Red hot: Ignition Models’ 1/18 S30 Fairlady Z

Back in the 60s, Nissan wasn’t that big of a player in the international automotive market and in the process of creating a halo sports car, partners with Yamaha to engineer a replacement for the Fairlady Roadster. This partnership sadly fell through as Yamaha’s engine was not meeting Nissan’s expectations, Nissan then famously decided to continue development of their international sports car project with affordable performance in mind. (Yamaha also did not scrap their plans and took their design to Toyota, giving birth to the exquisite 2000GT, but that’s another story.)

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What we now know as the original Z-car was the birth child of Mr K (Yutaka Katayama), father of the Z, and his crack team of designers and engineers. Mr K envisioned a new line of GT cars that would be stylish, innovative, fast, and relatively inexpensive to build. The original Z became a sales success and solidified Nissan/Datsun’s standing in the sports car market, victories both on tarmac and rally races further elevated the S30’s reputation.

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I personally have my own story with a Z-car, not the S30, but it’s successor, the S130 280ZX. A car i remember with much fondness as my dad used to have one, as i recall, it was his dream car. I remember the rides i used to have in it, the trips up to Malaysia, the way it looked as well as the times i volunteered to wash it. Back then, i knew nothing about drivability or power. I just thought it was the coolest thing, and as a kid, that’s all that mattered. So yes, through my dad, i was very lucky to be introduced into the Z-car world a little earlier than most. I’d love to have an S130 of my own one day. Anyway, back to the S30.

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Today, S30s have become very much sought after, especially with classic cars now experiencing a renaissance of sorts. Prices of these cars have pretty much risen through the roof, so for those not in a position to grab a real one, this 1/18 from Ignition Models will have to do. Not a bad thing as IG’s 1/18 Fairlady, like our previously looked at Hakosuka, is really a thing of beauty.

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Promising myself to pick up a 1/18 (or two) while i was back in Tokyo, i came across a selection of IG models in TamTam. There were a couple of GTR32s, an FD3S and two S30s, one in black and another in red. Strangely the red car had a higher price tag over the black, but since my Hakosuka’s red, i thought it would be nice to have both of Nissan’s period Halo-cars in a similar shade. Prices at TamTam was also slightly higher than buying a Tokyu Hands as Hands gave tourist like me a tax rebate, but overall still cheaper than buying back home.

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The car came in a nice cardboard carry-box with a photo of the car stuck on it, pulling the cardboard box off reveals the standard clear plastic box with its base plate and protective skeleton shell inside. (Image directly above shows the clear plastic removed)

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IG makes quite a few variations of the S30 in both original short-nose and G-nose guise. Ours is the G-nose. With bolted on overfenders and sitting low on a beautiful set of Hayashi Racing wheels. I would have preferred a short-nose but these were the only ones available. With each IG model having a very limited production run, it might be difficult to track down specific variants.

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Lovely detailing on the Hayashi wheels. Even the tyres are properly marked. Those are Bridgestone Potenzas right there.

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While the wheels up front have been perfectly nailed i do think the rears, while nicely cambered, needed quite a bit more girth. I like the little burnt tips on the exhaust, nice touch .

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Other than that, i really have no other complaints about this model, it might not have any opening parts (replicated with black paint lines which work very well) nor turning/rolling wheels, but IG’s choice of subject, and their attention to detail in replicating these cars, easily overshadows any of my nitpickings. It is another lovely model that i can spend a long time just staring at.

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You do know what this means right? I really must pick up yet another IG car the next time i’m back in Tokyo. They make some amazing products .

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