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Ross Dunkerton and Datsun in Australia


gav240z
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Hi Guys,

Doing a bit of reading through some old Classiczcar posts. I came across a name Ross Dunkerton, now a lot of his success in a Datsun was before I was even born. So I guess I'm catching up.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ross_Dunkerton

http://www.bobwatsonrally.com.au/dunko.html (A book apparently is available)

http://www.fishpond.com.au/Books/Dunko-Bob-Watson-Ross-Dunkerton/9780646570600

 

See also.

http://ozdat.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=14117&start=0#p109557

 

A nice looking (260z?)

file.php?id=7399&sid=2d7c1e036870046ef05ccde0b265e246&mode=view

and from here: http://autopics.com.au/76098-ross-dunkerton-datsun-260z-warrana-rally-1976-martin-domeracki-collection/

76098__57054.1411693336.1280.1280.jpg?c=2

 

Appears to have the Kobe Seiko wheels, and I wonder how many other special Nissan parts of the era?

 

I guess I'm wondering if the car is still out there? If so has anyone seen it and does anybody know much about the parts that were fitted at the time or have more photos to share of it? I'm really interested, would be good to know if Ross is still into the Datsun's although it seems he may be presenting on TV more these days.

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Appears to have the Kobe Seiko wheels, and I wonder how many other special Nissan parts of the era?

 

I guess I'm wondering if the car is still out there? If so has anyone seen it and does anybody know much about the parts that were fitted at the time or have more photos to share of it?

 

Gav,

'TKS 33 SU 4080' was a proper Works car and (originally at least...) it was an HLS30-prefixed LHD '240Z', built in mid 1973 as one of a batch of works cars that were due to take part in the 1973 RAC Rally here in the UK. In fact, '4080' got diverted to your neck of the woods and never made it to Europe.

 

Tony Fall (navigated by Mike Halloran) used it on the '73 Southern Cross. After a year its carnet would have run out and it should have been repatriated to Japan. If it wasn't, then the (quite large...) deposit paid on the issue of the carnet would have been forfeit and it would have cost Nissan a lot of money in Japan.

 

In the photo of the Dunkerton car from the '76 Warrana Rally its clear to see that his car is wearing the Japanese 'carnet' license plate of '4080'. I don't know if it was the same (works) car or if it had been re-shelled using most of the original Works parts, but whatever the story was the carnet 'plate had run out by 1976 and it should not have been valid for use in Australia by that time.... A story to be told there I think.

 

Whatever Dunkerton's feelings about his time working with Nissan were (good or bad, I have no idea) he did at least get to use a proper Works car, and that was more than most.   

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He a bloody funny guy ,met him on the round Australia rally in 1995,i remember filling our car up and servicing it near the holden team at Wharburton road house.  Dunkerton ,Bruce Garland and i think Peter Lockhart  and a few others were standing around watching their crew service their cars and swapping jokes,i was on our car pissing myself laughing trying to get some work done. After a while i went over for a yarn and he signed my road book.He's a nice bloke.

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Nice to see you so concerned about a function you did not attend Jason but don't worry, the night was chock a block as it was :)

You're a crack up!

Old bloke, no car, but chock  a block  full of the "Gunna's",, ,,has a dig at blind young bloke, cant use any in his collection!

Got a lift up and back on Saturday, for the show cars, bit to much to ask for lift up and back again, for a $70 feed at the local bowls club, so yeah, i missed it!

Going by pics posted, about 40 attended, not like 6 years back, the biggest ever in Qld Nats, with 170 show cars, 85 on track, 20 at the drags, and around 150 attended the dinner!

 

But,,,, you would not know,,,,, you werent there!

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Calm down mate, if you were there at the dinner (which is what I was getting at) you would realise that there was no time available for a guest speaker, all available talk time plus a bit more was taken up with awarding trophys, banter and stuff.

 

As for your concern about me you will be pleased to know that next week the 280 will be going in to have the build finished off so it will be ready shortly to do some practice at MP and find out if I'm still able to drive fast. Of course your eyesight problem is a bitch, I'm sure that everyone wishes that it hadn't happened and that something could be done. Thing is, do you want special treatment from everyone or would you rather be treated normally like one of the blokes?

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Only you 2 could turn a thread like this into a pissing contest.

