AN AUTO OTAKU'S VINTAGE AFFLICTION

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Glenn is no stranger to classic imports. Having grown up throughout the '90s, he existed during a peak period for automotive enthusiasts in America. Hollywood’s crush on cars was in full swing by the early '00s, giving life to the 'Fast and Furious' era. The '90s mothered some of the most iconic sports cars we have ever seen, but Glenn’s fascination with heritage goes further back than that. As well as having a love of seasoned cars in general, he actively races under the SCCA, and vintage races with his period-correct, restored Datsun 240Z. When he isn’t on the track, though, his stable consists of the 1972 Datsun 240Z-L and 1977 Porsche 930 Turbo Carrera you see here.

Glenn found himself interested in things of the automotive nature early on in life. "As I got older," he explains, "I started learning more about the historical significance of certain cars." The character, the heart, and the soul behind classics captivated him, and so his itch grew stronger. Datsuns especially appealed to him, as they were rather overlooked during their time. The raging popularity of domestic cars in the '70s and '80s kept mainstream America busy, while a smaller population found salvation in imports.

While 240Zs and 510s may be the talk of the town in recent years, it wasn’t always to this degree. "Datsuns were extremely affordable, reliable, and were just beginning to be classified as 'vintage' cars," he says, referring to the start of his Datsun research. The Datsun boom had not yet begun at that point. One autumn day in 2010, Glenn was tipped off on a right-hand drive 240Z, sitting in a collection of cars on private property in the northern California town of Ben Lomond. Little did he know that this tip was the beginning of a passionate story that is still playing out today.

Fads come and go, but a car's roots will never change. This is very apparent in the way I modify and style my cars.

Glenn Chiou

After setting up a time to visit the car, he was surprised to find that the collection it was part of was rather an entire property, warehouse, and shop, filled with various autos. The Z, which was owned by the President of the Northern California United Five-Ten Owners club, rested in a dormant state. Dusty and starving for attention, the Datsun had not been driven, or even started, in years. Glenn says he will never forget that moment when the car cover was pulled away, revealing the incredibly stock car.

With some much needed persuasion, Glenn was able to convince the gentleman to sell him the Z. The rest is history, as he went straight to work with restoring the car to running condition. He was allowed to work on the vehicle on the same property at which it resided; a 30 mile drive from his home. "The days got very repetitive," he notes. "Call the old man up, make the 30 mile trek out to Ben Lomond, and work on the car all night – rinse and repeat, almost every single weekday after work." The dedication and care with which Glenn refreshed the tired Z is inspirational. While this was certainly loads of work for just one or two people, he looks back on it as one of his fondest memories.

We spent many cold, sleepless nights learning, teaching, sweating, aching, laughing, and smiling as we tinkered away at the car.

Glenn Chiou

The story of Glenn’s Porsche 930 is one of slightly more uncertainty. In short, he acquired the vehicle in 2014 from a stranger on Instagram. Found in the comments of one of Magnus Walker’s posts, the man was looking for advice on selling his ’77 Turbo Carrera in Los Angeles. Glenn immediately contacted the owner and set up the sale. After having an LA local friend confirm that the car wasn’t a myth, Glenn decided to purchase the vehicle as a partner to his Fairlady. Upon arriving in LA several weeks later, he was met with a sense of skepticism. The location which he was told to meet was not necessarily somewhere that a well-kept 930 would be housed. An hour passed, then another half hour, and still no sign of the Porsche. Glenn wondered if he had been set up, fearing that the car didn’t even exist.

As luck had it, the owner did eventually show up, and took Glenn through the gates of a run down, decrepit scrap yard. There, beneath a cover, was the Turbo.

It’s evident that Glenn has a particular taste in aged autos. The Fairlady Z-L is rich in history, imported from Japan via military ownership. The Turbo Carrera is a shining icon in Porsche’s history, as any P-car enthusiast would agree. Each car satisfies its own set of needs. The Fairlady is definitely Glenn’s "forever car" while the Porsche is something he simply enjoys owning and driving. To many people this comes as a surprise, but for Glenn, it feels right.

"My favorite part about the Z car has to be its beautiful engine note," Glenn reflects. Without getting too far into mechanical details, resting under the bonnet is a Rebello Racing 3.0-litre stroker, equipped with triple Mikuni sidedraft carbs. Any Z enthusiast knows that the harmony produced by this combination is thrilling enough to dance to.

"The name says it all," he states, referring to the Porsche Turbo Carrera. "The constant whistle and reminder of the car’s racing heritage from yesteryear" is what Glenn fancies in the Carrera. This car wields significant history in that turbo spool, which of course fits the bill for this enthusiast. He speaks of an incident where one evening, he simply decided to go for a drive. Key on, gauge cluster illuminated, engine roaring to life behind; this is how it begins. "I took the 930 up and down the Santa Cruz mountains, discovering new routes at each turn," he reminisces. Before long, the hours had flown by and a brisk drive had turned into an empty gas tank.

Without a doubt, building, driving, and racing Datsuns and Porsches has not only challenged me, but enabled me to truly express myself.

Glenn Chiou

These two cars are not the first of their kind that Glenn has owned and enjoyed. With various Datsuns and Porsches before them, these two hold a special place in his heart. It isn’t a single part of ownership that entrances him, but rather the experience as a whole. Because it is inarguable that owning a classic is an experience. From barreling through mountain backroads in the Z to exploring through the Santa Cruz Redwoods in the Porsche, the love established for these cars is strong when you listen to Glenn talk about them.

I have no doubt in my mind that Glenn will continue to find and build vintage gems, and I hope that I can continue to cover his adventures to share with the community.

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Comments (33)
  • Replace the Porsche with a 1963 Studebaker Avanti.

    1 year ago
  • Stunning cars. Would love to add a Datsun to my 964 C2 one day.

    1 year ago
  • Do you know what the wheels are? Love the photos such a stunner this car!

    1 year ago
    • The 240Z looks like it's sitting on a set of Wantanabe's, or similar wheels. Not sure on the Porsche, though.

      1 year ago
  • Both beautiful, especially the Z, and it's in the best colour.

    1 year ago
  • Serious garage envy and serious photography skills 👌🏼

    1 year ago

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