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production number for 1969


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I'll have to give it to Kats. I think your a very great man. You have gone out of your way to give us information without a fee. Most of us here in the states haven't seen before. You'll Always be rembered.

As for Alan and Carl, All I have too say is both of you make very good points which I (most of us) have never really paid attention too.

I think this thread should be saved and not forgotten. It should be put in it's own folder. If you have to search to find it then it'll only be accessible to people who know what there looking for. As for me I'm saving it for future reference.

Just some Food-for-thought.


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Hello everyone,

I am so glad that many people enjoy these rare photos.But not so great quality makes some one irritate,does not it?

Alan,do not worry!!I always enjoy your posting here so please do not say apologize for it!! We all are loving Z,so we all are here,right? I know when you are talking about RHD or LHD,you become a bit obstinate(is this word suitable?)man.But is it bad thing?I do not think so.We know it is welcomed to post any kind of opinion of the Z that is related and oriented from one's true heart.(except for comercial).I can see Carl also welcomes your opinion and that argument sometimes gives us good ideas for

someone.This is great,is not it ?

Alan, I think we are always surprsing your magnificent knowlege about the Z and your HOT heart for the Z.And I agree with your many opinions posted here so far.But some opinions are different from mine.I can not list them up all because there are so many points. I can say,your effort for telling about RHD and Japanese market Z certainly inspires for a lot of people in the U.S.A.

I remenber when I met you first at FUJI speedway in 2001.I was surprised you talked perfect japanese and same time I was surprised you said you could not write nor read!!This is strange for me.Do you all know japanese people must study english from elementaly school but most of us can not speak.This is a big ploblem in Japan anyway.

During driving back home from FUJI speedway,we talk a lot.And find we are very very similler eachother but aiming completely oposite situation about Z.

I love Z so much,Alan you love Z so much,I want Japanese people to know what DATSUN 240Z(U.S. model) look like and how 240Z have been loved in the U.S.Then you want people in the U.S. to know what RHD Z look like and how RHD Z have been loved in Japan (and U.K and Australia).I always think why Japanese people do not look DATSUN 240Z,and always they are talking about Fairlady Z.Alan always think why people in the U.S. do not look RHD Z,and always talking about DATSUN 240Z.I want put some different views to Japanese people,Alan want to put some different view to people in the U.S....... We immediatly respected our different situation eachother and still this have been continued.What a interesting story,I think so by myself.

Today I post here is a photo of prototype Z's interior.This Z is the

one which I posted before"a lady with a Z".

Please note glossy steering column cover,a fog lamp switch above a hazard switch.How many people are able to find the steering wheel is different from DATSUN 240Z?This steering wheel is just same as Japanese(not sure for all RHD,tell us Alan!)Z.The difference is,a horn pad's position.This photo shows the horn pad is positiond just same surface of steering wheel.You already know DATSUN 240Z's horn pad is far inside from a steering wheel.The steering wheel's spokes have different angle between DATSUN 240Z and Fairlady Z.

And the hand is Mr.Matsuo's.He said light/wiper combo switch was a very special featuring of Z.And he said no car had equipped like this comfortable switch before the Z.Mr.Matsuo had been planing this switch for long time and he had tryed to persuade parts manufacure to make this switch.But first they did not say yes, even they said to Mr.Matsuo"Are you serious?you are crazy"because it was so difficult to combine light and wiper switch in a same piece.Mr.Matsuo kept negotiating,and finaly the manufacture managed to make this switch.

One more thing,you can see the watch on Mr.Matsuo's left hand.

This is a special order made of Citizen(Japanese manufacture).

They made only one for Mr.Matsuo and he was inspired by this watch to design Z's watch which is equipped only for Fairlady Z,

a watch which got stop watch mechanism.He also did his best to persuade manufacture to make the special watch for Z.

See you soon,



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Fantastic new information, Kats - thank you!

I don't want to dwell on it too much - but thank you sincerely for your encouragement to me. You do a very good and important job of raising awareness of the Export models in Japan, and I have great respect for that. We are both trying to achieve a balanced perspective, I think. It pains me when people call the RHD cars ( and the Domestic models in particular ) "irrelevant", as its clear that just as much effort went into them as the LHD models.