 

 

Thanks I must have missed that thread.

 

Gav,

'TKS 33 SU 4080' was a proper Works car and (originally at least...) it was an HLS30-prefixed LHD '240Z', built in mid 1973 as one of a batch of works cars that were due to take part in the 1973 RAC Rally here in the UK. In fact, '4080' got diverted to your neck of the woods and never made it to Europe.

 

Tony Fall (navigated by Mike Halloran) used it on the '73 Southern Cross. After a year its carnet would have run out and it should have been repatriated to Japan. If it wasn't, then the (quite large...) deposit paid on the issue of the carnet would have been forfeit and it would have cost Nissan a lot of money in Japan.

 

In the photo of the Dunkerton car from the '76 Warrana Rally its clear to see that his car is wearing the Japanese 'carnet' license plate of '4080'. I don't know if it was the same (works) car or if it had been re-shelled using most of the original Works parts, but whatever the story was the carnet 'plate had run out by 1976 and it should not have been valid for use in Australia by that time.... A story to be told there I think.

 

Whatever Dunkerton's feelings about his time working with Nissan were (good or bad, I have no idea) he did at least get to use a proper Works car, and that was more than most.   

 

As always thanks Alan, I feel we may have covered this before but did the TKS prefix and numbers have any significant meaning? I know they were used on Works cars, but did the numbers have any special meaning? Did this car run any special kind of motor? LY set up or was it a regular L24/L26 motor? I assume it probably had different engine configurations over it's life? Given that it had the Kobe Seiko wheels, would it have had the Ikeda Bussan seats to go with it or the Rally Clock for that matter?

 

I guess this is why I'm wondering where the car is now? Or if others have more photos of it, it's interior etc..? I see it has the jacking points on the sill like the other Works rally cars did. So I'm really interested in it's original configuration. It seems to be 1 of the lesser known rally cars of the S30z series.

 

It's interesting in that it was reported as a 260z, I do wonder what rear lights it had and if it was really an earlier specification car (the HLS30 seems to indicate it was) or if it was re-shelled into a 260z (RS30) and parts carried over.

 

There was rumors of an S20 powered S30z being rolled in Australia on a rally and then buried in the desert, I'm sure it's just folklore / legend and more than likely never happened, but can't help but feel this may have been the car in question? Like you've said before the carnet would have more than likely prevented that. 

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I guess this is why I'm wondering where the car is now? Or if others have more photos of it, it's interior etc..? I see it has the jacking points on the sill like the other Works rally cars did. So I'm really interested in it's original configuration. It seems to be 1 of the lesser known rally cars of the S30z series.

 

 

This guy says his car has the front struts from it, scroll down to "The Red 240Z":

http://www.zcarclubq.org.au/daves-z-stable/

 

Or you could ask Ross about them.

https://www.facebook.com/ross.dunkerton

 

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This guy says his car has the front struts from it, scroll down to "The Red 240Z":

http://www.zcarclubq.org.au/daves-z-stable/

 

Or you could ask Ross about them.

https://www.facebook.com/ross.dunkerton

 

 

Looks like it has some pretty fancy gear on it.

 

Adjustable Bilsteins and a works pedal set? Is that just the non servo assisted brake setup?

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I feel we may have covered this before but did the TKS prefix and numbers have any significant meaning? I know they were used on Works cars, but did the numbers have any special meaning?

 

What happened (and still happens) with Japanese 'temporary export use' / 'Carnet' license plates is that the car gets a normal Japanese registration first. It may be a brand new car, so this would be its first registration, or it may already have one. When the 'Carnet' is applied for ( a 'Carnet de Passage' is essentially a customs bond, allowing n object - in this case a motor vehicle - to be used in a destination country temporarily without having to pay import taxes and duties in that country) the car got issued with a set of papers and a pair of translated number plates. Obviously it would be difficult for anyone outside Japan to read the original Japanese plates, so they got 'translated' to Romaji.

 

Most of the works 240Z and 260Z rally cars were first registered in Tokyo's Shinagawa ward registration office. It's where Nissan's Ginza head office was, and where the HQ of JAF was too. The 'translation' of the two Kanji Shinagawa licensing office was set as 'TKS' (Tokyo - Shinagawa), and the '33' next to it was the taxation class for a passenger car of over 2 litres or a car that was modified from factory stock spec.

