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nwcubsman

Nissan Repro Program Car on Ebay

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I wonder how many of the watchers are members of this forum, just interested in seeing what happens?

I'm 1/47 of that watch list. :)

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Hopefully the reserve is fairly high. Right now the Euro is .650:1USD or less. The right European buyer could snatch this up for less than 20K Euro at reserve of $30K. If this goes through to sale, watch for it to be leaving the country. This was indeed a very special program. I was at the debut and auction of one of the first cars.

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In 2001 I lived in San Antonio and there was a red VZ that came up for auction at a Kruse auction in the area (not Bob's I don't think). I had been away from Z's for a few years and was interested in possibly getting a deal on that one. I didn't realize only 38 VZ cars had been made at the time. Something came up and I couldn't go make it to the auction. It wound up selling for $12,750.

http://www.kruse.com/results/detail.asp?CONSIGN=434&MAKE=DATSUN&AUC_CODE=NEWBRAS01&AUC_BREAD=San%20Antonio%2C%20TX%202001&SEARCH_NAME=DATSUN&YEAR=2001&RESULTS=1&PAGE=1

The buyer listed it on ebay within a week after he bought it. I'm not sure what it sold it for, but I think he made a pretty good return for owning it a week or two. Here is the only picture from the Kruse auction results page, in case that ever goes away.

-Mike

post-9102-14150803238257_thumb.jpg

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I'm one of the 40-some-odd watching the auction. Best of Luck, Bob!

$29,000 in 1997 money is $37,000 today. The prices we have been seeing for Vintage Zs is not low at all. In fact it indicates that the cars are depreciating in value.

I would like to ask a favor from all of you. When you see a Vintage Z like the one Mike posted above, get the serial number please. And send me the info. Many thanks. If any of you have pictures of Vintage Zs, and know the serial number of the pictured car, let me know.

Chris

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I'm one of the 40-some-odd watching the auction. Best of Luck, Bob!

$29,000 in 1997 money is $37,000 today. The prices we have been seeing for Vintage Zs is not low at all. In fact it indicates that the cars are depreciating in value.

Chris

Chris,

Did you mean to say "appreciating"?

Dan

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While we sit around and watch the action perhaps we would like to talk about the restoration program. It was mentioned that parts were reproduced especially for the program. Here is the cover of a brochure that listed specific parts manufactured. Part design and specifications were released to private manufacturers to supply the program. Support businesses were also used. Carl mentioned the engines and transmissions.

"A wide assortment of particularly detailed replica parts were provided by Banzai Motorworks in Upper Marlboro, Maryland. Although Mike McGinnis of Banzai Motorworks did not restore any cars, he provided detailed replica parts including new identification plates to replace damaged originals. In addition to a wide assortment of rubber parts, Mike provided instructional and identification decals that were on the original production cars. As the program progressed, Steve Richardson of Courtesy Nissan in Richardson, Texas became involved and distributed updated air-conditioning kits for the cars. AER Manufacturing in Arlington, Texas, widely know for their capabilities and reputation with Ford products, became involved with engine remanufacturing. Automatic transmissions were remanufactured by Williams Technology of Summerville, South Carolina. A cast of thousands would appropriately describe the number businesses that became involved as the program expanded. Over eighteen different paint and body establishments repaired body shells."

post-4148-1415080324033_thumb.jpg

post-4148-14150803240903_thumb.jpg

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Dan,

To keep pace with an original investment of $29,000 on a Vintage Z in 1997, the car would have to sell for over $37,000 today. That was what I was trying to point out. Of course, Carl points out (to my chagrin) that it would cost well over $40,000 to restore a car to that level today. Either way, I think the cars are a great value.

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Yes, dissing the Vintage Program and the resulting cars seems to be a fairly common thing among some 240Z enthusiasts, apparently because of the above mentioned 'resto-mod' approach that was taken. People tend to compare them to true 'restorations' when - in my mind - they should be thought of as a very special limited edition car.

Face it folks, regardless of how 'original' you consider these cars to be, the investment and effort expended for a mere 38 (or so) cars may never be seen again. That alone makes these cars something special.