Those photos of production charts that you supplied for 1969 ( Japanese calendar year Showa 44 ) are things of wonder to me. Its so good to have an official document to back up those figures from Nissan Shatai that were in your first post. I think that the figures speak for themselves.

Regarding the Steering Wheel and Horn Pad question, I have never had the opportunity to compare the differences side-by-side in my hands. However, I believe that ALL ( RHD or LHD ) Export steering wheels were the same, and changed at the same time too. I always believed that the Japanese domestic model difference was for ergonomic reasons ( reach ) and wondered about safety too. I always point out the extra seat brackets on the Domestic bodyshells ( not fitted to Export models ) that allowed the seat runners to be unbolted from the floor and repositioned further forward - essentially allowing a very short driver ( especially Japanese ladies ) to reach the pedals and other controls safely and comfortably. I think this is part of the same thinking.

Matsuo san's combined rotary column switch / stalk is a thing of wonder too. One of the things that hit me when I first drove a Z was just how clever and convenient this was to use. I also saw and used the equivalent on many more modern Nissan models when I was living in Japan. Its a shame Matsuo san could not patent it. When I was living there, I also noted the regulation about switching from dipped headlamps down to sidelights when waiting at traffic signals or an intersection ( in order to avoid blinding oncoming traffic ) and I always thought this was a great idea. The rotary switch makes this operation just a finger-flick away. Excellent idea and excellent engineering. They last a long time too!

Matsuo san's Citizen watch is a lovely story too. It is so typical of a man like Matsuo to appreciate the fine things, and to be inspired by good design and engineering and apply that inspiration to his own designs.

The mystery lady with the prototype car photo is fascinating. I'm not sure if the photo is distorted, but the quarter window shape looks different from the final design, and possibly the windscreen rake also? There were a lot more of these clays and plastic prototypes than the previously published photos normally show. I am very very glad that Matsuo san has kept them, along with his original sketches for the body shapes. One day we will be able to give the team that designed, engineered and built the S30-series Z its true acclaim, and Matsuo san's collection will be valuable evidence for this.

This is all very inspiring Kats. Sincerely - thank you.

Alan T

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Many thanks for the information that you have been able to provide with regard to the S30 series (not that you haven't heard this before) as it has been sorely missed for many years in the United States.

My first question is with regard to the last of the S30 production, namely the 1977 and 1978 models; is there any record of "special" models such as the "Black Pearl" from '78 or the "ZAP" edition of 1977? While I appreciate the early S30 I continue to have an affinity for the '77 and '78 models and yet there seems to be so little information available for these cars in terms of production data and specification (i.e. the number of '78's painted Wine Red Metallic #611).


Thanks for the crusade to help us Yanks understand that the S30 was built and designed in Japan regardless of where it was "planned" to be sold. Not to bring a new argument but, with regard to Albrecht Goertz, it is hard to dismiss his influence on another fine and yet under-appreciated car, the Toyota 2000GT, which has at least a common familial tie to Nissan by way of Yamaha. What are your thoughts on this matter?

Again, thanks to kats for all of his efforts for the S30 and thank goodness for Matsuo-san for keeping such fine records and photos.


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This thread has been of great interest to me. I started reading it earlier today during a study break. While I was studying I was catching myself thinking about the contents of this thread. I then quickly went back to o-chem. I just finished reading everything after many study breaks.

Kats, you provided some great information on production dates and some very intriguing facts on the Z car. I am trying expand my knowledge on the Z car, and especially the Japanese versions. Thanks to people like you and Alan, and many others, this is possible.

Was the clock that you mentioned that was inspired by Matsuo's watch the "Calender Clock?" If it is the one I am thinking of it is very much like a watch due to the date display that a watch has. This is interesting to me because I bought a calender clock (Rally clock) for my 260z. It is a beautiful piece.

Alan, you are not wasting your time by posting pictures or articles on the site about the Japanese versions because many of us are really interested in them, and it is hard to come by information on the Fairlady's.

Eventhough I have been inactive on the forum for a few months due to my studies, threads like this keep me coming to this forum. The knowledge that members of this forum have is mindblowing to a Z fan such as I. I hope someday to take all of this information that I am learning about the Z car and use it as some do. I will stop babbling away. Thanks everyone on this thread for great insight.



