Pick of the Day: 1991 Nissan 300ZX Twin Turbo

1991 Nissan 300 ZX Twin Turbo still wears its original paint
1991 Nissan 300 ZX Twin Turbo still wears its original paint

The Datsun 240Z triggered the Japanese sports car revolution that would include Mazda’s RX-7 and Miata, Mitsubishi’s 3000GT VR4, Honda’s NSX and S2000, Toyota’s MR2 and Supra, and even the 240Z’s eventually successor, the Nissan 300ZX. Continue reading

From rust to restoration: Paris-Dakar Nissan returns to Sahara

Thirty years later, Nissan Patrol is restored and running again on Saharan dunes | Nissan photos
Nearly 30 years later, Nissan Patrol is restored and running again on Saharan dunes | Nissan photos

On January 1, 1987, 312 vehicles started from Paris on a nearly 12,800-mile trek through Europe, Algeria, Niger, Mali, Mauritania and Senegal, the famed and grueling Paris-Dakar Rally. Two of those vehicles were diesel-powered 1987 Nissan Patrol sport utilities, bedecked in the colors of Fanta Limon, a soft drink. Continue reading

Driven (briefly): A conquering Titan, plus off-road wagons 

The Nissan Titan Pro 4X won the Extreme Off Road category |  Mark Elias Media Services photos
The Nissan Titan Pro 4X won the Extreme Off Road category

(Editor’s note: Our staff recently did a series of brief drives — either around 30 miles on pavement or on a short but challenging off-road course — in several cars during the media day at the annual Active Lifestyle Vehicle awards program held in the Phoenix area. Here are Bob Golfen’s impressions of four of the vehicles he drove during that program.)

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SEMA Seen: 2009 Nissan 370Z

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2009 Nissan 370Z | Photos by Hans Marquez

Located within the SEMA Show performance pavilion, a 2009 Nissan 370Z sits wrapped in Tiffany blue and matte metallic gray, a stunning color combination for the Momo, Always Evolving, Get Lucky 370Z. Continue reading

Driven: 2015 Nissan Maxima Platinum

Nissan Maxima has been upgraded with more-dramatic styling, larger interior and improved driving dynamics | Bob Golfen photo
Nissan Maxima has been upgraded with more-dramatic styling, larger interior and improved driving dynamics | Bob Golfen photo

The winding, tree-lined roads in and around Monterey and Pebble Beach, California, are like a carnival ride for people who want to hunker down and drive. Indeed, the legendary road race near Pebble Beach Lodge started in the same year as the famed Concours d’Elegance that marked its 66th anniversary this year.

I was driving those same roads recently as I helped cover the Monterey Car Week car shows and auctions for ClassicCars.com. The 2016 Maxima loaned to me by Nissan seemed at first like an unlikely craft for such fun duty, being a fairly large sedan loaded up with luxury features, but the Japanese automaker’s promise of a “4-door sports car” turned out to be not so far off the mark. Continue reading

Japanese collector cars making inroads at Monterey auctions

A 1967 Mazda Cosmo Sport will be offered at the Gooding auction at Pebble Beach | Gooding & Company
A 1967 Mazda Cosmo Sport will be offered at the Gooding auction at Pebble Beach | Gooding & Company

Japanese collector cars are kind of a new thing, with some of them making it into the higher echelons at auctions and private sales, and being included in museum collections. While much of the interest has been spawned by the latest generation of car collectors just coming of age, those special cars of the 1960s and ’70s have taken on a new luster for older enthusiasts.

The limited-production Toyota 2000GT sports coupe, built from 1967-70, has become a solid player among the high rollers, flirting with million-dollar bids at auction. To a lesser extent, the quirky and exotic Mazda Cosmo Sport 110S also has hit the big time, with the limited-edition rotary-powered sports coupes built from 1967-72 typically going well into six figures at auction. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1967 Nissan Patrol K60

The Nissan Patrol is said to be in good, restored condition and ready to go
The Nissan Patrol is said to be in good, restored condition and ready to go

The Nissan Patrol is not well known in the U.S., although it is a mainstay off-roader in South Pacific locales, including Australia and New Zealand, where it has competed for decades against the Toyota Land Cruiser, Land Rover and Jeep. These are cool and capable four wheelers, but among collectors, all the attention for vintage Japanese SUVs has been sucked up by Toyota Land Cruiser.

The Pick of the Day is a relatively rare 1967 Nissan Patrol K60 4X4 in what looks to be in terrific condition, ready to romp off on its next back-country adventure. This is the perky-looking second-generation Patrol, and the fresh-looking Azure Blue paint job seems just right. Continue reading

Driven: 2016 Nissan Titan XD pickup

The 2016 Nissan Titan XD Pro-4X off-road version of the new diesel pickup | Bob Golfen
The 2016 Nissan Titan XD Pro-4X off-road version of the new diesel pickup | Bob Golfen

The market-share graph shown by the Nissan folk during an introduction to the newly redesigned 2016 Titan pickup told the sorry tale of the truck brand’s struggle for success in the U.S. marketplace.

In bright colors, the graph of full-size trucks sold in recent years showed the dominance of Ford F-150, the best-selling vehicle of any kind in the United States, followed by Chevrolet Silverado, Ram, GMC Sierra and Toyota Tundra. Down at the very bottom of the illustration was a slim line that represented Titan’s paltry share, something on the order of 5 percentage points. Continue reading

Driven: 2015 Nissan Murano SL

Nissan stepped up the styling for the third-generation 2015 Murano
Nissan stepped up the styling for the third-generation 2015 Murano | Bob Golfen

My first glimpse of the all-new 2015 Nissan Murano revealed what seemed to be a deep and rather extreme contour in the sheet metal just ahead of the rear wheel. From a distance, it looked like the body pushed in more than six inches, creating a narrow waist more akin to an exotic sports car than a family crossover.

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