Datsun Racing History

A General Discussion forum for cars and other topics, and a great place to introduce yourself if you are new to NICO!
User avatar
Posts: 21640
Joined: Sat Apr 05, 2003 6:50 pm
Car: None
Location: South of ATL

Datsun Racing History

Postby Rex » Sat Apr 23, 2005 5:01 am

I'm sure most everyone has heard of BRE, but I thought I'd do a little digging and share what/who it was ... (Click thumbnail images for more information)




By the time Pete Brock had formed Brock Racing Enterprises (BRE) in 1966, he was already highly respected in the automotive industry. His work and successes to date included the following:-

* A spell at the Art Centre College of Design, L.A. * Youngest automotive designer of General Motors, at 19 years of age. (Pete was hired by Chuck Jordan, later the successor to GM's head of styling Bill Mitchell). * Design work on the Chevrolet Stingray prototype with . * Chief instructor at the Carroll Shelby Driving School at the Riverside Raceway. * Designer of the Cobra Daytona Coupe. * Designer of the De Tomaso prototype featured on the March 1966 Road & Track cover. (This was a Shelby/De Tomaso joint venture which failed, and De Tomaso falsely credited Ghia with the prototype's design and manufacture, although Pete Brock designed the car and Carrozzeria Fantuzzi of Italy built it). * Designer of the Hino Samurai prototype featured on the November 1967 Road & Track cover. * Designer of the Triumph TR250K that Bob Tullius and Jim Dittemore drove for Kas Kastner at Sebring in 1968.

As the owner of Brock Racing Enterprises (BRE), Pete Brock's first success was at the wheel of the 1300cc Japanese Hino Coupe, which beat the field at the 1966 Times-Mirror event in front of a 100,000 strong crowd at Riverside Raceway. The BRE Hinos took 1st and 2nd places and created quite a stir, both in the USA and Japan - check out the BRE HINO PAGES, which include further details of Pete Brock's Hino Samurai prototype and gives a fascinating insight into Pete Brock's move from Hino to Nissan.

Following the Riverside victory, Toyota, which was on the verge of taking over the Hino Motor Co., offered Pete Brock the opportunity to race their recently announced 2000GT in SCCA racing. In the meantime, however, Carroll Shelby, who had recently lost his contract with Ford, opened a Toyota dealership in El Segundo. At the eleventh hour, the BRE/Toyota deal was pulled, and Shelby was handed the contract. Pete Brock immediately approached Datsun, and with Yutaka Katayama's blessing, the BRE-Datsun partnership was formed.

Justice was seen to have been done, when Frank Monise beat all-comers in 1969. Toyota pulled out of SCCA racing before the 1969 season, while the BRE-Datsun partnership marched on.


The following linked pages include many rare photographs. The pages chart the team's 1969 and 1970 seasons, during which SCCA veteran Frank Monise and, later, John McComb, campaigned the Datsun 2000 Roadster to Divisional success in the SCCA's D Production class. John Morton also campaigned the roadster over the two seasons, moving up from D Production to C Production in 1970, and onto the 240Z later that season. Although all three drivers qualified the roadster for the ARRC, a National Championship at the whell ofthe Datsun 2000 eluded the team.

The 1969 Season

The 1970 Season




Following the 1970 runoffs, Pete Brock sold both BRE roadsters to privateers, the Morton car going to BOB McQUEEN, of Smyrna, Georgia, and the Monise/McComb car to GENE FELTON of Atlanta, Georgia. The roadsters were soon to duel again, this time back in D Production, culminating in a battle between McQueen and Felton at the 1971 runoffs at their home track. After leading early in the race, Felton span on lap four, leaving McQueen to take the DP title, a feat he repeated the following year, despite heavy pressure from the semi-works Triumph teams.

The arrival of the 240Z took up much of Pete Brock's energies, and John Morton's consecutive titles in both the 240Z and the Trans Am 510 have all but overshadowed BRE's roadster years. However, the BRE roadsters are remembered with much affection on the West Coast, and the preparation and engineering that went into them helped bring the SCCA Production classes into a new era.

As for Brock's other two roadster drivers, Frank Monise went back to campaign his trusted Lotus XI, which he took to the 1970 runoffs, and John McComb went on to race with Group 44, where he picked up a National Championship with the Triumph TR6.