 

The next two characters (in this car's case 'SU') is just a phonetic translation of the Hiragana character that modified the number following it (Japanese Hiragana alphabet runs 'Sa', 'Si', Su', 'Se', 'So') essentially to give more numbers. The four numbers following that (in this car's case '4080') are simply sequential. So, 'TKS 33 SU 4080' had sister works cars 'TKS 33 SU 4079' and 'TKS 33 SU 4081' which were registered in the same batch.     

 

Did this car run any special kind of motor? LY set up or was it a regular L24/L26 motor? I assume it probably had different engine configurations over it's life? Given that it had the Kobe Seiko wheels, would it have had the Ikeda Bussan seats to go with it or the Rally Clock for that matter?

 

I guess this is why I'm wondering where the car is now? Or if others have more photos of it, it's interior etc..? I see it has the jacking points on the sill like the other Works rally cars did. So I'm really interested in it's original configuration. It seems to be 1 of the lesser known rally cars of the S30z series.

 

As a works car built in 1973 it would have originally been what I call 'Full Fat' spec bodywise: For the 1972 season, the FIA changed the rules and Nissan stopped using their 'Super Lightweight' PZR spec bodies and panels. They based the works cars on full weight production bodyshells with steel panels and glass windows. To cut a long story short they were now heavier, but more rugged and usually had more powerful engines to compensate. I'm pretty sure that '4080' had an injected LY24 when it was first built and when Tony Fall used it on the '73 Southern Cross, but quite often the injection ended up being removed a few events down the line and replaced with carbs. LY-engined rally cars sometimes ended up with other engines eventually... I should keep my powder dry, but I suspect that by '76 the car would have been a quite different mech spec than it was when originally built....

 

It's interesting in that it was reported as a 260z, I do wonder what rear lights it had and if it was really an earlier specification car (the HLS30 seems to indicate it was) or if it was re-shelled into a 260z (RS30) and parts carried over.

 

As mentioned, '4080' was originally an HLS30-prefixed 'Datsun 240Z'. What happened to it after that is probably best answered by Mr Dunkerton (if he wants to play ball...!).

 

There was rumors of an S20 powered S30z being rolled in Australia on a rally and then buried in the desert, I'm sure it's just folklore / legend and more than likely never happened, but can't help but feel this may have been the car in question? Like you've said before the carnet would have more than likely prevented that.

 

Sitings of 'S20' engined rally cars usually turn out to be of LY cars. Sometimes just triple-carbed L24s and L26s. People get excited, get their wires crossed. Cars didn't tend to get left in situ when crashed, or buried...., as they had a value in parts and - if still on carnet - would cost money if not repatriated.

 

The fact that - as Mr C. reports - parts of said car are floating around (most ominous being a Works pedal assembly in the red car in his link, and the Works pedals were quite distinctive) suggests that the usual fate of old rally cars happened here too. Note that '4080' was originally LHD which perhaps would have made it more complicated to re-shell, and I note that it still seems to be LHD on the photos from the '76 championship (if it's even the same car...).

 

I suggest you ask Mr Dunkerton for what he'll tell you  ;) 

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And here are us guys trying to demonstrate that Nissan built, and supplied, cars, out f Japan, that were able to be registered and used on public roads.

Not one ff specials, but quite a number were built.

Fitted with many items in the Optionarts catalogue.

These are Nissan built Production Sports cars, but, there is no proof that we can take to CAMS to verify this ccired.

 

As an aside, many of the Carnet cars were loaded back onto a boat, to be taken back to Japan, from Australia, and once off shore far enough, were just simply pushed over the sides f the boats.

They didnt want worn out beaten up cars back in Japan.

Other manufactures did the same.

 

However,,,,, it was very commn that the mechanicals were stripped out, and stock mechanicals and suension were simply dumped into the shells. So much so they could not be driven, just pushed around.

The mechanicals and other bits were then farmed out to ,any friends of friends of the Australian Nissan team workers.

One of the cars I own comprises f lots of bits that were kept behind.

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And here are us guys trying to demonstrate that Nissan built, and supplied, cars, out f Japan, that were able to be registered and used on public roads.

Not one ff specials, but quite a number were built.

Fitted with many items in the Optionarts catalogue.

