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24th October 1969 - The S30-series Z public debut.

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Here we are on 24th October 2009, exactly forty years to the day after Nissan's new S30-series 'Z' models debuted at the 1969 Tokyo Auto Show.

The Japanese press had been invited to an exclusive preview of the new S30-series range at Nissan's Ginza HQ a week earlier, but at 9.55am on 24th October the doors to the 16th Tokyo Auto Show - held at the Tokyo International Trade Center in Harumi - were opened to the general public, with Prince Takamatsu of the Japanese royal family performing the opening ceremony.

Over the next 14 days, over 1.5 million people would pass through the doors of the exhibition, viewing 722 vehicles and 256 exhibitors stands. This was the world public debut of the S30-series Z.....

Happy Anniversary!

Some images from the show:

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Displayed on a rotating circular platform right outside Nissan's main booth, an orange PS30 'Fairlady Z432' attracted a lot of attention, and certainly had the wow factor:

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On an impressive banked display ( no doubt evoking Fuji Speedway ) with a banner reading '69 NIPPON GP WINNER NISSAN R382 AND NISSAN SPORTY CARS', were that very R382, the '69 East African Safari Rally winning 510 Bluebird, the '69 Japan GP Touring Car race winning PGC10 Skyline GT-R, and a blue 'HLS30' variant 'Datsun 240Z', wearing number plates that read "Fairlady Z Export Version":

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And on the floor area of the Nissan stand, a 920 'Safari Gold' 'S30' variant 'Fairlady Z-L' model:

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In the weeks following the show, the Japanese press began to publish their December 1969 issues - many of which would feature the new Z models in editorial coverage, and carry high-profile advertisements from Nissan's 'Your Dream Comes True' campaign for the domestic Z range:

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Alan,

Thanks for all of the great photos! I recently bought a book called Japanese Showcars 1 Tokyo Motor Show 1954-1969. I hoped it would have more pictures of the Nissan cars from the 1969 show, but it only had one color picture of the front of the Z432, one b&w photo of the R382, and two B&W photos of a Nissan styling study. If you are interested I can scan and post them.

I love the picture of the 903 blue Fairlady Z Export Model with the rear spoiler and yellow and red taillights. I have thought about adding both to my HLS30-00032 to replicate the look of the car, but people would probably shoot me if I did. I do have an extra early rear hatch with clear glass, so maybe I will get it painted and store my original to keep it stock for the future. I have never seen a color picture of the front of this car until you posted this one. Why does it have clear front turn signal indicators when the other JDM Z's you posted pictures of have the same yellow version that we received in North America? Which markets got the clear ones?

-Mike

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The picture of the Safari Gold Fairlady Z-L is my favorite I think. Similar looks of awe and wonderment all round. This picture more than any other I've seen portrays the visual experience when the S30 was first exhibited and the sentiments soon rippled around the world. Thanks for sharing the great pics Alan and Happy 40th Anniversary to all!

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Thanks for all of the great photos! I recently bought a book called Japanese Showcars 1 Tokyo Motor Show 1954-1969. I hoped it would have more pictures of the Nissan cars from the 1969 show, but it only had one color picture of the front of the Z432, one b&w photo of the R382, and two B&W photos of a Nissan styling study. If you are interested I can scan and post them.

Hi Mike,

Thanks for the kind offer, but actually I've got that booklet too ( as well as parts 2 & 3! ). They are published by the people behind Car Graphic magazine, so when you look back through period issues of CG you can see some of these original photos in the magazines of the time, and also the ones from different angles / perspectives in the booklet. Fascinating stuff, but I agree - not enough coverage on the '69 show and very disappointing on the Zs in particular.

I love the picture of the 903 blue Fairlady Z Export Model with the rear spoiler and yellow and red taillights. I have thought about adding both to my HLS30-00032 to replicate the look of the car, but people would probably shoot me if I did. I do have an extra early rear hatch with clear glass, so maybe I will get it painted and store my original to keep it stock for the future. I have never seen a color picture of the front of this car until you posted this one. Why does it have clear front turn signal indicators when the other JDM Z's you posted pictures of have the same yellow version that we received in North America? Which markets got the clear ones?

