TC24-B1Z

If you have ever wondered what 414hp (420ps) at 9000 rpm from a normally aspirated L-series straight six sounds like… Well wonder no more. Feast your ears with the video above. Not that this is just any ordinary hot L6 of course. OS Giken worked its magic back in 1980 to produce the exotic TC24-B1… a bespoke 24 valve DOHC cylinder head for the venerable L-series, which breathed new life into the old favourite. In 2012 they overhauled it to produce this, the TC24-B1Z….

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Winning: The Racing Life of Paul Newman

I’m not entirely sure how this film has not come to my attention before, as it came out five years ago. I finally watched it on Amazon a few days ago and, not only is it a solid documentary film which paints a good picture of the man himself and his passion for racing, it’s probably an essential watch for all Datsun freaks. Newman started out racing a Datsun 510 before moving to a 610, the an S10 Silvia (200SX) and finally numerous Z models from the S30 to the Z31. His passion for racing ruled his life and he continued to race into his old age, even taking pole position in his last race at the age of 82!
Needless to say, this film is packed with fantastic Datsun racing footage from end to end and features some of the big movers in the Datsun world back then, such as racing school owner, Bob Bondurant and BREs Trans-Am winning 510 driver ,John Morton. You can pay to watch the full film on YouTube, or if you have Amazon Prime you can see it there for free. Check out the film trailer below…

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Sunny Skids

A Datsun 120Y four door wouldn’t be the first weapon of choice for most skid enthusiasts. From my experience with my Datsun 510 back in the day, short wheelbase cars like this are pretty tricky to drift, especially at speed, which is why I ended up with an S13 instead. Here’s Aussie Logan Waterhouse skidding in style in his KA24DE powered 120Y… and making it look so easy…

For more, check out Logan Waterhouse Drift on Facebook

Tomei TS Sunny

The popular Tomei powered Maruzen Technica Sunny coupe (KB110) on the cover of Japanese Autosport magazine from November 1974. Tomei built a perfect replica of this car, which appears at various events in Japan such as the Nismo Festival. The Tomei built, oversized A12 OHV engine in this car is only 1303cc, but puts out an astonishing 164ps at 8000rpm!

autosport74-11_kb110

5000km to Glory …in plastic

eidai510a

As I mentioned in my original post about the movie ‘5000km to Glory’, there is a little bit of movie merchandising related to the film, even though it was largely forgotten until it’s recent release on DVD and Bluray. I have seen the movie soundtrack album (on vinyl naturally!) for sale on Yahoo! Japan Auctions in the past and other items, such as sets of postcards, but the best thing I have ever come across related to it is this lovely 1/24 scale model kit, made by Eidai. To be honest, when I first found this kit, I didn’t initially realise it was related to the film. Only a little later when I noticed the style of the ‘5000’ logo on the box did it dawn on me what it was! The 510 modeled in the kit is actually that of a 1968 model which makes it a little unusual as most 510 model kits are 1969 onward versions with the larger tail light and restyled grille.

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Datsun 160J SSS Turbo

710turbo_1

I won’t go into too much detail here regarding the history of Nissan Motorsport’s Datsun 160J SSS Turbo race cars… I’ll save that for a future post… but for now here’s a brief outline of the story. Nissan had been dabbling a little with turbo technology from the start of the 1970’s, and in 1974 it unveiled its wild, 300 horsepower LZ20B, Turbo powered Violet SSS (KP710 model). Unfortunately, the timing was pretty poor, as the fuel crisis had hit hard in Japan and it wasn’t really viable for Nissan to take its fire breathing, gas guzzling Violets racing in there. So the racers were shipped off to Malaysia, where they were entered into the Selangor Grand Prix, via Datsun importer Tan Chong and Sons. In the export markets the Nissan Violet was known as the Datsun 160J, so the cars were title and liveried accordingly…

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It’s Here!

Finally, I get to watch 5000km to Glory! I only ordered this from Japan four days ago and it’s here in the UK already… amazing! Hopefully my complete lack of Japanese language skills won’t be a problem viewing this…

safari5000dvd

UPDATE! I’ve just finished watching it, and I can honestly say it’s as good as any motor racing film I have seen. No really… it’s genuinely a really great filmI The cinematography is fantastic, the racing scenes are superbly shot and seamlessly blended with footage from the real events. The cast are good and best of all, language isn’t as big an issue as I expected, as there’s actually more French and English spoken in the film than Japanese! I say go get yourself a copy!

5000km to Glory

A relatively unheard of title, ‘5000km to Glory‘ or ‘Safari 5000’ as it was alternatively titled, was a movie depicting the fictional events surrounding a Japanese team entered into the East African Safari rally with the legendary Datsun 1600-SSS, a car that would go on to win the event for real in 1970. The film was directed by Koreyoshi Kurahara and starred Yûjirô Ishihara, Tatsuya Nakadai and Toshirô Mifune in the tile roles.


Despite ‘5000km to Glory’ being Japan’s highest grossing film of 1969, it remained almost impossible for most people to actually to view for decades after its release, as it was apparently never released onto VHS (although I have seen a Betamax copy for sale once… for 250 euros!). But finally, after it being screened for the first time in years on Japan’s NHK BS-hi TV channel in 2012, it would seem that it was made available on DVD and Blu-ray in Japan last year. Sure, this means it’s Japanese market and therefor hard to get hold of and lacking subtitles… but it’s a start!

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