Note: Only two BRE roadsters were built - the Morton car survives and she was being raced again in the year 2000 by privateer Bob d!ck, who purchased the car from Ken Glasener. The Monise/McComb car also came to light in 2001 - owned by John Robinson, whose father took the car to the 1983 Runoffs.

User avatar
Posts: 21640
Joined: Sat Apr 05, 2003 6:50 pm
Car: None
Location: South of ATL

Datsun Racing History

Postby Rex » Sat Apr 23, 2005 5:07 am

The Z Car Goes Racing and Ends Up In The History Books.Contributed By: Carl Beck, IZCC #260The Purpose Of This Page:This summary is intended to provide you with a "Quick Reference Guide" to the very early Z Cars, as well as the people that surrounded them.

It is published here to serve as a reference which may help you keep all the players and cars organized in your thinking, as you learn ever more about the history of the Z Car and the people that made it happen.

The Brock Racing Enterprises (BRE) and Bob Sharp Racing (BSR) Teams, And The People Surrounding/Supporting Their Competition Efforts.

Who Was Who, At That Time (69/70):

Nissan Motor Company in U.S.A.- Yutaka Katayama, President of Nissan Motor Co. U.S.A.

- Mr. Kawazoe, Vice President, Eastern Sales Division of Nissan Motor Co. U.S.A.- Lee Wylie, National Service Manager, Nissan Motors In U.S.A.

- Bob Yorba, Supervisor Product Support Group

- Tom O'Connor, Performance Parts Manager

The BRE Team 1970/1971:- Peter Brock, Owner/Team Manager

- John Morton, BRE Z Car #46 Driver (1970 & 71)

- Dan Parkinson BRE Z Car #3 Driver (1971)

- Mac Tilton, Crew Chief

- John Caldwell, Chief Engine Builder

- Floyd Link, Engine Builder

- Ray Guss, Engine Builder

- George Boskoff, Can Do Anything and Everything...

- John Knepp - Electronics and Transmissions

- Kirk Allergo - mechanic, (can do anything else too)

About The BRE Team:Brock Racing Enterprises (BRE) was formed by Peter [Pete] Brock in 1966 after he left the Carol Shelby Racing Team. Pete thought he had a deal with Toyota to race their 2000GT in 1966/67, however that contract and the cars were given to Carol Shelby instead. Pete then turned to Datsun and gained a contract to assist in the high performance development of their 2000 Roadster.

Pictured At Top: John Morton poses with the BRE 240Z and its crew. Pete Brock (behind the car with ascot) BRE Team Owner/Manager won Datsun the 1970 and 1971 SCCA C Production Championships with the Datsun 240-Z.

BRE Timeline:1968: Pete Brock receives his first contract with Nissan Motors to undertake a high performance development of the Datsun 2000 roadster.

1969: Pete Brock sees the first pictures of the new Z Car in late summer.

1970: Late in Jan. the BRE Team received their first Z Car, straight from the first boatload of 20 cars into the States .

Main Sponsors:Nissan Motor Co. U.S.A.-Western Division, Champion Spark Plugs, Valvoline Oil Company and FRAM Oil and Air Filters. (I still buy all these products to this day..ed).

The BSR Team:- Bob Sharp, Owner

- Bob Sharp, Driver Z Car #33 (70 thru 75)

- Jim Fitzgerald, Driver Z Car# 38

- Pete Mullen, BSR Competition Manager

- John Jasensky, (Jasen), Race Engine Specialists

Main Sponsors: Nissan Motors Eastern Division, Bob Sharp Datsun/Ferrari, Sunoco Oil Company

About The BSR Team:Bob Sharp started racing Datsun's in 1966 driving a Datsun 1500 roadster. He moved on to race the Datsun 1600 and 2000 roadsters in SCCA competition. In 1969 he opened his own Datsun Dealership.

Bob received support for his racing program from Mr. Kawazoe, then Nissans Eastern Division Vice President, NMC-USA. Bob saw his first Z Car at the New York Auto Show, that car then went on to the Toronto Auto Show where it was damaged when a model sat on the roof.

Because it could not be sold to the public, nor was it any longer good as a show car, it was given to BSR for their racing program. Bob said that he remembers that the car was Dark Green. (this was HLS30 00006). Thus Bob Sharp Racing received their first Z Car at least two months ahead of the BRE Team on the West Coast. BRE had to wait on the first regular shipment of Datsuns to arrive before they received their first Z Car...

