Classic Nissan racers to feature at Monterey Motorsports Reunion

As the first Japanese marque to be featured, Nissan is bringing out some big guns

Classic Nissan racers Monterey Motorsports Reunion

During Monterey Car Week 2018, Nissan is set to be honoured as the first featured Japanese marque at the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion.

The vintage racing event is held at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca (formerly Mazda Raceway) and plays host to a wide variety of vintage and classic racers which take to the track in various classes.

Nissan says that, along with Datsun, over the past 50 years it has secured more than 100 wins in Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) national championships and over 200 wins in International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) races in America alone.

To celebrate this milestone, it’s bringing along legendary racers such as the famous Nissan 300ZX Turbo driven by Steve Millen to victories at both Daytona and Le Mans.

Millen will take to the track in his ZX, while comedian and car collector Adam Carolla will drive the GT-1 300ZX Turbo originally driven by actor and philanthropist Paul Newman.

The BRE Datsun 240Z raced by John Morton will hit the track, while his BRE Datsun 510 will be on display in the paddock.

Joining it will be a Nissan GTP ZX-Turbo driven to eight consecutive wins by Aussie Geoff Brabham (of the famous racing dynasty) in the IMSA GT, and Bob Sharp's four-time SCCA C-Production Champion 240Z.

Head of global design at Nissan Alfonso Albaisa says being the featured marque at the reunion gives Nissan a chance to ‘pat itself on the back’ for its motorsporting heritage.

"Since the first Nissan race win in 1936 in Tokyo with the supercharged Datsun NL-75, motorsports has been a core element of the company's success - redefining the limits of man and machine, fostering ambition, stoking passion and cultivating a tireless drive for victory – all of which continues today."

"For others, the cool marine layer and dew-covered fescue of Pebble Beach creates a perfect stage for beautifully-restored cars of significance, but Nissan is a brand that is quite at home spending the week powering down the corkscrew at Laguna Seca."

For Nissan to appear as the first Japanese marque is a big indicator that the classic car world is recognising Japan’s achievements, following on from auction prices for early Japanese classics hitting highs in auctions worldwide.

"Never before has a Japanese automaker been so honoured,” says Laguna Seca VP of communication and historic racing Barry Toepke.

“We wanted to change that course and feature Nissan and Datsun because the brands resonate internationally and have fully established their racing pedigree.

“We felt it was time to recognize and honour the Nissan brand for its past, present and future."

 

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