Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Super Silhouette - Rays Engineering...

Another Group.5 Super Silhouette series rear wheel..!
I picked this one up from YAJ a couple months back, to somewhat go with my SSR-made version I posted pics of ~18months ago.
I love em; partly because of the possible race history, yet at the very least because of the absurd sizing these things were built - the damn thing is 15" wide!

Rays Engineering, Volk Racing Mesh.
~ -50 offset [will measure and update]
12/1981 production for the face, with a probable early-1982 assembly.

The sizing, stud pattern, and production date confirm it as a Super Silhouette series wheel; while a 'Central 20 Racing Team' decal on the lip helps narrow thing down even further...

... to the Central 20 Bluebird, pictured here complete with RAYS decals on the front quarters!
The wheels don't seem quite right the above pic, but regardless.. it is very likely this wheel is off the back of the 1982 Central 20 Bluebird.

Some more pictures, as usual...
For whatever reason, every 5th bolt exactly is removed.

Rolled lip, with a healthy amount of patina...


...aaand focus out - to RAYS...

Better yet, classic look-how-far-the-valve-is-from-the-face shot..!

81/12 - December 1981 casting for the face..

Even a race wheel gets the standard barrel decal - despite lacking plenty of information!


Another fairly useless purchase, but aargh... I love these things.
Just a shame it hasn't still got its 350/700 slick..!

Sunday, 27 September 2015

The F30 Leopard 2door Hardtops...

...and here I was thinking the sedans had an interesting roofline.

The F30 Nissan Leopard 2door Hardtop. First generation of Leopard's, sold through the years ~1980 to 1986. A strange looking thing at first, which coincidentally is the same thing that initially springs to mind when seeing the - slightly more common - 4door Hardtop versions.
'Slightly more common' is not to imply that even the 4doors are thick on the ground, because by all accounts, they're definitely not.
The coupe somehow manages to take that even further.
When do you see these things? I'm always browsing the (admittedly mainstream) Japanese car sales networks, and have a constant eye of photos making their way out of Japan of meets, the world-of-internets, etc.. yet just don't see these about. At the very least, I can confidently say that these were never a popular import to Australia..
The Leopard's Toyota-made competition (the Chaser, Soarer, ...) seem to be much more popular. Feels like a missed opportunity in a way, as these can look amazing..

..aaanyway; lucky day/week/month! There are actually two 2door Hardtops currently for sale on Goo-net at the moment! One has been there for a little while, and the other more recent. Both turbo+manual cars, and both around 1.25million yen. Great, and not bad.

Will continue with this silver one at D-room first; as if the listing is correct, its the lower spec (just!) of the two.

In full - its a 1983 Nissan Leopard 2door Hardtop TURBO SGX. In the 2door model tree, sitting above the 200X ZGX, but below the TURBO ZGX.

Looks great, lowered on a set of deep SSR Reverse Mesh. The mirrors and Hako-GTR-style wing are later additions, while the vents on the bonnet and next to the tail-lights are surprisingly standard!

Love the two-tone terracotta-and-grey seats. seriously cool combo against the silver paint. Matching red belts are a bonus, as is the oddly-convenient split fold rear seat!

Great dash. No buttons on the steering wheel for the SGX, and there's no digital dash here; but hey, that faux-vent trim detail between the passenger vents is fantastic! I think Audi's giving that another go nowadays...!

Functional vents, blowing air.. at.. the L20ET, single-cam, turbo, straight-six. All likely very familiar.

Done for this one..
Looks like a solid example. Rare model, nice colour-combo, good condition, good wheels.. good buy!

As for the other car mentioned...
A 1982 F30 Nissan Leopard 2door Hardtop TURBO ZGX!

... I'll be trusting that decal for confirmation anyway..

No wing this time, and original wing mirror part-and-position. Lowered again, but instead over smaller-diameter 4-spokes. Look to be Equip's at first glance, but I have a feeling they're a SuperStar wheel - possibly an SS01..?

