Purchased new, driven, stored and now new again.
Even those that are not car guys have one from their youth that has great memories attached to it. It could have been a hot rod of some type or an old beater from your grandmother but it still played a part in your life as you were growing up. Many times it wasn’t the car we were attached to as much as all the crazy stuff we did in it with all of our friends.
Sometimes though the car itself or whenever you see one like it triggers thoughts of special times. All too often the team at MCR will have someone at a show tell them about the car they used to have and how they wish they still had it. Even if they did though, seldom are they in runnable condition. It actually takes a lot of attention to keep a car in even restorable shape through several decades of unuse.
Doug McMillan managed to pull it off with his ’76 Datsun 280Z. He bought this Z-car brand new. At the time, he was between jobs on unemployment so he had to get his dad to cosign for the loan. A somewhat risky move perhaps but Doug eventually got to work and paid it off.
The fun and memorable role the car played was that he courted his future wife in it and they are still together today. Doug drove the car for about ten years and of course growing family forced him into something larger. Fortunately, the family business provided a corner in a building to stash it away out of the elements for about thirty years.
The Z actually looked pretty good when it arrived at MCR but like so many cars of this era, the damage had already been done by the winters in Wisconsin. Once the team had carefully disassembled and documented the entire car, it was sent out for chemical stripping which revealed the full extent of driving in the rust belt.
Granted, it was in much better condition than most that show up at the shop but a trip to the metal shop was still necessary to bring it back to how Doug remembers it when new.
Doug wanted it brought back to showroom stock but one concession to modern tech was made and that was to swap out the original Bosch fuel injection for a much more user friendly FAST system.
It could be said that there isn’t much that can bring back youthful memories quite like taking delivery of the same new car for a second time, especially when the same girl is still in the passenger seat.