Interesting Tid-Bits:

Crankshafts: The Z Cars that came in on the first boatload from Japan (20 cars) had six counterweighted crankshafts - this lead to serious harmonic vibration problems above 6000RPM, and lead to failures in the racing engines. An eight counter weight crankshaft has been standard since that first shipment.

Cost To Build: Pete Brock said in Nov. of 1970, that it would cost about $11,500 to build Car #46 (not counting the R&D spent on the racing program by Nissan). A stock Porsche 911S at that time was around $10,500 and $40,000+ in SCCA racing trim (not counting the R &D spent by the factory)

Spooks and Spoilers: The rear spoiler was supplied as a Factory part from Japan. The front "Spook" was developed by Pete Brock.

While the SCCA rules did not allow aerodynamic devices,they did allow "cooling ducts" for the front air spoiler with brake cooling scoops was added to the BRE cars:-)... the combined air "spoiler" and brake "scoop" resulted in the "BRE Front Spook" , very creative indeed!

Horsepower: The early 240Z engines in the BRE car were putting out 240HP + according to BRE (everyone knew it was more than that based on the cars performance however).

Early Car & Driver List - 70 / 77:

Race Car #3 Driver Dan Parkinson, BRE Team( BRE Car # 3 is currently fully restored and owned by Gerry Mason & raced by Gerry Mason Jr.)

Race Car #11 Driver Don Kerney, Boulton Motors, Miami

Race Car #14 Bob Speakman (HLS30 00008)

Race Car #33 Driver Bob Sharp, BSR Team (HLS30 000?)(This is the second Z Car to wear the BSR# 33, it is still owned by Bob Sharp)

Race Car #38 Driver Jim Fitzgerald, BSR Team (HLS30 00006 - Driven first by Bob Sharp as Race Car #33, then given to Jim Fitzgerald. This car is currently owned by Dr.Allan Robbins of SharpSight Racing. It has been fully restored to is original racing condition).

Race Car #45 Driver Walt Mass, Fremont Datsun

Race Car #46 Driver John Morton, BRE Team (VIN not known, but it was from the first shipload of 20 cars that arrived in Jan. 1970 -#46 has been reported as destroyed in Phoenix race)

Race Car #48 Driver Frank Leary, FAR Performance

Race Car #85 Logan Blackburn

SCCA C/P Championships: (C Production )

1970 John Morton, BRE 240Z #46

1971 John Morton, BRE 240Z #46

1972 Bob Sharp, BSR 240Z #33

1973 Bob Sharp, BSR 240Z #33

1974 Walt Maas, Fremont Datsun 260Z #45

1975 Bob Sharp, BSR 280Z #33

1976 Elliot Forbes-Robinson Jr. BSR 280Z #33

1977 Logan Blackburn, Race Car #85

1978 Frank Leary

1979 Paul Newman, BSR (280ZX bodied 240Z engine) #33

1984 Morris Clement, 280ZX (2.8L) - ???? C Production??

SCCA SSA Championships:

1977 D. J. Fazekas

1978 D. J. Fazekas

SCCA GT1 Championships:

1982 Paul Newman, BSR (280ZX Turbo 2.8L)

SCCA GT2 Championships:

1984 Morris Clement #21

1986 Scott Sharp BSR 280Z Car# 33 (same 1975 Championship Car, driven by his Father Bob Sharp.)

IMSA GT/U (Grand Touring Under 2.5L)

1976 Brad Frisselle, #47

1979 Don Devendorf, Electramotive Racing, #83 )

IMSA GTO (Grand Touring Over 2.5L)

1982 Don Devendorf, Electramotive Racing #83 (280ZX Turbo 2.8L)

Other Cars and Drivers Of Special Note:

- Race Car #14 Bob Speakman -first car to complete 24 Hours At Daytona in 75(HLS30 00008 Delivered to Bob Speckman in Lutherville, MD, buy d!ck Roberts - fully restored to original racing condition, raced in Vintage Racing events today by Dr. Tom Bork)

- Race Car #83 - Don Devendorf's Electromotive 280ZX Turbo Car(IMSA GTU)

