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Photo Tour: Z Car Garage, San Jose, CA

Old 08-13-2015, 06:09 PM
  #21  
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Originally Posted by dkmura View Post
Unfortunately, we had a series of articles planned with Rob and Z Car Garage that never made it beyond the discussion stage when Nissan Sport was forced to close operations. It would have been marvelous to have worked on those with Rob- tell him I said hello if you can.

As for the attention to detail, I think that's an important trait for a shop to have. The things you mention make an impression on those who know their own cars and have an inkling of how to do things RIGHT. And yes, that can be a sales tool, but I'm surprised more repair shops don't take advantage of it. The expertise and care put into a repair will pay off for the more knowledgeable consumer (who will also bring in more business to the shop). It's the kind of "corporate values" that can't be easily faked and are usually overlooked by the average consumer looking for the cheapest deal.
I will say hi to Rob for you for sure. I'll see him next week after the races.

"Sales tool". heh heh.... as a career Sales/BD guy, I can totally relate. But yes, especially in this day and age where one slip up causes some person - whether a knowledgeable customer or not - to get on his/her phone and crap all over an otherwise great business on Yelp is a sad state of affairs. Kinda like sliming someone on a forum without first trying to go person-to-person and work it out.

But in any case, yes, it's a rare commodity, that thing called "customer service".
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Old 05-31-2017, 04:23 PM
  #22  
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Default Field Trip!!

*** As usual, long a$$ post but mostly pics!! ***

Been a while since I visited Disne.... er, MY 2nd happiest place on earth. (The first is Laguna Seca/Monterey, not Uncle Walt's. )

I mean, where else can I go that's so close to my house that I can share my madness for all things Z with an even bigger fanatic than I, Rob Fuller and the crew at Z Car Garage?


And to be surrounded by all shades of Z's, every generation, and other interesting Datsuns and Nissans.



So why was I there today? Well, if you've followed my Z-aniness, you might recall that I picked up a beautiful ZR recently (and that I'm selling it to a good friend shortly). Wanted Rob and the crew to have a look see for anything I wouldn't have spotted if it were on stands in my garage.


And a baseline transfusion of all the drive fluids.


But you don't care about that. And neither do I when I get a chance to peek behind the scenes of one of best shops I've ever had the pleasure of working with. I can't say that about any of the other shops I've used over the years.

Something I'll reiterate from the first post in this thread: I get NOTHING out of writing this. No marketing dollars, no discounts, no preferential treatment, nada. What I get is knowledgable, courteous, thorough services for my Zs on stuff I don't do myself. The only shop I trust to do so.

'Nuff said, onwards...


Rob's car - the Daily, I think.

But then again...

...more Rob cars. Laff!

Honestly don't know - because I never asked - who all the lot cars belong to, I'm sure there's more than a few registered to this fellow named "Fuller". Hahaha.









OK, how's this for truth in advertising?


Name this car.


Bigger hint:

With Rob at Mazda Laguna Seca Raceway's "Spring Classic" a few weeks ago. (More about that event here: https://my350z.com/forum/autocross-r...azda-lsir.html)

So inside the "showroom" and around the shop, I always enjoy looking at the "toys" and cadre of parts "just around"...





Anyone remember these? Rarer than the American Racing Libre wheels from the '70s... Even I can't remember their name. (Let's not go down the "old" path. Ha!)

OK, can't relate to the old skool stuff? Here, just for you kids...

Slobber, slobber, droooooooool.

And speaking of parts, the fun doesn't stop at ground level.

Rafters fulla race car parts. These doors are from another Joel Anderson race car.

If you don't recall who that is, let me remind you as I re-visit one of my favorite "old racecars", Rob's IMSA GTU car campaigned back then by Joel Anderson (if you need more history, see first post of this thread.)


Really ticked off at myself for setting depth of field so narrow on this shot because it really would have been a cool shot with the original S30 and the modern day Z34N on the lift. Oh well, you get the picture. No pun.







So while I shot some video of one of the cars being worked on in the main shop - engine running, very loud and I can't post on YT because I shot it with license plate showing. Ooops. - in the next room, you could hear the unmistakable sound of a 33 on a dyno pull.

Here, a shot of the "Room of Truth"

It was the Red Z33N on the dyno. (No, I don't have the results and even if I did, I wouldn't post them.... It's Rob and the owner's secret. ) There were several Nismos in the shop while I was there. Maybe the owners of the red or gray one are on this forum?

Now, to pick a favorite car each time I'm there, well, it's a little game with me. Last time it was a near-black gray S30. Time before that, it was a black S30. Guess what this time?




And check out the slick Dime SEDAN...


So, back to the S30... not going to give you any details on it as again, Rob and owner's secrets (and now me, but I'm sworn to secrecy.) However, I'll leave that car now with this one little "What's wrong with this picture?" picture.



And finally, the real top, er, shop dog...


Oh, the results of the ZR's looksee? Minor stuff. Needs tires, needs alignment, and this...

...good ol' diff bushing. Ehhhhh. No biggee.

