Last year, when I got the opportunity to drive a preproduction 370Z in the cross-country 370Z Tour, we knew the 40th anniversary of the Z was right around the corner.
To commemorate that event, my copilot (Gregg Rogers) and I decided to re-stage a photograph taken 40 years prior....
In October of 1969, exactly 40 years ago, Datsun engineers drove a pair of pre-production 240Z cars through Phoenix, ostensibly for hot-weather testing.
That visit was captured in a photograph taken on Van Buren Street in downtown Phoenix, which was the main drag through town in those days... Prior to the construction of Interstate 10. The scene is just northeast of the old Phoenix Greyhound Park. The black-and-white photo shows both 240Z's, followed by a Datsun 510 support vehicle.
Nearby, we see the Datsun employees consulting a map during the break.
40 years later, in almost exactly the same location, here we are with the modern interpretations: Two 2009 370Z's and a new Maxima... The cars were positioned just as they were 40 years prior.
I've often wondered if the guys in the picture had ANY idea how much of an impact the Z would have on the automotive landscape... I'd like to think that somewhere, the guys in the picture are still around, and I'd love for them to see the pictures together.
Thanks, Mr. K and Nissan for the Z-car.... and for all the great memories.