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Warning dumb question ahead....


Spridal

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Actually two dumb questions.

1. What does the "Z" stand for?

2. What does "HLS30" stand for?

From what I've read and been told. Nissan picked Z because its the end and is the ultimate, nothing comes after it. I've probably butchered that some but its been awhile since I re-read my Z history.

Chris A.

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From what I've read and been told. Nissan picked Z because its the end and is the ultimate, nothing comes after it. I've probably butchered that some but its been awhile since I re-read my Z history.

Chris A.

Same story I heard...can't remember if it was Nissan or Mr K but that's the one, Z is the end all to all.

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from what I recall, the "z" was Nissan's internal marking for the car, similar to, say, Honda's "H" frame. The good doctor felt that the "Fairlady" monoker would not do well here (not a manly name for a sports car) so he chose to go with the "Z." As I recall, anyway.

I think that the z is the end stuff just sounded better, more mysterious.

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Well now,

Ian, .... you've managed to confuse me. (Rather EASY to do at times).

If "L" as in "L24", "L26", etc. stands for "Left", ....... how come my 260Z's engine isn't designated as an "R"26 ??????????????????????????????????, as our cars are "R"ight hand drive.

Rick.

:devious: :devious:

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Project File:

Like any major corporation, Nissan assigned Project File Numbers to most of their internal projects, primarily for accounting purposes.

According to Brian Long, who spent quite a bit of time with Nissan's Historian in Japan, Mr. Hara, the Head of the Product Planning Department , assigned the project file name "Design Project Z" because "X" and "Y" had previously been assigned to earlier projects.

As I understood it - Mr. Matsuo, the head of the Sports Car Styling Studio, had a department budget, and within that budget, he could spend his budget developing the various design/styling concepts he wanted. (with the overview of his Supervisor of course). Past "Styling Concepts" when a specific concept was approved for farther development, where significant funds would be expended on it - it got its own Project Number assigned by Mr. Hara and of course the funding required to proceed..

In his book, as Mr. Matsuo outlines his story of how the Z Car was designed and developed, he tell us that once Mr. Katayama selected Mr. Matsuo's "Plan A" Styling from among the alternatives presented at the end of 1967, - the Project finally started to move forward past Concept and Styling.. and Engineering was called in.. the Project got the "Z" application at that point and it just stuck with the car.

Mr. Hara was the Director in charge of both the Styling Studio's and the Design Engineering Departments... So projects involving cross department funding were assigned Project Numbers by him.

So I believe that the answer to your original question - what does Z stand for ?- would be it stood for the Project File Number for "Design Project Z".

As far as the meaning of the letter "Z" to the Japanese... there seems to be several stories.

FWIW,

Carl B.

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I humbly submit: I have read that the designers of the original "Z" car were an aircraft design group from pre WWII Japan whose talents were put to use in the auto industry during post war retooling.

These designers were responsible for the success of the notoriously historic Japanese fighter the "Zero". Hence "Z" car - doesn't it look and fit a little like a something ready to take off.

A good freind of mine recently dropped by to veiw my late aquisition and remarked "I feel like I'm in a cockpit of a plane - It wraps right around you". I made no remark, but I probably smirked a little.

Fact or fiction - it's not up to me to say, but it's not my imagination, merely the printed word from a version of Z history. I kinda like it.

Interesting note :

Z Car Roots or "Z" Stands For ZERO

Contributed By: Carl Beck, IZCC #260

E-Mail: [email protected]

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I humbly submit: I have read that the designers of the original "Z" car were an aircraft design group from pre WWII Japan whose talents were put to use in the auto industry during post war retooling.

No. You ( they ) are getting Nissan mixed up with the Prince Motor Co.

When Prince was merged with Nissan, the ex-Prince faction managed to keep themselves fairly intact within the Nissan fold, and continued their work on the Skyline and other ex-Prince models ( and much of the race-oriented ex-Prince activities ) at the Murayama facility. The Z was hatched at Oppama. There was a certain amount of inter-faction rivalry between the two sides that still lingers to this day.

