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Yutaka Katayama, 'father Of The Z' Nissan Sports Car, Dies At 105

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A sad day for Z fans everywhere.

 

http://www.wsj.com/articles/nissans-father-of-the-z-dies-aged-105-1424510374

 

 

TOKYO— Yutaka Katayama, a former president of Nissan Motor Co.’s U.S. unit who turned the Z sports car into a powerful global brand in the 1970s, has died. He was 105.

 
Known as the “father of the Z,” Mr. Katayama won international respect for the Datsun Z as an affordable sports car when Japan-made products were synonymous with slipshod quality.
 
Mr. Katayama, who died Thursday, retired from Nissan in 1977.
 
Carlos Ghosn , who has led a turnaround at the Japanese auto maker under an alliance with Renault SA of France, resurrected Mr. Katayama’s legendary status at Nissan and brought back the Z.
 
Inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame in both the U.S. and Japan, Mr. Katayama is revered by Z fan clubs around the world.

 

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Sad yes---but I will remember and celebrate his legacy every time I turn the key.

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I met him at the Classic Datsun Show at Doheny State Beach in 1999 and ran into him at various other events over the years.  He will be missed.

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I'm sad, but so very very thankful for the happiness his life's accomplishments have brought to the lives of so many and how that will continue for a very long time. Rest in Peace Mr K, and thanks for my most marvelous little Z....

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"Life without endeavor is like entering a jewel-mine and coming out with empty hands."

 

- Japanese Proverb

 

Thank you Mr. K for a wonderful life, and bestowings us all with the jewels of your inspiration.

 

Blessing of love, respect and peace to you and your family.

 

 

 

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Designing great cars...

 

Can we just get a few things straight before we go any further with this?

 

Yutaka Katayama did not design any cars. He wasn't a 'designer', a 'stylist', an engineer or any kind of technician. He was a businessman, a business builder, a salesman with a background in marketing and advertising. 

 

So whilst he was a major figure in Nissan's history, an historically important figure in Japan's 'Showa' era and a great man, he didn't conceive, design or engineer any of Nissan's products.

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I met him at the Classic Datsun Show at Doheny State Beach

I don't think he ever got east of the Mississippi, as far as I know, except for some Skype calls that one of our members, Yoichi Matsumoto, set up for the 2008 ZCON, and a few regional meets. He was a very pleasant man, with a very pleasant sense of humor (very much unlike the stereotype Japanese 'Boss' you see on TV) and I would have liked meeting with him for tea.

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I suppose there will be yet another book about him?

 

If you didn't already get it, Art Singer sent an email to everyone subscribing to ZCCM, that there will be a major article about him coming, and that if you have any  stories or encounters to share, please contact him.

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