So, as I did in my first post, I have to give a big thanks to ZCG for not just "getting it done" but doing it with total commitment and attention to detail. And special props to Josh, who has done most of the work on all of the cars I've had in (my '03-33, my 33 Niz, and now the ZR). Last time I talked about the microfiber towel strategically placed (see first post).

Now get this, not only did he "get 'er done" but he set the clock on my radio which was off by some 5-1/2 hours. That's thorough!

So yes, a good day for me. Actually, any day I'm not meeting demanding, whiny clients is a good day. A visit to Z Car Garage makes it even better.

My S30 has a ways to go but boy, did I get inspired.




Indeed.
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Old 06-12-2017, 09:25 PM
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Hey Mic...not sure if you're going to be around this Friday but I'm bringing my Z in for a check up with Robb at 7am. I called to make an appt with him a few weeks ago on a Friday....not only did Robb pick up himself but he was at the RACE TRACK and still talked to me for a few mins about making the appt...this on what was clearly a day off for him. So needless to say my first impression was just awesome...not really a surprise though based on this thread and all the great things on Yelp about he and his garage.

Anyway, if you're around and feel like coming by the Z garage in any one of your sweet rides I'd love to meet you in person.

-Shawn
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Old 06-13-2017, 04:17 AM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by SPM350Z View Post
Hey Mic...not sure if you're going to be around this Friday but I'm bringing my Z in for a check up with Robb at 7am. I called to make an appt with him a few weeks ago on a Friday....not only did Robb pick up himself but he was at the RACE TRACK and still talked to me for a few mins about making the appt...this on what was clearly a day off for him. So needless to say my first impression was just awesome...not really a surprise though based on this thread and all the great things on Yelp about he and his garage.

Anyway, if you're around and feel like coming by the Z garage in any one of your sweet rides I'd love to meet you in person.

-Shawn
Hey Shawn, I'll play it by ear but yeah, that'd be great! I need to stop by to talk to Rob so I'll try to swing by. If all goes well over next couple of days, I may have a "new reason" to stop by as well!
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Old 06-13-2017, 05:31 AM
  #25  
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Sounds good Mic. Forgot to mention my appt is at 7am. Hoping to be out of there by noon to avoid traffic.
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Old 06-16-2017, 09:38 PM
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Had a great experience at the Z Car Garage today. I brought it in for a check up and per Robb everything looked fantastic…didn’t need to add or change any fluids at all. He fixed the exhaust flutter my Invidia Gemini has had since day one(the mechanic who installed it said the flutter was just part of the design and I read online that many others had it too) but it always bugged me and it bugged Robb too...haha. So he adjusted it and filled it in and changed gaskets and now it’s totally sealed up. He also got my TPMS woked up and working…woot! When Robb casually mentioned I should get an Uprev Tune to make the most out of the exhaust and the plenum spacer I decided on the spur of the moment to do it. So glad I did…found another 8 HP and 13 more TQ and it’s REALLY noticeable. It pulls so much harder now in 2nd, 3rd and 4th and throttle response is much improved.

And as if the day couldn’t get any better I got to meet the famous(or should I say INFAMOUS) Micvelo! (I didn’t even think to get a pic) Mic- it was great to meet and talk cars with you and it was even better to hear you and Robb talk….I think you’ve both forgotten more about cars then I’ll ever know…ha ha. Here are the few pics I remembered to snap.

Sat with the shop mascot Kane for most of the day….he’s the whole package…simultaneously super chill but crazy spunky at the drop of a hat.


Robb working his magic under the car.


On the Dynojet getting tuned.


The final numbers.


-Shawn

Last edited by SPM350Z; 07-05-2017 at 08:34 PM.
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Old 01-18-2019, 10:46 AM
  #27  
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Welllll, it's FRIDAY, no more biz commitments and just one final blood draw done before my final therapy next week!



On the way home, stopped by Z Car Garage to say hi to Rob and the guys; but also to ask for some advice about my roadster (that needs to get going soon so I don't have to tow it to the shop next month. ) After many delays and postponements (MY fault, not theirs!), it's finally going in for dyno tune and assorted other stuff (wink wink). Short visit today but always good to be there cuz the guys are great and there's always a cool assortment of cars!


Ahhhhhhhh, so much Z..... warms my heart to see so much goodness in one place.

You've seen this one before (seemingly every post in this thread!) The ex-Joel Anderson IMSA GTU car now owned and driven by Rob. (See earlier post and link below for details on this one.) But besides the car, take a look at the shelving unit to the right.... that's some cool go-fast shid. FMIC, associated piping, a turbo set up I thought I saw, maybe not... (not really shown). Oh, and a functional popcorn machine. Haha... any shop worth their weight has one of those!!

For the full story on Joel and how the car came to be: http://www.zcarblog.com/2014/06/23/e...car-racer.html

Oh, and how many shops around have an R32 just casually parked out front? Haha. This is a Japan market, RHD Skyline (OK, to further overuse the term, "JDM", sigh...) All stock and gorgeous in it's "could be mistaken for an S13/14 by the casual observer" plainness. Love it!


Saved the best for last!

