a red Datsun/Nissan Z on the racetrack, taking a corner at high speed

Nissan Z ExtravaganZa

A deep dive in the history of the classic Nissan Z

To give a background on Hector, our Editor-In-Chief Doug Stokes, put together an introduction for LACar's Z Car expert:

artist Hector Cademartori's rendering of a Datsun Z on a racetrack
All of us at LACar had a blast with the ExtravaganZa! 

The Nissan Z-model sports cars have always commanded great respect and have forever been on the receiving end of a lot of compliments and kudos from both the motoring press and the public … Here our own author/artist Hector Cademartori offers his personal views about of one the latest books on the subject and favors us a couple of quick stories about the vaunted marque along with a couple of his illustrations of the most famous competition machines of the honored line.

By the way, Hector puts his butt where his money is (so to speak anyway) owning “… more than two, but don’t tell Flori*” Z-machines, and racing one of them in west coast vintage events as a respite from his work on both key and drawing boards.

His motorsports adventures with his vintage 240 also give him a chance to host regular Argentine chimichuri luncheons at the track … Stop by, there’s always enough for one or two more.

[*editor's note: Flori is Hector's patient wife]

image of Hector's red highly-modified Z crossing the finish line at Auto Club Speedway
Here’s what guest editor Hector Cademartori does for fun when he’s not ramrodding our ExtraganZa coverage ... Vintage racing his own highly-modified Z that has more than a few Italianate styling hints aboard ...  this is him at Auto Club Raceway in Fontana.  He. calls it a “Ferratsun” ... we’d call it another cool iteration of one of everyone’s favorite sports car.       We’ll Z ya around!   -Ed. 

Who really knew how long ago it was when early “super” computers were used to help design the iconic Nissan Z-Cars that so many have rallied around here on the LACar website and in person all over the country. Who knew what it was like to hang with the partisans for four whirlwind days of Z-madness out in Nashville … and who knew that massive promotional printing jobs sometimes go a bit awry.

The one thing that everyone here at LACar seemed to know right out of the box was that Z’s were quite special in many ways to many people … that was easy.

We really need to thank all our intrepid guest writers and photographers Dan Banks, Peter Evanow, Ian Stewart, Jeff Agner, Mark Adams, Carl Beck, Chris Karl, Ben Bagwell and Max Ball who each contributed so much to making this package the most popular feature that LACar has ever run.

We also want to recognize our friends at AutoBooks in Burbank for hosting the little impromptu Z Car show (and the donuts and coffee too!) while author Pete Evanow was there signing copies of his great new book on our favorite subject aptly named: Nissan Z – 50 Years of Exhilarating Performance. (a limited number of author-signed copies are available at:  www.autobooks-aerobooks.com)

Last, but (quite) far from least are the two LACar staffers that put this whole deal together and not only made it fly, but made it look good and make sense as well, our tireless editor Collin Morgan and our artist/journalist Hector Cademartori.

Included Articles

the front cover of the book "Nissan Z - 50 Years of Exhilarating Performance" with a top-down image of an orange Datsun Z on a black background.
Sep 20, 2020

50 Years of Exhilarating Nissan Z Performance

Book Review: Nissan Z - 50 Years of Exhilarating Performance

The LACar #ExtravaganZa kicks off with Part 1: a fantastic book review that covers the semi-centennial legacy of the performance-driven Nissan Z cars.

artist rendering of a 1975 Datsun 260Z with bright blue, red, and white colors and yellow wheels.
Sep 23, 2020

The Iconic Bob Sharp

Interview With The Iconic Bob Sharp And Him Racing The 1975 Datsun 260Z

Enjoy part two of the LACar ExtravaganZa with Datsun legend Bob Sharp as he details his adventures in his distinguished #33 Datsun 260Z GTU car.

artist Hector Cademartori's rendering of the Nissan 300ZX in full racing apparel
Sep 27, 2020

How Peter Brock and John Morton Connected With Datsun

Two racing legends get together... Good things come out of it.

Part 3 of the LACar #ExtravaganZa features the story of how two Datsun racing lore titans joined forces and produced incredible success.

artist Hector Cademartori's rendering of the Nissan 300ZX in full racing apparel
Sep 30, 2020

1994 Nissan 300ZX IMSA GTS

The IMSA GT Powerhouse

Part 4 of the LACar ExtravaganZa dives into the epic story behind Nissan's replacement of the 280ZX: the Triple Crown winning 300ZX.