The clear indicator lenses are a bit of a mystery really, as the parts lists don't identify them as belonging to any specific market. They are marked as 'OP' ( Option ) parts in the RHD Export parts lists ( where they are called - somewhat quaintly - "Uncolor" lenses ) and the only early cars I recall seeing them fitted to were the two stock HS30s that were sent to the UK in 1970 ( didn't some of the very early Australian market cars have them too? ), and most of the early Works 240Z rally cars. They were wired up as running lights / auxiliary side lights on the Works cars and, technically speaking, I believe they were illegal in the UK. I seem to remember that this was a very recent change in Construction And Use regulations for the UK at the time. The same one that caused the re-design on the UK market valance corners, and delayed UK imports for quite a while....

So - to answer your question - I don't know why this car was fitted with the 'Uncolor' lenses, but looking at the rest of that car it seems to be something of an amalgam of details not necessarily all seen on one particular market model. Did you notice the antenna hole blanking grommet? That's the '432R' standard equipment type rear spoiler too. Interestingly, one of the Japanese magazines reporting on the show in period mentions that a 'hi-po' version of the 240Z would also be available ( triple carbs etc ) much like that single page flyer for the 'Datsun 240Z Sports' with the red car on the front, but this could just be an echo of something that had already been dropped.

I'm sure we've discussed this blue car on here before in another thread. Kats had some interesting observations about it, I recall? It would be fun to guess at its chassis number.....

Alan, Thank you for posting the great pictures and information.

Hi Steve,

Glad you enjoyed them. My pleasure.

Here's a little article regarding the 40th anniversary:

http://wheels.blogs.nytimes.com/2009...edition-model/

That article repeats the statement that "The Datsun 240Z first went on sale in the United States on October 22nd 1969...."

Can anybody actually substantiate this? Where did it go "on sale" ( a show, a dealership? ) and how? I don't think there could have been any specific cars "on sale" in the USA at that point, let alone a 100% fixed specification and - therefore - a price that reflected exactly what the customer would get. Somebody may have put a deposit down, given a verbal or written 'order' ( how? ) against a flyer, but I think it's a long way from a model physically going "on sale".

Has anybody got any evidence that might back this claim up?

Alan T.

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what's the L stand for in fairlady Z L? i'm guessing left hand drive but doesn't fairlady mean that?

It stands for 'Luxe' or 'Luxury', depending on what Nissan publication of the period you refer to.

Nissan's internal shorthand for the 'S30' Z-L model was often 'ZDX' ( meaning 'Z Deluxe' ) whilst the more basic, cheaper and obviously less luxurious 'S30-S' model was nicknamed the 'ZS' or 'Z-Std'. The 'PS30' Z432 model was nicknamed 'PZ' internally at Nissan ( 'P' standing for 'Prince' in this instance - a nod of the head to the Prince DNA of its S20 engine ) and the super-lightweight 'PS30-SB' Z432-R model was nicknamed the 'PZR' ( the 'R' standing for 'Race' ). Fun isn't it?

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The picture of the Safari Gold Fairlady Z-L is my favorite I think. Similar looks of awe and wonderment all round.

Ron,

Most of those guys seem to be thinking that they'll never be able to afford one....!

If you look carefully, you can see that the fellow on the extreme right has picked up a few flyers and sales brochures at the show, and one of them is clearly the Nissan full model range brochure with NISSAN in big white letters on the front. Here it is below, along with a few other flyer and brochure images from the show ( the bigger ones won't fit on my scanner.... ):

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what's the L stand for in fairlady Z L? i'm guessing left hand drive but doesn't fairlady mean that?

Alan has already responded that the L denoted Luxe / Luxury, but there is another misconception within this statement, or so it seems to me.

That is that a Left hand drive vehicle is or could be a Fairlady. This may be too simplistic, but from what I've read/heard the only true Fairlady Z's are those that are RIGHT hand drive and Japanese Domestic Market sales.

Alan, could you elaborate/clarify this?

Simply put, does the name "Fairlady Z" denote a JDM Z exclusively? (RHD would be inherent in the JDM)

Alternatively, were there Fairlady Z's available for sale outside of Japan?

Lastly, were ANY Fairlady Z's Left Hand Drive?

I ask this, because the Sports (SP/SR 311 series) (aka Roadster) ALSO has this conumdrum afoot. (The "Roadster" was also badged as a Fairlady in Japan, and there have been discussions as to the validity of a LHD Fairlady SPL-311.)

Thanks for the pictures, they were quite entertaining.

