The Nissan Z Proto’s design leads, Executive Design Director Satoru Tai and Senior VP of Global Design Alfonso Albaisa, both have a strong love for Z-cars and worked on past Z generations. Tai said he in fact wanted to be a car designer because of the original S30 Fairlady Z. Eventually, he landed a job at Nissan and was part of the design team that created the Z32. The S30 also inspired Albaisa’s career choice, and on a trip to Japan as a young designer at Nissan on a trip to actually saw Tai working on the Z32. He went on to contribute to the Z33’s design.
In watching the video, though, Z fans will undoubtedly notice the distinct lack of a Z31 in the 1:5 scale model lineup. We’re not saying the Z Proto has to have design cues from the Z31, but why not have it in the lineup? Without it, the leap from S130 to Z32 seems a bit too great. In any case, it’s good to see the Z Proto alongside the cars that inspired it, even if they’re not life-sized. The designers’ intertwining histories and how those journeys led to the Z Proto make for a good story.