Recently one of our bloggers raised the hackles of many a commenter by announcing to the world that he preferred driving a Nissan Versa to the new 370Z. You can hear the whole exchange on Autoblog Podcast #140. To protect this poor blogger's identity, he shall remain nameless (we'll call him Jonny X for short. No, too obvious. Let's go with X Lieberman). Point is, obviously this person is out of his mind because who on earth prefers driving a economy car like the Versa to a Z? Turns out Nissan's Mr. K.
Yutaka Katayama, known to American Datsun/Nissan fans simply as Mr. K, will be remembered for two very important cars: the 240Z and the 510, both of which are now considered classics. Mr. K turned one hundred years old on September 15, but age hasn't tempered his mind. In fact it seems sharper than ever. Talking about the new 370Z, Mr. K calls it, "So-so." He continues, "Very different from the 240Z. First, it's very heavy, and it's also very expensive."
And not only does Mr. K feel the car new Z is too expensive, but that it's not actually living up to the Japanese sports car legacy laid down by the 240Z, "I'd like to have a sports car like the Miata. The Miata is taking the place of the 240Z." Harsh. But check this out, "Katayama has a 350Z in his garage but prefers to drive the family's Versa compact." And there you have it.
Mr. K would like to see the Datsun nameplate come back, and with sportier cars. "The fun of driving cars is the same as riding a horse. We need a car that is like riding on horseback. We are making robots. Robots don't like human control." Even at the ripe old age of one hundred, Mr. K just might be around to see his wish come true, "I just entered the 100s. I have a long way to go."
[Source: Automotive News - Sub. Req. | Image: MTZC]