| 6:49 AM EST

Cars Without Coffee: Moto Masumura’s 240Z

Fifth in a series. What the man who runs NISMO is working on in his garage.
#Datsun #Nissan


Facebook Share Icon LinkedIn Share Icon Twitter Share Icon Share by EMail icon Print Icon

Matsumura and his Z

What It Is: 1971 Datsun 240Z

Why It Is Cool: “I bought the car in the U.S. about 11 years ago . It stayed with me there for three years and now is with me in Japan. I have been restoring it all myself including installing air conditioning. The car makes me feel alive--it has just the basics and really holds my attention.  And I am able to keep my carburetor tuning skills sharp!”— Moto Matsumura


Among a dedicated group of motorsports enthusiasts there is a car whose stature is the stuff of near-legend, the 1987 Skyline R31 GTS-R Group A evolution, which emerged from the workshop of NISMO, the organization that Nissan established in 1984 to organize, administer and execute its activities in the motorsports arena (as in NISsan MOtorsports). There were just 823 of those Skylines produced. Then there was the 1990 Skyline GT-R Nismo. 560 of them.

Through the years NISMO engineers, designers, technicians, drivers, crew and others have shepherded a multitude of vehicles to the winner’s circle in series including SCCA to Grand Prix to IMSA and more.

There have been a variety of NISMO-spec’d cars built over the years, including the 370Z NISMO, JUKE NISMO and the 2005 NISMO Frontier (yes, the first NISMO-branded Nissan in North America was the midsize pickup).


Yes, a LEGO NISMO GT-R can be yours. (Image: Nissan)


As things like the GT-R NISMO are somewhat dear yet immensely desirable by people of all ages, Nissan collaborated with LEGO Group on a LEGO execution of the car, modeled on the 2016 drift championship version, about which Hiroshi Tamura, Nissan's chief product specialist for the GT-R, said, "The GT-R has been part of my life since I was 10 years old. Working with the LEGO Group was like awakening my inner 10-year-old self to rediscover what makes the GT-R so special to me. It’s amazing how much the LEGO Group’s attention to detail reminds me of our own craftsmen."

NISMO isn’t just a sub brand, It is a phenomenon.

Motohiro (Moto) Matsumura joined Nissan in April 1981. He worked in powertrain engine development, had a stint at the Nissan Technical Center in suburban Detroit, then went back to Japan for a stint in vehicle planning and tech development, returned to the Nissan Technical Center North America as its president, then back to Japan for executive positions in product development.

In April 2014, Matsumura was named chief operating officer, Nissan Motorsports International Co., Ltd., and NISMO Technical officer.

Yes, the man who runs NISMO.


Related Topics


  • Insight: The Toyota Product Development System’s Implementation Challenges

    For conducting business in the U.S. market, Toyota has historically had several separate business entities: a sales and distribution company headquartered in California (Toyota Motor Sales, USA); manufacturing operations (Toyota Motor Manufacturing North America); a racing subsidiary (Toyota Racing Development, USA); the Toyota Technical Center for R&D in Ann Arbor; and a design facility in California (Calty Design Research, Inc.). On April 1, 2006, Toyota merged its R&D operations and its manufacturing operations into a single company.

  • Truck vs. Truck; Steel vs. Aluminum

    According to Sandor Piszar, Chevrolet truck marketing director, “We engineer and build our trucks with customers’ expectations in mind.”

  • 8 Rules for Getting Things Done Through People

    Effective management is a timeless skill—as demonstrated by this treasure of an article from the AutoBeat Group archive. Although the tools of the trade have changed and proliferated, the basics remain the same. Here are 8 old school (and just darn practical) rules for being an excellent manager.