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.
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.
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.
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