Welcome to Vintage JDM.com, a website dedicated to Japanese vehicles produced before 1985. So why 1985? To explain that I have to explain a bit about me first. I grew up with a father who loved European vehicles, mainly Volvo's, not that there's anything wrong with that. My mother however drove an old Toyota Corona, a great little car that was very reliable, albeit a bit ugly (let's be honest here), however there was something about those awful vinyl seats and classically Japanese instrument cluster that I can still recall.
Those old Corona's went forever, you couldn't kill them. Infact like many other classic japanese vehicles, they tended to rust out and die from cancer rather than mechanical failure. So fast forward a few years and I was 16 years old and searching for that first car. A friend of mine's brother had bought himself a KE55 Corolla, a mean little red coupe, although a little gutless in the performance department. It did sport an aftermarket muffler and extractors which gave it a cool little growl out of its 4K engine.
Not long after that I started to notice alot more classic Japanese cars, in particular though the old Datsun's. I had seen a builder at my local high school driving a 2 door 1600, unknown at the time it was a 510 and probably an import from the states, the shape of the car was perfect and very similar to my father old work car a BMW E30.
With my interest in old Japanese cars peaked and in particular Datsun's, I started to explore the different models available. It was probably 1996 at the time, Google wasn't even launched yet and I was using old search engine's like Web Crawler to try and find information on these classics. I was lucky enough to find information on the Datsun Zcar series in particular the early models known as the S30 chassis. All of a sudden I was hooked, I loved the sleek lines of the early 240z, 260z and 280z's. I even took a liking to the later 280zx, but having read several reviews and owner stories I found a favourable opinion on the earlier cars.
I quickly started scouring local car trading papers. I managed to find a few for sale and all within the price range that a young student like myself could scour together. Good old mum was willing to lend me a few dollars provided I worked for the majority of it and my good old uncle gave me work as a brick layer on my school holidays. I'm not sure if it was the hard work in the Australian sun or the fact that I was so young and excited to be getting my first car or the fact that it was an early Z I was looking for, whatever it was I was sure excited and look back now with very fond memories of those times.
After working my butt off all summer and managing to save around AU $4000 I found a few 260z's and 260z 2+2's in the paper. Having looked at a few and finding loads of rust and poorly tuned carbs on most, I knew it would be a little while before finding the right car.
Persistance was key and after 3 months of searching I finally found a 240z listed in the paper. The paper had just came out (remember this is pre-internet advertising era) and I went and saw the car the next day. Upon arrival, we noticed a bit of rust in the doors. The rest of the car however was very original and the previous owner loved it, but it had obviously been in need of serious work and he had decided he wasn't up to the task. A quick drive around the block and I knew this was the car I wanted to buy, it didn't matter that it had rust or that the dash had a few cracks in it or that the paint was heavily faded. It was a Z and it would soon be mine and best of all it was a 240z a cute little 2 seater which a punchy sounding L24.
A deposit and a chat with my parents and a week later she was all mine. I was still a learner driver and had to be accompanied while driving it home. I hadn't even driven the car I was in love with, yet I was in love with it. I think anyone who's ever been in a Z can relate, its an exciting experience, no matter if you are the driver or passenger. There's just something special about it. I got it home and started to clean it up, polished her a bit and did some minor maintenance work on it.
That was 10 years ago, and time flies. However my love of zeds inspired an interest in all things Japanese, but in particular Japanese cars of the 60's, 70's and 80's. Friends of mine shared similar interests and thanks to some good resources on the web I leart more and more about these great cars.
In 2004 I launched a simple website for Australian Zcar enthusiasts. Known then and still known by many as www.viczcar.com it quickly grew to be an all Australian site for early Zcar owners. Inspired by the success of launching an online community and enjoying reading about others cars and the work they have done to them I decided I wanted to get more involved with the japanese car community. I wanted to provide a place where discussions of all makes could take place, where people could upload photo's of their rides and above all keep a journal of the work they have done to their cars.
That's what this website is about, an open community that can easily share information on anything Japanese car related. If you have a great story to share, perhaps you once owned a classic Japanese car or you are considering buying one of these nostalgic rides? Whatever it may be feel free to stop by and say hello. I hope to see you around!
Founder of Vintage JDM.com