E

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Simply put, does the name "Fairlady Z" denote a JDM Z exclusively? (RHD would be inherent in the JDM)

Alternatively, were there Fairlady Z's available for sale outside of Japan?

Lastly, were ANY Fairlady Z's Left Hand Drive?

Enrique,

No official factory LHD models of S30-series Z were badged as 'Fairlady Z' or 'Fairlady 240Z' / 'Fairlady 260Z' as far as I am aware.

I think the only examples I've seen were pictures of a few HLS30 factory Works rally cars, and the odd one or two LHD circuit racing cars in Japan, so I'd consider these the exception that proves the rule.

Alan T.

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Interesting, as that concurs with what I've gleaned from various sources.

So, if we were to "invert" the rule; a Fairlady Z (240/260 as well) would denote a JDM car specifically, which basically says that you can't call it a Fairlady just because it's Right Hand Drive, and it additionally specifies that a LEFT hand drive Fairlady is essentially non-existent.

Would that be fair to say?

Thanks for your input.

E

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Thanks for the thread, Alan. Always great to see those pictures! Happy 40th to HLS30U-00027 this month. HLS30U-00026 turns 40 next month. I think you should do it, Mike. If you get shot, at least you'll be standing at the firing line next to me!

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Thanks so much Alan.

Several things I noticed. I like the blue one also, thinking about my #110, but allas, it was badged 12-69, and the above dosen't appear to have a blue interior. Look closely at the front and back, are those the tie down hooks on the right rear and tow brackets on the front?

Post 13 of the engines show the 432 with a 7 blade fan and the other has a 4 blade fan with a blue air cleaner. Interesting.

Happy 40th to all.

Bonzi Lon

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I ask this, because the Sports (SP/SR 311 series) (aka Roadster) ALSO has this conumdrum afoot. (The "Roadster" was also badged as a Fairlady in Japan, and there have been discussions as to the validity of a LHD Fairlady SPL-311.)

E

Just to throw something else into the mix, 1500 Roadsters were badged Fairlady in all markets, but from 65 on the US models were badged 1600's. That being said, one of my employees has a 66 1600 that was sold in Japan to a soldier, driven for 2 years and shipped to the USA. It is a LHD car, but it has Fairlady badges, tear drop marker lenses (did not come on the US versions until 69) and bullet style mirrors. So it is a LHD car with JDM features from new. It is a well documented car with photos to show that is how it came from the factory.

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So, if we were to "invert" the rule; a Fairlady Z (240/260 as well) would denote a JDM car specifically, which basically says that you can't call it a Fairlady just because it's Right Hand Drive, and it additionally specifies that a LEFT hand drive Fairlady is essentially non-existent.

Would that be fair to say?

In a word, yes. No LHD S30-series Zs were officially marketed and sold with 'Fairlady' name badging, as far as I am aware.

SP/SR roadsters are a whole other kettle of fish....

Back to the main topic: Here are some pics of what I believe was the first official S30-series Z related sales flyer / pamphlet to be freely distributed in Japan. I am told that these were handed out from the booth on Nissan's stand at the '69 Tokyo Auto Show. It unfolds to become a two-sided mini poster ( 44cm x 36cm ) with a quaint mix of photos and illustrations, and a fair bit of technical spec content. It's all part of that initial "Your Dreams Come True" Japanese sales campaign:

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Fantastic Alan,

I have never seen this flyer until Alan showed us,also never seen in auctions.Just great:love:

Thank you Alan,you have lots of rare items which even people in Japan never be able to have them.

This thread is wonderful,I feel your full of power and deeply involved with S30.

Happy Anniversary:love:

kats

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Alan,

I just got the link to the New York Times article to work and as I read, I think the October 22nd link you are looking for would be found from this document; ...Nissan division in North America, in a news release. “The Z is just such a vehicle.” Interesting what we might find NNA saying.

Thanks for the wonderful scans.

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Cool stuff here - to think, just 2 days before my 1st birthday, the S30 debuted. :)
Or 18 years, 3 months, and 23 days after mine.....:)

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Interesting that some of the Z models show a mesh type grill, instead of the standard horizontal slat type grill. Was thinking of trying to extend my grill about 3 slats lower, to cover the headlight wires, etc, behind the front bumper. I guess if that doesn't work, can try the mesh approach!

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