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Upstate Z Club
Connecting Z Enthusiasts of the South Carolina Upstate
HomeIn The Beginning

The Birth of a Legend

"...with the birth of the Z the complexion of the American Sports Car Market changed overnight.".... Yoshihiko Matsuo

Yutaka Katayama, or Mr. K, served as the first president of Nissan Motor Corporation U.S.A. 
Mr. K expanded Nissan's focus from economy vehicles towards sportier vehicles, and is regarded by Datsun/Nissan Z Car enthusiasts as the father of the Z-Car.

Yoshihiko Matsuo was Chief Designer and head of Styling Studio #4 in the mid 1960s when..

"Mr Katayama came back from America and visited my department. the words he said made me determined to follow my dream. He stated that we could go on making cheap economy cars forever, but by doing so, we would never be able to move forward in export markets. Nissan, and Japan as a whole, needed to build something stunning, something original that would make foreign manufacturers sit up and take notice of us.  I felt the only way to make any progress with the project was to make a clay model to show Katayama-san, gain his support, and ask him. as the President of Nissan USA, to push for the model's development. "
.... Yoshihiko Matsuo

And aren't we glad he did.  From these humble beginnings, the Z-Car would
grow to hold the title of "Best Selling Sports Car Series of All Time"
Carl Beck has authored a very nice article on the Internet Z Car Club website and tells the early design story of the first Z.

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