Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Neeb’s wheels 5

I have to thank an unknown benefactor for this one, both for spotting it, and for sending a pic because I probably wouldn’t take a chance of catching my own pic of this one nowadays.

To explain, the wheels in question lie along a cul-de-sac, and these often seem to be populated by fairly touchy residents who think they live in a private road that ordinary mortals should be barred from. I’ve been stopped and questioned on more than one occasion by residents, wanting to know why I walking along “their” road with no good reason, as I’ve just gone along it for a look.

The same folk would probably jump on me if I raised my camera and pointed it any of their houses, convinced I was ‘casing the joint’ and making notes in order to come back under cover of darkness and liberate their valuables.

I haven’t had a chance to visit the road in question – I’ll have to  have bath and dig out  a suit first  – so I don’t know if the car is still there.

It’s a Nissan 300ZX Twin Turbo (year is 1991.)

An interesting car for quite a few reasons. Equipped with twin Garrett turbochargers and dual intercoolers, power was 300 hp (224 kW) and torque 283 ft lb (384 Nm) of torque. 0-60 times reported were between 5 and 6 seconds, while top speed was a limited at 155 mph (249 kph). Not bad for 2960 cc plus turbos.

The 300ZX was one of the first production cars to be developed using CAD techniques, with Nissan utilising a Cray-II supercomputer. The car also featured four-wheel steering , referred to as Super HICAS (High Capacity Actively Controlled Steering).

In race trim, the 300ZX took the E/BMS class land speed record at 260.87 mph (419.84 kph) at the 1991 Bonneville Speed Trial. Checking this claim out led to another report suggesting that this record is still unbroken: JUN Demonstration Cars – Jun-Blitz Bonneville Z32

Z32 Bonneville

Bonneville Z32

Production of this style of the car ran from 1989-2000, and it was popular around my end of Glasgow. Our local autoshop owner (who lives nearby) had one when they were new, and recently added a very shiny and clean example to the present day collection of luxury wheels on his drive. He must have missed the original he once had.

A few pop up every now and then, but I’m not sure how practical they are in today’s world of unleaded low octane petrol. I have a few books that list cars which must run on leaded fuel, or have a suitable additive used with unleaded in order to avoid damage to the head, but they don’t all agree on this information. One that would need be addressed with the owner’s club, if I ever acquired one. Out of my price bracket when new, I largely forgot about this car when I was collecting this kind of transport.

I did consider one for a while, purely for fun a few years ago, at the time when many were being shipped over here from Japan as a result of the vehicle testing scheme operated over there. Like out MOT, but so expensive, it meant that most owners were ditching their “old” cars and buying a new one, as it worked out cheaper overall.

One of the second-hand car dealers along the road specialised in importing these every few months, and often had then on the lot. Badged as ‘Fairlady’, this showed they had originated in Japan, and they were often with huge exhaust and massive wheels with ultra low profile tyres and tweaked engines. While I was often tempted, the problems of lack of history and unleaded fuel gremlins always scared me off. Although I have to say I never came across anyone who bought one and had it blow up on them.

All in the past now, as the business in these imports dried up after a while, and the dealer’s lot reverted to normal, boring cars years ago.

Back to my local example, until I dare wander along for a look, I can’t even be sure if it is still there, or even if it is a runner. I can see blemishes in the body, and the tyres aren’t fully inflated, suggesting it has been standing for some months. (Blurry front was not me, pic came like that.)

Nissan 300ZX

1991 Nissan 300ZX


Sad to say, it is indeed still there, and the reality is much worse, much much worse that the grainy pic I received suggests.

It looks as if this one was parked up the day that unleaded was taken off the market, and has not turned a wheel since. In fact, the tyres are flat and the underside of the car has reached the ground, as it soft and the car has sunk into it. The mark visible on the rear wheel arch is indeed a bump, and the overall finish appears to have succumbed to the weather.

I wonder if this is a problem with Japanese paint, and Scottish weather?

I had one (not this type or make of car, but similar Japanese) and it had to stand outside. I thought the neighbour’s overhanging leylandii had caused it to turn green and dropped a sort of mossy deposit on it (it had been white) but I found this recurred when away from the trees, and it even damaged the paint where it was allowed to remain. I haven’t had the same thing happen to any other cars, including those that have sat or been stored for a similar length of time.

I strongly suggest you don’t ask how a car gets left like this. I know the answer, and you don’t want to (know).


July 24, 2013 - Posted by | photography, Transport |

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