Interesting note :

Z Car Roots or "Z" Stands For ZERO

So, no it doesn't.

:)

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Sorry, a little off topic regarding "Z" letter. The language fascinates me. I'm attempting to learn some basics as far as reading goes. But pronunciation is a different matter all together. Learning that the Japanese alphabet has 99 sounds formed with 5 vowels (a, e, i, o, u) and 14 consonants (k, s, t, h, m, y, r, w, g, z, d, b, p, and n) but there are two kinds of alphabets, Hiragana and Katakana. I get confused and frustrated rather quick. And the Kanji...well that's another story. :D

Good discussion going here though. I need to find the reference book where I read about names and such.

Chris A.

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To further the point: Quoting Carl's article

- In 1966 the Prince Motor Company Ltd. was merged into Nissan Motors Ltd.

- From its design phase in 1966 until it's production release in 1968 the Datsun 510 "somehow"" received:

a) a super strong and lightweight uni-body (monocoque aircraft technology)

B) an over head cam, 1600cc engine rated at 97HP (from Prince)

c) fully independent rear suspension (evolved from De Dion to Chapman)

d) a ZF style fully synchro's 4spd.

- From 1966 to early 68 The Dastun 240-Z is in design..

a) super strong and very lightweight uni-body

B) 2.4L ohc rated at 151HP with Twin SU's

c) IRS rear suspension (Chapman struts)

d) a ZF style fully synchro's 4 and 5 speed

The ZERO was built using modular production techniques, as opposed to the more common straight line "assembly-line" production. The application of these modular approaches revolutionized the auto industry in Japan in the late 60's and early 70's. Many industrial engineers believe that was a major factor in Japan's ability to take over automotive markets around the world. (Productivity Matters no matter how cheap the labor).

"Weight" was the enemy of the ZERO design team and maneuverability was their goal. Likewise the 240-Z.

Many of the engineers that worked from 1939 to 1941 on the ZERO, in the Japanese Aircraft Industry - were the engineers that after the war went into the Auto Industry - and mainly wound up at Prince Motors.. For that reason in the 1950's Prince Motors was the most advanced technologically and had the best automotive engineering capabilities in Japan.

All previous Fairlady Sports Cars were full frame, bolted on bodies, solid axle... rooted firmly in the design and technology of the 1940's and 1950's. They didn't get overhead cam engines until after Prince Motors was merged into Nissan.

Prince Engineers brought with them - new (new to Nissan Motors) Engineering Processes, Tools, Techniques and most importantly application experience with technologies not present at Nissan before they arrived. All of which take an Engineering Department years and years, if not decades, to evolve on their own. "Change" is something that Engineers just don't like to interject in anything - especially in the way they do things...;-)

It is quite possible to bring new Engineering Processes, Design Techniques, Analysis & Simulation Tools and Production Technologies into an existing Engineering Department - but it takes years and years if not a decade for engineers to accept them, to learn to use them and then apply them to a design effort. I doubt that the Nissan Engineers could have made that transition any quicker, without bringing new Engineering talent in from Prince Motors.

That is why it was not possible to "evolve" the Fairlady line of roadsters - into a car like the 240-Z. It took a revolution in the Automotive Design and Engineering Department at Nissan. Books written about the Fairlady Sports Cars from Nissan should end with the cancellation of the A550X project at the end of 1964... as that was the end of the line for the automotive design engineering and technology that had evolved on it's own within Nissan Motors after WW II.

Likewise Books written about the history of the Z Car should start with the ZERO as that is the true evolutionary path of the technology and Design Engineering that was used in the development the Datsun 240-Z.

The Datsun 240-Z represents "Engineering Ingenuity" and in that regard, Prince Motors was Decades ahead of Nissan.

More in article.

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The one problem with that logic is that the first monocoque airframe was produced in Russia in 1913. and "The first automotive application of the monocoque technique was 1923's Lancia Lambda. Chrysler and Citroën built the first mass-produced monocoque vehicles, both in 1934, with the innovative Chrysler Airflow and the Traction Avant, respectively. The popular Volkswagen Beetle also used a semi-monocoque body (its frame required the body for support) in 1938. "

The Japanese (not necessarily just those that worked at Prince)were notorious for copying and adapting British, American, and German technology. Many if not all of the vehicles left after WW2 were copied to the point that the engine of the First Nissan Patrol was completely parts interchangeable with a 1937 chevy engine.