These are Nissan built Production Sports cars, but, there is no proof that we can take to CAMS to verify this ccired.

 

As I've pointed out many, many times, the evidence you require (to satisfy your local motorsports governing body) requires proof that such vehicles were sold - as NEW cars - off the showroom floor, to the general public. They were not. End of story.

 

As an aside, many of the Carnet cars were loaded back onto a boat, to be taken back to Japan, from Australia, and once off shore far enough, were just simply pushed over the sides f the boats.

They didnt want worn out beaten up cars back in Japan.

 

With regard to Nissan's works 240Z and 260Z rally cars, this story is totally apocryphal. Somebody has got their wires crossed.

 

As I have already pointed out, the cars concerned were being used abroad on Japanese-issued temporary export use 'carnets de passage'. The chassis number and - to an extent - the engine numbers were logged on the carnet. Later cars even had a Japanese customs code number stamped on their strut towers. In order to comply with the terms of the carnet, the car in question had to arrive back in Japan and be inspected by Japanese customs and excise officials. If a car failed to arrive in due time and did not complete the carnet inspection then a (big!) pre-lodged fee was forfeit. It cost money. So why would anyone put a car on a boat (with the cost involved in that alone) and then push it over the side and into the sea? Have you got any suggestions...?

 

Yes, cars stayed on in violation of the carnets. Many of them (4080's sister car '4079' a perfect case in point) were given local registrations. A good few works 240Zs and 260Zs were titled with UK, Dutch, Portuguese and Kenyan registrations. In the cases of most of these cars, their carnet fees were forfeited. In a few cases of skullduggery, standard road cars were sent back to Japan to cover the carnet and the works car kept instead (naughty naughty, and it made a lot of trouble for which heads rolled back in Japan...) and smashed up works cars were stripped of parts and spares packages - always in short supply - were kept.

 

There are all sorts of scenarios, but the stories of Works cars being pushed off boats and into the sea make no sense for many reasons. As explained, the carnet scenario makes it senseless. But also think of the logistics of shipping a car and the process of hoikinh it out from a cargo hold. Don't try to tell me that such cars were shipped on open-decked boats with ramps to roll them off and into the briny, or that the boats went to the trouble of using their cranes to pull the required rejects out of their holds and launched them over the side. They were not Hueys being pitched over the side of aircraft carriers into the sea off Vietnam...

 

The people telling such stories usually have no good evidence, explanations or knowledge of how the system was supposed to work. Where I come from, we tend to call such yarns a load of old bollocks.     

 

 

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As I've pointed out many, many times, the evidence you require (to satisfy your local motorsports governing body) requires proof that such vehicles were sold - as NEW cars - off the showroom floor, to the general public. They were not. End of story.

 

With regard to Nissan's works 240Z and 260Z rally cars, this story is totally apocryphal. Somebody has got their wires crossed.

 

As I have already pointed out, the cars concerned were being used abroad on Japanese-issued temporary export use 'carnets de passage'. The chassis number and - to an extent - the engine numbers were logged on the carnet. Later cars even had a Japanese customs code number stamped on their strut towers. In order to comply with the terms of the carnet, the car in question had to arrive back in Japan and be inspected by Japanese customs and excise officials. If a car failed to arrive in due time and did not complete the carnet inspection then a (big!) pre-lodged fee was forfeit. It cost money. So why would anyone put a car on a boat (with the cost involved in that alone) and then push it over the side and into the sea? Have you got any suggestions...?

 

Yes, cars stayed on in violation of the carnets. Many of them (4080's sister car '4079' a perfect case in point) were given local registrations. A good few works 240Zs and 260Zs were titled with UK, Dutch, Portuguese and Kenyan registrations. In the cases of most of these cars, their carnet fees were forfeited. In a few cases of skullduggery, standard road cars were sent back to Japan to cover the carnet and the works car kept instead (naughty naughty, and it made a lot of trouble for which heads rolled back in Japan...) and smashed up works cars were stripped of parts and spares packages - always in short supply - were kept.

 

There are all sorts of scenarios, but the stories of Works cars being pushed off boats and into the sea make no sense for many reasons. As explained, the carnet scenario makes it senseless. But also think of the logistics of shipping a car and the process of hoikinh it out from a cargo hold. Don't try to tell me that such cars were shipped on open-decked boats with ramps to roll them off and into the briny, or that the boats went to the trouble of using their cranes to pull the required rejects out of their holds and launched them over the side. They were not Hueys being pitched over the side of aircraft carriers into the sea off Vietnam...

