September Editorial: Analogue Love

Cars are just like ice cream; they come in all sorts of flavors and – if you really want to take the analogy further – colors. I’m of course referring to character, the way they take a corner, accelerate, respond, pull from low RPM, smell and sound.

We love all sort of cars here at Speedhunters, but this month I personally want to explore the world of the Japanese kyusha.

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I just had the chance to drive a recently restored and decently tuned S30 from TA Auto, and it’s sparked off a whole lot of ideas in my head. First of all, why haven’t I ever gotten myself into a classic car?! Prior to my drive in the Datsun it had been some time since I had last ridden in a car from the ’70s, and I had all but forgotten the amazing experience they bring to the table. And they do it all in such a simple manner.

There are no electronics to spoil the flow of communication that man and machine develop within minutes at the wheel; you feel totally in control and adapt your driving style to make the most of what you have. Old cars make you a better driver; you don’t have anything to rely on, especially the computer-controlled aids make it seem like you know what you are doing, when perhaps you don’t.

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Take the auto-blip function found in many modern performance and sports cars these days – flick it on and just moving the shifter to a lower gear will give a perfectly rev-matched prod of the throttle. On a car like the S30 Fairlady Z you do it yourself; you may screw it up half the time, but once you nail it you get instant gratification.

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Then there’s the feeling of having a tuned, high-comp carbureted engine in front of you. It’s as if the motor is alive, it requires respect, you can’t just floor it at low RPM or it will momentarily choke itself as it the carbs fuel a tad too much. You learn to deal with this, you get in tune with it all, a beautifully analogue machine that’s sole purpose is to satisfy you as a driver.

I need more of this sort of feeling, and that’s why I’ll be hunting out some cool vintage rides this month, as well as driving a rather special car that may be new but attempts to combine all the qualities I’ve listed thus far. It’s all about not being content with vanilla but finding that special flavour. Let’s see what we come up with…

Dino Dalle Carbonare
Instagram: speedhunters_dino
dino@speedhunters.com

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29 comments

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1

I get a lot of joy from a perfectly rev matched heel n toe downshift in our 1989 998cc mini. Instant response from the twin carbs and it sounds and smells fantastic. All this before you even reach a corner!

2

Oh I can't wait Dino! Love me a bit of Kyusha.
My early 80s Mazda is as bare bones as you like. It's a joy to drive

3

Maybe I can't speak for properly classic cars, but even 10 years between cars can make a huge difference. Driving our blue-dot (i.e, 1.5L) 2004 Honda Jazz, I can't say it's fast, or precise (the gear lever is sloppy as **** after 13 years of road use), but it feels really happy above 4k. Maybe it's because I haven't driven other cars (only have some experience from an mk6 Ford Fiesta, an mk3 Ford Focus, and a Hyundai i10, all manuals (5 or 6 spd) and all through different driving schools). It just, the Jazz makes you feel a bit different. Even if it has crappy quality interior plastics. Even if it's gear lever feels a bit sloppy. Even if it needs a new clutch and can be tricky to take off from a stop (that's a whole other story). I just love the fact that it feels a bit more analogue, without being harder to use. Plus the fact that I can fit in either the back or the front seats without headroom problems... (you know you're tall enough when one of the criteria for buying a car is whether it has enough headroom / legroom so you can sit properly, haha). Sorry for the long post, but I think I'm beginning to form some special form of bond with this car!

4

Well said. Even budget simple cars can be a joy, due to the simplicity! Also.. that slop is just 2 aging bushes in the stick linkage.. replace them with nylon bushes and it'll feel like a race car ;)

5

Exactly, with respect ro new cars, older ones are way more fun, you got to feel every detail, you really have to know the car before you can say that you can drive it. I've driven a fair amount of cars, up to 2010 Focus and 2010 Octavia, but still most fun I have with is my mon's '89 Orion MkII Ghia 1.6 CVH with double Weber. But unfortunately it's in pretty bad shape, I hope I'll take it off her hand and put it through full restoration, it's just an amazing and fun car. Long live non-computerized cars!!!

