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Datsun Heritage Museum to Open in CA


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09-08-2008 11:40 PM

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This is the news we’ve been waiting for and we couldn’t be happier to report it. The Datsun Heritage Museum will officially hold its grand opening on September 12-14 in Murrieta, CA! Excuse us as we jump for joy, do some cartwheels and pop open a bottle of champagne. Finally, a museum that honors a nostalgic marque, right here on US soil!

Yeah, we know, there are other collections. Toyota, Honda and Mazda have a bunch of classics, but they’re just sitting on them, occasionally taking them out to a car show or two. To be clear though, this is not an official Nissan USA project. Ever since Mr. Bean uprooted the company’s US headquarters from Torrance to Tennessee to save a few measly bucks, SoCal has relied on enthusiasts to fill the void.

In fact, the DHM is the pet project of Fred Jordan, a true Datsun devotee and one of the nicest guys you will ever meet. He was a sales manager at one of the first Datsun dealers in the US and founder of the Z-Car Club of Inland Valley (2008 show coverage), and this is a dream of his that’s been brewing for many years.

It’s mission, as stated on its website, is to “Promote a full understanding of and appreciation for the history, values and traditions associated with the Datsun marque in the USA; encourage the preservation, restoration and enjoyment of these fine automobiles for generations to come; and encourage the study of ‘lessons learned’ by the people responsible for the market success of the Datsun brand in the USA.”

The museum will also rely on the support of enthusiasts like you, so please lend them a hand, and if you can attend the grand opening this weekend, starting at 10am. The Datsun Heritage Museum is located at 41610 Date Street, Suite 103, Murrieta, CA 92562.

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My Inland Valley Z Car Club newsletter just arrived in the mail yesterday. From the newsletter:

"The long awaited opening of the Datsun Heritage Museum will be held the weekend of September 12, 13 & 14, 2008. The official ribbon cutting will be at 11:00 am on Friday the 12th.

The opening is to be during the time our mentor Yutaka Katayama becomes 99/100 years old. In Japan they count from conception, thus Mr. K recently celebrated his 99th birthday with about seventy friends. So which ever it is here in the USA we will be very happy to have succeeded in getting our small tribute to such a great person open on his birthday. (September 15th - edit:CW)

We will have a Briggs & Stratton Flyer on loan from the San Deigo Auto Museum, which was the first two seat light weight car Mr. K observed in 1925 which sent him on his quest to build a light weight car for two, first the "Flying Feather" then the 240Z.

The ZCCIV had their monthly meeting for August recently and afterwards nearly 30 members went to see the museum progress. A caravan drove the few blocks and John Williams decided to leave his 240Z being the first car to be entered for exhibition."

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The red S30-series Z in that 'GRAND OPENING' poster is perhaps something of an unusual choice for a "Datsun Heritage Museum", don't you think? I believe it is fitted with a turbocharged American V8 engine, and has a narrowed ( tubbed? ) rear end............

Nice car, but isn't it somewhat 'off message'? I'd have expected to see something perhaps a little older, and a bit less personalised.

".......the first two seat light weight car Mr. K observed in 1925 which sent him on his quest to build a light weight car for two, first the "Flying Feather" then the 240Z."

Great. The museum is going to have a 'Schmistory' theme too...... :knockedou :classic:

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There is a wide variety of Datsuns in the museum, roadsters, Z's, 510's and even one tubbed, turbo charged V8 powered Z car. I was up there last Friday, and they have done a nice job with a good collection of Datsuns. There are several pretty special Datsuns that are parked within the museum.

Although in all fairness the Z in the poster is not a good representation of the Heritage Museum, I think that "WE" the (Datsun community) need to give the Heritage group a bit more of a chance to get this going. There has been a lot of effort by a couple of people to make this work with very little assistance from corporate sponsorship.

I think that they have done a wonderful job. If you are in the area, come by and take a look, make a donation and have fun!

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Hmmmmmmmmm, sounds like an interesting weekend plan! I'll certainly put it on my To-Do-List. Saturday would be a good day for me....Sunday is fine too but, I'd rather not miss my riding groups Sunday MTN bike ride! Anyone else interested besides AndysPlit?

Tom

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I plan on going Friday. I've got to get my butt off of this computer chair and clean up the 810. I like taking that car to a Datsun event. It's always the only one there. There's always lots of Z's, a few 320 pickups, but never any 810's at anything I've been to.

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I just attempted to upload some photos from the museum into the empty events folder and I think I messed up. I've got about 40 photos and I tried to upload the first ten and got distracted when my neighbor came by so I don't really know what I did, but it looks like I uploaded photos from an old event. I won't know until they're approved so, Mike, maybe you could delete them and I'll attempt to start from scratch later. Mr. K wasn't actually there.....that's me with his carboard cut-out in my avatar.

Edited by sblake01
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Great pictures! Thanks Steve and Carl. I couldn't help but check out the poster displays and memorabilia. Looks like a nice collection coming together! Thanks to Ron and all the people who put their cars on display. Looks like there was great turnout. Don't forget to send your birthday greetings to Mr. K.

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I was there saturday afternoon. I'll upload some pictures as well. Half the cars on display are owned by guys that frequent the show circuit here in Southern California. All in all it was wonderful. It was quite evident that this was put on by people with a passion for Datsuns. There was a lot of love there for these cars. My hats off to them. I will return.

By the way, there is a great scenic route on the way to or from there. I'll provide a link of where I drove. It goes through some mountains and country-like scenery...Totally made my day.

Local members of this board should come long next time for this run. I'll show the way!

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