Jay Leno drives a flawlessly restored Nissan Fairlady Z

Jay Leno has driven his share of Datsuns, but for some reason they’ve all been heavily modified. Finally, on the latest episode of his Jay Leno’s Garage channel on YouTube, he has the opportunity to get behind the wheel of a bone stock, immaculately restored example. Not only that, but it’s a Japan-spec Nissan Fairlady Z, with the L20 motor that we didn’t get here.

Japanese cars have never been Leno’s strong suit. This isn’t a knock on The Denim One; he knows way more about Duesenbergs and turn-of-the-century steam cars than I could ever learn. But every time he has another Nissan on the show he gets a little bit more knowledgable, and that’s good for the show.

The episodes are at their best when Leno lets his guests speak. That’s especially true when they’re bona fide experts in the field, as is the case with the guest here, founder of JDM Car Parts and friend of JNC Jay Ataka. Nothing revealed on the show will be surprise for long-time readers, but it’s always fun to see a genuine car enthusiast like Leno take an interest in an iconic Japanese car like the S30 Z and learn about it. It’s probably the best J-tin episode of Jay Leno’s Garage, period.

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2 Responses to Jay Leno drives a flawlessly restored Nissan Fairlady Z

  1. Alan-T says:

    It’s a really nice car, but Leno spent half the show talking about the USA and “the 240Z” and owner Jay Ataka made some rather strange claims about the engine layout being “designed for the US”, which would be news to Nissan.

    Discussion here:


    • Alan says:


      Jay has exquisite taste, and generally knows what he’s talking about, but can be such a cringey boomer at times. I intentionally haven’t watched this one, generally speaking, JDM cars are a major blind spot of his.

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