 

The people telling such stories usually have no good evidence, explanations or knowledge of how the system was supposed to work. Where I come from, we tend to call such yarns a load of old bollocks.   

 

The Aus governing body CAMS, does not specifically stipulate that they must have been sold to general public, as new cars.

 

They also state that for a car to be considered it must have been supplied by the manufacturer, or a manufacturers dealer or concessionaire/agent, and it must have been able to be used on public roads, ie registerable, somewhere in the known world.

That is the relevant bit, for our needs here, on the far side of the world!

These factory built cars fall into this.

 

Where do we get information, lists, names, photographs, evidence of use in petiod, and evidence of items fitted.

Our governing body will not accept what is known as a "Group 4 Competition alternative", ie built for race track use only.

Has anyone been able to collate the above, or is it all considered not of worthy sognificance?

Can you give us any assistance Alan?

 

 

Re cars getting pushed off boats, you are incorrect, note I made no specific car type statement, it is not a "story" these facts came from three very well known Ais competition involved guys, as well as the cyrator of the Zama Nissan car collection.

As I said, some were just dumped, but they were made sure that the " good bits" were not in them!

Jamie Drummond,and the guys  under Howard Marsden,  Nissan Australia was responsible for removing many cars items, and bolting in stock items, often just held in with 1 nut or bolt, and engines and stock gearboxes dropped onto crossmembers and held in with bits of wire.

 

Howard Marsden then gave away the good bits and pieces to many people over the years.

The early Z cars, would have had Bruce Wilkinson involved, he was the one that started collecting the good bits from the cars before they went back, along with retaining the large quantities of Option spare parts, that came out with the cars, at the time.

Bit of a case of, "you had to be there!" and listen in to some of the discussions back in the day!

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The Aus governing body CAMS, does not specifically stipulate that they must have been sold to general public, as new cars.

 

They also state that for a car to be considered it must have been supplied by the manufacturer, or a manufacturers dealer or concessionaire/agent, and it must have been able to be used on public roads, ie registerable, somewhere in the known world.

That is the relevant bit, for our needs here, on the far side of the world!

These factory built cars fall into this.

 

Your post seems to contradict itself. Or is all of this just a matter of semantics?

 

If a car was to have been "supplied by the manufacturer/manufacturer's dealer/concessionaire/agent", then to whom? As far as I understand it from previous exchanges on the same topic, what is required is proof of such a model being available for purchase by a 'civilian' as a new car. If it was just a matter of proving that cars in such specs simply existed, then why would you need my help? You had the very cars in your own backyard over the course of several years (as the photos in this very thread prove) running around on Australian roads on Japanese carnet license plates. So what's the missing piece of the puzzle? 

 

Re cars getting pushed off boats, you are incorrect, note I made no specific car type statement, it is not a "story" these facts came from three very well known Ais competition involved guys, as well as the cyrator of the Zama Nissan car collection.

 

You getout highlighted in bold there. I'm specifically talking about works 240Z and 260Z rally cars, as I think I made clear. The later stuff is a different matter altogether.

 

Why would cars even be on boats if they weren't required/wanted back in Japan? As I've pointed out, to fulfill the terms of the Carnet de Passage the cars had to go back to Japan. If a car wasn't going to get back to Japan (because it was going to get hoiked over the side and into the sea) then why even send it?

 

Yes there was skulduggery (some of us have poked our noses in where they were not welcome, and know a little about what went on) but it was usually about keeping special cars and special parts, and not about getting rid of them. It might suit some people to say that cars were dumped at sea (somebody might like to tell me which particular 240Zs or 260Zs were, and explain why...) as such stories can't be easily verified or denied and that in itself can be a convenient dead end to a car's identity, but with relation to the temporary export status of most of the cars concerned it makes little to no sense.     

 

 

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I guess it would be plausible if the works car was being kept over it's Carnet and a standard shell being sent back in it's place and it conveniently "didn't make it".

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Japan just simply didn't want them back, and to satisfy the requirements of the Carnet, the Australan guys here, justushed them onto the boats. On the open deck, and once out a distance they were rolled off.

