The Z Car Goes Racing and Ends Up In The History Books.

Contributed By: Carl Beck, IZCC #260

As Of: 22 Apr. 2007
Up-date 28 Feb. 2009
Up-date 28 Jun. 2009

The Purpose Of This Page:
This summary is intended to provide you with a "Quick Reference Guide" to the very early Datsun Z Cars in America, as well as the people that surrounded them.

It is published here to serve as a reference which may help you keep all the players and cars organized in your thinking, as you learn ever more about the history of the Datsun Z Car and the people that made it happen.

The Brock Racing Enterprises (BRE) and Bob Sharp Racing (BSR) Teams, And The People Surrounding/Supporting Their Competition Efforts.

Who Was Who, At That Time (69/70):

Nissan Motor Company in U.S.A.

- Yutaka Katayama, President of Nissan Motor Co. U.S.A.

- Mr. Kawazoe, Vice President, Eastern Sales Division of Nissan Motor Co. U.S.A.

- Lee Wylie, National Service Manager, Nissan Motors In U.S.A.

- Dick Roberts, Datsun Competition Manager

- Bob Yorba, Supervisor Product Support Group

- Tom O'Connor, Performance Parts Manager

The BRE Team 1970/1971:
- Peter Brock, Owner/Team Manager

- John Morton, BRE Z Car #46 Driver (1970 & 71)

- John McComb, BRE Z Car #3 Driver (1970)

- Dan Parkinson BRE Z Car #3 Driver (1971)

- Mac Tilton, Crew Chief

- John Caldwell, Chief Engine Builder

- Floyd Link, Engine Builder

- Ray Gruss, Engine Builder

-Art Oehrli, Engine Builder

- George Boskoff, Can Do Anything and Everything...

- John Knepp - Electronics and Transmissions

- Kirk Allegro - mechanic, (can do anything else too)

About The BRE Team:
Brock Racing Enterprises (BRE) was formed by Peter Brock in 1966 after he left the Caroll Shelby Racing Team. Pete thought he had a deal with Toyota to race their 2000GT in 1966/67, however that contract and the cars were given to Caroll Shelby instead. BRE then contracted with Hino Motors to develope their Contessa for California Club Racing. When Hino was merged into Toyota, Pete then turned to Nissan Motors Ltd. in Japan and gained a contract to assist in the high performance development of their 2000 Roadster. After that Nissan Motor Company U.S.A. picked up sponsorship for the BRE Datsuns.

Pictured Above: John Morton poses with the BRE 240Z and its crew. Pete Brock (behind the car with ascot) BRE Team Owner/Manager won Datsun the 1970 and 1971 SCCA C Production Championships with the Datsun 240-Z. Pictured Left to Right: John Knepp, Kirk Allegro, Peter Brock, Mac Tilton, John Caldwell & John Morton. Picture taken at Willow Springs for a feature story in Road & Track. "The group hammed it up for the one picture, never thinking that R&T would use it"; said Ron Johnson of Datsun Competition Parts.

BRE Timeline:
1968: Pete Brock receives his first contract with Nissan Motors to undertake a high performance development of the Datsun 2000 roadster.

1969: Pete Brock sees the first pictures of the new Z Car in late summer.

1970: Late in Jan. the BRE Team received their first Z Car, straight from the first boatload of 20 cars into the States .

Main Sponsors:
Nissan Motor Co. U.S.A.-Western Division, Champion Spark Plugs, Valvoline Oil Company and FRAM Oil and Air Filters. (I still buy all these products to this day..ed).

The BSR Team:
- Bob Sharp, Owner

- Bob Sharp, Driver Z Car #33 (70 thru 75)

- Jim Fitzgerald, Driver Z Car# 38

- Pete Mullen, BSR Competition Manager

- John Jasensky, (Jasen), Race Engine Specialists

Main Sponsors: Nissan Motors Eastern Division, Bob Sharp Datsun/Ferrari, Sunoco Oil Company

About The BSR Team:
Bob Sharp started racing Datsun's in 1966 driving a Datsun 1500 roadster. He moved on to race the Datsun 1600 and 2000 roadsters in SCCA competition. In 1969 he opened his own Datsun Dealership.

Bob received support for his racing program from Mr. Kawazoe, then Nissans Eastern Division Vice President, NMC-USA. Bob saw his first Z Car at the New York Auto Show, that car then went on to the Toronto Auto Show where it was damaged when a model sat on the roof.

Because it could not be sold to the public, nor was it any longer good as a show car, it was given to BSR for their racing program. Bob said that he remembers that the car was Dark Green. (this was HLS30 00006). Thus Bob Sharp Racing received their first Z Car at least two months ahead of the BRE Team on the West Coast. BRE had to wait on the first regular shipment of Datsuns to arrive before they received their first Z Car...

Interesting Tid-Bits:

Crankshafts: The Z Cars that came in on the first boatload from Japan (20 cars) had six counterweighted crankshafts - this lead to serious harmonic vibration problems above 6000RPM, and lead to failures in the racing engines. An eight counter weight crankshaft has been standard since engine number L24-3606.