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  • 2 weeks later...

Hello,every one

I am so sorry for this late replying.


I am sorry I do not have good information about late year Z like 77-78. I have been focusing on only earliest Z so far.

From 73late to78,these year's exported models are mistery for japanese people. When Z got big bumpers and bigger engine 2.6L and 2.8L,in Japan, engine was still 2.0L and same narrow bumpers.

I have to mention one thing,Mr.Matsuo had already left

NISSAN in summer 1973.Why?He did great great job did not he?

I do not know and Mr.Matsuo does not say much about it.

There must be some reason,and I guess NISSAN was not clever.

So maybe you know,2+2 was finished it's design in 1969.It was Mr.Matsuo's design and his team made many plastic design prototype for 2+2.This is a famous episode,when Mr.K saw 2+2 prototype's photo in 1969,he was surprised that Mr.Matsuo was thinking far ahead.Mr.K said to Mr.Matsuo"2+2 is great,but I want 240Z immediately!!"Because Mr.K was wishing he could start to sell 240Z in the U.S. some around OCT but he knew it was impossible.

On the other hand,Mr.Matsuo did not touch anything about bigger bumper nor many design changed in late 1973.

Even Mr.Matsuo said he did not design emblem with air out let

started from early 197‚P.At that time,"parts grope"had started

and they did actual design to meet various regulation changing.

He closed his S30 design team in late 1969.So I think Mr.Matsuo's work effected mainly 1969-1970 Z.But Mr.Matsuo said "I did ZG nose assembly,early 1971 I made ZG nose prototype and I equipped them and I tested in TOMEI highway in japan"

I think ZG is last Mr.Matsuo's design?

And I will start a new thread for some photo.


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Kats Wrote:

K>I have to mention one thing,Mr.Matsuo had already left

K> NISSAN in summer 1973.Why?He did great great job did not

K> he? I do not know and Mr.Matsuo does not say much about it.

K> There must be some reason,and I guess NISSAN was not

K> clever.

Hi Kats (everyone)

Mr. Matsuo wrote a couple of comments about that.. in the Book "Fairlady Story Datsun SP/SR & Z".

Mr. Matsuo said; "After the Z, I was involved with the styling of the Laurel, the 230 Cedric and the hardtop version of the Gloria. The latter line of vehicles had almost disappeared, but I suggested basing it on a modified Cedric chassis. They were all well-received, but in the end, I still got into trouble as my boss said the Gloria now looked better than the company flagship Cedric.

With my habit of disregarding company lines of command and constantly going straight to the top, my superiors decided to move me sideways to head the interior development section. My father died during this period and I couldn't help feeling I had let him down.

Thinking about the future, I concluded the company didn't put enough emphasis on styling. They seemed to forget that no matter how strong the business is, if the vehicle isn't attractive, it simply won't sell. As I fought the system, my passion was fast starting to dwindle, but I decided I still wanted to make a difference regarding Japanese car design. In the summer of 1973 I left Nissan to set up my own consultancy."

Mr. Matsuo adds in an Epilogue:

"On reflection, I am sad to think of the way Nissan treated Mr. Katayama. Normally, the prepare a special job for their top executives to see them into their retirement, but nothing was done for him, even though the company's success in America was due entirely to his work.

I was also disappointed when my boss - the very man who was initially against the Plan A theme (the Z car..cjb)..stepped up to receive the annual President's Prize (the highest award in Nissan) for the Z Car; I wasn't even invited to the ceremony."

Mr. Matsuo concludes by saying;

"I would like to take this opportunity to express my thanks to the thousands of owners in America (and other export markets) who bought the Z during a period when Japanese vehicles were still being looked down upon. May your enjoyment of the Z-car continue for many years to come."


Carl B.

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I for one have found this post to be quite addictive so thanks to all who have contributed.

I have a couple of comments which are quite insignificant considering the amount of information that has been provided during the course of the many threads to this post, but I'll make them anyway.

Firstly I have never seen the Handbrake (E brake) as anything but a brake to be applied when parked or as an aide for hillstart's.

I have been driving 240 Zeds (RHD) for many years and despite my being somewhat larger than I would like to be, I have never had a problem with the positioning of the handbrake or even thought about it until seeing Carl's comments.

