the casual, knowing, two-finger wave

today’s drive didn’t have any blatant Z encounters, but a pattern started to emerge that i thought kinda fun… the 2-finger wave-of-knowing. (i think there is a similar thing among motorcycle riders–holding 2 fingers down low as they pass each other–so they say) the first was on PCH in some reasonably heavy traffic when i spotted a BMW SUV in camouflage black and white prototype paint with the window rolled down slowly going by the other way. i gestured, and he knowingly returned the favor. then a man in a cherry red ’65 mustang convertible going the other way along near giesler park. he returned the gesture. he was clearly out on a sunday drive too. the third was a bit obligatory but i will count it. i gestured to several pedestrians trying to cross in front of me on their way back to their car from the beach. and since i took my camera just in case, i also got a pretty good shot of the Z today. the rule is i never plan to stop any particular place unless i see a spot. if i do, i park and go take some photos. today, a car pulled out of a prime spot just above big corona and i did get some pretty pics. but more importantly, i got to just relax and appreciate the ocean and waves for a few quiet minutes.

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1970?

i was on a sunday loop and after harmonizing with a maserati up newport coast and around pelican hill, then wandering thru CdM, i was heading back up jamboree from CdM…you know, the super steep drive up to the PCH/Jamboree intersection that i was sure would test my mad clutch skills. turned out i was able to make it most of the way up before i had to stop. at which point, a bicyclist pulled up to my passenger window and asked, “1970?” i leaned over and out up at him and said, “no, ’73…but the early bumpers that i have on it from a 72 throws people off.” “did you change the carburetors?” “yes” i replied, “dual webber 32/36s”. with a knowing reply he said, “yea, the 73 cars weren’t very good.” “flat tops” i said. and as the light turned green he started peddling and said, “nice looking!” my clutch skills held true and since i was going up hill a bit, i even got to gun it for him a little. dang, the new exhaust and those monza tips sound absolutely perfect.

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mystery brown Z

i’ve been seeing a clean rootbeer brown Z on the streets around mariners the last few weeks, typically during lunch.

today, i need a sylvania 2721 bulb to replace the impossible to find holder that fits into the EDU on my 9000’s dash. o’riley had one!

i’d already had one great Z story in the parking lot, (see mariner blue miata story) so i had no idea that my brief interaction with the salesperson would lead to another.

you see, when i mentioned that this bulb was for a digital display on my 1986 saab, he mentioned that his car too had a digital display. a little more curious questioning and i found out that his car was a 1983 280ZX with a digital dash, 102,000 original miles and 5-speed of course. i reminisced about my 1987 300ZX Z31. he commented how he really liked the looks of the Z31. when i told him i had to sell it because it was an automatic, he completely understood.

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this young man was obviously quite proud of his ride. he told me too that another employee (who had stepped out for a moment) also had a 280 Z… when i learned a bit more, i mentioned seeing a similar car behind UCI and that i worked at mariners. he lives over there and it quite likely was him that i saw. i told him i’d wave next time i saw him.

he popped the bulb out of the package, and i was able to firmly fit it into the holder. it was a perfect fit.

not only had i solved the dash light delima, i’d made 2 Z friend within a few minutes of each other. important and interesting to note, on opposite ends of the demographic spectrum. over 60 and under 25. all different nationalities. yet all 3 of us with a passion for driving and a love for the Z cars.

i’ve got to stop by this shopping center more often!

 

mariner blue miata

sometimes i don’t even need to be in my Z to have a good Z story or 2.

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i needed a bulb for the EDU on the 9000. bud could not find it and the part was no longer available. i determined that i had to just replace the TINY bulb itself. O’Reily had them! so i stopped on my way home to pick it up. when i parked, i noticed the cherry mariner blue first-gen miata parked next to me.  as i got out of my car, the long-goatee-toting aged rock star looking gentleman in his 60s was putting stuff in the passenger seat.

as i walked in front of his car, i comment, “nice miata!” he paused, and thanked me and explained that it had 186,000 miles and “ran like a top.” i could instantly tell he was a car guy so i leaned in to the conversation. we bantered the pros and cons of the first, second and third gen models, and he explained how he had retrofitted much of the newer parts back to his car. he also mentioned in passing that he had a 300hp car for weekends.

i could tell this was going to be interesting, so i chimed in that i too had a weekend car, and it was a 1973 240Z. turns out, his weekend GT was a 1979 280ZX! the conversation meandered thru his triumph over the DMV with the help from a lawyer friend who was able to navigate registering and smogging a car that was originally an east coast sans-cat car.

as the conversation weaved in and out of performance upgrades, he mentioned that the burble my volvo made (1998 S70T5)  when i pulled into the parking stall seemed to tell him that it had some sort of muffler mods…to which i responded that it had no muffler actually!

like a good dad, i pulled out my phone and shared some pics of my Z in all of it’s Grecian green metallic glory. he noted that the Z really needed to be in metallic and that the british racing green was not a good color for the Z.

we chatted a bit more, and i introduced myself, shook bill’s hand, and said that it had been good talking to him…and hopefully i’d see him on the road someday! “keep your eye out for a green Z!”