In its fifth year, NISMO Fiesta has become the premiere event for Nissan nuts of Texas. With a new venue in the capital of Austin, the Nissan devoted came from all over the Lone Star State, with a few traveling from as far as Louisiana and New Mexico! The three-day event had a host of activities lined up, so we made the trip from Fort Worth.
Arriving at the host hotel, on a rainy Friday night, we pulled up next to a beautiful 1500 Roadster in the parking lot. So far this trip is off to a good start.
After checking in we noticed there happened to be a car inside the lobby as well. It’s not every day you see a beautiful G-nose RHD Fairlady Z roped off next to a reception desk.
Since we rolled in so late, we had to miss most of the revelry on Friday evening. Saturday morning rolled around and we had to make a choice: the 230-mile hill country cruise was scheduled at the same time as the track day at Driveway Racetrack in northeast Austin. Since I was rolling with a crew that trailered down a race car, they made the decision for me.
Most of the track hardware was of the late model variety, with more GT-Rs in one place than I’ve ever seen.
The only car hot lapping that really qualified as nostalgic was this beautiful Z32.
This widebody 280Z was there, but we weren’t lucky enough to see it turn a wheel in anger. Apparently all of the other vintage cars elected to take the hill country cruise option. I guess that’s where we will camp out next year.
Saturday night brought with it a party at the host hotel with a live band and plenty of adult beverages. There are no photos of this time period to protect the guilty. But Sunday morning came around and we hopped out of bed and headed back to the track for the show portion of the event. There were plenty of vendors on hand, most catering to late model Nissan sports cars.
Nissan corporate (who supplied the previously mentioned Fairlady Z at the hotel) had a booth as well, with a few interesting concept cars including a NISMO 370Z convertible. The matte charcoal grey 600hp GT-R NISMO was obviously an attention getter.
On the other end of the spectrum, a Nissan Sentra NISMO concept, which the company says hearkens back to performance compacts like the Datsun 510 and the Sentra SE-R.
The Project Titan built in association with the Wounded Warrior Project took two veterans injured in the Iraq war all the way up to Alaska and back, a project documented in a series of videos that you can view here.
The event organizers had reserved the track for the entire weekend so the car show was held on the track itself. It’s a gorgeous course and I’d love to get back some day to race on it in my own car.
The older cars were grouped together, and there was a fairly healthy turnout. As is common in Texas, Zs outnumbered other Datsuns by three to one.
Ben tasked me with presenting a JNC Award to the best nostalgic car in attendance. I waffled between three different candidates for quite some time. First up was this 330-chassis Gloria, owned by local tuner shop Sultan Status. It’s rare enough to see one of these stateside. To see one in Texas was quite stunning.
Interesting side note: the owner of that Gloria, also owns this “Gloria.”
He was kind enough after the show to park them together for a comparison shot of then and now.
Second of the impossible-to-pick-from options was Terrance Prashad’s 1988 K’s Silvia, another clean car recently imported from Japan. While mostly original save some suspension upgrades and a new set of Enkei RPF1s, I thought it was absolutely beautiful. After the Gloria, this is the car I would have most loved to drive home from the show.
But the third of the triumvirate won the day. I heard the voice of Ben in the back of my head saying, you have to pick Dan Zubkhoff’s 1964 Datsun 1500 Roadster. Keen-eyed observers will notice that yes, this is the same car we saw in the parking lot when we arrived.
Dan’s Roadster is so original that other than the radiator and a few wear items it is just as it left the factory. Being an early model, it has the third, side-facing rear seat in the rear .
He even went the extra mile to find reproduction bias ply tires that exactly matched the originals. To see a car this clean, that has been driven since new, and never restored is nothing short of amazing.
And the ever gracious man himself accepting his award of a JNC T-shirt, three JNC-branded Hot Wheels, and a stack of all the current JNC decals we offer in the shop. Dan is a super nice guy, and dedicated to keeping this car just as it is. We had a great time at the show, and are already looking forward to next year!
More images in the bonus gallery below.