All of the owners who took part in the drive day were part of a local car club. Reece said his experience with the Brisbane’s BNE BNR Club had been nothing but positive, while Russell spoke glowingly about his time in both the Queensland Z Car Club and the Datsun Sports Owners Association.
The owners generously allowed a group of motoring journalists to sample their babies under controlled conditions at the track.
We kicked off our day in Reece’s R33 GT-R and while it is showing its age, it’s still an impressive machine.
I was nervous about driving the next car, the 1999 R34 GT-R, given its reputation as something of a handful, but it turned out to be one of my favourites of the day.
The iconic Bathurst-winning 1990 R32 GT-R was next before jumping into a bunch of Z cars.
The raw nature of the original 240Z from 1972 highlighted how far automotive technology has come, but it was one of the most charming cars of the day.
Next up was a striking example of the 1981 Datsun 280ZX with flawless maroon velour trim and all the mod cons one would expect in a car from the early ’80s, including a retro chrome tape deck.
A 350Z from 2005 was unquestionably more modern but lacked some of the charm of the older cars.
We ended the day in Russell’s beautifully maintained 300ZX 25th-annnniversary edition that was one of just 40 produced. Of the 40 just 16 were manuals and only 12 of them were red, making it a rare beast.
Russell says the 300ZX has had no modifications and he has no intention of making any alterations.
“I bought the car because it was original. I would like to keep it that way. But part of that is, when those cars get modified, they tend to become unreliable. So to keep it original keeps the reliability that Nissan produced into it and that’s what I would like to keep. And by keeping it original, in years to come I think it is going to become quite difficult to find.”
As one of your correspondent’s childhood dream cars, it was a real thrill to drive this car. The sleek late-’80s design and flowing interior layout is as flawless now as it was when it was released. It’s a cruiser rather than a bruiser, but that’s how Russell and his wife prefer it. I’m with them.