Only a very historically significant model will get treatment like this. It will probably never happen again. About the only other manufacturer-backed projects that that even approach this in concept would be the British Motor Heritage replacement MG bodyshells. And even that is nowhere near the same, as all they did was provide the shells. The rest is/was up to the restorers.

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Dan,

To keep pace with an original investment of $29,000 on a Vintage Z in 1997, the car would have to sell for over $37,000 today. That was what I was trying to point out. Of course, Carl points out (to my chagrin) that it would cost well over $40,000 to restore a car to that level today. Either way, I think the cars are a great value.

I was likewise thinking you meant to say "appreciating". I guess it all depends on how you formulate your calculations. Not my strong point, but it would be understandable to me that each of these cars would suffer varying degrees of a depreciation factor since their restorations, simply because of the time that has passed since the "program" and the amount of use each has endured. The unique/rarity aspect of being 1 of 38, complete with the "specially supplied program parts" is what I believe will always be an appreciating factor. Bottom line, they are like any other car and only worth what someone is willing to pay for them. Would you agree now is the time to buy if you were in the market? I think so.

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Would you agree now is the time to buy if you were in the market? I think so.
Better now than in a few years, but best time would have been about 5 years ago.

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In my opinion part of the allure of the VZ's is historical. Aside from the obvious fact that it's a Z, what else makes these cars special is the fact that no other car manufactuer ever had a program like this. That in itself make these select 240's unique.
About the only other manufacturer-backed projects that that even approach this in concept would be the British Motor Heritage replacement MG bodyshells. And even that is nowhere near the same, as all they did was provide the shells. The rest is/was up to the restorers.

Arne,

MG 'shells were only one aspect of that policy. Just off the top of my head I can cite Triumph and at least two different series of Mini bodyshells, as well as many other parts. And I'm sure you'd agree with me that it would have been very nice indeed if Nissan had ever made replacement 'shells for S30-series Z cars......

I'm sure I'll be accused of sounding like a stuck record here, but it seems the point needs making again......

Nissan USA's 'Vintage Z Program' was only "unique" if you allow certain distinctions to be made. Other manufacturers ( E.G. Bristol, Morgan & Aston Martin to name but three ) have had a continuing policy of buying back used cars, restoring them in-house, and then selling them again. Admittedly this was usually done on a case-by-case basis, and not as part of a 'campaign' dreamed up by their advertising departments and given huge publicity, but it happened nonetheless. It still happens, too.

Personally I believe that the 'Vintage Z Program' was a very clever - not to mention timely - publicity stunt that delivered a lot more media attention and column inches than the money it cost could have given if it were just a plain vanilla ad campaign. It could be argued that the project is still having some effect, as the cars themselves are still generating interest and discussion. I've seen one of the cars ( in Japan, funnily enough ) and I thought it was wonderful. I think they are undervalued as usable, viable cars - let alone "investments" ( a nebulous concept at the best of times ).

At least less people on forums like ours are calling these cars "Factory Restorations" these days. I'd put a lot of that down to the fine work of Mr Chris Wenzel, whose research thesis on the VZ Program and the story surrounding it is a fine document indeed. I doff my cap to him.

Alan T.

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........

I'm sure I'll be accused of sounding like a stuck record here, but it seems the point needs making again......

Nissan USA's 'Vintage Z Program' was only "unique" if you allow certain distinctions to be made. Other manufacturers ( E.G. Bristol, Morgan & Aston Martin to name but three ) have had a continuing policy of buying back used cars, restoring them in-house, and then selling them again. Admittedly this was usually done on a case-by-case basis, and not as part of a 'campaign' dreamed up by their advertising departments and given huge publicity, but it happened nonetheless. It still happens, too.

.......

You can't compare those programs from limited models, limited production and market companies to an attempt by a company the size of Nissan. Yes it was a publicity event but you have to admire that a company that size could get in agreement and put something like it together

I for one being new to this am glad that these subjects come up and I learn about the process and what went into them.

