It’s been roughly a year since I purchased my 1990 Nissan 300ZX Z32. In this article, I’m going to list what upgrades I’ve done to the car over the last year, for use at Tampered Motorsport events held at Sandown. Hopefully it gives an insight into what’s required to get a road car prepared for track days.
The motoring world has been blessed with some beautiful looking cars over the years, with the Jaguar E-Type, Ferrari 250 GTO, Lamborghini Miura, Ford GT40, Aston Martin DBS, McLaren F1 and Audi R8 immediately springing to mind. Back in 2012, Lexus premiered the LF-LC Concept, intended to be the replacement for the older SC model. The project got approved and production started in early 2017, with two models introduced, including the LC500 V8 and LC500h V6 hybrid.
Many prestige cars are currently offered in today’s market, including the BMW 3 Series, Jaguar XE, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Lexus IS, Audi A4 and Infiniti Q50. South Korean manufacturer Genesis has recently entered into the prestige market with the G70 3.3T. Genesis isn’t a widely known manufacturer in Australia, but is the luxury division of Hyundai.
Recently, I was at the mechanic and overheard a lady talking about how much better old cars are overall in comparison to new cars. It got me thinking about my own experiences, having owned some older performance cars, but also being able to test some new cars on offer from different manufacturers.
It’s natural to be nervous about a big occasion, but as the time got closer to competing in my first track day with Tampered Motorsport, nerves started to get a hold of me. I’ve had my 1990 Nissan 300ZX for eight months, but the week before the event, the car was in at the mechanic getting some items finished off before the big day.
For a first attempt at a hot hatch, South Korean manufacturer Hyundai did a great job with the i30N, a car developed under the guidance of former BMW M boss Albert Biermann. The car shook up established contenders in this segment, including the Volkswagen Golf GTI, Honda Civic Type R and Ford Focus RS, by providing similar performance and value.
BMW’s 1 Series range was introduced in 2004. A highlight for me was the BMW 130i that came out in the mid 2000’s. I liked its purposeful styling combined with a wonderful naturally aspirated six-cylinder engine, six-speed manual gearbox and rear-wheel drive layout.
When thinking of great mid-engined sports cars to come out of Japan in the 1980’s and 1990’s, the Honda NSX immediately springs to mind. Before the NSX, Nissan produced a little known mid-engined concept car called the MID4, designed to compete against the best from Porsche and Ferrari.
The Suzuki Swift has been around for a number of decades and has always been a small, light, fun and affordable car. Over this time, there have also been some performance versions of the car, most notably the Swift GTi that was produced from 1989 all the way through to 2000. The Swift Sport took over as the performance model in 2005 and continues to this day, currently being in its fourth generation.
The Rob Roy hillclimb is located about an hour’s drive north-east of Melbourne near Sugarloaf Reservoir in Christmas Hills. This historically significant track is one the world’s oldest purpose built hillclimb tracks, with origins dating back to 1935. The first meeting was run in February 1937, and the track was fully bituminised in 1939. Continue reading “Rob Roy Hillclimb”
The Phillip Island Classic is a yearly highlight for car and motorsport enthusiasts. The 2013 edition showcased some historically significant cars that competed at Le Mans, Formula 1 and the Australian Touring Car Championship. There were two cars that caught my eye that year and they were built by French car manufacturer Matra-Simca, to compete in the FIA World Sportscar Championship. Continue reading “Matra-Simca MS670”
My connection to the Lexus brand was established in the early 2000’s, when the Lexus IS200 and IS300 were released. I liked the in-line six cylinder engines, rear wheel drive layout and how the instrument cluster resembled a chronograph watch. Other cars that stood out for me in the Lexus range included the original IS F and the magnificent V10 LFA.
In the early 2000’s, The Nations Cup Championship held in Australia was a personal favourite of mine to watch. The Championship featured exotic road cars including the Porsche 911 996 GT3, Ferrari 360 Modena Challenge and Dodge Viper ACR. Talented Tasmanian Paul Stokell was my favourite driver of the time and he drove a Lamborghini Diablo SVR throughout the 2000 and 2001 series.
Aston Martin and the James Bond film series have always been strongly affiliated, starting in 1964 when a beautiful DB5 featured in ‘Goldfinger’. Any enthusiast of the films will know that there have been times when other manufacturers were used, including Lotus, BMW and even AMC. Since 2002 however, when an Aston Martin Vanquish was used in ‘Die Another Day’, Aston’s have been a regular part of the film series.