Datsun 240z and a laptop

How does a Datsun 240z and a laptop have anything to do with each other? Maybe if you’re Mitsubishi, who made both computers way back when* and cars, you’d be in the running. No no, there isn’t going to be any Nissan computers, but there is a link between the 240z and the Ampere WS-1 “knee-top” computer: Kumeo Tamura.

Kumeo Tamura is one of the industrial designers who penned the Datsun 240z… and apparently a laptop. To have such an iconic car under your belt is amazing enough, but then have the breath to stretch into tech space, well that’s pretty awesome. Read the original post here (thanks Oscar!): read more

*I remember my dad brought home a Mitsubishi computer a long long time ago in the 80’s.

Against All Odds

I remember first meeting my brother’s 4-door Datsun 510. 5-colors, a little bit of rust, heater on all the time, no power steering, had to start it in 2nd and it had the smell of musty foam with a thin veil of gasoline. A far cry from our Integra, all i could ask was, ‘why?’. I didn’t even want to take it around the block.

1972 Datsun 510 - KFDS March 2004

Shortly there after came understanding, then hours of work on the car, then appreciation, more hours of work on the car, and then finally realization that this was a fantastic car for so many reasons – independent suspension, great feeling of the road, period style, simple to work on, operate and maintain. And for many reasons, turned heads. :]

Then there’s this little documentary that threw it over the top. Titled Against All Odds, it accounts the Datsun 510’s Trans-Am race against it’s classmates from Alfa Romeo, BMW, Fiat, Volvo and other similar cars at the time. Driver John Morton and Peter Brock’s engineering team battle it out in an “attempt to make the transition from show room to victory lane in a single season… against all odds“. It’s great. And it’s on YouTube. Enjoy!

Against All Odds, 26mins

Z Owners of Nor Cal Annual Car Show – Brisbane Marina

Z Owners of Northern California (ZONC) are having their Annual Car Show at the Brisbane Marina on July 28th, 2012!

Wow, that first sentence just sums it all up. There’ll be plenty of 240Z, 260Z, 280Z, 350Z and 370Z cars you can shake a stick at, with a special section just for the older cars. Of course plenty of 510’s, Datsun Roadsters, G35 coupes and GT-Rs will also be there in full force. I won’t be entering in 280Z just yet (plus i don’t want to spend 5 hrs there), but I’ll certainly be there to check it out. Should be a blast to see what everyone’s done with their Z cars up close and personal.

For more information go to ZONC’s website:

For photos of last year’s event, check out Z-Car Garage’s page. Rob’s got a host of photos to gawk at.

Flyer for ZONC's Annual Car Show at the Brisbane Marina


Body Side Molding – Rubber Molding

My last post was about putting on the aluminum side molding channels with rivets, so now it’s time to pop in the rubber molding. However… it looks like the molding I purchased is NOT the right one.

Unfortunately, I ordered the incorrect rubber molding from I must have missed that the ‘Body Side Molding’ section was for a 280zx (1979-83), and just looked at the description for part# 97-650 “Adhesive Molding-Black, 16ft roll, cut to fit 280”. Oh well, we’ll try to get that returned if possible.

Adhesive molding from BlackDragonAuto catalog

So I did a little research this morning, and found the CORRECT rubber molding is actually hard to find (neither MSA nor BlackDragonAuto sell it). The proper rubber molding for the 280z can be found at

Rubber molding for the 280z from

This is the correct version because it locks into the side molding “stick” or channel, rather than be affixed by adhesive. CustomAutoTrim also sells the ends of the side molding channels, however the “bullet” and “chisel” ends used on the 280z seem to be discontinued at the time of this post.

If you’re looking for side molding for your 280z you’ll need the following lengths:

front fender: 23″ per side
door: 32 3/8″ per side
rear fender: 37 1/2″ per side

Total:  185.75″ = 15.48 ft = 16ft (since they sell by the foot) @ $2.25/ft = $36

Side Molding / Door bumpers

Since re-assembling the 280z prior to the wedding, there’s still remains a few items to be added to the car – yesterday morning, I tackled the side molding (or if you’d like to call them, door bumpers).