Take a close look at this car. Note the license plate. Anyone recognize it? Maybe from JCCS or other coverage in the media?


This is MISTER K'S PERSONAL CAR!!!

After being shuffled from shop to shop and not resolving some of its issues, it finally landed in the right place for all things Z! I knew the car was there a week or two ago but didn't expect to see it today thinking it'd have made its way back home by now. But wow, so glad to have had the opportunity to get this close to greatness!

And for anyone who doesn't know who Mister K (Yutaka Katayama) was (and apologies for chastising those who do), shame on you!! Laff... But ya, shame shame for claiming to be a Z-car enthusiast and yet, not knowing "the father of the Z car" (in much the same way Zora Arkus Duntov is lauded as the "father of the Corvette") Educate oneself here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yutaka_Katayama


Just absolutely gorgeous!!!

For details on this car: http://www.zcarblog.com/2019/01 (Courtesy of Z Car Garage and AlvinG - of badass SR20 Roadster "fame", haha, take that Alvin, yer "INFAMOUS!" J/K, Alvin, totally appreciate your hard work and knowledge in the Z and Roadster communities!!)

That's it for now! Next up (hopefully I don't have to bag out for some dumb reason like I had to in 2018 for sake of my health): 50-year-old-on-the-dyno!

Until then...
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Old 01-18-2019, 11:32 AM
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Hey Mic...glad to hear you are doing better. And dayum....Mr K's Z looks like it just rolled off the showroom floor. That is one clean *** classic Z. Awesome.

-Shawn
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Old 04-04-2019, 12:12 PM
  #29  
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Preamble... I tell my wife every time I go to Laguna Seca that "I'm at my favorite place on Earth!" Proximity to the ocean, good food in Monterey/Carmel, and of course, race cars!!

But I think it's actually a tie with something a little closer to home (like 10 minutes away).

Another visit to Z Car Garage! I'll let the photos tell the story with just a little MicCommentary (well, maybe a lot.... laff.)

My roadster's been in Rob and Josh's immensely capable hands for a week and a half (not because they're slow, was waiting on parts). Picked up the roadster today and whoa-dayam, the ZCG magic has been worked on it. No more hot-start fuel starvation, no more mid-high-rev stumbling, no more electrical gremlins, and more!! (More detail in my roadster thread when I get around to it.)

Onwards then, shall we?


Do I qualify as having a "rubber fetish" when a sight like this causes brain stimulation?



No, no clue what model Nissan this is. Laff.... (Hint: it's not.)


It's obvious that enthusiasts are the main source of biz. Look at the condition of that S30! And of course, Rob's dime is my favorite 510 due to its subtle, clean-green appearance and packing a surprise punch under the hood. Not telling. It's not a secret but you can look it up if you're interested.


My car after test drive. Top's been up all week. T'heck with that, I can't drive it with the top UP!!! Blasphemy! Can't hear the exhaust (headers, DC piping, megaphone.... AKA "motoring music".) Was going to head up to the hills but it started to rain as soon as I got near my house. Ehhh.

Oh, and yeah, I know what you're muttering..... that white car.....

Only place I know where I can be guaranteed a "Skyline fix" any/every time I stop by. R32 for those with sharp eyes.


Coicidentally.....


RB25DET (above, below). No, I do not know (nor would I tell) if there's a connection between this and the car above.



Another full-on build. But wait....


...something's different about this one. I did not use a mirror to take this shot.

Real Fairlady Z.

Now of course, no visit to the shop would be complete without (yet) another shot of Rob's ex-Joel Anderson IMSA GTU car, forever in a prominent shop spot.


Now what was I saying about "clean S30s"? Holy ZedCar Batman, I could eat off of this one!


And there's always a race car or three in the shop.


And there's also "charming cars" there too! This little Bluebird has been a fixture at the shop for years.


If you go back a couple few posts, you'll recognize this car, Mister K's very own 240Z!!



But check it out.... Not only icons like Rob's GTU race car, Mr. K's personal car, THIS is yet another brush with Datsun/Nissan greatness...


No, it's not the original car that John Morton drove to his back-to-back championships in 1970-71. But it IS the car he drives at historic events! The original car was destroyed back in the '70s but this car was built with many original BRE parts including the motor, carbs, manifold, etc. It is generally heralded as the most historically accurate tribute car built based upon the original race car. And this thing screams with Morton behind the wheel! So.... when I jokingly say "I'm old", you still should be careful. John is older than me and was a champion before I ever got into a race car. Hahahahaha. But seriously, the man is legendary and so is this car.


This one is for all you Nissan guys with a love for race exhaust sounds. THESE are the real things and IMO, the only place straight pipes need to be. Laff. Tidbit..... when I worked for Datsun Competition, this exhaust system could be bought right out of the Comp catalog (or at my parts counter). Every thing from the headers to these tips.

So that's it for summarizing my visit to the Happiest Place on Earth. Oh wait, the Disney legal people just flew over in their black helicoptors. OK, fine.... "MY happiest place in San Jose!" Better?



Oh right, then there's this... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yy83...ature=youtu.be
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