plate shows chassis number,but no engine number.However to own the car,we have to registrate for the document,it has engine number,dimentions,model type(not start from "S30",it is completely different number),owners adress,etc.

kats

Kats,

Is the document you are referring to the 'Jidosha Kensa Sho'?

I have copies of these for both of my Japanese-market cars ( on import to the UK the Jidosha Kensa Sho and Japanese 'De-Registration' documents have to be presented to our vehicle licensing authority, along with an authorised translation of them.

Both of mine state clearly the Model Type ( in my case, one S30 and one HS30 ) and full 'Shatai Bango' ( full VIN number ).

Is yours different, then?

Alan T.

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I owned #98 and always assumed it to be a S1 1969 model.

British racing green, black interior, hatch vents and hand throttle etc. But what made me think its a 69 was the fact it had no ADR compliance plate. Correct me if I'm wrong but Australian Design Rules didn't come into being until 1970, just as the fitment of rear seat belts is not manditory for cars built before that date.

My first car was a hotted up '64 EH Holden and it didn't have a ADR plate just the manufactures build plate.

Steve

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Hi kats,

Photographs of my Owner's Manual are in my gallery - page 3. You will notice the printing date of the manual - 20 December, 1969.

This is the shipping bill fo my car. I keep these papers safe in a bank. Probably safer than the car!

post-4148-14150793876731_thumb.jpg

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Everyone,

When this thread started, I got my paperwork out and while looking at it, discovered some great stuff relating to several threads we have had in the past. Throttle controls on the early cars, rear-view mirror types, seatbelts, original tire specifications, and many other things are shown in the owner's manual and would clear up many questions. I will try to go back and find those threads so that I can post pictures of my information. Should be fun!

Kats, since you are going to the convention in June, I will bring this information with me to show you.

This is the cover of the Warranty and Service Book for my car.

post-4148-14150793877454_thumb.jpg

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Information is typed inside the front cover. This was a 12 month / 12,000 mile warranty and the tires and battery were covered seperately from the manufacturer. The pages are tear-aways for service intervals and the first few are missing from my book, but the later pages up to 36,000 miles are still there.

post-4148-14150793877668_thumb.jpg

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Yes I did!

I know several of the people involved with the sale of the car, originally. I bought the car from the estate of the original owner and remember it from new as it belonged to the father of a good friend of mine. The original salesman and one of the mechanics for Campbell Motors are still alive. They tell me that way back then, they didn't really know what the car was. It was the first 240 Z in Sarasota and there is some debate about this, but the first one in Florida - perhaps. An interesting little "typo", isn't it?

Campbell had just added the Datsun line to the dealership. They sold Simcas and Sunbeams. Mr. Campbell didn't want to deliver the car right away. He wanted to have the car in his showroom for a few weeks. I have the reciepts for the payments and even though the car was sold in April, it wasn't fully paid for or delivered until May.

I posted pictures in the "hand throttle" thread from my owner's manual and interestingly between 20 December 1969 and 15 January 1970 the manuals were hand edited to delete the feature from the literature. Also note the carpeting feature listed on the shipping bill. That paper would have been used as what we call the window sticker. Some time ago, we discussed whether or not the original 240 Zs came with carpeting or rubber floor mats.

The literature also shows Nissan having USA main land distributors in California and New Jersey. My shipping bill shows Jacksonville as the port of entry, indicating a couple of things. First, Her Majesty probably saw the Pananma Canal. But the extra time it took to get to the East coast might explain the November manufacture date stamped on the door jamb. Alan has proposed that the stampings were not done at the factory, but rather (where did you say, Alan?) casting doubt on the accuracy of the door jamb plates. This could explain why my lower serial number car has a later manufacturing date than later serial number cars. 26 may have been on a different boat than 42.

What might be possible is to research the shipping records for information about what was shipped where and when.

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