The Death Of Visability And The Age Of Driving Blind

1985-mercury-sable-rearAll modern cars seem to be burdened with the task of keeping their occupants safe at all costs.  Which is a good thing, because all modern cars are impossible to see out of.  High beltlines create a claustrophobic sitting-in-a-bathtub feeling, and impossibly huge C-pillars bring visibility to near zero.  To me this is a chicken and egg situation.  Is it better to drive a tank with its hatch shut or actually see what you are doing? Continue reading

1996 Nissan 240SX with Chevy LS V8 Swap

nissan-240sx-ls2-swap-rearIn the world of motorsports, the Nissan 240SX is the poster child of drifting. These cars are often modified to slide sideways and generate as much tire smoke as possible – a juvenile use of a car when compared to precision automotive events like autocross, drag racing, and rally racing.

This car, however, is not guilty by association. It is tasteful in appearance, with nary an anodized tow hook or band-aid sticker to be seen. This is not some teenager’s ironic drift machine – this is a serious street car that competed in the Optima Ultimate Street Car Challenge in Las Vegas in 2014.

Continue reading

Datsun 280ZX with Chevy LS1 V8 Swap

datsun-280zx-ls1-swap-frontFor the second post in our series of engine swaps, I bring you this Datsun 280ZX with the rumble of a Chevrolet LS1 engine! Somebody really took their time and effort to make this an all-around fun car.

Besides the engine, this car has also been upgraded with Wilwood disc brakes, a nice stereo, custom gauges, and other comforts. The body looks sharp in red with chrome trim and a subtle body kit on the front and rear.

Continue reading

1987-1990 Nissan Pulsar Sportbak

During the space race of the 1960s, Americans were captivated by the idea of space travel. It permeated every aspect of our culture, from songs and TV shows to magazine articles and an explosion of science fiction entertainment. Automotive manufacturers were quick to hop on the bandwagon, giving their latest models out-of-this-world names like Ford Galaxie, Mercury Meteor, and Oldsmobile StarFire.

After the moon landing in 1969 and the final Apollo mission in 1972, the country’s burning interest in the space program was reduced to a flicker. However in the 1980s, there was a resurgence of space-inspired names as a whole new generation of vehicles adopted galactic monikers. Here are a few examples:

Continue reading

SpaceShip Xterra

For Immediate Release
September 24, 2012 – In a press conference held earlier today at Kennedy Space Center, NASA officials announced the successful launch of their newest unmanned spacecraft, SpaceShip Xterra. Unlike most satellites which are sent to far off planets or celestial bodies, SpaceShip Xterra is on a terrestrial mission to monitor our own planet Earth.

Scientists reported that they had no trouble establishing a communication link with the satellite thanks to the giant fucking antenna mounted to its front bumper. The satellite is just beginning its surveying mission which is scheduled to last 3 years or 36,000 miles (whichever comes first).

Continue reading

Datsun/Nissan 720 4×4 King Cab

Nissan 720 Truck Front

Way back when, before all Nissan Hardbodies sported a set of Escalade wheels there was the Datsun 720. I wasn’t sure what this thing was at first, just some old Nissan truck. I’d seen it around town a couple times, once down 32nd Street, and again around 19th and Union Hills. Recently I was finally able to get a closer look and still couldn’t tell what it was, there was no badging so I had to research it a bit. Apparently these trucks were sold as the Datsun 720 from 1980 to 1982 and switched over to Nissan 720 until production ended in 1986.

I’m not sure what the factory or dealership options were when these things were new but regardless of that I’d like to think that the original owner responded with a simple “all of them” when asked.. this including one hell of a graphics package (that’s almost, but not quite, as gaudy as what Ford offers for the Raptor). Don’t get me wrong though, I like it, it screams early 1980’s and I love it for that.

Nissan 720 Truck Rear

I can’t quite put my finger on how I would like to stereotype the driver of this truck. In fact, after about ten minutes of waiting to greet the driver I determined that I don’t actually want to know what they are like and went on my way. Whatever assumption you have about the owner of this truck is a fact (it’s more fun this way).

It’s good to see something old, clean, driven, and not beat to piss. I’m sure its offroading days are long gone, especially with those street tires, but you never know.

It’s a curiosity for sure.

A couple interesting notes I found in my research:
– In 1959 Datsun became the first company to import a compact truck to the US
– Only 10 or so trucks were imported that first year
– In May of 1986 the 720 was replaced by the Hardbody

Sentra GT-R

I’m pretty thrown by this. I’ve been researching the history of the Nissan Sentra for about an hour now and I didn’t really expect to find any “GTR” trim levels. Well, there never was one, obviously. I knew that even if there was a GTR, it certainly wouldn’t have been so, well, …garishly appointed, but I thought maybe this body kit was somehow “inspired” by some sort of real model somewhere. There was a Sentra GTS that was released only in the Philippines, but from what I’ve seen of it, the package didn’t include any kind of uncomfortably vague Subaru inspired body kit/ground clearance package. Also, “R” is not the same letter as “S”.

Then there’s the fact that it wouldn’t make a whole lot of sense to name your top of the line supercar after a trim level of one of your most underwhelming cars of all time. It’s bad for your image. The opposite also holds true. I mean, imagine if Chevy were to put out one of the best cars anybody had ever made, and then a couple years later pumped out an S10 with an identical, but numerically higher model designation than the Corv- …um…hypothetical car. People would think they were smoking crack and everyone would stop buying American cars and everything would turn front wheel drive and all the cars will look like soulless plastic lumps of plastic coal on plastic wheels.  Just imagine.