6

I love ripping through some back country roads in my '76 Celica GT. Nothing better than the induction noise of two mikuni carbs!

7

There's no school like the old school! Super pumped for this month's articles!

8

maybe driving an old car with low power is a little tricky and fun
but...
driving an old car with some serious power is really HARD (a rear wheel drive car with 500 WHP , with carbs , without ABS and EBS and power steering and rev-limiter and without rev-matched down shift) that sort of cars are really unforgiving , first mistake is last mistake.

9

I heard a lot of comments of this kind. And honestly I believe it. Last I heard was "Who's able to drive that kind of car, can really drive any kind."

10

evo evo evo story hahah

11

Nice experience you´ve got there! Can´t wait to see what is coming.... by the way what happened to the "coming soon" Datsun wagon on the home page thumbnails???

I have a deep respect for almost everything on the car culture but my love for old schools is indescribable

13

No, my dear friend.. this one :)

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14

Mmmm Sunny wagon. I wish we got a 1200 wagon (what they called the Sunny in the US).

15

Still miss my -69 Volvo 121, somewhere close to 140 bhp from a double weber!
Electronic throttles are a buzzkill, but both my older, analogue cars, need repairs. Oh well, its still worth it for the joy of driving!

16

I'll be brutally honest, I'd actually take some EFI ITB intakes over carbs tbh, but i'll still keep a full manual with no aids.

17
JBfromSiliconValley

Don't care if you agree or disagree with me but IMO, the best kind of analogue is large displacement American analogue.

18

Nothing like the sound of a engine with ITBS and carbs.

19

Only problem with old cars is they're not making more of them.
Now that old Japanese cars are collectable, it's going to get more expensive to get in the game.


it requires respect, you can’t just floor it at low RPM or it will momentarily choke itself as it the carbs fuel a tad too much.



I've got a Weber DCOE on a rotary and this is the main drawback that makes me want to go EFI, but I prefer to keep my fun car simple.

20
Brennan McKissick

Totally agree. I grew up with American analog and can definitely say that 400hp without the aids feels a lot different than 400hp with the aids haha. I can't wait to pick up another project this winter to work on a bit. I want to find an NA Miata and go the same route, just with less power. ITBs would be a dream.

21

Slow-car-fast is how you learn to really drive well.

22

I had an 89 Honda CRX Si for a few months until it was stolen. No power steering, no assists, 5 speed manual. I loved that car. It was so much fun to drive. It was the oldest car I've ever had and it was the best. I still want an older car without all the excessive electronics.

23

My '96 Yamaha FZS600 has four flat-slide carbs. The throttle response is so damn smooth...

24

My eyes saw this:

you can’t just floor it at low RPM or it will momentarily choke itself



But I read: "Carbs are better because they're worse."

Should get yourself behind the wheel of something with EFI ITB's there Dino!

25

Rolling into throttle is a practice that carbs teach you -- it's a practice that will save your life one day when you're playing around in something with gobs of torque and rear wheel drive. Every time I see a video of some idiot stabbing the throttle in a late model Mustang or super car, all I can think about is how I've never even thought of doing that because I started driving in a 70s Datsun.

26

Definitely you will get a better response and performance with EFI ITB´s, but you are adding electronic components and cotrollers to the already existing ANALOG FUN!! wich by the way is the core of this subject.

27

Would love to see an article filled with old rotary screamers, my cravings for such creations are insatiable.
Perhaps there's a legendary workshop worth visiting or revisiting?
Either way, I'm excited!

28

I recently drove a 1961 Merc 190SL and a 1971 Fiat 500 and got to experience this first hand for the first time... it's all about the smells, sounds and sensations, regardless of speed or handling, anything that has those 3 elements is already a winner!

29

bummed that there wasn't a single article about this for the whole month of september

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