Datsun/Nissan Z Show and Cars & Coffee…Gettin’ Car Sick in Cali!

1976 Datsun 280 Z and a 1981 280 turbo ZX On the weekend of April 25-27 my family and I headed out to Orange, CA for the 2008 Motorsport Datsun/Nissan Z Show. We met up with a few members of the Desert Z association and made a caravan to Cali. Ryan and I led the way in his 1981 silver and black 280 turbo ZX, followed closely by my dad and mom in his rally orange 1976 280 Z (great year by the way!) . After checking in at the hotel we headed to the “meet and greet” in front of the Motorsport shop. While we were there Christa aka “Z Chick”, told us about a local car show held on the grounds of Ford Headquarters in LA, called “Cars and Coffee” and encouraged us to check it out. She boasted that there would be cars in attendance that we may never have even seen or heard of before and may never again in our lifetimes. She rattled off a list of celebrities and auto industry idols who had made past appearances with their vehicles, and insisted that in spite of the early hour (it starts at 6am!) it would be well worth it. I grumbled as I set the alarm and hoped, for everyone’s sake, that it would in fact deliver all she had promised.

Datsun ZSick Konig All Alone rims with Primza LipDatsun 280 Z SpeedracerA sweet 350 Z lookin' flyZ Chick's Nissan 350 Z

It’s the crack of dawn Saturday morning and I’m already impressed. As we pull into the parking lot, I spot a bright white Countach with all of it’s “wings” spread open and looking like its about to take off. A few spaces down I see a bright orange Daytona, followed by a Pinzgauer, a vintage Mini, and a crazy sandrail-type monster. In the next row I spot a wicked cool Swiss postal truck, a Packard Phantom, a sweet lifted Glamis Caddy, an old Woodie, and a vintage Ferrari. There are no reserved spots and cars are coming and going constantly, which keeps the pace interesting and exciting. Everyone at the event seems very friendly and willing to strike up a conversation. As we park our own cars, we are informed that the Ford buildings cafeteria is open and serves breakfast, so we head over and I get a coffee and a killer breakfast burrito (made fresh) for under $5. Sweet.

Lamborghini Countach ready for take offFerrari DaytonaPinzgauerVintage MiniNOTW Sandrail

Swiss postal truck1931-32 Packard Phantom1962 Glamis CadillacFord Woodie Cali style1964 Ferrari 250GT

As we sip our coffee and begin to walk around the parking lot, I spy Barry Maguire from Speed TVs “Car Crazy” pulling in with his custom black pickup. Also in attendance at the show are a few models from Audi, Hyundai, Ford, Dodge and BMW that haven’t even been released to the public yet. In fact, I asked the rep to lift the hood on the Hyundai and he says he isn’t allowed because it’s not finished yet. Then, in almost synchronized motion, the entire crowd stops and stares at a pair of Vectors pulling into the lot. As the cars settle in and the crowd pushes forward, Gerald Wiegert the original designer and creator of the Vector, steps out of the drivers seat. At about 9am it seems most of the car owners are packing up, so I park myself on the curb by the exit and watch as the cars leave the parking lot. All I can say is wow and definitely worth it, so if you’re ever in the LA area between 6 and 9am on a Saturday morning, you’ve gotta check it out!

Barry Maguire's custom Car Crazy pickupLotus and Group C Racer Kit CarHyunai's New 2010 Genesis Coupe2009 Ford FlexGerald Wiegert's Vectors

My California Car show weekend finished up on Sunday with the Z show in Orange. One side of the grounds was dedicated to the older 240/260/280 models while the other side sported the 300/350 series Zs. Nissan showcased a 2008/2009 Z, Maxima, and GT model for preview. There were a variety of vendors selling their wares, music in the background, and decent food available as people put out blankets and camping chairs and enjoyed the sunshine and scenery. Though I wouldn’t consider myself a HUGE fan of these cars, I was impressed by the turn out and could definitely appreciate some of the work and creativity that went into these Zs. Have a look!

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