There were many good points raised in the many threads of this post but one has stuck in my mind, Carl's comment that the 240 Zed was an American Sports/GT car made in Japan seems to me to be a little arrogant, surely the correct statement should be that the 240 Z (S30) was a Japanese car made in Japan with the HLS30 simply an American specification, a variant of the S30 series of cars.

I would also suggest that on the "evidence" the original design s looks to have been based on the RHD form, this is not to suggest that the Nissan marketing team were not planning a major offensive on the American consumer at exactly the same time with the LHD form the first to be exported on mass.

The information from Katz show's that both RHD and LHD were in focus at the same time but the overall layout does seem to point to the initial design thought being based on the RHD car, Carl's arguments against Alan's comments on this, to me, do not hold water, hence my aforementioned comment regards the Handbrake.

Whilst the largest potential market for a great value, well equiped fantastic looking sports tourer was indeed the US, I would suggest that the S30 series of cars were designed ultimately for sales in all markets, hence the number of varients.

Afterall if Australia had in excess of 200 or so million people in 1969 all of the information today would be on the HS30 and it's sales into Australia!?

Just my thought's



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Originally posted by LEE240ZPERTH

I for one have found this post to be quite addictive so thanks to all who have contributed.


There were many good points raised in the many threads of this post but one has stuck in my mind, Carl's comment that the 240 Zed was an American Sports/GT car made in Japan seems to me to be a little arrogant, surely the correct statement should be that the 240 Z (S30) was a Japanese car made in Japan with the HLS30 simply an American specification, a variant of the S30 series of cars.



Hi Lee (everyone):

I believe that you are allowing a mistaken perception on your part of "American arrogance" on my part - to mislead you in this discussion.

While I am very willing to admit to a certain amount of arrogance - in this particular case it is actually praise that I argue for. Praise for a Japanese Designer named Mr. Matsuo and a Japanese Manager named Yutaka Katayama.

Your perception seems to support the mistaken belief that a Japanese Designer was not capable of designing a product for any market other than Japan. That somehow the Japanese are too... well .. "Japanese" to ever sit cultural ideology aside. You would seem to side with Alan in the mistaken belief that it was just good timing, just luck, just the result of a huge rich market - that lead to the sales of 85% of the Z Cars produced coming to America. Additionally, that no one expected the Z Car to sell in the huge numbers it did (it was just a pleasent surprise for Nissan that the Z in America outsold the Fairlady Z in Japan).

That rational would seem be in line with most of the books written about the Z Car, by English authors. They too seem willing, without much serious research, nor investigative reporting to verify factual information; most, all but rush to attribute the original design of the Z to an American Citizen - one Albright Goertz.

They seem to believe, as you do, that Nissan had to hire someone outside of Japan to design a car for the American market. Clearly that is what Mr. Goertz has lead them to believe, or at least report in their books. According to Mr. Goertz he was really hired by Nissan because they wanted to design a car for sale in America.

The facts on the other hand, are clearly outlined by Mr. Katayama and Mr. Matsuo in the book they authored in Japan - "FAIRLADY STORY - Datsun SP/SR & Z". The Design and Production of the Sports/GT that we know as the Z Car - were driven by American requirements. That however is only a simple fact. The real story of the Z Car goes much deeper and is much more significant.

My fear is that with your perspectives - you really miss the real story of the Z Car and it's significance in the history of the automobile.

If you read the above referenced book (Fairlady Story)- you will see that Mr. Matsuo clearly states that his original concept (his Plan A) was for a roadster, with a four cylinder engine. He wanted it to be a world class sports car for Nissan. He then steps you though the design as it evolved "driven" by requirements from America and Mr. K.

The resulting Sports/GT - a six cylinder, coupe that we know as the Z Car today, is quite different than even Mr. Matsuo had envisioned at the beginning.

To argue that the Z Car was designed by the Japanese for the Japanese, with the hope of selling a few in the export markets - is to greatly reduce the significant accomplishments of both Mr. Katayama and Mr. Matsuo.