Prince engineers brought technology that was available to all of Japan to the Z, just as the Nissan Engineers did.

Will

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Prince + Nissan - the Whole was greater than the sum of the parts..

Mr. Matsuo writes as he tells his story of the design progression and process:

... Autumn of 1967...

"Mr. Katayama had requested the 2.4 liter L24 powerplant, while the Japanese market had exorbitant taxes on vehicles over 2,000cc. Nissan had just taken over the Prince concern, and were were told to use their two-liter S20 twin-cam unit. (this eventually became the famous Z432 model, incidentally.) "

So if not by Design, then by Management Directive, the 240-Z became the Z432 with the first 2.0L engine specified for the Japanese market.... and thus the Z took on some major genes from Prince.

FWIW,

Carl B.

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The Japanese (not necessarily just those that worked at Prince)were notorious for copying and adapting British, American, and German technology. Many if not all of the vehicles left after WW2 were copied to the point that the engine of the First Nissan Patrol was completely parts interchangeable with a 1937 chevy engine.

Hi Will:

No question that the automotive world was/is one of evolution, and sometimes revolution. If we trace the origins of almost anything automotive, back far enough we get back to the lever, the wheel and the screw. <vbg>.

I also agree that much of the automotive worlds technologies were broadly available to the far younger "Japanese Automotive Industry". I think the point is - it was the smartest one's that grabbed the best ideas first and put them to use. Gisuke Aikawa at Nissan was one of the quickest, and the people at Prince were among the best, at recognizing and grabbing great technologies then blending them with Japanese cultural values and capabilities. Modular manufacturing was a very classic example. (there are several).

I don't know about the interchangeability of parts between the Nissan Patrol's engine and Chevy; but the in-line six used in the Nissan 4WD vehicles of the early 50's was actually the Model 73 engine purchased by Nissan from Graham-Paige, April 20, 1936.

They got the engine along with the Graham-Paige Crusader and all manufacturing machinery that produced it. The Graham-Paige Crusader was presented by Nissan as their Model 70 to Japanese buyers in 1937.

The Model 73 engine with it's 225 cid and 85HP (then called the Nissan "A" engine) powered 35,000 Model 80 Trucks produced between 1937 and 1940. The engine drove over 3,000 Model 90 Buses as well during the same period. After the war, the same engine was introduced into Nissan's first 4WD vehicles in 51/52 - the 4W-60 and 4W-70. These vehicles were the forerunners to the Patrol.

In 1955 Nissan hired American automotive engineer Donald P. Stone to increase the HP of the engine. The result was the Nissan NC engine. This "L" head design was rated at 105HP and was used for the following 4 years. Stone modified the design again in 1959 incorporating an Overhead Valve design. This and other modifications allowed the engine - now known as the "P" engine to be rated at 125HP. Interestingly even with the major design changes to the head, the basic Graham-Paige designed block, crankshaft and rods were continued. The "P" engine was used in Nissan trucks and bus lines through 1986.

If you have an interest - I have a copy of Appendix B - of the Graham-Paige Story. It's titled "The Nissan Connection" and was compiled by Bill McCall and Michael E. Keller. I'll be glad to scan it for you.

FWIW,

Carl B.

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I'm no expert, but L or l seems to remind me in the term "in line" or "longitudinal" (meaning for and aft) kind of like "v" indicates the longitudunal profile of the layout of a V type engine. I guess I'm trying to say it may be a indication of shape/disposition as opposed to an initial.

As I said earlier the Z thing - I don't know the origin but I like the Zero theory/story and the Zero was considered one of the best planes (for purpose) in the world when initially built and flown.

The Z car is in that gene pool - pretty cool thought. Probably one of the best sports cars (dollar for dollar) ever built.

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The one problem with that logic is that the first monocoque airframe was produced in Russia in 1913.....snipped..cjb...

