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Thread: Alan Thomas . . . is that you?

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    Hakosuka sakijo's Avatar
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    Default Alan Thomas . . . is that you?

    Just picked up the latest issue of Nostalgic Hero and there`s an article about an S30ZG. It says that the owner is Alan Thomas of London, England. Nice article. So, Alan Thomas . . . is that you and your car?
    Miles

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    2002 Lexus GS 300

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    I think the Japanese guys would go crazy over that article huh!

    I posted this a while ago but no one responded so not surprised you missed it.

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    Red face Busted..........

    Hi Miles and Lachlan,

    Yes, I admit it. It is me. Although I must say that they must have done some kind of Photoshop jiggerypokery to make me as ugly as I look in that photo. That's certainly not the handsome, fit, intelligent-looking adonis with a full head of hair and his own teeth that I see in the bathroom mirror every morning. They got my age wrong two issues running too ( I'm 44 not 41! ) so now people will be thinking I've been telling little white lies about my age too.

    Actually, the four page coverage in issue no.119 is a kind of over-run from issue no.118 - which was the main course, if you like. Issue no.118 was Sixteen pages of UK-based feature, covering two genuine ex-Works 240Z rally cars ( Kevin's and Gary's ), plus Kevin's current MSA British Championship historic rally car, and my 432R replica project, my Fairlady 240ZG and the KPGC10 that Dr Shimizu has given to me. The guys from Nostalgic Hero spent three nights in London and then flew back to Japan, so it was quite a punishing schedule really. We were blessed with some fairly nice weather luckily.

    I must say I think the article on the ex-Works cars in issue no.118 is very impressive, and I'm really pleased that it all worked out so well.

    I might need to make some scans and put them up here for those that can't usually get hold of the mag. Might fill in the surrounding story of how it all came about too.




    Lachlan, I didn't see your original post about 118 ( I'm slacking ) - otherwise I would have replied to it. Sorry.

    Cheers,
    Alan T.

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    Sorry Miles - I thought you were talking about Issue 118. I forgot that the February Issue might be out since it is already the 5th of January :lol: !

    I have not seen #119 yet but I'm glad it has more about Alan's cars. I have to admit I was a bit saddened to see the KPGC10 not get much limelight in #118. I guess it has already had a big feature so there is not much point...

    I wait by the mail box.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alfadog View Post
    I have to admit I was a bit saddened to see the KPGC10 not get much limelight in #118. I guess it has already had a big feature so there is not much point...
    Lachlan,
    The KPGC10's arrival in the UK ( and the story surrounding it ) was one of the original reasons for the guys from Nostalgic Hero coming over to the UK this time.

    As you know, the car got a dedicated feature in issue no.113 ( with Mount Asama as the backdrop ) and it was discussed at the time that they would do a follow-up article with Dr Shimizu handing the car over to me after it arrived in the UK.
    At least five or six years ago I had introduced Kevin's ex-Works car to the previous editor of the mag, and we discussed Nos Hero getting a 'scoop' feature on the car when it had completed its restoration. Kevin's resto took years longer than first expected, and this was half forgotten about. However, with the Nos Hero guys thinking about coming over anyway for the KPGC10 it was good timing to kill more than two birds with one stone and the whole thing took on a new dimension. They became very excited about the chance to scoop Kevin's car at a very interesting point in its restoration ( body finished, but engine still in pieces ) and also be allowed to look at a couple of other ex-Works cars too.

    My good friend Matsui san ( who rebuilt the KPGC10 ) coordinated the Japanese side of the arrangements from the very beginning, and I coordinated the UK side. Unfortunately, at the last minute Dr Shimizu was forced to cancel his trip due to work commitments, so the KPGC10 hand-over coverage was put on the backburner and more pages were given over to Kevin and Gary's cars - which certainly deserve them. The whole shebang ended up at sixteen pages, which is quite unusually large. We also covered Gary's ex-Works Nissan 240RS ( chassis no.1 no less ) for Nos Hero's sister magazine for what they call 'neo historics'.

    They did put a little box into the article showing Matsui san with the KPGC10 in London, and a few comments on its arrival. Its a real pity that Dr Shimizu could not make it. It would have been nice to tie up the loose ends on that. They had planned a fairly cheesy 'KPGC10 in London' article with some famous landmarks in the background, so I might have to do that myself at some point in the future.....

    I didn't really want them to make too much fuss over the ZG, as I had been switching wheels and tyres around in something of a panic in the days preceding their visit and had actually ended up with two of the wheels from the KPGC10 ( wearing their big new Avon ZZR tyres ) on the back of the ZG - which are much too big! - and the rear wheels of the ZG on the front of the GT-R just so it would wheel around properly without tyres touching the overfenders ( it needs the ride height reset to suit the new road-legal tyres after switching over from modern slicks ). The ZG consequently looks a bit silly with the wrong rear wheels and tyres on it for the photos. I didn't even really get a chance to clean and polish it. My own fault.