In The Words Of The Chief Of Design:

Let’s take a look at the Design Process and Drivers - as outlined by Mr. Matsuo, the Chief of Design on the Datsun 240-Z Design Team, in the book “FAIRLADY STORY Datsun SP/SR & Z” by Yutaka Katayama and Yoshihiko Matsuo, as published in Japan by MIKI Press.

Mr. Matsuo states (relating to export markets)

"35 years ago Nissan products were not highly regarded, they sold because they were cheap."

When he became the head of the Sports Car Design Section, he wanted to produce an original sports car that could embody the spirit of the best the U.S. and Europe had to offer and ultimately see it compete on equal terms.

"When Mr. Katayama came back from America Mr. K. said we could go on making cheap economy cars forever, but by doing so, we would never be able to move forward in the export markets."

When the new sports car project first started Mr. Matsuo felt that this couldn’t simply be a full model change based on the Fairlady roadster. He was conscious of the fact that there were new safety regulations to consider (again referring to the US), and this latest car had to be both more comfortable and considerably more practical than its predecessors.

Mr. Matsuo said that the car had to be a high volume seller, at least 3000 units per month. (compared to 400 units per month for the Fairlady roadster in 1965).

Mr. Matsuo’s superiors thought it was a foolish plan – only Mr. K would listen to him and it was Mr. K’s support (for the US Customer) that kept the project rolling.

We can see clearly from the above that the American Market was starting to drive the design. Nonetheless at that point at the beginning of 1965, Mr. Matsuo had his own ideas of what the car should be. His original concept (Plan A) was that of a smaller roadster with a four-cylinder engine.

As it became clear that American requirements were driving the design, Mr. Matsuo’s original concept was allowed to evolve accordingly. He reports that:

1. Mr. K’s requirement for a 2.4L engine caused the car to be made wider and increased the height and length of the hood.

2. The US Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (MVSS) directed it be a coupe instead of a roadster.

3. The MVSS cited SAE standards stated that the headlights should be 60 cm off the ground - this drove the use of the sugar scoop headlight treatment. Headlight covers were illegal in the US at the time, but were retained as an option for Japan.

Mr. Matsuo wrote: “In final prototype, with full interior, was completed in the Spring of 1968. It was duly wheeled into the display hall and seeing it sitting there, low and wide, I thought how much better it looked than the original Plan A model.” “I had every confidence it was going to sell well.”

Mr. Matsuo’s final comment in that book (which he and Mr. K Authored) is:

Quote – I’d like to take this opportunity to express my thanks to the thousands of owners in America (and other foreign markets) who bought the Z during a period when Japanese vehicles were still looked down upon. May your enjoyment of the Z-Car continue for many years to come. – END QUOTE.

I believe that Mr. Matsuo proved 1) that a Japanese Designer was fully capable of designing a car for any target market in the world, 2) that Mr. Goertz's theory that only a single designer can produce a unified design was wrong (Mr. Matsuo lead a team of designers), and 3) that TQM was the pathway to success for any product.

The position that you presently hold - would negate all of that and flies in the face of very significant factual history related to the Z Car. It isn't arrogant to say that the Datsun 240-Z is an "American Sports/GT" - it's recognition of very accomplished design. One that should have been recognized with a Deming Prize.



Carl Beck

Clearwater,FL USA


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Tee hee. This thread is still a smouldering ember it seems.

Carl, I think you do seem to go much too far over the top in your defence. Some of the statements that you put forth, and attribute to the non-believers like me, go quite a lot beyond what people really think and believe.

I think ( and I speak mainly for myself here of course ) that the main thing that you seem to be unwilling to acknowledge is that the S30-series Z was quite obviously designed to cater for both RHD and LHD versions. Now, notice that I wrote "S30-series Z" and NOT "240Z". I think when talking and writing about the first generation of Z cars - in all forms and variations - we ALL ought to follow the cues of the manufacturer, and say "S30-series Z". To say or write "240Z" when referring to a whole family of cars simply causes confusion, and is the root cause of a lot of misunderstandings about these cars.

As for believing that the enormous success of the Z in the USA market was any kind of an accident or pure good fortune ( you quote "luck" ) , well - I don't think I've ever said that ( unless you have taken something out of context ) and of course it would be wrong to believe that. I don't think anybody disputes that Nissan hoped to sell a huge proportion of their product to the largest single export market in the World. I would think it was a relief rather than a "surprise" that the car did so well. You seem to forget that at no stage until the car actually started selling like hot cakes in the USA was this success ever a 'done deal' or a foregone conclusion..........