* Frank Leary & FAR Performance 280ZX Turbo

- Race Car #38 Jim Fitzgerald SCCA GT-2 280ZX

- Race Car #48 Frank Honsowetz IMSA GTU

Datsun/Nissan Engine Builders of Special Note:

John Caldwell - BRE Team,

Floyd Link

John Knepp - Electramotive Team

Gene Crowe - Bob Sharp Racing

Posts: 1511
Joined: Mon Dec 27, 2004 7:16 am
Car: 240sx rb20 swap

Re: Datsun Racing History (Rex)

Postby mmatl16 » Sat Apr 23, 2005 5:07 am

thats some pretty cool info. always nice to learn new things

User avatar
Posts: 21640
Joined: Sat Apr 05, 2003 6:50 pm
Car: None
Location: South of ATL

Datsun Racing History

Postby Rex » Sat Apr 23, 2005 5:08 am

Nissan Enters 1971 BRE Datsun 510 in Monterey Historic Trans-Am Race

- John Morton Returns to Drive Championship-Winning Datsun -GARDENA, Calif. (Aug. 15, 2001) -- Thirty years after winning one of the most memorable Trans-Am races in history, John Morton and Nissan Motorsports return to Laguna Seca Raceway with the 1971 BRE Datsun 510 to participate in the 28th Annual Rolex Monterey Historic Automobile Races, Aug. 17-19.

The 1971 Trans-Am 2.5 Challenge championship came down to the last race of the season, held at Laguna Seca Raceway. John Morton, in the BRE Datsun 510, and Horst Kwech, in the Alfa Romeo GTV, battled side-by-side until Morton stopped for fuel. Kwech took the checkered flag in first place, but was disqualified a few hours later for having an illegal fuel tank. Morton, who finished second, was announced the winner.

"That race was the single most exciting set of circumstances that resulted in a race win and championship," said John Morton. "Nothing, not prior or since, compares to the emotions of that day."

The victory was the sixth of the season for Datsun, earning the Morton the driver's championship and Nissan the manufacturer's title.

In 1972, Datsun continued to dominate the 2.5 Challenge, winning nine races and the championship. At the end of the season, the No. 46 BRE Datsun 510 retired to storage at Nissan North America, Inc. John Morton, who won the 1972 2.5 Trans-Am Series driver's championship as well, maintained his relationship with Nissan, winning numerous road racing victories for the manufacturer in the '80s and '90s.

"I am thrilled to get behind the wheel of the No. 46 BRE Datsun 510 once again," continued Morton. "The Datsun you will see this weekend at the Monterey Historic races is the exact same car I raced at Laguna Seca thirty years ago. The technicians at Nissan Motorsports pulled it out of the museum a few months ago, and prepped the car as you would for any race back then. It is prepared in the true spirit of vintage racing."

Earlier this year, Nissan Motorsports decided to bring back the BRE Datsun 510, not only to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the 510's greatest victory, but also to pay tribute to the motorsports heritage of Nissan.

"Looking back at the dominance the 510 had in the Trans-Am series in the early 70s, reminds us that our tradition to build cars that are performance-focused dates back to when we first started selling cars in the United States," said Steve Kight, director of motorsports, Nissan North America, Inc. "This same passion for performance still exists today with cars such as the new 2002 Sentra SE-R sports sedan, which definitely has some 510 DNA."

Practice for The 28th Annual Rolex Monterey Historic Automobile Races at Laguna Seca Raceway is Aug. 17, while the Historic Trans-Am Cars will race at 3:50 p.m., Aug. 19. Speedvision will broadcast a two-hour Monterey Historic special in September. Check local listings for date and time.

In North America, Nissan's operations include automotive styling, engineering, consumer and corporate financing, sales and marketing, distribution and manufacturing. More information on Nissan in North America and the complete line of Nissan and Infiniti vehicles can be found online at and

User avatar
Posts: 21640
Joined: Sat Apr 05, 2003 6:50 pm
Car: None
Location: South of ATL

Datsun Racing History

Postby Rex » Sat Apr 23, 2005 5:09 am

Morton Drives Legendary 1971 BRE Datsun 510 To Class Victory at Monterey HistoricsGARDENA, Calif. (Aug. 22, 2001) - Thirty years after his first Trans-Am victory at Laguna Seca, with the No. 46 Brock Racing Enterprises (BRE) Datsun 510, John Morton returned to once again give racing fans a fantastic show with the legendary Nissan.