    Here are some scans of issue no.118:

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    Hmmm, problems attaching images in bulk. Try this:
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    Some more of issue 118:
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    And the four pages from no.119:
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    Alan, looks like you're going drag racing with the wheels set up like that! I wish I'd paid more attention when I tried to take Japanese in college...I bet that's a very interesting magazine, I just don't seem to have knack for languages.
    -Max


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    Looks great; love that garage!

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    Very, very impressive. I think you should take that age discrepency and run with it.
    Dr. Shimizu can rest assured the KPGC10 is in the proper hands.

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    Nice !! Congrats on the fame !
    Mike

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    Very interesting. Alan I'm afraid to ask but how many Datsuns do you have in your paddock?
    I wonder if Nissan Sport would do a translation on those articles, hint, hint, cough, cough.
    If I ever go to London I would love to visit.
    The 1973 240Z 165540 Slightly modified. L28, 5sp, cam, headers, MSD 6AL, power windows, power door locks, leather seats, custom this and custom that.

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    Congrats, Alan!
    Enjoy the Ride
    HLS30-00026
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    Go Gators
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ed View Post
    Alan I'm afraid to ask but how many Datsuns do you have in your paddock?
    None at all Ed. They are all Nissans.......

    If you ever find yourself in London, you would be most welcome to visit, of course. Goes without saying.




    Thanks for all the nice comments everyone, but I have to say the coverage of myself and my cars is nothing compared to the pages in issue no.118 covering Kevin and Gary's ex-Works cars. I hope you all realise just how special and historic those two cars are. The owners of the cars are not limelight-seekers by any stretch of the imagination, and for Nostalgic Hero to get the 'scoop' was a bit of an achievement really.

    I was very happy to be able to help arrange the whole thing, and the satisfaction of seeing the two cars ( as well as Kevin's yellow car - a car with over 30 years of continuous competition behind it, by the way - and not forgetting Gary's Nissan 240RS too ) finally given a really good article with great detail photos and explanations was great for me. We had a great time on the shoots and the whole thing went off quite well, so I was relieved. I think the article did the cars justice, although I'd have liked them to have used more of the period shots of the cars in action that I supplied them with - but you can't have everything.

    It would be nice if some of the English language car magazines would dedicate some space to a proper historically accurate, informative and visually appealing article like Nostalgic Hero managed with Kevin and Gary's cars.

    Alan T.

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    Hakosuka sakijo's Avatar
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    Alan & Lachlan,

    Sorry, but I`m tied to a dial-up connection at the time, so I don`t hit the site as often as I like. Right now, I`m in Japan on a ADSL connection, so I can be on a bit more. Going back to Hawaii today . . . vacation is over. Looking forward to cable connection soon. I just happened to come across the NH 119 at the local bookshop and guess what . . . Agree with you, Alan, I wish English magazines would give more press to these fine cars.
    Last edited by sakijo; 01-05-2007 at 06:37 PM.
    Miles

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    Hi Alan, those articles look great. I'm hoping Lachlan can help me get a copy of each. Particularly love the old works rally cars. Are the owners in the process of returning them to what they were like back in the day? Ie: putting all the sponsorship back on them and the driving fog lights up front etc..?

    They look great!

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    Default Congratulations

    Hi Alan,

    I must say that seeing the pix has been a real treat. Thanks for posting them. I admire you (not for the car, that goes without saying) for your historical work and knowledge of these cars I love so much. Having some recognition is well deserved.
    Cheers!
    Bryan
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    I just got my copy. What a great issue. I'd love to be able to read some of it as I've recently become interested in Daihatsu's history.

    Anyway, I hate to be off-topic but I didn't think it really needed a whole new topic just for this. In the back pages we have coverage of two 'Western' events that I thought people might like to see. Attached!

    Car looks great Alan! The period tyres really do set it off.
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    It looks like I'll be finding myself in London in August (my wife has family getting married there, and evidently we rated an invite), if I see you driving around I'll be sure and give you a wave!
    -Max


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    Alan,

    Congrats on the article, but what happened to fitting these wheels on one of yours cars? no dice?

    -e
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    Quote Originally Posted by EricB View Post
    Alan,
    Congrats on the article, but what happened to fitting these wheels on one of yours cars? no dice?
    -e
    Eric,
    Those wheels are now on the KPGC10, with new road-legal Avon ZZR tyres. Had a slight drama with the ride height ( it was very low, having been set for use with slicks ) but that is now resolved.

    Quote Originally Posted by veritech-Z
    It looks like I'll be finding myself in London in August (my wife has family getting married there, and evidently we rated an invite), if I see you driving around I'll be sure and give you a wave!
    Max, you'll need to be looking out for a silver Audi A4 Avant Quattro ;-)
    But seriously, contact me nearer August and we might be able to arrange for you to see my cars in London? The 432R-replica might even be running by then ( famous last words ).