They were quite battered, broken, damaged and cracked body shells, that had been given a fair caning.

PA10 Stamza, 710 Violets, PB210, most had LZ Twin Cams, option boxes, H190 diffs, big hrakes etc, when they arrived here!

When they left, they had old broken L seroes engines, stocko boxes, and baby h165 diffs.

 

As far as Z's go, the guy in charge of the cars and competition here prior to Howard, was Bruce Wilkinson.

The dame chap that was the third member of the team in the little Nissan sedan that competed in the 1958 MobilGas Trial.

The car s in Zama.

 

Alan, in order to go to CAMS, we need evidentiary proof and documentation that shows what Nissan, or its dealers built, not various bits of heresay second hand info quoting this car had these plates , its a "works" car, te of stuff copied off the posts on forums.

So far the website hosted by the chap based in the Netherlands seems to be the most comprehensive archive openly available, and that details the Z's that came to Australia, but, that information does need to be backed up, and confirmed by Nissan Japan, or either of their fficial dealers that facilitated the supply of these cars, for use on public roads, with registration.

Either that, or soLd as a decked out new car to Joe Public, which so far, we think may not have ccured.

There's the imperitive word,,, " Either,,,,"

 

This is the edict from the Chairman of the CAMS Historic Ellegibility forroduction Based Vehicles, for use in Historic Motorsport, here in this country, not UK, or USA.

 

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Jason, didn't you mention another time that Austin Healey are allowed bigger carburetters because some workshop in GB other than a dealer was fitting them to new cars after they had been sold by a dealer?

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Richard, that was the MGB's, they got the OK here in Aus to run an Italian Weber carby, yes, an ITALIAN item, on the oh so pucka Brit sports car!

They decded the standard fitted small bore twin SU carbs were no good, could not prve that a 1 3/4" SU was Factory Spec, from MG, so came up woth some old documents from just one MG seller, in some High St in the UK, that claimed they fitted a 45DCOE Weber to MGB's as an aftermarket accessory, and had the dealer write out that brand new cars had them fitted too!

To a pucka Brit car!

 

Morgan Motor cars, apparently, has alloy radiators and twin 2" SU carbs, and integral five speed boxes, to the 3.5Litre V8 Morgans,,,,, from the factory,,,,

 

And just one Porsche dealer, sold a 2.7 Carrera, that the customer requsted be fitted with 8" wide rear rims, and 7" wide fronts, in place of the very well engineered German specification 6" fronts and 7" rears to the 2.7's, then,,,, same thing happened to the 3.0 mdel,,,,, gesunheit danke!

 

Wheras we Datsun Z guys know damn well the factory in Japan built cars, brand new, with Option Parts fitted, and subsequently used in places arpund the World, on public roads, fully registered, we even have the lists of the registration numbers and dates of first use.

But no one can provide documentation from any source, it's all heresay, he said she said stuff!

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Wheras we Datsun Z guys know damn well the factory in Japan built cars, brand new, with Option Parts fitted, and subsequently used in places arpund the World, on public roads, fully registered, we even have the lists of the registration numbers and dates of first use.

But no one can provide documentation from any source, it's all heresay, he said she said stuff!

 

Once again I see you talking about "documentation", but I don't know what you actually mean by that.

 

Exactly what kind of "documentation" is necessary? As you yourself have stated, the details of the cars - including their individual Japanese 'carnet' license plates, chassis numbers and engine numbers - are all well documented now, and were noted and documented in period too. Some of these cars were even driving around on Australian public roads in between event stages.

 

So what's the big difference between the MGs, the Morgans, that Porsche you mentioned and the Z cars? As far as I understand it, the difference is that the works Z cars in question were not sold as new cars to any member of the general public, were not available from the showroom and were not listed in factory or dealer price lists/spec lists. That's the key point for your local Australian governing body, as far as I understand it. 

 

So exactly what form does this "documentation" you seek take? Explain it to me fully please. 

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FWIW i did ask Ross what happened to the zeds and he said none of them survived.

He won 3 Australian championships

1975 in his own 240Z (  Ross had a Datsun dealership)

1976 in a factory backed 260z

and again in 1977 with the old 240z using parts from the rolled '76 260z but no factory support from Nissan Aust 

 

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