I’m on a roll with Datsuns lately. The crash protection and the reliability of a modern car may not be there, but what a face! Particularly when sitting on wider-than-stock tires and hiding out on some side street in Berkeley, this car has the potential for fun.
I’ve had an attraction to Datsun Z cars since I read Wangan Midnight as a teenager and first encountered the “Devil Z”. Around the Bay Area, plenty of these cars are still running, and those that have survived this long come to resemble the style goals of their owners. That might be the “rough style” Z I photographed in Berkeley, or this super-clean example that was kind enough to park in the Marin Headlands overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco.
Legendary tuned cars abound in manga and anime—the overpowered monsters in unassuming guise who reveal their true (horse)power in the last seven minutes of each episode. In at least two that jump to mind (Wangan Midnight and Shakotan Boogie), Datsun Z cars are the chief culprits.
This particular Z has been hanging out in Berkeley’s South Campus neighborhood as long as anyone can remember, delivering supplies to I.B.’s Hoagies. Each year, it’s modified a little further towards some ultimate form that exists in the mind of its owner. In the mean time, I love the idea of this rough style monster out on delivery service.