And who said a Japanese designer would not be capable of designing a product for any other market than Japan? You are just putting words into other peoples mouths.

You might like to try and read between the lines a little too. In order to challenge your entrenched position that the USA-market specific HLS30 model was in some way the Big Mac of the Z range and that somehow all other models and variants are "niche market" models, it becomes necessary to throw a bit of rhetoric your way. You seem to over-react to this sometimes. For my own part, I would like to see you ( as something of an oracle when it comes to these cars - at least as far as the World Wide Web is concerned ) in some way acknowledge that the RHD and LHD versions were conceived, designed, developed and productionised at the same time.

You will remember ( about 5 pages or so ago ) that this thread started with Kats posting some absolutely fascinating new information from Nissan Shatai and Matsuo san with regard to the 1969 production numbers. Your own first post in reply immediately jumped to the wrong conclusion with regard to my own posted reply to Kats. You seemed to pounce immediately on the perceived threat of somebody claiming that an HS30 model might have been produced in 1969 ( which is something that we can argue about as much as we like and get nowhere, and until we get better info is just conjecture anyway ). For me it was significant that indisputable proof had been produced that RHD models were produced at the same time as LHD models. I think you immediately overlooked this, and jumped on my imaginary claim - did you not? That's how it looked to me and a few other people, anyway. To me that kind of summed up your approach.

You have now started getting your critical teeth into the books ( which you say were written by "English authors" - but I would possibly advise you to say 'British' ) who promoted the idea that Goertz "created" the S30-series Z car. In answer to this I say two things. First of all, the greatest blame for this has to go to Goertz himself for shameless self-promotion and the spread of doubt, lies and myths that were never properly quashed as they should have been by Nissan USA. I think you and I both agree that Goertz is the cowboy with the black hat in this particular western.

Secondly, I think its possibly a little rich of you to accuse these authors of a 'lack of research' on their subjects. In many cases they were repeating information that they had taken in good faith with regard to what you call "The Goertz Myth" from figures who really should have known better. In fact, USA-based authors were never immune to this failing either. Your friend Ben Millspaugh dedicated sections of his book "Z Car - A Legend In Its Own Time" to several people who have been, and still are, die-hard Goertz fans; namely, Lynne Godber, Mike Feeney, Steve Burns and Jon Newlyn. Don't you think that, in the light of your comments, its somewhat ironic that Ben Millspaugh gave such a lot of space in his book to these British people?

I am a member of The Classic Z Register here in the UK - a club dedicated to the first generation of Z cars, which was formed as a breakaway group from the Z Club of GB precisely because some members felt that the early ( pre S130 ) cars deserved their own club. The Chairman ( now honorary president ) is Lynne Godber, and the current Chairman is Mr Jon Newlyn. Both of these people are STILL Goertz-promoters, and indeed Goertz is listed as an "Honourary Member" of the Register. I have protested about this many times, but my protests fall on stony ground. Once set in stone, these legends are difficult to dispel aren't they?

Anyway, with regard to mistakes and poor research - nobody is immune. The Millspaugh book has its own fair share of mistakes, as does your recommended-reading for today - "Fairlady Z Story" by Katayama and Matsuo..................

This book, published by MIKI PRESS of Japan ( ISBN4 - 89522-244-6 in case anyone wants to order one ) is in Japanese. It contains some selected headings and picture captions in English, and some editions carried a partial translation into English that was in the form of a flyer insert. I think your edition possibly carried one of the English translation flyers by my friend Mr Brian Long ( one of those English authors that you don't seem to rate very highly ) and his wife Miho. Am I correct? Or possibly you have had your own translation performed on it?

Anyway, the first thing I would like to point out is the title of the book. It is called "FAIRLADY Z STORY" and subtitled "Datsun SP / SR & Z". Notice that it is not titled "240Z Story" or "HLS30 Story"..........

Then go on to the Contents page, and notice the translated heading of Chapter 1; "Birth of Datsun 240Z" by Yutaka Katayama. This is significant. Then look down to the Japanese heading of Chapter 3 and its English translation below; "How I developed Datsun 240Z styling" by Yoshihiko Matsuo. This too is significant.

