For those dreaming of a vintage car collection, the Datsun 240Z is a great place to start. It looks like a Far East Jaguar E-Type, was the first real Japanese fastback sports car and delivers reliability and great driving dynamics, particularly for a car that’s over a quarter century old. But if you go through the rigamarole of finding the right one and buying it, you can’t just wear your workout sweatpants and a pizza-stained tee. This car deserves more, which means hunting down some great gear and garb from the era and the area from which the Z hails. We’ve put together just the right kit to get you in the mood for vintage Japanese driving. And who knows. If you plunk down some change for these beauties first, it just might lead you to the 240Z of your stick-shift-luvin’ dreams.
Momotaro Jeans 0701 Japanese Selvage Denim
There’s no denim quite like Japanese Selvage. It’s got more texture and weight than standard denim, lending an overall quality can’t be understated, particularly to the fashion-minded. These are the jeans you wear if you’re out to make a style statement — they’re the legwear equivalent of your aggressive vintage ride. The 0701s are made with thick 15.07-ounce original Japanese selvage denim weaved with 100 percent Zimbabwe Cotton that’s been washed but once (it’s also available in raw). The cut is slim with a mid rise and a tapered leg, so you won’t go all loose and unruly when you heel and toe.
Vintage Seiko 6139 “Pogue” Speed-Timer Chronograph
No vintage Heuers for this ride. You’ll want to get your hands on a Japanese gem that’s not so easily found. The 6139 “Pogue” is a gold-sunburst dialed, Pepsi-bezeled automatic chronograph that’s so named since it was worn by Col. William Pogue on Skylab 4, making it the first automatic chronograph worn in space. It’s Japanese, it’s rare and it’s one of the best automatic chronographs of its era. Even the watch snobs will show it proper respect.
Levi’s Vintage Clothing Yosuke Jacket in Orange
If Speed Racer wore a sweater, this would be the one. Heck, it’s even got a checkered flag theme running along the collar, down the front, and at the tops of the pockets. 100 percent cotton and 100 percent orange, it’s not the kind of sweater Mr. Rogers would be caught dead in, but the racer in you finds the colorway, slim fit and racing motif just plain irresistible.
Onitsuka Tiger Ultimate 81
Thin-soled sneakers with vintage Japanese flair are just the ticket for pedal feel and versatility outside of the car. Onitsuka Tiger’s Ultimate 81s are technically running shoes but work incredibly well when you’re in the saddle, too. Mesh, nylon, canvas and synthetic vegan materials make them light and durable for those racier moments of your day. Choose from a sea of stylish colors, but we recommend the one with the orange laces.
Bell 500 TX Classic Racing Helmet
You won’t likely set any track or land speed records in the 240Z, but you should still be safe and look the part at the track. Bell’s 500 TX Classic is the right white helmet to keep you noggin’ safe within the confines of your Z cockpit. The lightweight carbon composite shell, removable cheek pads and compatibility with HANS devices cover the practical aspects of a multi-impact car helmet, while the classic white, open-faced look covers the old-school racer bits.
Salt Optics O’Bannion Sunglasses
Despite the assumed link to the Irish-American gangster of the same name, these great retro-style polarized sunglasses seem more likely to toe the style line between Steve McQueen and Bruce Lee. Thick acetate frames and the Carrera style shape make them just right for bringing back the ’70s without the bell bottoms and shirts with collars the size of hang gliders.
Speed Racer: The Complete Classic Series Collection
Watch Snake Oiler and Skull Duggery go head-to-head with Speed and Racer X for inspiration before your Saturday morning drive in this complete collection of every Speed Racer episode aired in America. So your Z isn’t the Mach 5, but maybe after getting through all 1,288 minutes of the show you’ll consider getting a big red “M” on your car’s hood bulge. Go Speed Go!
Yamazaki 12 Year Single Malt Whisky
Calm yourself, law-abiding citizen. This is for after you nail just about every suburban apex in your neighborhood. The first real Japanese single malt whisky, Yamazaki is smooth and flavorful with a character that melds the best Scottish tradition with the distinct Japanese style. Citrus, sweetness and spice on the palate make for a rewarding warmth after a drive well done. That this elixir hails from Japan just encourages you to gaze at your Datsun with whisky goggles. Lock the keys away for tomorrow.
Classic Japanese Performance Cars: History & Legacy
There’s nothing quite like seeing your car of choice within the pages of a great book. Take retro Japanese cars digital in this Kindle version of Dan Hsu’s coverage of Japanese performance cars past. Read about the history, development and popularity of iconic cars from Honda, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru and Toyota and wonder what your next Far East automotive acquisition will be. We pray it’s not a Pulsar NX.
Gran Turismo 6
If you dare not thrash the streets in your new old Z, you can do so virtually and with reckless abandon in GT6. You can race the 1971 Nissan Fairlady 240ZG in all its vintage glory on Fuji Speedway and not worry about banging it up a little. Sure, the Bugatti Veyron will blow you into the weeds, but who cares? You’ve got style, dammit.