.....snipped..cjb...

Prince engineers brought technology that was available to all of Japan to the Z, just as the Nissan Engineers did.

Hi Will:

The logic was not intended to infer that any of the technologies or truly "new" designs were invented in Japan, but rather to show who picked them up and applied them earliest. As well as to highlight the different approaches taken by Prince and Nissan toward the same end. (to produce and sell cars).

There are several factors involved here. Might be interesting to look at a couple of them.

I'd agree that both Nissan and Prince engineers brought technology that was broadly available to all of Japan to Nissan Motors Ltd. However I see quite different engineering talent, tools and techniques between the two at any point in time prior to their merger.

While Nissan rebuilt after the war, starting in 1949 with its existing Truck Production facilities at Yokohama (which had not been bombed during the war) - and regaining many of it's previous production engineering and management staff (mnius Aikawa who had been imprisoned for War Crimes in China). Prince grew out of a completely different environment. For that matter so did Toyota. (Toyota Loom Corporation)...

At any rate, this lead to Nissan focusing on rebuilding their Production and Manufacturing facilities and capabilities through the 50's and early 60's. So focused was Nissan's attention on Production and Manufacturing - they won the Deming Prize, one of Japan's highest awards, for Manufacturing for 1960.

Product Design (styling) and product Engineering really started to get internal emphasis (rather than being out-sourced) within Nissan around 61/63 as far as I can see. As you said, when Nissan did restart the production of passenger cars - they licensed the design and product engineering from Austin.

On the other hand Prince Motors was formed out of a spin off out of a huge conglomerate. By 1960 the Managing Director of Prince Motor Company was named Dr. Ryoichi Nakagawa and he was responsible for Prince's Engineering Policy as well. (During the war he had been the designer of the of the "Zero" fighter aircraft engine at the Nakajima Aircraft Company.) By 1961 Prince Skylines were running the East African Safari Rally! So you can see where their corporate focus was.

So, while both Prince and Nissan brought significant engineering talent to the table - there was a large difference in the experience base and type of engineering expertises the two contributed. Needless to say that Nissan certainly out shinned Prince in terms of sound Strategic Planning and Financial Management... but it was Prince's engine and racing program that was continued within Nissan while their own program was dropped after the merger.

At any rate - the whole thing is a fascinating story to follow..

FWIW,

Carl B.

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Hi all,

Fascinating and fustrating all of this!

One aspect that sticks in my mind is how the "Z" became attached.

I can't see it as Project file or whatever "Z", purely because that character (as we have been previously told), does not exist in any of the Japanese written alphabet ( I don't belive alphabet is the correct term to use here, but I'm sure all readers know what I mean).

The project file would have been in Japanese, wouldn't it?

Still fascinating and I would suspect that Mr. K would have had his finger in it somehow!

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If you have an interest - I have a copy of Appendix B - of the Graham-Paige Story. It's titled "The Nissan Connection" and was compiled by Bill McCall and Michael E. Keller. I'll be glad to scan it for you.

FWIW,

Carl B.

Please!

I agree that Prince took advantage of what was being done and not necessarily what was dropped in their lap. I also agree that together the Prince and Nissan made a better entity than the individual pieces-the amalgamation of the two cultures really worked well together! Prince did "work" for more of what they used than most Japanese companies-which made them less profittable-they were more interested in doing it better than getting it done, more work takes longer and costs more. Nissan was more interested in getting it done than doing it better-together the two cultures established a balance in the organization that neither had alone.

One other thing to realize-Virtually all Japanese engineers working in the automotive industry after the war had worked in Military vehicle (Be it wheeled, tracked, or winged) because the entire automotive industry (as with the vast majority of the manufacturing consergns) was put into military production.

Demming did a wonderful thing for the Japanese paid for by the USA, and they repaid the USA with the famed "japanese inspection", and him with the establishment of the prize-another thread...

PS, Don't forget prior to the war Honda made only bicycles-maybe that has something to do with why their engines run backwards...

Will

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I guess I'm trying to say it may be a indication of shape/disposition as opposed to an initial.

