Chairmans Ramble - Autumn 1998
Without wishing to turn this magazine into an extension of a BMW magazine, this maker makes the news this time for producing a car that is the derivative of a roadster, something normally done the other way round. BMW have produced an M coupe, based on the Z3 and, whilst the lines are not classic, it does provoke an emotion and from some angles looks very chunky. What has this got to do with Zs I hear you ask?
In the article the magazine referred to other sports coupes that tried to change the world, most of which didn't. I thought it a little xenophobic as they only listed British coupes, like the MGC, Scimitar, Spitfire and of course the obligatory E-Type so, armed with a keyboard and an email address I hit back with the following:
I read, with interest your article on the new BMW M Coupe. Early pictures didn't do it justice.as it looked cobbled together, very 'Crayford' in design. However, the cost of the obviously expensive pictures in your articles do make it look rather tasty.
However, you review on the other sports coupes that tried to change the world was rather xenophobic. The cars I mention are not necessarily any endorsement from me that these were particularly good designs, but the Renault Fuego, Lancia HPE, Fiat 128, Toyota Celica, Mazda RX7, Alfa GTV were all variations on a theme.
However, there is one model that has links so close to the M that it is a little uncomfortable. Lets see what we have; Coupe hatchback design, 2 seats, straight six engine, five speed gearbox, rear drive, even a German designer. Guessed it yet? The Datsun Z series, specifically the 240Z. Maybe the one car the tried to change the world and succeeded, if sales are a measurement, as it is the best selling sports coupe in the world.
And I thought the Japanese copied everybody else?
Much to look forward to for the rest of 1998, for starters we have the whisky trail, in Scotland in the last week in August. Some 30 people are coming and I am really looking forward to it. On the way home from Scotland we have Knebworth and the Fairladys night, this is the night for the other halves, male and female, to be included in the festivities, after all we are a family club.
Mid September brings the London Classic Car show at Ascot (well it's close to London and nicer) and then in October we celebrate our 10th year, on the 10th and 11th of the tenth month in, where else but Tenby. Finally we have the NEC in November, so contact Karen for details. The's a lot going on.
It's taken me a while to settle into this position, but I would like to thank everyone, committee and members who have given me encouragement. Thank you for having the confidence in me to take the Register on to new and better things, whatever they be.
However, whilst we understand the reason for the Registers existence, to promote the Z as a classic at every opportunity, I don't ever want to forget that we do this for fun, this is enjoyment. Some details sometimes will be missed, sometimes we may get serious and sometimes we'll just be having a laugh, that's what it's all about, when we don't enjoy it, it's not worth doing. Lets make sure it's ALWAYS worth doing, because then it will be done well.
Finally, what's the chance of buying a predominantly solid, British 240Z that, whilst needing some work on the electrics and some TLC, is taxed and tested and goes like a good 'un for £1500? More chance of finding a real MG sports car I guess! But low and behold I have found one and it needs a loving owner. It's a '73 240Z in white, a full length sunroof, approximately 96k, solid legs, sills, arches, hatch etc. It does need a new drivers seat and will need some new doors at some point. It has spent some time in London so it has a few knocks, but nothing more. If I had the space or money (either one would be fine) I world bite his arm off. Think about it, there won't be too many more of these available, ever!!.....