While digging through my computer this morning, I stumbled across a folder containing a short interview and some photos of an old friend’s 260Z. Back around 2003, a friend and I decided to try our hand at creating a news site for cars – I think this was before the likes of AutoBlog.com had hit the scene, so it seemed like a good idea! Anyway, the first thing I did was call a friend from school and organise an interview about his 260Z. So now, in its unadulterated, unedited original form, here’s that same crappy interview, and all three photos!
You drive a particularly sweet 260z right now, but I remember a time not so long ago when I took my old piece of crap Holden VK Calais out one night alongside your first Z, and cleaned you up at the lights a couple times. Be honest, you were scared weren’t you! That’s the only reason you went out and got a hold of your current ride!
About that time you probably would’ve remembered me cooking up tons of ideas for what could be done with the Z. Yeah, the VK did absolutely kill my poor automatic stock standard 260z, and it would’ve actually been pretty interesting to see how it would’ve faired against a manual 260z, as the auto is renowned for being sluggish. I knew your time would come to see my tail lights, I’m sure you did too!
Haha yeah, I did enjoy revelling in my short-lived victories. So! How long have you been into the Z? I know your old man is a bit of a fan, having taken your old Z off your hands. Did you take a shining to the Z badge just to impress your dad, or was it love at first sight?
Actually the Z insanity started with my brother, he originally purchased ‘MY-260′ (the personalised plates of the original) off another Z-head whose wife gave him the “me or the car” speech. I guess going for tons of rides with my bro in his ‘hot cool car’ just sort of added to the fact that I really liked the Z anyways. And when the time came for me to start driving and there just happened to be an unused 260z in the garage, it seemed like the logical step to take. From there I’m not really sure what happened, I always took meticulous care of the Z and I guess that helped develop my passion for them. Seeing other extremely mint examples of the car as well as what could be done with some major modifications also helped spread the ‘Z bug’ in me.
I’d have to say Jack Kuzior’s yellow turbocharged 240z would have to be one of my major influences, not so much in terms of styling, but in the level of quality that could be achieved with these cars if restored/modified correctly.
Thanks for writing a novel there mate!
Never expect a simple answer from a z head, you should know better!
When will I learn, eh! Tell us a bit about your first Z – why did you drop it in favour of the one you’re cruising in now? Isn’t half the fun in modifying the car from such a basic level up to the level of your current Z?
My old Z was a great car, I had tons of plans for it… sadly none of these plans actually happened, as you basically have to sell some internal organs to ‘properly’ do an engine transplant. Plus, with the car as my daily driver, I couldn’t really afford to have it off the road for extended periods. So the day came when a friend pointed out to me a classifieds ad for 260z with a turbo Skyline engine. At first I wasn’t too sure – My old Z was a great car, I had tons of plans for it. I didn’t really like the idea of a different Z, but thought I’d check it out regardless.
Although the engine, gearbox and ECU were all in the car when I got it, it was far from complete. The engine installation was done quite well, but it was obvious it’d had next to no tuning, as it barely ran and some other things were questionable. Luckily it had the Autronic SMC ECU, one of the main reasons I got the car.
So you’ve got this Z now. It’s hot, it’s well hot. How do you feel about it? Best thing you’ve done or what?
Yes and no. With about $25,000+ being spent on the car since it’s purchase last year it’s been quite the investment. It’s to the point now where I’d feel like I was selling my child to a sweatshop in India if I ever sold the car, so in that sense, it’s not a good thing.
I guess in a way that also shows just how much I love the car, it’s become pretty much everything I wanted it to become, and a lot of my original ‘crazy Z modification’ ideas have actually gone through and can be found in the ‘RBZ’. I’ve also done enough to it now that it well and truly feels like my car. Which is one of the things that I was most concerned about when first buying a semi finished project. But yes, definitely one of my better achievements!
RBZ? I’m suddenly reminded of a shitty Japanese cartoon with fireballs and half hour fight scenes…
Haha, it’s been given a couple names over time, but it tends to get refered to as the RBZ or preferably the Arch Z.
And “Check Out That Ferrari Mum!” to the kids in the street. What heart beats behind the badge? You mentioned a skyline engine, indulge me some more on that.
Well, as with most companies, Nissan have slightly different coloured rocker covers to signify different engines (or maybe to just make the engine bays look neat). The red top in this case signifies an early model RB20DET. Most people assume its an NICS engine when they see it, and in fact initially I thought it was too, despite the previous owner telling me otherwise. The R32 RB20DET has a silver rocker cover. Really though, it’s just an aesthetic thing which happens to tie in to the exact variety of the engine.
You live a stone’s throw from the centre of Melbourne city, here in Australia. When do you really get a chance to kick it in the Z? Are you much into the drag scene around Melbourne’s inner suburbs?
I can quite happily say the Z has never attended any organised street drags. Straight line speed has never been my overall goal in the Z. Having previously lived in a slightly more rural area, I developed quite a liking for the more ‘hectic’ roads up north. Straight line performance is fun but it gets boring quickly and you soon want more. You never really get used to all four tyres screeching around a corner with a cliff on one side and a cliff face on the other… my dad taught me that.
As for how much the Z gets a bit of a run these days, not nearly enough. I don’t use the car for daily driving anymore (it was quite happily my commuter for a good half a year – but i think it’s happier not having that duty) but it still gets a nice run out in the hills on the weekend.
Well, that might answer my next question, but because I don’t have Santa’s Big Bag of Backup Questions lying around, I’m gonna go ahead and ask it anyway! Have you taken it in for performance testing? the ol’ dyno and such? Does it have certified best 0-100kmh and quarter mile times?
It’s never been put on a dyno purely for the purposes of testing the max power, that just seems like an awful lot of unneccesary strain to put on a car. But when it’s in the middle of being tuned, she’s made a peak power of 130rwkw. Which, considering how much that engine in standard form makes at the flywheel, I’m pretty happy with it. With a larger turbo the results should be quite tasty. The Z hasn’t seen the strip yet, quite possibly in the near future with the MCCR Drag Day which is being organised. I don’t really want to speculate on times either, too many people do and are sadly mistaken. When the clutch drops, the shit stops.
I’m gonna go ahead and commandeer that line for my own personal future use.
Haha, feel free.
You’re a good guy. You know that I’m thinking about hooking into a Z and replicating yours like the pathetic fanboy I am, is it gonna get me laid?
Hah! Yes and no. If you’re the sort that goes for a girl that’s purely interested in you for your car, then yes, I’m sure you could flaunt it like the phallic symbol it could well be. Otherwise no, it’s just something your girlfriend is jealous of because it gets more gifts and attention then she does, hehe.
Aaah, it’s so true. Alright mate, thanks for getting paid at work just to answering my questions, much obliged!
Even worse is the 10 or so other people I’m also chatting to.