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You can't compare those programs from limited models, limited production and market companies to an attempt by a company the size of Nissan. Yes it was a publicity event but you have to admire that a company that size could get in agreement and put something like it together

"Limited models, limited production and market companies......"?

So the NMC USA 'Vintage Z Program' is "unique" in the automotive world because none of the other companies that have bought back, restored and then sold their own products are, er, Nissan - and none of the other cars were 240Zs? Sounds to me like you have fallen hook, line and sinker for the hyperbole surrounding the campaign and a lot of the garbage that was written and talked about it subsequently.

We've been through all this before. The NMC USA 'Vintage Z Program' was only "unique in the automotive world" if you totally ignore the activities of companies such as Bristol, Morgan and Aston Martin. Not enough volume for you? Well, think again - Bristol alone have done it with a lot more than just 38 cars. You want even more? Try Trabant - who used to do it with thousands of cars. You can be excused for missing their media campaign trumpeting the fact though......

BobC,

I hope your car sells, and I hope you get the sale price something like this deserves. I think it is seriously undervalued. I like the wording of your eBay auction: None of the nonsense that some of the previous eBay auctions of VZ Program cars have had attached to them. Good!

Alan T.

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Love the car. Worth every penny IMHO. I hope you get the money for it Bob.

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Thank you, Alan. Yes, I did quite a bit of research and wrote a piece about the program. This was in 2005 and I planned to present the work to the ZCCA at their convention in Syracuse. I did not realize that Pete Evanow was to publish his book at that time and my work became a little overshadowed to say the least. At the time (2004), we were having heated conversations about "factory" involvement and "restoration" quality. I realized that very little was known about the program as the "facts" were being thrown about like a whirling durbish.

Over a period of a year, I collected an amazing bibliography, cataloged 28 cars, and obtained some great collectable items. I own a full PR package on the Dream Garage campaign including the films. I have two different copies of Pierre's private films from the time. I have a collection of private corporate files from one of the Nissan management staff who worked on the project. And my ultimate is a "Life is a Journey, Enjoy the Ride" display banner that Mr. Katayama signed for me in Syracuse. Other major components of the history are still around and in the hands of a couple of private collectors. I would say with all humility that I probably know about as much as anyone could know who wasn't there!

"The Vintage Z program was a portion of the Z-Store program; a marketing campaign designed to fill a market niche, demonstrate a commitment to consumer orientation, and promote brand identity. It could be suggested that the Vintage Z program filled the hole left by the discontinuation of the Z car until a new model could be introduced, however evidence suggests that this would be a coincidence; a result of events. The Z-Store program traces its roots to the unprecedented advertising and market positioning campaign known as the “Dream Garage” or “Life is a Journey” campaign. Initiated during the closing ceremonies of the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, the unprecedented two minute Dream Garage commercial kicked off Nissan’s intentions to increase brand identification and loyalty, respond to consumer demands, and obtain import leadership in the United States. During a period of slumped sales and fiscal losses, the $200 million campaign intended to reverse trend."

"The “Dream Garage” featured the spirit of Yutaka Katayama and his personal philosophy as the foundation of the Nissan brand, employing the company heritage and commitment to truth and honesty in support. From the extensions of that ad campaign came the concept to restore and sell the car which had brought Nissan fame. Reaction from the automotive press was excitingly favorable. Test drives reported high praise and a nostalgic smile from the author. The car was received very well. As might be expected from Nissan’s publicity efforts, media coverage was extensive."

"It was (is) no simple task to completely disassemble, repair, and refurbish 38 cars in a period of seventeen months. The lofty goal was to refurbish 200 cars in 20 months. Demand for the Vintage Zs quickly outpaced supply and efforts to resolve the issue did not help. Replacement part availability became an immediate issue. Although the program used up a significant amount of stock, a considerable number of parts were either remanufactured or replicated. Combined, the time constraint and part availability issues resulted in a controversial restoration. The quality and workmanship was good but the accuracy of unique model part features was not. In addition, certain liberties were taken with the inclusion of aftermarket products and customer requested modifications. Typically, many aspects of the vehicle restoration included upgraded specifications for performance and durability reasons."