This time inside its a two-tone brown... and brown.

No buttons on the wheel either.. throwing everything I know about Leopard's out the window! A little digging, and from the Nissan Heritage page:
There was a minor change in 1982, when it was equipped with the world's first steering switches by optical communications. there we go, this 1982-build car is a pre-update.

Neat car as well anyway.  I'd personally prefer the silver/red colourway on the car above, but hey... maybe there's someone out there fascinated with that inner-beige... those warm earth tones...

...then here - the car for them.

Repetitive comment; but definitely, again, 'something different!'

Friday, 25 September 2015

Surfari. It's just the 4Runner.. the roof sides are rolled up..

Amazingly it's been over 10months since I last posted pics of this. So here's a couple new, flattering (..oohh those shadows..), yet impromptu pics from last weekend.

All is very much the same as usual. Did end up doing the headgasket and radiator this year, as well as a spot repair to the heatercore (all initial split headgasket and over-pressurised cooling system related..); but none of this was particularly costly or bothersome.
Visually it has gone untouched.
I only drive it occasionally; so while it was practically toast when I picked it up a couple years back, further deterioration has fortunately slipped into slow-motion. An expensive resto away from being perfect, but still nice enough for now. At the very least I've already got an extra couple years out of it!

Fun and useful.

Wednesday, 23 September 2015


..did you say government car?!
I love these.. and I'm almost certain I'll eventually buckle under the cuteness-pressure and buy one..

What is it? 
It's a Honda Motocompo! 
I saw this red one at a car meet on Saturday. A nice, complete, and original example.. and in what is likely the most common/popular colour. These were also available in white, and yellow - as was this one at the Honda Collection Hall.

A 49cc, ~45kg, foldaway, bundle of motorcycling joy. 
As the picture above shows, these were designed to fold up and fit in the back of Honda's City.

These handles fold up from under the centre section, and are locked in place with those screw knobs on the top. 

The little plastic speedo looks like something you'd find on a push bike.. or a gas bottle..! Subtle green grid detailing is pure style..

Cup holder is that way...

The comfy-looking padded seat, springs up and forward.

Dainty little wheel&tyre combo.

Headlights, tail-lights, indicators, and a rego plate holder - yep, these things are designed to be ridden on the road. 
A fantastic way to die I suppose? 
..Yet tens of thousands of these little things were produced in the early 80's, with plenty still around after over 30 years... so they can't be too bad!

Pah; I want one regardless..!

Monday, 21 September 2015

Like a Prairie..


For no other reason than ignoring this joke would've been a shameful missed opportunity.
Another 80's hit that happens to have 'Prayer' in the title? There's even an option to ignore this?!

So as a somewhat-relevant-for-more-than-one-reason revisit to a post FROM ONLY DAYS AGO - even more Nissan Prairie content!

Why the urgency?
well it was a big weekend for the Prairie-enthusiast-and-general-spotters-club, with not one.. but two of the automotive white rhino equivalent roaming Melbourne's streets.
Seriously couldn't believe it.. and for some joke repeating consistency - 'not even my birthday'.

..Spotted.. from across the street..

Traffic be damned. Suddenly I'm alongside this gem.

What looked fairly tired from a distance, didn't disappoint. This poor old thing was showing its age.
Amazing its still getting about on the roads, as I've seen many nicer cars go through the wreckers! Other than a 2001 re-registration here, Melbourne's inspection-free registration renewal can keep cars on the roads for decades as-is.. they just need to stay under the radar.

Lay low little Prairie; that inevitable bullet may be dodged for some time yet!

ANYWAY, there's more than that.
That was Saturday, but the Prairie spotting wasn't over yet..
..Over there... in the distance...

Bloody hell. Two in two days?!
Old-mate at the wheel of this much neater example, right down to those 4-spoke hubcaps. Love the chrome racks; and red paint? Basically a Ferrari..

Done. Seriously.
I'll ease off the Prairie content for a bit, I promise!