Monday, April 7, 2014

Blogging From A to Z Day 6: F is for Fairlady

Photo courtesy Nissan
For the month of April I will be participating in the Blogging From A to Z Challenge. Learn more about the challenge by clicking here. Each day (except Sundays) I will be posting a theme based on each letter of the alphabet. This blog is covering automotive topics for the month. To read my other blog posts for the challenge, click here.

Most people have no idea that Nissan's Z cars (like the 300ZX, 350Z and 370Z) are called the Fairlady in Japan. It's a weird name, I know, but it's the domestic name for its famous sports car line and it works in that culture. For a really eye-opening experience, click this link and see the 370Z's Japanese webpage.

A fact many don't know is that Nissan's Fairlady of Z-car lineup constitutes the world's most popular sports car. They have been thrilling drivers for decades now. For reasons I don't entirely understand myself, starting with the 350Z they have been offered without a turbo option. This has been an embarrassment for Nissan, since there are sedans that can outperform them on a number of tests. Car tuners often address this problem up front, slapping on a turbo or supercharger and increasing performance so dramatically, it makes me wonder why Nissan does not offer it as a factory option. Thus is the business of cars, and it doesn't always make sense.

If you use the term "Fairlady" correctly, you will gain some respect in car enthusiast circles. Even better, using the correct chassis codes for the different generations of the car will win you loads of street cred. Why? Because you're likely wondering what a chassis code is, that's why. There are many ways automotive enthusiasts keep out "posers" or people who want to act like they're way into cars, but instead know next to nothing about them. It's an interesting group dynamic I've actually studied academically.

In case you were wondering about those chassis codes, I have them right here. First generation: S30. Second generation: S130. Third generation: Z31. Fourth generation: Z32. Fifth generation: Z33. Sixth generation Z34.

Here is a turbocharged Fairlady (370Z) on a dyno (a machine created to measure powertrain output). You can hear the turbos hissing loudly as the engine is revved:

4 comments:

  1. Boy... the things I don't know stretches miles and miles. I had no idea of any of this stuff. I like the idea of being able to keep when men talk cars. Not sure I will actually retain all of this knowledge, but I will try!!!

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    1. I have plenty more info to come! :)

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  2. That Fairlady is a cutie pie (my most important criteria in cars---cuteness).

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    1. My wife has the same criteria. Many monster performance cars I drool over she hates, simply because they look weird.

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