Driving with the same passion and flair as the early 70s, Morton won his class in the1966-1972 Historic Trans-Am race at the 28th Annual Rolex Monterey Historic Automobile Races on Aug. 19. Nissan Motorsports and Morton also received the Rolex Award for Outstanding Presentation and Performance for the preparation of the Datsun 510, which won the 1971 and 1972 Trans-Am 2.5 Challenge Championships.

"It was fun doing it," said John Morton, after the 10-lap race on the 2.24-mile Laguna Seca road course. "This car has never failed to lead a race. It was real good in the corkscrew, the Datsun being so nimble."

Morton started 20th in the field of 32 historic Trans-Am cars, which included two classes of competition: the original big-bore pony cars, and the 2.5 Challenge class designed for cars under 2.5-liters.

Racing against the sister BRE Datsun 510, driven by Tommy Riggins of Jacksonville, Fla., a pair of Alfa Romeos, and a BMW 1600, Morton led the 2.5 Challengers from start to finish. He spent most of the race battling with the larger, more powerful cars in the field.

Automobile Magazine writer Preston Lerner noted, "The Datsun 510 was like a waterbus among the big cars, darting through traffic."

Peter Brock, owner and team manager of the original BRE team, also attended the landmark racing appearance of the 1971 Datsun 510. Reunited with John Morton, the pair appeared to be a fan favorite for autograph seekers attending the Monterey Historic Automobile Races in Northern California, which entertained a three-day crowd of 43,500.

"There were so many Datsun 510 owners and fans, it was never-ending all day long," said Ron Stukenberg, corporate manager, motorsports marketing and operations, Nissan North America, Inc.

In North America, Nissan's operations include automotive styling, engineering, consumer and corporate financing, sales and marketing, distribution and manufacturing. More information on Nissan in North America and the complete line of Nissan and Infiniti vehicles can be found online at and

User avatar
Posts: 2316
Joined: Fri Apr 01, 2005 9:14 am
Car: 1991 Nissan 240SX RMS13

Postby GhostDriver » Sat Apr 23, 2005 5:54 am

That was a good read. Nissan/Datsun has such a great racing history.

User avatar
Posts: 3858
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 10:11 am
Car: 96' Miata
2014 Focus ST

Postby s0m3th1ngAZ » Sat Apr 23, 2005 8:12 am

what the hell is a u20 engine

User avatar
Posts: 2231
Joined: Mon Dec 06, 2004 3:13 pm
Car: 1999 Acura 3.2TL, BMW E46 M3 Convertible

Postby M3Racer » Sat Apr 23, 2005 8:18 am

Very nice stuff Rex. This should go into the articles section.

User avatar
Posts: 21640
Joined: Sat Apr 05, 2003 6:50 pm
Car: None
Location: South of ATL

Re: (ScorchedMk3)

Postby Rex » Sat Apr 23, 2005 8:45 am

ScorchedMk3 wrote:what the hell is a u20 engine
Clicking any of the images (other than the first one) in the first post will take you to an article.

"The Datsun's U-20 motor, the factory's first production overhead cam design, was the subject of many hundreds of development hours at the BRE shop. Development was aided by Brock's experienced team and his equipment. Like the car itself, which also underwent meticulous preparation, the motor was almost unburstable."

A little further searching found this:"In 1967 the Fairlady's body and trim were slightly altered, and it was available with both the 2000 and 1600 engines. Nissan continued to offer both engines in most markets right up till the end of production. The 1600's engine continued on basically unchanged. The 2000 featured a heavily modified R series engine designed specifically for the Fairlady. It came in two versions, one had the 1982cc 135hp OHC 4cyl. U20 engine with twin SU carbs, the other having the 1982cc 150hp OHC 4cyl. U20 engine with twin 44mm dual throat side draught Mikuni Solex carbs. "

User avatar
Posts: 37617
Joined: Tue Sep 02, 2003 8:35 am
Car: It's still not a Nissan...
Location: Lebanon TN

Postby Mr1der » Sat Apr 23, 2005 10:06 am


I think I need to give the T Bird a BRE paintjob...

Return to “General Chat”