"Market demand waned as the waiting time increased for a Vintage Z and the proposed price increased. Dealers simply could not promote a car they could not get. Dark clouds were looming for Nissan’s financial health and with corporate restructuring attempts on the horizon, funding was discontinued and the Z-Store was closed."

There are still a few holes in the history. I have found about 28 cars and they are posted on Carl's web site. Carl takes Evanow's list of serial numbers and extracts two cars (I believe?) which Nissan kept. Then, we found one that is on Pete's list but is obviously not a Vintage Z restoration. I have a few serial numbers that are not on Evanow's list however we can't find the cars. One of Evanow's notes in my collection says that 42 cars were restored yet he lists 38 cars in his book. One of the restoration shops has completely vanished. It just isn't a resolved thing. We're working on the 38 car premise at the moment.

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Hi Chris,

So is there a book on this subject you have completed and is available for sale? If so, where do we get it?

Also, I don't have the VIN #, but has the VZ I posted about from the 2001 Kruse auction been accounted for? I know it was a long time ago, but did you or anyone document the results of its subsequent sale on eBay?

-Mike

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Better now than in a few years, but best time would have been about 5 years ago.

That's dependant on an individuals particular currency. As an example 5 years ago the Canadian dollar was trading at .57 cents US. As Conedodger has pointed out world wide currency values have risen sharply against the US dollar, making this car in question an outright bargain.

Edit: But, we don't know what the reserve is.

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Then, we found one that is on Pete's list but is obviously not a Vintage Z restoration. I have a few serial numbers that are not on Evanow's list however we can't find the cars. One of Evanow's notes in my collection says that 42 cars were restored yet he lists 38 cars in his book. One of the restoration shops has completely vanished. It just isn't a resolved thing. We're working on the 38 car premise at the moment.

I am the new owner of #98389. It is listed as #38 in Evanow's book and held by NNA. It is definitely not one of the Vintage Z's, but a very nice car nonetheless.

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While the focus of this discussion so far is rightfully centered on the "Nissan Vintage Z Program", I think it is important to also keep the far larger picture in mind. The Nissan Vintage Z Program within the overall concept of "the Z Store", could really be viewed as the visible symbol of a far more extensive Corporate Strategy.

The far large picture is one of a $200,000,000.00 Marketing Campaign originated and funded by Nissan Motors Ltd. I believe that one could correctly call it a "Brand Image - Marketing Campaign". (although I make no claim to be a Marketing Major). The Brand image that needed improvement, was the NISSAN Brand, here in its largest export market - the U.S.A.

The Marketing Campaign itself, can most certainly be logically sub-divided into the smaller components of Market Research, Public Relations, Event Organization, Corporate Communications, Sales and Advertising for the purposes of discussion, but we shouldn't view the tail (advertising) as wagging the dog (Marketing) nor its owner (Nissan Motors Ltd).

With Nissan Motors Ltd. some $12B in the red in 1996, top management at Nissan Motors Ltd. underwent significant change. Mr. Hanawa was handed the reigns of a major corporation headed at high speed toward the cliff of bankruptcy. The question was; could he turn it around soon enough to avert disaster?

Taking the leadership position as President, Nissan Motors Ltd., Mr. Hanawa knew he needed the help of a financially strong partner to save Nissan, and the process of making Nissan Motors Ltd. look a little more attractive to potential suitors began.

It was Mr. Hanawa that made the decision to enhance the Nissan Brand, by returning to Nissan's heritage in order to reestablish the connection in the consumers minds - between the glory days of DATSUN here in the U.S.A. and it's current Brand Name - Nissan. Glory Days??.... Yes the days of rapid growth, high profit margins and #1 or #2 Import Sales Positions.

While the concept of "the Z Store" itself - ie. repurchasing, remanufacturing and reselling Classic and later model used Z Cars is said to have been the brainchild of Bob Thomas, President NMC USA, it would be a grave mistake to think that he would have reintroduced both the DATSUN brand name, and the image of Mr. K without the specific direction to do so, from his boss in Japan, Mr. Hanawa.