These come in 6 trim pieces, each piece having 4 parts: two ends (one pointed, one squared), the side molding rail, and the rubber molding itself. They’re held on to the 280z’s body panels by simple rivets; unfortunately, putting them on initially wasn’t as simple as I had thought!

The information out there on rivet specs for attaching the side molding is scarce. But hopefully with this post, it’ll be a lot easier for someone else to tackle the easy-once-you-have-the-right-info task. Let’s take a look:

Here’s what I used:
Arrow RL100 rivet gun – pick up at Home Depot or Amazon
1/8″ – 1/2″ (3mm-12mm) rivets – you can get an assortment of rivets on Amazon cheap, or you can make life easier and just purchase the rivet tool and rivets in one kit!
A little nut or spark-plug screw head – this will be used to help distance the rivet tool from the rivet head
Painter’s tape – if you don’t have a spare hand to help you, Amazon
#0 and #0000 Steel wool – to clean up the aluminum molding, Amazon

Since the side molding is all metal (save the rubber part), the chromed steel ends and aluminum rail can easily cleaned up with #0 and #0000 steel wool. The ends can be pulled off for further cleaning (there can be lots of dirt underneath). Additionally, Mother’s Aluminum and Mag polish can be used to restore them to a clean shine.

Cleaning the side moulding

Steel wool does the job very well!

Cleaning the side moulding

If you don’t have a spare hand, painter’s tape works well holding up the side molding as you put in the rivets. That way it doesn’t swing on you, and you don’t scratch up that Z car’s paint!

Holding the side moulding with tape

Through some trial / error, I figured out that you need to use the right rivets in order to have a tight hold:
Type – Use the aluminum ones. Since the steel ones are NOT stainless, nor galvanized, they’ll eventually rust on you. Use the aluminum ones.
Ends –  Diameter: 1/8″ (3mm), Grip: 1/4″ (6mm) or 1/2″ (12mm)
Middles – Diamter 1/8″ (3mm),  Grip: 1/8″ (3mm) or 1/4″ (6mm)

Note that for the Ends because they’re thicker, you have to use either the 1/4″ (6mm) or the 1/2″ (12mm). Because the middle portions are thinner, you can use 1/8″ (3mm) or 1/4″ (6mm).

Because the rivet tool head is too large to fit into the channel of the Z’s side molding rail, you need to use a spacer (something to extend the rivet tool head without losing the grip on the rivet stem). I used the head off a spark plug, and it worked great. You can probably also use a small nut. Find something that has a hole large enough to fit the stem, but not too large that the rivet head pulls through. Be careful not to use a spacer too tall, otherwise the tool won’t be able to grab the rivet stem. This trick will allow you to get that rivet head flush against the side molding channel, and set it snug ‘n tight!

Diagram of the side moulding rivet setup

Side molding up on the 280z.

280z side moulding is on

280z side moulding is on

Tomorrow, i’ll cut the side molding rubber to length and pop them in.

Spotted: White 260z 2+2

I spy with my little eye…

Ever experience getting a new car, and thinking, ‘wow, there just aren’t that many around’, then shortly after driving it off the lot, sure enough you’re seeing that car everywhere?

It’s always true that once you’ve begun to pay attention to a car, they seem to pop up. Of course if it’s a car you don’t mind looking at, that’s not quite a bad thing. Heading down the street, outta the corner of my eye, I managed to spot something about 200ft away:


See it? :] Here’s a close up:

Imagehaha! A white 260z 2+2!
Since then I’ve driven by a few times and noticed it hasn’t moved at all, so though it seems to have a decent exterior, it’s probably just parked there to stay. Maybe if i have time, i’ll inquire what it’s deal is.