“I think Nissan’s lost,” said Rob Fuller, Fuller said, leaning back in his chair at the shop where he pours his blood and sweat into those cars and has for decades. He thought for a moment, twirling absentmindedly at his mustache. “Well, I can’t say it’s lost. It has a new direction. And I’m just not a part of it.” We were sitting in a wonderful place called Z Car Garage that’s tucked behind some condominiums on a quiet street in San Jose, California. Here, owners can take their Nissan sports cars from the 1970s to the present to get repaired or modified. Any Nissan sports car. Zs, ZXs or Infinitis are all welcome. But the newer Nissans were few and far between when I was there—and for good reason. Enthusiasts been complaining for years that Nissan has lost its spirit, leaving behind its core sports car fanbase in the pursuit of out-Toyotaing Toyota. I wanted to find out what happened to the once-sporty carmaker, so I sought out Fuller, who’s been one of the biggest names in the Datsun and Nissan wrenching scene for almost 20 years. I wanted to hear his take on it. When I visited one sunny Monday morning last August, there was a gray 300ZX twin-turbo on a lift, its hood yawning open. Fuller and his shop had done a full build on it, which included a new engine and new turbos, all with supporting modifications. Fully repainted, its multi-spoke ‘90s-grade Work VS-XXs sat suspended… [Read full story]
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