Z Cars West Coast Nationals
Silverado, California

Once again the folks at Motorsport Auto pulled off a great event for rabid enthusiasts of the Z-car. Despite an economic slump the show was as large as ever, with 400 cars and over 5000 spectators.

There was no shortage of Zs slammed to the ground or blinged out with chrome wheels, so sometimes it's nice to see something different, especially when it displays a knowledge of Z history. That's why this Safari Rally replica caught our eye as it paid homage to winner of the 1971 and 1973 off-road sprint across Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. And with so many modified cars, it's nice to see some original survivors.

The second-gen S130 chassis 280ZXs often take a back seat to the first-gen 240Zs when classic Datsuns are discussed, but we are seeing more and more clean examples, and the 1981 to 1983 Turbo versions are particularly nice.

Naturally we spent most of our time amidst rows of chrome bumpers and sugar scoop headlights, but Z31s, Z32s and Z33s all have their appeal and were represented en force. Even a few just-released Z34 (see review in JNC Issue 3) made it. We particularly liked the Mine's 370Z, which looks like it came straight out of Playstation from Gran Turismo.

Still, if you're hungry for a good ol' Wangan Midnight-style S30 Z with crazy engine swaps, this show did not disappoint. This silver example with Turbo RB26 was particularly clean. And remember the Hiraishi Bros.' RB25-powered Z from JNC Issue 1? Their crew now rolls three deep.

Lastly, we felt that this 240Z race car captured the nostalgic look perfectly, right down to its Union 76 livery. It was on special display right in front of our booth, but we never got tired of staring at it all day.

Click here for coverage of the 2008 and 2007 Motorsport Auto Z-Car West Coast Nationals.

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