South African Nissan Owners Club Celebrate 40 Years Of Z By Travelling To KZN Coast

To celebrate four decades of Z-power from Nissan, the South African Z Owner’s Club put together a lineup of vehicles to run down to the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast in convoy. The owners from NissanOwnersClub asked for help from Nissan to make the day possible.

Nissan South African was pleased to help by adding a 370Z Coupe and Roadster from Gauteng and one 370Z Roadster from Cape Town to the run.

The event was organised by Danie Volschenk who owns a 279kW 350Z.

“This car is my baby, and whether popping down to the shops for bread and milk or undertaking a long journey like this one I always look forward to just getting in it and going for a drive. If I had the resources, I’d have a garage full of every generation of Z car built since the original 1969 240Z from the US – they are a very special family of spectacular machines,” said Volschenk.

The run to the coast hosted a range of Z models which included an “Ultimate Yellow” Special Edition 370Z, a 400kW 350Z owned by Marius Erasmus and other models such as a 300ZX owned by Jaco Le Roux.

Nancy Reddy, Nissan SA product manager, concludes; “It’s been an absolute superb weekend for me, truly bonding with the actual, enthusiastic owners of the Z brand that I so passionately represent in SA. Spending this relaxed and fun time with the Z families awakened me to the fact that there is no way of truly articulating their passion for this superb vehicle but that they have “Z” running through their veins. I’m amazed at the breadth of people here, from young to old, of a wide variety of cultures and backgrounds – certainly broader than the target market we work so hard to identify in our painstaking research and analysis! But all of them are people drawn together by a shared love, the unadulterated sports car experience of Nissan Z ownership, and through their cars have found that relating to each other socially is a truly rewarding experience in itself.”

Press Release

Nissan Z Owners Club KZN run makes waves!

In celebration of the passion embodied by four decades of Nissan’s iconic Z sports car lineup, the South African Z Owner’s Club put together a spectacular lineup of vehicles for an epic run down to the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast in seductive convoy.

A new generation of Z owners and their families undertook the trip as a dry run for the revitalisation of the official South African Z Owners Club, which has gained momentum over the past 12 months around a hard core of genuine enthusiasts through regular breakfast runs, group trips to track days and other motorsport events. The ambitions of this growing club extends to building a national registry of Z owners via www.nissanownersclub.co.za, all committed to using their finely honed sports cars as they should be used while building strong social ties transcending the barriers of creed or culture through the common interest of passion for the Z and its rich heritage.

Nissan SA was pleased to lend its support to these endeavours and dispatched three vehicles, a 370Z Coupe and Roadster from Gauteng and one 370Z Roadster which travelled an epic 3600km round trip from Cape Town to attend the Emerald Coast rendezvous.

Arranged and led by Gauteng businessman Danie Volschenk, proprietor of Extreme Signs, and his dramatically turbocharged 350Z which produces 279kW (at the wheels) and is easily capable of turning his gumball 295/25 21-inch rear tyres to smoke when extended, the strong Gauteng contingent spread the thrill of this archetypal Japanese sports car right through three provinces on the sojourn down to sea level. Volschenk was accompanied by wife Corell and 5 year old son Matt, both of whom share his passion for the pleasure of enthusiastic driving as well as the focussed charms of Nissan’s Z in particular.

“This car is my baby, and whether popping down to the shops for bread and milk or undertaking a long journey like this one I always look forward to just getting in it and going for a drive. If I had the resources, I’d have a garage full of every generation of Z car built since the original 1969 240Z from the US – they are a very special family of spectacular machines,” comments Volschenk.

Of the wildly varying characters present, the majority seemed to attribute their adulation of the Z car primarily to its powerfully sculpted looks. Says Marius Kemp from Roodepoort, driving a stock 350Z Roadster; “It’s just one of those shapes which, while undeniably beautiful, also looks very manly – there’s no mistaking a Z for a hairdressers car – it wears it’s sports car heart on its sleeve!”