Mr. Hanawa's willingness to reconnect Nissan Motors Ltd. with its Datsun/Katayama heritage in the USA was a stark turnaround of 20 years of corporate banishment and a very gutsy move. That was followed by the beginning of an all but complete redesign of Nissan's automobile offerings at a time when funds for such projects were in very limited supply.

While Mr. Ghosn got to write the book after the fact, and hold center stage as the beginnings of Nissan's new models hit the market - - as far as I can see it was Mr. Hanawa's leadership and quick action that really saved Nissan Motors Ltd.

So as a part of Nissan Corporate History, and its place in the history of the automobile industry, when you see a Nissan Vintage Z - that symbol should invoke thoughts of a far more comprehensive strategy to save a dying giant. As Datsun Enthusiasts here in the USA, we should also say a prayer of thanks to Mr. Hanawa... he returned not only the Z Car to us, but restored the rightful place of honor that both DATSUN and Mr. Katayama deserved in Nissan's corporate history.

FWIW,

Carl B.

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...repurchasing, remanufacturing and reselling Classic and later model used Z Cars ...

Carl,

Were cars other than 240z's repurchased, remanufactured, and resold? What do you mean by "later model" used Z cars?

-Mike

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Hi Mike:

As originally conceived - the Z Store plan was to offer both Vintage Z's and later model "Classic Z's. There was no need, and thus no plan to remanufacture the used Z32's..... just inspect/repair and offer them ....

From a Nissan Press Release: Nov. 20, 1996 "Z-Store Of The Future".

" "Through our new Z-Store concept, we are partnering with select

Nissan retailers to demonstrate our heritage and prove our commitment

to the consumer by offering reconditioned Z-cars -- a model line that

is legendary in the automotive world," said Tom Orbe, vice president of

marketing for Nissan and Infiniti Divisions. "We are really excited

about this program because it allows us to offer consumers what they

are requesting in an imaginative new way. We hope consumers and

enthusiasts alike share in our excitement."

Individuals that purchase Z-cars from Z-Store retailers will receive

a number of amenities including a special-edition bronze badge, decal

and certificate as well as easy access to purchase Z memorabilia.

This program will be implemented in two phases; the first featuring

"Classic Z's," which include 1990 to 1996 300ZX model pre-owned cars,

followed by pre-owned Z-cars from the Z's 26-year history including

early model Z-cars beginning with the 240Z ("Vintage Z").

"Classic Z"

Kicking off Phase I of the Z-Store will be the offering of "Classic Z."

Differentiating this program, from other off-lease programs is an intensive

120-point inspection that each vehicle must pass before being offered

for sale in a Z-Store. These cars will also carry Nissan's Certified

Pre-owned Limited Warranty and "Classic Z" badging.

"Vintage Z"

Cruising into Z-Stores early next year will be reconditioned

"Vintage Z." These restored early model Z-cars will also include a

limited warranty and should prove to be collector cars in the future."

FWIW,

Carl B.

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Isn't the cardinal rule in collecting the rarity of a particular piece? With only 37 ever built in the world, I can't imagine how many other production cars are this rare...in all of the world.

To imagine a car built in the hundreds of thousands, then to be reduced to a tiny list of only a few dozen...wow.

Gorgeous car!

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Thanks for the clarification Carl. Interesting that Nissan referred to the then current Z32 as the "Classic Z's". Do you know if any of them were sold and badged as Classic Z's? If so, how many, and do they have any additional value?

Also the press release above says "followed by pre-owned Z-cars from the Z's 26-year history including early model Z-cars beginning with the 240Z (Vintage Z)." Did Nissan ever really take any steps towards remanufacturing any later Z's or was that just a marketing ploy?

-Mike

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Ah, British racing green. The color of my first 240Z. Its a very good color. Instead of reading the forum, I assumed that the british racing green Z was the one from Nissan.

Appologies FilipeA. That is quality. I am a fool.

Sincerly,

AggieZ

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