    Quote Originally Posted by Gav240z
    Hi Alan, those articles look great. I'm hoping Lachlan can help me get a copy of each. Particularly love the old works rally cars. Are the owners in the process of returning them to what they were like back in the day? Ie: putting all the sponsorship back on them and the driving fog lights up front etc..?
    Gav,
    Kevin's car ( the '71 RAC car ) is nearing the end of a major restoration, and is being put back to its '71 RAC spec and livery. Kevin is taking this down to some intricate detail, including the replication of a UV-sensitive paint daub applied by the scrutineers at the start of the rally. His attention to detail is stunning. He's missing one Koito spotlamp, which is proving very difficult to get hold of. They were originally made by Koito as aircraft parts, and even Koito in Japan have come up with nothing so far. I know an old guy who has a set, but he is proving to be difficult to persuade to part with them.
    Gary's car ( the '73 RAC car ) is a family heirloom and is something of a 'rolling resto' at this point. It has wonderful patina and it would be a shame to pull it apart at this point. Gary did some work on it in 2006 and it might be on the road again in 2007. Myself and Kevin have been trying to help Gary source some missing works parts for it, and this should help things along somewhat.

    Cheers,
    Alan T.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alfadog View Post
    Anyway, I hate to be off-topic but I didn't think it really needed a whole new topic just for this. In the back pages we have coverage of two 'Western' events that I thought people might like to see. Attached!
    Lachlan,
    Did I mention to you that Masuda san ( Editor-in-Chief of Nostalgic Hero ) was talking to me about your contribution? He was very happy that you had gone to the trouble of contacting the magazine and reported what was going on in your homeland. He's looking forward to more. Nice job.

    There's a lesson for us all there somewhere. We probably need to be more proactive.


    Alan T.

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    Registered User MikeW's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HS30-H View Post
    But seriously, contact me nearer August and we might be able to arrange for you to see my cars in London? The 432R-replica might even be running by then ( famous last words ).
    Wow; I might have to visit again to see that. I'll buy lunch this time.

    Seriously, I'm glad to see that you made it into the magazine.
    -Mike
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    Alan,

    Is AVON the only tyre manufacturer over the that still has something available for 15x11 rims? It's getting quasi impossible here unfortunately. Unless of course you come across some NOS tires from a 911 RSR that is being parted out (there was just such a set two weeks ago)...

    I had found a beautiful set of 15x12 Watanabe (OK maybe a little excessive in width) recently but simply could not find ANY tires to fit so I passed on them...

    I'm even starting to have trouble getting good tires in more sedate 225/45R15 sizes... US tire availability is not what it used to be considering you can get a stock MINI with 18" wheels now, for example...

    Since the DOT is relatively lenient on importing old cars to the US, I wonder how they will feel when I start to have to order new tires from Japan or Europe...

    Comments?

    -e

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    Micronian fighter ace veritech-z's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HS30-H View Post
    But seriously, contact me nearer August and we might be able to arrange for you to see my cars in London? The 432R-replica might even be running by then ( famous last words ).
    Alan, I would love to say hi and see your cars! I'll likely be there for about a week. My wife's family is from India, and the cousins that are getting married in London are having an inter-faith marriage, so there will be a Hindu ceremony followed by a Christian ceremony. It promises to be quite the event...I'm not 100% on the time frame, I'm looking to start my master's program around that time as well...I'll definitely shoot you a PM when it gets nearer though!
    -Max


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    "Look out, it's the camo zzzap!"

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    Quote Originally Posted by EricB View Post
    Since the DOT is relatively lenient on importing old cars to the US, I wonder how they will feel when I start to have to order new tires from Japan or Europe...

    Comments?

    -e
    Hate to hijack, but I believe that it is DOT rules that the cars come in with DOT approved tires or they are changed to DOT approved tires before getting the ok. I had to have DOT approved tires on the car to ship (military is so strict). But, I would venture to guess that unless you have really strict vehicle inspections, non-DOT tires would not be a problem. I have yet to have my tires looked at by the vehicle inspector. I think the bigger problem may be getting the tires into the US.
    Miles

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    Quote Originally Posted by EricB View Post
    Is AVON the only tyre manufacturer over the that still has something available for 15x11 rims? It's getting quasi impossible here unfortunately. Unless of course you come across some NOS tires from a 911 RSR that is being parted out (there was just such a set two weeks ago)...

    I had found a beautiful set of 15x12 Watanabe (OK maybe a little excessive in width) recently but simply could not find ANY tires to fit so I passed on them...
    Eric,
    They were not the kind of profile that I was after for the GT-R ( so I went with the Avons ), but the re-released versions of the classic MICHELIN TB15, TB5 & TB5 F&R might be good for you.

    DOT ( USA ) legal too, I believe:

    http://www.longstonetyres.co.uk/michelintb15.php

    Alan T.

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    another classic car guy EricB's Avatar
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    Yeah!

    Thanks Alan...
    Now to see if MichelinUSA officially has these imported or not...

    -e

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    lachlan, reading this for the 1st time, i noticed the "large hat" aka big hat pic

    http://tinyurl.com/229g62

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    hehehe
    FINALLY!
    You're a magazine star Matt.

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