It surprises most people to learn that Datsun-Nissan have a long and very good pedigree in motor racing; a history that stretches back to 1948 when their first sports midget car took to the track. 
   They hold records in SCCA racing, have over 200 IMSA Victories, class wins at le Mans and 4 consecutive victories in the Daytona 24hrs race. the Fairlady 'Z' series has won the Safari Rally outright 7 times and has many rally podiums to accompany that record.
   Datsun started producing sporty two seaters in 1961 with the fairlady series. By the 1970s governments across Europe and especially in the USA were discovered "emissions controls" and safety requirements that effectively killed off several of the world’s great sports cars; at the very least it ruined their performance. In an effort to stay ahead of the new regulations and gain a market share Datsun designed the 260z and 280z. They increased the displacement of the S.O.C., inline-6cyl’ engine to 2.6Ltrs with a Compression ratio of 8.3:1, gave it electronic ignition, replaced the carburettors with a Bosch L-Jetronic fuel injection system and squeezed out 149hp @ 5600rpm. Even with the catalytic converter required in California the car still felt sporty. Fitted with a 4-speed gearbox as standard-equipment, an overdrive-5th gear became available later, at a cost, and eventually a manual 5-speed was made available.

   The bodywork lines of the series echo that of the Toyota 2000GT as a much updated ‘E’ type Jaguar, a look that fits as well on the race track as it sits well in the car parks of young executives. If that was all it would be enough but unlike some specialist sports car manufacturers Datsun’s Z series cars were as nice on the inside as they were on the outside. Comfortable seats well positioned pedals, easily visible gauges and a steering wheel which just seems to fall in the drivers hands the cars are clearly designed with the driver in mind. Handling was exceptional due to suspension by Independent MacPherson struts at the front Chapman struts at the rear, and the low line of the seating position helps the driver feel the cars movement on the road.

   The 280z was introduced to North America in 1975 and the later 280zx won the IMSA GTU title with 9 wins in 13 races in 1979; the same year Paul Newman won the group C production Championship in a Bob Sharp racing 280zx.
                                                                      1/24th scale kit.
                                                                         Built by Rod.
   Rod built this model from the box in the early 1980s. The white plastic of the body wasn't painted and over the years has yellowed in places; so learn from our mistakes that it is never a good idea to leave plastic unpainted! Were Rod has painted the model it is all brush applied Humbrol enamels.

   Airfix kit no. 06409-1 was originally released in 1981 and has been re-released since. It doesn't really match up to the later releases by Tamiya, Fujimi or even Arii, but it is acceptable and builds well.