Any marque, or model, work of history is certainly elevated if the person telling the story is intimately familiar with the subject matter, which regrettably isn’t always the case. This is different. Marking 50 years of Nissan’s sporting GT, a journey that began with the groundbreaking Datsun 240Z of 1970, a couple of tribute titles have emerged. This one, however, is authored by Pete Evanow, a well-known name in Nissan circles, who spent time with Nissan’s engine program in the Indy Racing League, stooged for stellar Nissan racer Steve Millen and who authored a previous history on the Z, fully updated here for the car’s golden anniversary. Nissan Z; 50 Years of Exhilarating Performance is a timely hardcover, running to 176 large-format pages, that walks the reader through all six generation of Japan’s most successful performance car.
Part of what we like about this book is its respectful attention, by someone who knows, paid to the course that the original Datsun Fairlady took in being adapted to the car-crazed U.S. market at its very zenith. Given the author’s motorsport background, it’s also gratifying to see a close focus on the racing operations of Peter Brock and Bob Sharp, which made such memorable use of the Z. Among the updates are a look at the Z Proto design study by Alfonso Albaisa, a gorgeous car that we truly hope makes it to production. It’s $45.00 from Motorbooks, the auto imprint of Quarto Knows.