Saturday, March 12, 2011
2012 Nissan 240Z cars
July 20, 1969 should ring a bell.
It's the day Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin failed to notice the alien mind-control machine embedded in the Moon's Sea of Tranquility that, for the previous few years, had been beaming subversive thoughts directly into the brain of Nissan USA's president, Yutaka Katayama.
Up to then Nissan, a much smaller company than it is today, had dabbled with fast-lane fare but was notable mostly for producing some of the world's least interesting family runabouts and pick-ups. So when, in '69, it launched a car as similar to every previous Nissan as a shark is to an inflatable rubber duck, it might as well have landed from another planet. In Japan it was called the Fairlady Z, proving that Nissan's flair for giving cars inappropriate names had also hit a new high. But for its prime market, the US, and the rest of the world it was renamed the Datsun 240Z and, almost overnight, it changed the way we think about Japanese cars forever.