A popular choice for the tuner scene, not many of the Z cars in the convoy remained as they left the factory. In addition to a healthy smattering of high-end performance modifications, most vehicles were at least treated to 20” rims and some visual addenda, such as the GT2-like high-rise Veilside spoiler fitted to the car of youthful Maurice Roupell from Kyalami, who attended with his equally eye catching girlfriend Maxine Oosthuizen.

“I’ve had my car for 2 and a half years,” explains Roupell. “In fact, I got it because it was the first proper sports car I ever had the opportunity to sit in – when I was 14 we saw an original 350Z in a parking lot and the generous woman behind the wheel was convinced by my father to let me climb in and look around, and I’ve loved it ever since. For me, one of the most impressive elements of its performance is the consistency and strength of the stopping power the Brembo brakes deliver, especially on a track day where you need to be able to wipe off the speed produced by the gutsy V6 motor!”

For other club delegates, one of the most important elements of a pukka sports car which the Z most ably fulfils, is the glorious soundtrack of the big-capacity V6. Jason Hartington from Johannesburg runs a 350Z with the redeveloped HR engine which allows the motor to rev to higher limits; “It’s the sound that does it for me. Although my HR engine is a bit more powerful than standard, producing 240kW at the flywheel, it’s really the noise as it streaks around to the limiter that makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up every single time.”

Although by no means a necessity of Z ownership, many attendees harboured long-term loyalty to the Nissan brand as well. Jaco Le Roux of Kyalami grew up on Nissan products, and when he started looking for a sports car with exceptional performance as well as a high dose of exclusivity he came upon the 1993 twin turbo 300ZX he attended the event in, and straight away traded his 200 STi in! “It was tough to find a good one, once I knew the 300ZX was what I wanted. A lot of them came in as grey imports without papers, but mine was through the official Nissan SA channels and has been lovingly maintained over the years. I use it as my daily driver, with a bike for when I absolutely must avoid messy Jo’Burg traffic conditions.”

Abie Cooper and grandson Matthew were so looking forward to the trip, that when their “Ultimate Yellow” Special Edition 370Z struck a large branch in the road from hometown Mokopane at 4 AM, resulting in two bent rims on the drivers’ side, they returned home and got in their Qashqai so as not to miss this special event. “We’ve been looking forward to this event for so long, that we’d have made the trip even if we’d had to use my 1400 half-tonner!” quips Cooper, who has reportedly owned and driven every Nissan model made available in SA since 1965 bar the Almera.

Last but not least, power-crazed Marius Erasmus from Pretoria can pump well over 400kW from his 350Z with the addition of a monster Garret GT37R turbocharger, imported from the US and specially converted to fit the strong V6 motor. “At the moment, it’s running about 360kW because I’ve got the boost pressure dialled back for the highway run. Next week I’ll change the ECU and fit bigger injectors – then we should be talking really big numbers, and it does all of this while remaining quite reliable!”

For three days this spectacular convoy and its affable crew of owners, friends, and family members brought more excitement than usual to the South Coast holiday towns it rumbled through. From this promising rejuvenation, the South African chapter of a Z owners’ club will grow from strength to strength as owners countrywide learn of the spirit of camaraderie their cherished sports car is a ticket to, and take the next step of ownership of such a special car by joining this fun-loving group of committed Z fanatics.

Nancy Reddy, Nissan SA product manager, concludes; “It’s been an absolute superb weekend for me, truly bonding with the actual, enthusiastic owners of the Z brand that I so passionately represent in SA. Spending this relaxed and fun time with the Z families awakened me to the fact that there is no way of truly articulating their passion for this superb vehicle but that they have “Z” running through their veins. I’m amazed at the breadth of people here, from young to old, of a wide variety of cultures and backgrounds – certainly broader than the target market we work so hard to identify in our painstaking research and analysis! But all of them are people drawn together by a shared love, the unadulterated sports car experience of Nissan Z ownership, and through their cars have found that relating to each other socially is a truly rewarding experience in itself.”

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