Since 1969, the venerable Fairlady Z has enthralled sports cars enthusiasts the world over. While there have been many iterations of the model through the years, it has constantly maintained its identity as the archetypal Japanese sports car. So, what is the secret to its success? What has made this model so special over the years?
To find out, we looked within, asking Nissan employees what they thought were the qualities that defined the Z, what “Z-ness” meant to them.
Kicking off the series of exploration is Hiroshi Tamura, the Chief Product Specialist (CPS) of the Z Proto and next Z. After graduating from university, he joined Nissan in April 1984, where he spent his early years as an engineer, along with stints at Autech Japan and Nissan Prince Kanagawa sales branches. In February 2006, he received his first CPS assignment—with the Product Planning Department—and in April 2012, he became the CPS of the GT-R and the 370Z, taking on the challenge to not only meet, but exceed fan expectations with both legendary models.