Why is it significant? Look at the Japanese title of Chapter 3 ( and I Romanise this Japanese heading ): "Shodai Z design kaihatsu shuki" - or "Original Z design essay" ( my translation ). Notice how the Japanese title of Matsuo's chapter does not specifically mention the "Datsun 240Z" in the Japanese version - but that Miki Press have decided to translate this into English as "How I developed Datsun 240Z styling" - which is not a literal translation at all. I think you can see what I am driving at - and this is something that is clear whenever Matsuo is interviewed in Japanese with regard to the Z - namely that Matsuo usually refers to the S30-series Z as a whole range when discussing its design. Contrast this with Katayama - who usually does exactly as you do - referring to the "Datsun 240Z" specifically. I think there is a big difference in approach between the two of them, and I can see why each takes the approach that he does. I see this as Katayama's Americanised approach and Matsuo's Japanese approach.

More specifically though, I'd like you to take a little pinch of salt when it comes to reading the English translations for the headings and picture captions in this book. I can assure you that they are not all literal translations from Japanese into English ( if such a thing is even possible ). Note too that there are a great many mistakes in the picture captions in both Japanese and English. This is a most regrettable thing in such an otherwise excellent book. We should probably remember that Matsuo and Katayama's contributions were certainly edited and subbed by the staff of Miki Press, and that they certainly did not caption the pictures themselves. The idea of the English captions is certainly meant to appeal to foreign markets for the book ( a translated version of which was apparently at least mooted by Miki Press ) and guess where the biggest market for an English-language book on the Z car would be? Katayama and Matsuo's views are still slightly different ( understandably ) and its plain that Matsuo still defers to the feelings of his former superior out of respect and politeness as much as anything else.

I quite agree with your last statement and its three points though. How on earth can you accuse anybody here ( I presume you mean me? ) of holding a position that negates all of those three points? Not true at all. I have nothing but respect and admiration for these people.

continued next post:

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To those of us outside the USA who read that "American Sports / GT - Made in Japan" quote, it can indeed look somewhat arrogant. It fails to take into account the fact that Matsuo and his team were working under some constrictions, and implies that they had embarked on the design of a vehicle that was aimed specifically at the USA market AND NO OTHER. That last bit is important. Whatever you want to believe, its clear that just as much effort went into OTHER non USA-market specific variants / models and that a great deal of time was spent in making this more of a World Car ( rather than just a USA specific model ). Its also clear that Matsuo and his team were obliged to use certain components and layouts that in turn dictated other details and functions of the car ( unless you think that the L-series engine and its transmissions were also designed SPECIFICALLY for the USA market - which is patently not so ). They were also clearly just as influenced by the needs pertaining to an RHD layout as they were to an LHD layout ( and in some areas were forced to make 'design concesssions' because of this ). Here is quite clearly the design and development of a vehicle aimed at more than one market, and to take on several different forms. These facts seem to horrify you. Why is that?

Pretty much all of us agree and cheer on a great number of your points Carl. They are usually very well laid out and eloquently expressed. It looks nice on the page - apart from your daffy comments about the anti-matter that is the RHD car, which I presume was only half serious, and recommend that you don't repeat too often as it will look ever more daft the more often it is repeated:classic: Its just the last bit of spin that you put on the ball that makes it a no-ball. I think you have to try to see the way the rest of the World sees the Z now, as well as taking into account the other iterations of the first-generation Z car ( remember - its the "S30-series" right? ) and the fact that just as much effort went into both LHD and RHD versions.

I'm not really looking forward to your response, as it will doubtless run to several thousand words just like mine and will probably try to pick me up on every last point without ever giving an inch or making any concession. I'm sure that this game of squash would eventually run the thread into the ground and get nowhere into the bargain.:classic:

Alan T.

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I just want to jump in here for my 2c. The information that KATS has so graciously shared with us is ground breaking stuff. Yes these discussions are great reading when you get input from ALAN and CARL, two people I think we all have great respect for, both are very well read and have established set positions that are hard to dispute (sometimes).