Hi Rick:

Shape/position is correct. "L" as in L24 stands for the type of in-line six. An "L" series engine has both the intake and exhaust valves located to one side of center in the combustion chambers - forming a sort of in an inverted "L". This can be a Flat Head, Over-Head Valve or Over-Head Cam design.

FWIW,

Carl B.

Carl Beck

Clearwater, FL USA

http://ZHome.com

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To further the point: Quoting Carl's article

.....snipped...cjb....

B) an over head cam, 1600cc engine rated at 97HP (from Prince)

.....snipped...cjb....

- From 1966 to early 68 The Dastun 240-Z is in design..

.....snipped...cjb....

B) 2.4L ohc rated at 151HP with Twin SU's

.....snipped...cjb....

Hi Rick:

As Alan has convinced me that the L16 and L24 were redesigns of the previous Nissan L series.... I'll have to up-date "b)" and "b)" above... to read:

B) an over-head cam, 1600cc engine rated at 97HP

and

B) a 2.0L twin cam engine rated at 160HP (from Prince)

FWIW,

Carl B.

Carl Beck

Clearwater, FL USA

http://ZHome.com

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To further the point: Quoting Carl's article

- In 1966 the Prince Motor Company Ltd. was merged into Nissan Motors Ltd.

- From its design phase in 1966 until it's production release in 1968 the Datsun 510 "somehow"" received:

It's production release was actually in 1967. RHD versions where available for sale and were brought in Australia in 1967.

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Mr. Matsuo writes as he tells his story of the design progression and process:

... Autumn of 1967...

"Mr. Katayama had requested the 2.4 liter L24 powerplant, while the Japanese market had exorbitant taxes on vehicles over 2,000cc. Nissan had just taken over the Prince concern, and were were told to use their two-liter S20 twin-cam unit. (this eventually became the famous Z432 model, incidentally.) "

So if not by Design, then by Management Directive, the 240-Z became the Z432 with the first 2.0L engine specified for the Japanese market.... and thus the Z took on some major genes from Prince.

FWIW,

Carl B.

Carl,

How many times do I have to tell you this before it finally sinks in? The above section of the book was badly phrased, badly written and - above all - basically inaccurate. This is not surprising if we remind ourselves that Matsuo san was 'interviewed' by the staff writer at MIKI PRESS who actually wrote the chapter, which then got sent upwards in the chain to be subbed. Miho and Brian Long then 'translated' this into English with their own perspective ( literal Japanese to English translation is always difficult, I can tell you - so they have my full sympathy ) and that version is what you are basing your 'research' on. At best it is third-hand, after-the-fact and somewhat muddled.

To simplify, the correct sequence of events is that the twin-carb high comp version of the L20 six had ALREADY been decided upon before the 'Export' market L24 was mooted. There was no magic jump from a four banger to an L24 and then a step back to the L20. Katayama simply wanted more torque and power, and lobbied for a larger capacity version for 'his' market.

The Japanese market was initially to get the twin carb L20 and a more sporty triple sidedraught carbed version of that L20 ( with around 150hp ) before upper management pointed out that they already had the S20 twin cam, and really ought to use that instead. The pepped-up version of the L20 was therefore dropped and the S20 used instead. The twin carbed L20 was 'the' S30-series Z engine before the L24 and S20 joined it. That S20 installation required changes to the S30-series design that appeared on every first-generation L-series engined car. Most people never even notice these.

So you see the Miki Press book is not entirely accurate in its account. I suspect that this is due to a combination of Matsuo re-remembering events long after they happened, and having the useful ( but sometimes misleading ) benefit of hindsight, along with at least TWO sets of writers interpreting his words with their own take on events. He explains it much more logically when you sit down and talk it through with him and ask the right questions.

So can we please remember that the twin carbed L20 six was already part of the design before the L24 and the S20?

Thanks,

Alan T.

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Carl,

Chop . . .

The twin carbed L20 was 'the' S30-series Z engine before the L24 and S30 joined it.

So can we please remember that the twin carbed L20 six was already part of the design before the L24 and the S20?

