Car-lovers mourn Yutaka Katayama, father of the classic ‘Z’ sports line

Datsun 240Z that I spotted back in 2012.

Reshared from PRI’s The World

[Ed. note – I wanted to share this smaller report as well about Mr K, that I heard on PRI’s The World, due to the personal details mentioned. I also decided to use one of my own photos for the lead image on this reshare. The loss of the father of the Z is a personal one in that an early Z-car, my mother’s 280ZX, was a large part of what started me in having an interested in cars when I was a child. The loss of the man who brought us the affordable sports car is a great one. The world needs more Mr K’s.]

Diehard fans of the “240-Z” know that you can’t think of this sports car without thinking of Yutaka Katayama. Or the “father of the Z,” as he was known to Datsun and Nissan fans. (more…)

RIP Yutaka “Mr K” Katayama, 1909-2015

Mr K next to the original Z car

Re-shared from Japanese Nostalgic Car, text by Ben Hsu

Yutaka Katayama, beloved former Nissan executive and noted sports car enthusiast, passed away Thursday at the age of 105. Known as “Mr K” and respected and adored by legions of Nissan owners, Katayama was responsible for many of the early successes of Nissan, as well as some of the pivotal events in the Japanese auto industry at large, but above all he was one of us, a car enthusiast. (more…)

Driving A Supercharged Zanardi Edition Acura NSX Was A Revelation

NSX Zanardi Edition

Re-shared from Jalopnik, text by Patrick George, photographs by Kurt Bradley

[Ed. note – I couldn’t help being reminded of the good old days of Sport Compact Car and Modified magazines while reading this review today, by Patrick George, of a 1-of-only-50 limited edition NSX. Not a bad group of magazines to be compared to. I unfortunately missed out on reporting the new NSX’s debut along with the surprise unveiling of the new Ford GT last month at NAIAS, while I was stuck in bed with a cold, but I think Patrick hits it right on the head at the end. I won’t spoil it for you.]

I have finally figured out what the new turbocharged, hybrid, all-wheel drive, 550 horsepower 2016 Acura NSX will really compete against: the original NSX. Not in sales, mind you, but in expectations. There is no way the new NSX will escape comparison with its famous father. (more…)

When it comes to Miata horsepower, 155 is enough

landscape_nrm_1423057915-miatalead

“Can’t we have one car on the market that isn’t too fast for its own good?”

Re-shared from Road & Track, text by Jack Baruth, images by Mazda

[Ed. note – Jack Baruth makes a great comparison of the strengths and weaknesses of today’s autos, with how all of the power available today has its consequences, and how the new upcoming Miata breaks away from that to offer something different.]

Okay, I admit it. When I heard the official horsepower number for the US-market variant of the next-generation MX-5—and that number is 155, in case you’ve been crossing the Atlantic on a sailboat during the last few days—my first reaction was that kind of deflation you get when a pawnshop owner tells you what he’s actually willing to pay for your “luxury” watch. Oof. That’s not a lot. I thought it would be more. Hoped it would be more. Oof. And that reaction came after I’d thoroughly enjoyed myself for two hours behind the wheel of a Miata with 24 fewer horsepower than we’ll get in the States. (more…)

More spark than a Spark: My Seat-of-the-Pants Review of the 2014 Mini Cooper Clubman

2014 Mini Cooper Clubman

As hard as I tried to get the Miata done on Superb Owl Sunday, I was still a couple of hours away from it being road worthy, and I didn’t want to rush it and risk messing something up. Since my wife had jury duty the next day (yesterday), we rented a Chevy Spark for me to drive to work. Walking up to the Enterprise rental car office, I noticed that I didn’t see any Chevy Sparks in the parking lot. As I was walking, I thought to myself “It must be out back or something. I hope I don’t have to wait for someone else to return it before I can leave. Hey, that’s a nice little Mini. It must be an employee’s.” Only, it wasn’t and I didn’t have to wait. They were all out of Sparks, so they gave me the Mini Clubman with no upcharge. Win!

(more…)