No Oil Leaks and New Vinyl

New Zealand Classic Car - - Editorial -

In­fa­mously, the late Nigel Roskilly — in his one-time role as con­tro­ver­sial clas­sic-car colum­nist, Gabriel — once pulled his Of Oil Leaks & Old Leather col­umn be­cause the mag­a­zine had de­cided to print a fea­ture on a Ja­panese car. It was prob­a­bly all a bit of a put-on, pro­moted by Nzclassiccar’s found­ing edi­tor when Gabriel’s copy for that month’s col­umn (al­ways point­edly hand-writ­ten copy — no com­put­ers for him, and usu­ally late) didn’t ar­rive in time for pub­li­ca­tion.

How­ever, if he re­ally did ob­ject to that Ja­panese­car fea­ture, it’s a shame he wasn’t aware that the car in ques­tion, a Dat­sun 120Y SSS, had ac­tu­ally been de­vel­oped by famed Kiwi racer, Den­nis ‘Mar­bles’ Mar­wood. Read­ers with a sim­i­lar mind­set to Gabriel prob­a­bly wouldn’t rate the 120Y as a clas­sic, even in go-faster SSS form, but as you’ll find out when read­ing this month’s fea­ture on the lo­cal Ben­son & Hedges race se­ries of the ’60s and ’70s, small Ja­panese sa­loons of that pe­riod played a sig­nif­i­cant role in lo­cal mo­tor-sport his­tory. In­deed, although the thun­der­ing Valiant V8s, Zo­di­acs and Vic­tors were usu­ally vic­to­ri­ous, in­creas­ing num­bers of Ja­panese sa­loons such as the Dat­sun 1600 and 180B — Mar­bles again — plus ro­tary-en­gined Maz­das gave the big boys a good run for their money. What th­ese Ja­panese cars lacked in out­right per­for­mance, they more than made

Nzclassiccar Read­ers’ Sur­vey

up for in re­li­a­bil­ity and miserly fuel us­age, both im­por­tant as­pects when it comes to en­durance rac­ing.

Of course in the years since that 120Y SSS fea­ture, we’ve printed a fair num­ber of fea­tures on Ja­panese cars, we’re al­ways on the look­out for more and, by sheer co­in­ci­dence, fol­low­ing a re­cent let­ter from a reader call­ing for more clas­sics from the land of the ris­ing sun (see this month’s Read­ers’ Writes), our sched­ule had sud­denly been filled with ori­en­tal clas­sics. While we’ve ac­tu­ally been fol­low­ing the lo­cal restora­tion of a Mazda 110S — a ro­tary-pow­ered sports car that looks as if it just stepped out of a clas­sic Jet­sons car­toon — we’ve also ‘dis­cov­ered’ a fully re­stored Mazda RX-3 coupé which, for once, hasn’t been mal­treated by a reader of our sis­ter mag­a­zine, Nzper­for­mancecar. As well, Donn An­der­son re­cently got the chance to recre­ate the Novem­ber 1971 cover of Mo­tor­man mag­a­zine when he was re­united with the Dat­sun 240Z that he road tested in that is­sue. Talk about a small world!

We’ve got a few more ’60s and ’70s Ja­panese clas­sics up our sleeve, so this year’s look­ing like a good one for the grow­ing num­ber of en­thu­si­asts who are get­ting into th­ese cars — and if, like Gabriel, you don’t reckon such ve­hi­cles qual­ify as be­ing clas­sics and think they shouldn’t be in the mag­a­zine, let us know. How do you do that? Well, read on … It’s been quite some time since our last read­ers’ sur­vey, but this month we’re giv­ing all our read­ers a chance to make a valu­able con­tri­bu­tion to the fu­ture of Nzclassiccar by telling us how we can make the mag­a­zine even bet­ter. Let us know what your favourite — and not so favourite — fea­tures and col­umns are, and if you’ve got any ideas for fu­ture fea­tures and col­umns, we also want to hear from you.

We’re ask­ing all our read­ers to turn to p36 and take a few min­utes to let us know how we can make Nzclassiccar even bet­ter. And as a re­ward, all those who com­plete our sur­vey will go into a draw to win some cool prizes.

Go on — have your say!

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