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The Z car

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Hi guys.  I'm new here, but have posted a couple different threads with pics.  Anyone who saw the others already knows I tend toward the verbose. It's a personality flaw what can I say.  Also, in my defense, I don't have many people in my life currently who "get it".  Reading some of these stories makes me feel a bit less nuts.  And it's a lot cheaper than therapy, no?  


I have a 71 240Z that I inherited from my dad this summer.  He died this past November.  We all go through this, and my dad's passing was as good as such a thing can be.  I'll never be over it, but I'm coming to terms with it.  The Z is helping.  I've told the story here in general discussions already, but to paraphrase dad bought the Z new in 12/70.  I have the window sticker, warranty car book, and records of it's break in service etc.  Way cool.  The original owner's manual is in the glove box right now.  The car is a '71 and I'm a '75, so it's always been in my life.  I can remember how cool I felt when dad would come pick me up at grade school in the Z car.  My think my first fist fight was with Greg Featsent in the 3rd grade over whether his dad's Fiat was faster than my dad's Z.  I think I said to him "the Fiat would have to RUN for it to race the Z car!".  I'd say that to someone today, come to think of it.  


Here's the story I want to tell right now.  I talked to my mom a couple days ago and we ended up on the topic of if/when it's ok to withhold information from your wife.  She mentioned this event, and I totally remembered it.  


One of the coolest things to young Triumph26 about the Z car was that when I was in it I had dad to myself.  I have two older brothers, and dad was always busy as heck.  When in the Z he was always smiling (except the time the hydraulic clutch failed and we drove it home clutchess....another tale) and it was just the two of us.  Typically this happened going to church.  Dad liked to go to early service.  Mom did not, nor did my brothers.  They (understandably) chose to sleep in a bit.  I was too young to have an opinion as such, so we'd go together in the Z.  Afterward we'd usually stop by my grandmother's house.  


On this occasion while walking out of church I told my dad I wanted to drive.  At that time (and up until I was about 13) my sole goal in life was to be a race car driver.  I was going to kick Porsche ass at Lime Rock in a Z car.  Dad looked at me sideways and said "ok".  He hopped in the Z, put 4ish year old me (not positive my age, but I was not in school yet) in his lap and away we went on Route 20.  He shifted and worked the pedals and I steered.  Talk about a happy kid.  We skipped grandma's that day, and went straight home.  When we got there, I ran inside all excited and said "Mommy mommy daddy let ME drive.  We went a HUNDRED!!".  Now, some mothers might chalk the speed portion of that statement up to childish exaggeration.  But my mom knew me and knew that I was a pretty serious child not given to exaggeration.  Additionally she knew my father, who was prone to hauling ass in the Z car.  And he had a fair amount of State Police issued proof.  She turned red as a tomato and marched off toward the garage at high speed, where my dad was likely fawning over the Z and wiping it down.  


I didn't hear the fight.  But dad and I had a talk about what mom's need to know and what can be a secret.  He was known for saying "if you want to be happily married, you'll need a detached garage, son".  I went through the two huge files I have on the Z carefully the other day.  Dad never kept records in order, but he kept them all.  Sorta just stuffed in a file folder.  I found three speeding tickets in there.  One from 1971 (81 in a 55), and two from the 80's both 70 plus mph.  Someday I'm going to take a bunch of this stuff and frame it so it can be hung on the wall in the garage behind where the Z lives now. 

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  • 4 months later...

ive gotta add to this tread, this story high key gave me chills because its a lot similar to mine.not as long but a lot similar. dad had a z for a number of years and growing up watching the restoration made me fall in love with it, driving with it didn't do much for me except put me a couple grand in debt but i love this man, id love to see more pics of the z as well as a the paperwork. that's about s nostalgic as Japanese cars get right there.

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I don't know why i haven't seen this story till now but a great story it is

sorry about your dad but he kept that car pristine

you will always have those fond memories of you and your father in that car and it sounds like they were great times 

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Thanks.  I just realized I have failed miserably to post much more since this past summer.  I replaced all the belts and a couple hoses as well as the water pump, changed all fluids etc. and was able to drive the Z reliably a fair amount this summer, mostly just to town to run errands and such.  I'm a little frustrated by the car really needing new tires and not having the money to put them on it yet.  Unfortunately real life and house bills have put the new wheels and tires I want on the back burner.  That said, I was able to drive it with enough vigor to totally get why people loved these cars, and still do.  I can remember dad driving the Z pretty hard more than once, and I completely get why.  I'm looking forward to a few sensible upgrades to make it more drivable, but for the moment I'm just happy it runs well and is able to be driven.  It's swaddled in my garage right now, but I started it last weekend just to let it run awhile along with my Triumph Sprint 1050.  The Z started immediately (it was only 30 degrees) which made me very happy as you could imagine.  I spent some time that night going through records for it.  I also have a couple dealership handout/ads for the car that I will post pictures of soon.  Super cool.  I'm hoping to build a little board for them to take to Canby with me this summer.  

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