Photographers call the time just before sunset the “golden hour.” The light is like honey, filtered by a dense wedge of atmosphere, shining everything with its glow. But even in the flatlands near Tsawwassen, British Columbia, with mountains far on the horizon, nature will shorten you. Today, this fast closing window will only last 40 minutes.
For a brief moment, the long-wavelength end of the visible-light spectrum plots the sides of two mechanical soul mates. Well, soulmates. One old and one new. One pioneer iconOne Budget update. One of the symbols of the sports identity of the entire company; other At odds with everything else bearing the same emblem.
Of course, comparing the BRZ and 240Z in a favorable light (literally) would have a few purists making jacks and arrows. But please don’t hit my head with a stone, because it’s not just me. In fact, I share this opinion with the father of Z himself, Yutaka Katayama.
In 2010, when he was 100 years old, a UK-based magazine Autocar He took “Mr. K.” On a ride around Yokohama in a 370Z convertible. Japan-based editor Peter Nunn summed up the great man’s thoughts: “For Mr. K., the Z car should be simpler – in the style of a thoroughbred car, but at an affordable price for young people. It should offer the same kind of personality and engagement that you can get from a Mazda MX- 5, or even Caterham.”
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To Katayama, the 370Z was already too big, heavy, and complex. Mr. K died in 2015, age 105, but I think we can safely extrapolate that he would have felt much the same about It has a twin-turbo engine and weighs up to 3,500 lbs.
And that’s not to throw the new Z under the bus, because it’s a wholly satisfying machine—just a machine with a different mission than the original 240Z. The owner of the 1972 example, Ray Carroll, is front row in the target audience for the new Z, and has actually done almost everything he can to try to get A Z Proto customization. Owning another Z in his youth, driving his classics outside of the winter months, he’s excited about a new car that captures some of the essence of Z’s nostalgia.
But then again, he can afford it. The new Z is a relative bargain compared to Supra or even A 718 Cayman, but a correctly selected Z-list of ten dollars is less than 50 thousand. An original 240Z costs roughly $3,500 when new. Adjusted for inflation, it’s roughly $27,000 in today’s money.
MSRP on BRZ? $28595.
Since the 240Z is such a beautiful machine, and was such a big change in the Japanese auto industry, we sometimes overlook that the car’s allure was cheap. Maybe a college student isn’t cheap, but it’s definitely affordable enough if you have any kind of decent job. A great two-function bonus for keeping your nose on the sharpening stone.
Likewise, Subaru is within reach of the less heel-to-toe crowd. this thing GTI moneyNot golf ar money. WRX Money, not sexually transmitted money. Oh right, Subaru Don’t do any STI anymore. There now, I went and grieved myself.
However, not too sad, because this is actually Mine BRZ. My non-F40 was an ND2 MX-5 Miata I share it with my kids. Subaru’s response appears to have been, “Would you like it in blue?”
After nearly 5,000 miles of ownership, I’m happy to report that the BRZ is a really nice car even though it’s not actually big car. It’s just the right size for blasting the curved roads of the coastal mountains. It’s large enough to fit my elementary school age kids on a 1,500-mile loop to the Alberta Badlands Dinosaur Museum. I took it to a Dirtfish rally school, and discovered that, in the dirt, a rear-wheel drive Subarus is a lot more fun than a four-wheel drive one.
On the rooftop of one of the cable ferries at Kootenay Lakes, filled with ferries and RV’s, a roaring kid introduced, “Cool car.” Upon plugging in Kid 2 for a swim, an older man threw me buttons about what it was. He said, “I need a new daily, I have an MR2 Turbo and a 240Z at home.” The BRZ isn’t a big-box car, but it gets some applause.
As is common when driving a particular car, I began to notice more of the previous generation Toyobarus. Some stock, some modified with Instagram handles on back windows. Most of them are younger drivers, maybe second owners.
When I say the BRZ isn’t a big G car, C capital, I don’t mean to underestimate its cultural influence. In many ways, it’s probably the 240SX of our time: accessible rear-wheel drive performance for a small segment of the population that wants it. They haven’t been sold in large numbers, but there are enough first-generation cars roaming the market to fulfill the reckless dreams of younger buyers.
Additional improvements to the second generation BRZ and GT86 make it a more satisfying car to own. The extra torque from the larger engine means you can climb into the powerband more quickly. And that 2.4-liter displacement now matches the L-Class engine under the long hood of the 1972240Z. At least in terms of size, although it can’t touch the old car of the character.
Sitting behind the wheel of a silver ‘72240Z from Carroll, I can’t imagine the impact this car had when it was new. Imagine trading some Plymouth by hand on this sports car. It’s this split in an established car culture that made the original Z a great car. Once I had the chance to Drive one of the oldest Fairladys, the Datsun SPL213and showed me why in the 1960s the average North American consumer rejected Japanese cars as disposable and toy-like. The 240Z rolled out and changed everything.
Sadly, my argument for the BRZ breaks down more than a bit when Datsun’s 2.4L inline lights go out. Subaru can tout the low center of gravity of its flat-four engines all it wants, but you can’t compare the sonic experience of an old carbureted engine with that of a modern car. The former is like being at a live concert; The latter is like walking across a room with a quiet radio playing the same tune.
Again, Carroll’s Z is a daily rather than a collector, so he rubbed it in a bit. Throttle response is instant, and the L-series fires positively with higher revs. Older car expectations include a great front view with narrow A-pillars, but the lack of slack in the steering is a refreshing surprise for a car that has hit the half-century mark.
Add the scent of oil and the burning light of a dying day, and you’ve got an experience that’s hard to re-master. Subaru smells like plastic, whatever that little dashboard smells like.
However, the similarities outweigh the differences. Carol gives the BRZ a good shot, and at 6’4 inches, he fits right in. Visibility is pretty good, he noted, especially by modern standards, and he doesn’t mind the pipe engine noise — although right away, he notes, it’s a fake.
Still chasing a new Z car. What Nissan has created is sort of the more successful Z package, with a twin-turbo dummy from the 300ZX’s heritage that’s hard to deny. Honestly, we’re lucky to have a Z at all; Nissan could have spent that money upgrading the infotainment for the Rogue. That Nissan was able to build a sports car Offer more participation than Toyota Supra – If, perhaps, not at the same level of pace – commendable.
However, the BRZ and GT86 are closer to what the original 240Z represented. Light enough to make Mr. K. a smile. Not a V8 Mustang, but it’s well worth a visit to the clockwise end of the tachometer. Affordable finances, not a rear-break to keep fuel and tires in. The kind of car you bake in is a few good stories.
After that, we hurried back to a promising place to take pictures, and suddenly lost the light. The warm golden glow is everywhere at once, and then goes out like a light switch. Cool blue twilights accentuate the shadows on the two cars, and the crescent moon sounds gently in the sky above.
It’s been an unusually warm and dry fall here, but the end of the year is coming. When it rains and clouds, it will bring wet newspaper skies and short, dark days. Any gold watches would be few and far between.
On the way home, I think of the ends of the notebooks, or perhaps closing a chapter. Not in a gloomy way, but only as one of the divisions with which we arrange time. The idea has its origins. Sometimes it has an end. The golden time doesn’t seem to last long enough. But tomorrow dawn will bring something new. They call the short time after sunrise the golden hour, too.
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