Cost To Build: Pete Brock said in Nov. of 1970, that it would cost about $11,500 to build Car #46 (not counting the R&D spent on the racing program by Nissan). A stock Porsche 911S at that time was around $10,500 and $40,000+ in SCCA racing trim (not counting the R &D spent by the factory)

Spooks and Spoilers: The rear spoiler was supplied as a Factory part from Japan. The front "Spook" was developed by Pete Brock and first used on the BRE Datsun 2000.

While the SCCA rules did not allow aerodynamic devices,they did allow "cooling ducts" for the front air spoiler with brake cooling scoops was added to the BRE cars:-)... the combined air "spoiler" and brake "scoop" resulted in the "BRE Front Spook" , very creative indeed!

Horsepower: The early 240Z engines in the BRE car were putting out 240HP + according to BRE (everyone knew it was more than that based on the cars performance however).

Early 240-Z Car & Driver List - 70 - 77 Seasons:

Race Car #3 Driver Dan Parkinson, BRE Team

Race Car #11 Driver Don Kearney, Boulton Motors, Miami

Race Car #14 Bob Speakman (HLS30 00008)

Race Car #32, then #85 Logan Blackburn
This was the BRE #3 Z Car. Originally sold to Jim Gammon by BRE, who then sold it to Logan, who then sold it to Gerald Mason.

Race Car #33 Driver Bob Sharp, BSR Team (HLS30 ?????)
This is the second 240-Z to wear the BSR# 33 and is the car that Bob Sharp drove to the C-Production Championship in 1972, 1973 and 1975. It was also taken to a GT2 Championship by Bob's son Scott Sharp in 1986!. it is now reportedly owned by Mr. Charles Blais, of Manchester, NH)

Race Car #38 Driver Jim Fitzgerald, BSR Team (HLS30 00006) - Driven first by Bob Sharp as Race Car #33, then given to Jim Fitzgerald. This car is currently owned by Dr.Allan Robbins of SharpSight Racing. It has been fully restored to is original racing condition and competes in Vintage/Historic events).

Race Car #45 Driver Walt Maas, Fremont Datsun

Race Car #46 Driver John Morton, BRE Team (HLS30 00492, it was from the first shipload of 20 cars that arrived in Jan. 1970. #46 was destroyed in Phoenix race.

Race Car #48 Driver Frank Leary, FAR Performance

SCCA C/P Championships: (C Production )

1970 John Morton, BRE 240Z #46

1971 John Morton, BRE 240Z #46

1972 Bob Sharp, BSR 240Z #33

1973 Bob Sharp, BSR 240Z #33

1974 Walt Maas, Fremont Datsun 260Z #45

1975 Bob Sharp, BSR 280Z #33

1976 Elliot Forbes-Robinson Jr. BSR 280Z #33

1977 Logan Blackburn, Race Car #85

1978 Frank Leary 280Z

1979 Paul Newman 280ZX

1978 Frank Leary

1979 Paul Newman, BSR (280ZX) #33

1984 Morris Clement, 280ZX

SCCA SSA Championships:

1977 D. J. Fazekas

1978 D.J. Fazekas

1982 Luis Sanchez 280ZX

1983 Larry Hendricks 280ZX

1984 Larry Hendricks 280ZX

1985 Pepe Pombo 300ZX

1987 Pepe Pombo 300ZX

1992 Scott Grissom 300ZX

1993 Scott Grissom 300ZX

1994 David Daughtery 300ZX

SCCA GT1 Championships:

1984 Jim Fitzgerald, BSR (300ZX Turbo)

1985 Paul Newnam 300ZX Tubo

1986 Paul Newman 300ZX Turbo

1987 Scott Sharp 300ZX Turbo

1988 Scott Sharp 300ZX Turbo

SCCA GT2 Championships:

1984 Morris Clement #21 280ZX

1986 Scott Sharp 280Z

1987 Morris Clement 280ZX

1998 Jim Goughary 300ZX

2003 Jim Goughary 350Z

Note: 1986 Scott Sharp BSR 280Z Car# 33 (same 1972 Championship Car, driven by his Father Bob Sharp.)

IMSA GT/U (Grand Touring Under 2.5L)

1974 Walt Mass 260Z

1975 Bob Sharp 280Z

1976 Brad Frisselle, #47

1979 Don Devendorf, Electramotive Racing, #83 )

IMSA GTO/GTS (Grand Touring Over 2.5L)

1982 Don Devendorf, Electramotive Racing #83 (280ZX Turbo 2.8L)

1992 Steve Millen 300ZX Turbo

1994 Steve Millen 300ZX Turbo

Other Cars and Drivers Of Special Note:

- Race Car #14 Bob Speakman
(HLS30 00008 Delivered to Bob Speakman in Lutherville, MD, by Dick Roberts - fully restored to original SCCA C-Production racing condition, raced in Vintage Racing events today by Dr. Tom Bork)

- Race Car #83 - Don Devendorf's Electromotive 280ZX Turbo Car(IMSA GTU)

* Frank Leary & FAR Performance 280ZX Turbo

- Race Car #38 Jim Fitzgerald SCCA GT-2 280ZX

- Race Car #48 Frank Honsowetz IMSA GTU

Datsun/Nissan Engine Builders of Special Note:

John Caldwell - BRE Team,

Floyd Link

John Knepp - Electramotive Team

Gene Crowe - Bob Sharp Racing

Back to History | IZCC Home Page

This page last updated 22 April 2007
Problems? Suggestions? email Carl Beck at