Driven: 1985 Z31 300ZX 2+2

Welcome back to Driven, where we feature cool cars found in hotel parking lots that are actually driven! Today we have a naturally aspirated 2+2 300zx. It has a beautiful interior, metallic brown paint and a manual transmission! Judging by the lack of a Datsun badge, 50th Anniversary Edition-styled steering wheel, Leather interior and steering wheel controls, we can decipher that this is more than likely a 1985 GLL-trim model.

The car you see here is powered by a SOHC 3.0L V6 that managed to make 160hp in it’s naturally aspirated form, according to Nissan. Not too shabby considering a 5.7L v8 nearly twice it’s size could barely manage similar numbers with exception to the brand-new L98 TPI mill for the 1985 model year.


Ricers: The Next Generation

Let’s play a little word association game. If I say the word “ricer”, what words come to mind? If you are in your mid to late 20’s your brain is probably flooded with words like “body kit”, “spoiler”, “a-pillar mounted fire extinguisher” or “roof scoop”, right?

Guys, this is 2012. The dudes who drove the cars with all that bullshit on them have moved on. Most have lifted trucks now, a few probably have stock, newer Civics. All the dickheads who could actually afford them just have BMWs. The cars are long gone too. Either driven into the ground by an ex-girlfriend, parted out, or sold to tweakers. Anyways, they aren’t really around any more. Don’t worry though, I’ve got you covered- while not an exhaustive list by any means, this is pretty much everything you need to know about the concept- the theory, if you will- of what this new generation of dumbfuck kids are doing with their parent’s debt.

The ricers of yesteryear were at least attempting to look like they knew a little bit about cars. Sure, a chrome hot-air intake from eBay does fuck all for performance and makes you look like a tool. But at least it signified 2 things:  1. You knew how to open your hood, and  2. You owned or were otherwise able to gain access to a flat head screwdriver. Ok, maybe they watched The Fast and the Furious a few too many times. At least they were still trying to be car guys, even if they were failing miserably at it. Modifications were meant to give the illusion of speed. They meant well, one could argue. Everything is different now. It’s no longer about going fast, it’s about-and I use the term loosely- “looking good”. Today, you can show up at a car show with a stock-motored car with cut springs, your wheels painted baby blue or RC car neon yellow, and 14 or 15 of the same sticker carefully plastered in a perfectly arranged pattern on one your quarter panels and turn some heads.

Fuck that. It’s almost like it’s not only not cool to have actual car knowledge, its actually uncool to know about cars. Like only a slobbering, inbred redneck would want to modify a car for performance. And American cars? Forget about it!  Nowadays, it’s all just about showing off your “style”, and the car is a fashion accessory, merely a giant, rolling Trapper Keeper to cover with stickers so the whole world can see you and know that you’re too cool for school. It’s bad. Smugness abounds. I do have to say, however, that going to the Pavilions on Saturdays and seeing the number of stickered up, rusted-hooded shitboxes multiplying exponentially every week has really put things into perspective for me. It really helps me appreciate pretty much every other little subculture going on within this bigger subculture I love to complain about so much. Even the kind of lame ones, like Minis.

Even the jocks in their impossibly mean sounding 5.0s and 4th gen F-bodies, even the greasers with the permanent “fuck you” look on their faces, even the billet-and-tweed-everything old guys, the eBay turbo kit import guys, the I-hate-to-admit-how-fucking-fast-they-can-be-made diesel trucks, the old Corvette guys who all look the same, even all the 240sx guys (where do all these 240sx’s keep coming from anyway?), the transformer-dorks with their new Camaros, the guys who apparently just found out about LEDs, the sleazy Euro-trash guys with the Ferraris, the regular-Joe looking guys who try to park their NSX’s right by the Ferraris, the guys who ride street bikes who put those weird mohawks on their helmets, the guys in newer GTO’s who look like they should be riding street bikes with mohawks on their helmets, even the guys with the Grand Nationals with eight miles on them, even the SHO guys who all neglect their cars terribly, and  God, even the Mopar guys. I (heart) you all. Each and every one of you.

FFT: The Big Day



Let me start by saying that when I found out they made a longbed stepside for the 60-66 trucks, I wanted one. They’re super rare and reproduction parts are expensive to say the least, but I just like the way they look. They aren’t very well liked in the 60-66 community (like all long beds), but the guys that do have them, love them. I had convinced myself when I started this build that if I wanted one, I’d have to make one out of a short bed. A daunting task, but I added it to my list of things I would need to do to get the truck to where I wanted it. Thankfully, I have a craigslist addiction that knows no bounds. I found someone with a 1962 GMC long bed stepper (powered by a 305 v6 and a 3 speed manual no less) that wanted to trade for a fleetside. I emailed them immediately and we were both so excited to get what we wanted we scheduled the trade off for the next day.

What I didn’t know is that the wrap-around window 60-63’s sit on a different frame than the vent windowed 64-66’s. It took a little bit of convincing but eventually we finalized the even trade. One bed for another. Here’s the photographic tale of how it happened.

Eldon’t rado

Worst title? Possibly. Worst execution of a metal body kit? Probably not. Tasteless? Clearly.  But how do you build your own?

You will need 2 parts Cadillac, a splash of Dodge Neon paint, a pinch of whatever you think a European car may have looked like in the late 80’s, and a welder.

Don’t forget to throw on a set of yesterdays largest.

Foot Fetish

I thought this truck was bad enough when I first saw it. Then I looked at it at home and realized the poor girl is missing a foot. I’ve been trying to rationalize this and I really just don’t know what to think. Did the guy paying the “artist” run out of money? Is that really how the girl looks? Anyways, I have included a Photoshop of the direction I feel the art should be headed in. Ha. “Be headed”.