Thanks,

Alan T.

The L20 twin carb six was in fact, the standard Z engine well into the 70s because of the Japanese taxes on large engined cars, as Carl has pointed out. This continued in Japan even after the L24 and L26 were developed. The L20 is the "original" L-gata engine and is given the dubious honor of being the largest (physically, dimensionally) 2 liter six. If one were to take the L20, L24, L26 and L28 engines and line them up side-by-side, you will find that they are exactly the same size and except for a few minor differences, identical. You don't make a big engine small, you make a small engine big. And Nissan already had the L20 in the Skylines before the Z was made.

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By 1960 the Managing Director of Prince Motor Company was named Dr. Ryoichi Nakagawa and he was responsible for Prince's Engineering Policy as well. (During the war he had been the designer of the of the "Zero" fighter aircraft engine at the Nakajima Aircraft Company.)

You make it sound like Nakagawa was responsible for the engine of the "Zero" from the beginning. That was not the case. He came into the story a little after it had begun.

Proper lineage of the 'Sakae' engine effectively begins with the 'NAM' - designed by Takeo Kotani and Masatoshi Tsutsumi of Nakajima. This was a completely new design for Nakajima, and it was destined to become the first 'Sakae' engine. The 'NAM II' became the 'Sakae 12' - the first engine used in what became known as the "Zero".

Dr Nakagawa worked on the 'NAM III' engine ( an update of the 'NAM II' / 'Sakae 12' ) which became the 'Sakae 21' - used in the late versions of the 'Zero'.

We ought to take this implied linking of the 'Zero' aircraft name with that of the 'Fairlady Z' with a HUGE pinch of salt! It is painful to see Sailor Bob take it all so literally - as though it is fact. But the term "Zero" for that aircraft was never really used by the Japanese themselves until after hostilities had ended, and most likely caught on in reverse from the Allied use of the term.

The correct Japanese term was 'Rei' ( meaning zero ) - which originated from the both the Japanese national dating system year of 2600 ( the Japanese nation was decided to have been founded in 660BC ), and the Western year of 1940. Both of these years ended in the number zero ( 'Rei' in Japanese ) and this was the year that the Japanese Navy accepted the new fighter into their fleet. The correct romanised Japanese name for the aircraft was 'Rei Shiki Sentoki' ( literally 'Type Zero Fighter' ) - often shortened to 'Rei-sen' - from the full term that translates as 'Mitsubishi Navy Type Zero Carrier-Based Fighter'.

Any linking of the letter 'Z' between the aircraft and the car are purely romantic and fairly misleading. This especially when you consider that the Prince Motor Company themselves actually linked their company history ( directly through Dr Ryoichi Nakagawa ) with the Nakajima Ki-43 'Hayabusa' ( codenamed 'Oscar' by the Allies ) - which was developed a year after the 'Rei-sen', but used the same engines and looked very similar. The 'Rei-sen' was a Naval aircraft and the 'Hayabusa' was an Army aircraft. So the direct Prince link with the 'Zero' is tenuous, and the 'Hayabusa' is a much better candidate.

Needless to say that Nissan certainly out shinned Prince in terms of sound Strategic Planning and Financial Management... but it was Prince's engine and racing program that was continued within Nissan while their own program was dropped after the merger.

Not so. The ex-Prince faction ( "the artists formerly known as Prince"? :) ) effectively formed their own clique within the Nissan fold, and treated Murayama as though it was their own private fiefdom within Nissan. Their racing-related activities were now being conducted under the 'Nissan' name, but they were still fiercely proud of being from the Prince bloodline. Nissan carried on their own race and rally related activities at Oppama ( they didn't "drop" anything except their very limited forays into building a sports racer ), and a kind of rivalry between the two factions came into being. They were forced to share personnel and technologies, but nevertheless the internal rivalry persisted. Vestiges of this still remain today; the team developing the new GT-R are direct descendents of the ex-Prince contingent that was headed by Shinichiro Sakurai, and have their own remit whilst still being part of Nissan. Nissan has come to accept and arguably foster the distinction.

Alan T.

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