S30 build on the production line in more than one guises from the start. My point here is the marketing strategy was brilliant, ramp up all production on all lines. Release the HLS 30 to the American Masses on ship and a prayer. Creating a good home market product and a growing sales position. Hold an ace up the sleeve ( the export HS30 SPORT ). Yes I say from my exulted position above my sunlight soapbox, " If the HLS 30 had fizzled on the dock in San Fransico Nissan would still have created history with the High Spec Export HS30 SPORT ". This was NISSANS black powder that it was keeping dry. An S30 sibling still under raps with the best export pedigree yet to be tried. I now climb down of the sunlight and hide under my box.



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Are there any solid production numbers for the '71 model? The reason I ask is from looking at texasz's car, it's a '71 but it's number 8000 or something like that. zhome production numbers say something around 10500 '70's were sold. So I'm wondering how could texasz's car have been built before ~2000 other '70 models but get labeled a '71? COuld it have been issued a number and then sat around the factory for several months before being completed or repaired? The production date is 8/70 - I guess that's when it was finished right?


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For all the boys in OZ that want a low production number, I just found this in the Melbourne trading post. Has anyone got a look at this car, or possibly taken pics.


DATSUN 240Z, AUST. delivery Build No. 91, only 300 1969mdls built worldwide, good condition, stored since 1995, paintwork average, body & interior orig, ready to RWCert. Vin.HS30-00091, $12,000. (0417) 786815 Pearcedale.




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Steve even though it's a low numbered Z it's come to my attention that none of our Aus Spec Z's were 1969 mdl's. Infact the lowest number Z in Aus is HS30 0004. This was a 70mdl I thought I should point out.


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Yeah I know some clutse has five thumbs.


thanks for the info I had no idea that the early series export model HS30 did not get sold here until mid 1970.

I have seen a single serial HS30 in SYD in the mid 90s but the history was not traceable and the condition was not good either.

This guy must have a good story to advertise it fo sale as what he is saying. Someone in Melbourne needs to see the car and check the documentation. I wish I was in Melb so I could go round and get some pics of it.

Thanks again Gav.




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I get it someone in Melbourne now who would that be LOL.

Depending if I get time I might check it out, I was alerted to the fact that there was no 69 mdl 240z's in Australia officially imported by another member in this forum, and it's a common misconception by us Ozzies that we got ones before 1970.

I've heard it in a number of places.

The number 4 car was used to test drives by the press for the release of the car back in 1970 and was in the possession of lindsy drife last time I saw the car nice car indeed.

http://www.zspares.com.au I think is his website.


Looks to be down at the moment.

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Originally posted by sjcurtis

Yeah I know some clutse has five thumbs.



This guy must have a good story to advertise it fo sale as what he is saying. Someone in Melbourne needs to see the car and check the documentation. I wish I was in Melb so I could go round and get some pics of it.

Thanks again Gav.

-- - - -End Quote - --

Hi Gav.

Hi Gang:

The key to establishing the build date on the Right Hand Drive 240-Z's is their original engine serial number. One can not build a car before it's engine is produced. Nissan only had one L24 production line. The engine serial numbers are - well - serial.

If you get the original engine serial number from HS30 00090 off the engine data plate - don't take it off the engine as one never knows if it's been changed - I'll bet it's something close to L24 07xxx or L24 08xxx. If so that would give it a date of manufacture of 07/ or 08/70.

For example we know that HS30 00131 had engine serial number L24-015467 - which would put it in the 10/70 build date area. That compares to the US model

HLS30 10908 - with L24 014145 which has a build date of 10/70.

According to Nissan Australia 319 Z's were produced in 1970 - which were exported to Australia. So far that would seem to be supported by our records.

The HS series - Late Model 1971 240-Z's (what we call Series II ) VIN started at HS30 00500 - at this point it looks like they were produced from 02/71 forward.

HS30 00501 has L24-027759 - which would put it right in the 02/71 Build Date range.

If you (or anyone) would like to add to our data base - send me the VIN/Original Engine Serial Number from the data tag in the engine compartment - and owner info for your HS30 series Z. Likewise the same info from your HLS30 Series Z plus the Date of Manufacture from the data tag on the Drivers Door Jam.

e-mail it to: beck@becksystems.com



Carl Beck

Clearwater,FL USA


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