Dan Banks and our Hector Cademartori next to his 1939 Datsun fire truck, red of course.
Oct 4, 2020

The 1990-1996 Nissan 300ZX Supercomputer

Early nineties - Nissan 300ZX and Cray Supercomputers

Part 1 of this fascinating story by LACar guest writer Dan Banks explores the relationship between the Nissan 300ZX and Cray supercomputers.

Daniel Banks in shorts in front of an orange Datsun Z.
Oct 7, 2020

Supercomputers Emerge To "Twin Turbocharge" R&D

Part Two Of Our Supercomputer Deep-Dive

Part two of LACar's series on supercomputers and the Nissan 300ZX by LACar guest writer Daniel Banks continues, now by focusing on the sheer processing speed introduced by supercomputers.

black and white image of supercomputers and men in suits.
Oct 11, 2020

Nissan Busts the Rules and Buys a Cray

Part Three Or Our Supercomputer Series

Part three of LACar’s series on supercomputers and the Nissan 300ZX by LACar guest writer Dan Banks focuses on the shifting ideals of the Japanese car market in the 1980s.

Oct 14, 2020

What the Cray May Have Meant In Designing the Z-32

Part Four of our Supercomputer Series

Part four of LACar’s series on supercomputers and the Nissan 300ZX by LACar guest writer Dan Banks details the influence of the Cray supercomputer on the Z-32.

a three by three of nine images with Datsun Zs through the years.
Oct 18, 2020

A (Even) Deeper Dive into the Cray

Part Five Of Our Supercomputer Series

Part five of LACar’s series on supercomputers and the Nissan 300ZX by LACar guest writer Dan Banks explores the Japanese manufacturers' acquisition of the first Cray supercomputers.

A gray Dodge Intrepid from way back when.
Oct 21, 2020

Automotive Supercomputer Achievement History

Part Six Of Our Supercomputer Series

The final part of LACar’s series on supercomputers and the Nissan 300ZX by LACar guest writer Dan Banks examines how other manufacturers utilized the new supercomputers.

the ZCON 2020 Flyer
Oct 25, 2020

Six CraZee Days In Nashville

ZCON 2020 - Part One

Special LACar field correspondent Jeff Agner covered ZCON 2020, which celebrated the Z-car's 50th anniversary this year, as the LACar ExtravaganZa continues!

Beautiful shot of the Track Day participants at the Corvette Museum Motorsports Park.
Oct 28, 2020

Crazee Track Day

ZCON 2020 - Part Two

LACar field correspondent Ian Stewart details a candid tale at ZCon 2020 from the cockpit of his '75 280z at the Corvette Museum's Grand Course.

Jay Leno checking out the Nissan Zs at the event.
Nov 1, 2020

The Fellowship of the Z: Gathering at Autobooks

If Leno is there, it must be awesome!

Autobooks - a Burbank staple - was the rendezvous for fans of Nissan Z Cars on October 24th, and a slightly-known car collector made an appearance: Jay Leno.

a 240Z - white with yellow and red stripes
Nov 4, 2020

Datsun 240Z "Baja" - Speedy Gonzales

Road Course? Sure! Baja 1000? Why Not?!

The Datsun 240Z is widely known for its prowess on road courses, but did you know Peter Brock took one to the Baja 1000?

Cesar sitting next to his turquoise 1991 Nissan 300ZX, parked on the street.
Nov 11, 2020

My 300ZX Neighbor

A Story About A Unique 300ZX

Hector Cademartori reports on this unique 1991 Nissan 300ZX, and its equally special owner.

see-through image of the Nissan Z T-top, yellow
Nov 12, 2020

Inside Edition - More Nissan Notes

From A Former Nissan Product Information Manager

Enjoy this addition to the LACar ExtravaganZa - an inside scoop on the launch of the 1990 Nissan 300ZX from Mark Adams, former Nissan Product Information Manager.

a home garage - albeit very large - full of at least six Z-cars from Nissan/Datsun.
Nov 16, 2020

LACar ExtravaganZa - The Last Lap

Celebrating all Z-fans and enthusiasts!

As we wrap up our ExtravaganZa, enjoy this final installment, which celebrates the fans and enthusiasts of the Z Car with a special peek into a real Z-garage.