The Fellowship of the Z: Gathering at Autobooks

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 group of 280s, 300s, 300Zx and a 350 with Autobooks bookstore as the backdrop.
A group of 280s, 300s, 300Zx and a 350 with Autobooks bookstore as the backdrop.

Photos: Jeff Agner and Max Ball

Featured photo: Jay Leno (in trademark denim) brought his Merlin-powered Rolls Royce and is observing Mr. K’s famous yellow 240Z owned by Mrs. Johnnie (Gable) Ueda.

To check out our colletion of articles celebrating the Z car’s 50th anniversary, see the rest of the ExtravaganZa HERE.

Autobooks- Aerobooks store in Burbank. The Z brotherhood responded to the call.
Autobooks- Aerobooks store in Burbank. The Z brotherhood responded to the call.

As you’ll read on, it was quite a day and quite a good gathering of the faithful at Autobooks. There was a book-signing for an important new biography of the Nissan model Z, a drive-it-on-over car show on streets surrounding the iconic bookstore, and a visit from a fairly-well-known local car collector … needless to say, great camaraderie was enjoyed by one and all.

I really can’t say much more about last Saturday than to really thank and compliment everyone involved from our content manager Collin Morgan, to the friendly people at AutoBooks-AeroBooks in Burbank. Putting events/gatherings like these in a safe environment is just one more challenge that was faced.

Peter Evanow during the signing session inside Autobooks-Aerobooks, a candy store for car and aviation aficionados.
Peter Evanow during the signing session inside Autobooks-Aerobooks, a candy store for car and aviation aficionados.

In this case I can report that good (socialized distance) time was had by all. A lot of hardcore Z people got to meet author Pete Evanow, hang out with Jay Leno, show off, or marvel at (or both) some stunning examples of Nissan design and craftsmanship, and wander through one of the seven wonders of the Automotive World … an entire bookstore dedicated to the love of the automobile.

Thousands of books, hundreds of magazines, and a cordial atmosphere that makes the place more a clubhouse, where all car people are charter members from the first time that they walk through the door, than just a bookstore.

Not only Zs, but also other members of the Datsun family answered the call. In the photo a 510 Coupe, also known as “Bluebird”, and a Roadster.
Not only Zs, but also other members of the Datsun family answered the call. In the photo a 510 Coupe, also known as “Bluebird”, and a Roadster.

Recommended Visiting: (please tell them that LACar.com sent you).

Dial: www.autobooks-aerobooks.com for the latest news, store hours, and upcoming events and distant shopping for author-signed books. – Doug Stokes (editor-at-large).

A very impressive group: “Mr. K” 240Z, a 280 ZXR race homologation special and a 10th Anniversary Black Gold Edition filling the first three spots.
A very impressive group: “Mr. K” 240Z, a 280 ZXR race homologation special and a 10th Anniversary Black Gold Edition filling the first three spots.

From the Enthusiast’s viewpoint.

The yearlong celebration of the 50th Anniversary Z car continues in Southern California. This time it was an event hosted by the famed Autobooks bookstore in Burbank, CA to sign Pete Evanow’s great new book, Nissan Z: 50 Years of Exhilarating Performance.

To add to the atmosphere, Empire Z Club president Mike Rocha coordinated with other Z clubs, including SoCal’s Group Z and the Desert Z Association of Arizona, to hold a socially-distanced gathering of some very special Z cars at the bookstore.

A group of Zs and a ‘Vette receiving the blessings in front of the Magnolia Park United Methodist Church. Amen.
A group of Zs and a ‘Vette receiving the blessings in front of the Magnolia Park United Methodist Church. Amen.

Among the guests were Johnnie (Gable) Ueda and her son, bringing Mr. K’s famous yellow Z with the famous license plate “240 Z1,” which she still owns, and Jay Leno, renown automotive aficionado, who delighted the Z fans with his 12-cylinder Rolls-Royce-powered roadster one could hear at least two blocks away.

The rare car lineup included a 1979 280ZXR (1 of 1009) race homologation special, a 1980 10th Anniversary “Black Gold” edition (1 of 2500), a pure white 1988 Shiro Special 300ZX (1 of 1002), a 40th Anniversary graphite 370Z (1 of 1000) and a new black and silver 50thAnniversary 370Z (1 of 1000).

Those in attendance also enjoyed coffee and donuts, perused the bookstore’s incredible collection of automobilia, and shared stories with fellow enthusiasts. – Jeff Agner (LACar.com Special Deputy Field Correspondent in Burbank)

And a Word From the Author Himself: “Nothing gets one’s heart racing than to arrive on-site a special event that happens to be Z-related and find a huge turnout of multiple model year machines – from S30 to Z34 – all beautifully positioned in the early morning light”, said Pete Evanow, author of Nissan Z: 50 Years of Exhilarating Performance, who was on hand to sign his new book at the renowned bookstore. Books were sold and very happily personalized and signed by the author. “It was a great event,” said Tina Van Curen, co-owner of the decades-old LA car culture establishment. “It’s easy to say we had the biggest showing of Zs ever at Autobooks.”
And a Word From the Author Himself: “Nothing gets one’s heart racing than to arrive on-site a special event that happens to be Z-related and find a huge turnout of multiple model year machines – from S30 to Z34 – all beautifully positioned in the early morning light”, said Pete Evanow, author of Nissan Z: 50 Years of Exhilarating Performance, who was on hand to sign his new book at the renowned bookstore. Books were sold and very happily personalized and signed by the author. “It was a great event,” said Tina Van Curen, co-owner of the decades-old LA car culture establishment. “It’s easy to say we had the biggest showing of Zs ever at Autobooks.”
 

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