The 5000 M30s myth…

In 2004/5, many of us speculated on how many M30s existed in the US. Knowing that they were “rare”, meaning lower production numbers, there was speculation on how many actually existed.

I don’t know how the number 5000 came about. We also speculated that half were convertibles, leading to the “2500 were hardtops and 2500 were converted to convertibles”. When we were building F31club, most of initial members were coupe owners.

I don’t know how or why… but the speculation was spread like a high school rumor and it became an “accepted fact”. Even on the wikipedia page, which came from one of the members.

So what is the truth?

MarkJM aka mmokm30 found the sales numbers of the M30 through the years it was offered.

 

Adding all that was sold from 1989-1994, it equals to be about 17,436 M30s were sold. Compared to the Q45, it was still a significantly lower number. We still don’t know the how many were converted to topless. But maybe the ASC sticker in the door might yield some clues (I was told by MarkJcm that those numbers are not related to how many were converted).

Additionally, when talking to Nori, he mentioned that Nissan Leopards were numbered around 38,000 in Japan.This is also a lower number than the other models.

Anyway you cut it, the F31 numbers were lower and with carelessness and ignorance, the numbers have significantly dwindled through the years.

So let this be known, there are more than 5000 M30s made… how many are still alive in 2017, that’s another question!

First Leopard on US soil!

My bro and fellow M30 enthusiast Mark told me about a Nissan Leopard on US soil, in Seattle nonetheless (where I used to live). It’s been kinda secret, but it’s gonna get out soon.

As an enthusiast, I wanted this. I wanted this BAD!!! But not $9000 desperate. Maybe if it was a Zenki.

Then again, it is an Ultima Turbo.

So I tried to finance it through my credit union. I didn’t want to take a personal loan, I just wanted to see what the chances of getting were. It was financed through my credit union, it would be a cheaper rate.

So I went through the notions and applied. I had to apply under the “classic car”. Of course I was met with the typical, “it’s not an American classic”.  So I asked what would constitute a classic that was American or European? It is a rare car, first in North America that I know of.

It wouldn’t work out and I also don’t know if it would have been able to come to California on top of that.. well, not a daily driven car for that matter.

$9000 (the asking price) is pretty steep. It is also knowing that you can build an M30 with a VG30DETT or RB26 or 1JZ for that cost. But my resources were not enough (I spent money in Japan and Hawaii. Then when I came back from those vacations, I bought a $3000 M30).

You can probably pick up 3 M30s with that cost.

Nonetheless, I wanted to be able to say I own a JDM leopard.

My ego wanted to say, “First in America with a Leopard”. I wanted that title. I wanted to own an authentic leopard. I wanted to keep this leopard in it’s purest form to show how great it is by itself because I am an enthusiast of the F31 chassis.

But it is NOT my dream zenki F31. So it is something I did not want to pursue further if I couldn’t get it through financing.

So, for now, I will not pursue this car.

 

 

 

 

F31 Leopards on US soil.

Recently has come to light that there is one on US soil. There is also a couple available for purchase in Japan and can be imported.

I wanted to give some perspective that I have thought about for a few years.

When Canada started to import late 80’s/ early 90’s cars (this was in 2005), I went to Vancouver BC to check out Cannonball-R. The shop was an importing specialist.. but they had imported my favorite car, 89 A31 Nissan Cefiro. They wanted $8,500 for it. I was ready to buy, but I would not be able to drive it over to Washington state because the US rule is 25yrs compared to Canada’s 15yrs. Dreams dashed!!! I talked about this on the f31club forums.. waiting for someone to import an authentic leopard. It did not happen.

I have always had this notion that if there is a US version of the car, part of the fun is building that car. An example is that I would never buy an imported EG6 Honda Civic hatchback for $6000+(that’s being conservative on that number). While it is RHD (it’s really more of a novelty right?) and has the B16 factory and all… you can actually build that same chassis and have more goodies.

I think the same way about the Leopard. I’ve done some research on the costs, which I read most costs to ship can be in a range of $3000-$5000 just to ship. I don’t know the custom fees and registration and all that official ways to make it legal. This does not include the cost of the car itself. Looking online and in Japan, I’ve seen a few newer (kouki) leopards for $4000+. The older (Zenki) can go from $8000 to $10,000.

I feel Zenkis are highly sought, older, different style and even 80s flashy gadgets such as digital instrument panel. Koukis resemble the US version M30s.. obviously different motor and interior. Subtle exterior differences such as the JDM headlights and emblems.

So is it worth it? To a Leopard enthusiasts.. it is. I consider myself a leopard enthusiast. I can fully enjoy this car the way it is. Automatic, VG motor and luxury. Some additional parts, make it really clean and simple.

For drifters and others. Maybe not. You can buy an M30 chassis for cheap, most of the time, either engine or transmission has issues. With that said, most people that want to drift, often go the engine/tranny swap route. So RB/SR/JZ/LS are done to the chassis and it’s less expensive to get an M30 chassis for this purpose. The VG does not have the aftermarket support as those motors aforementioned.

Also, there are other cars that do not have “sister” cars in North America. Some of the high prices mind as well go towards a Nissan Skyline or a car like that.

If you thing M30 parts are hard to come by, think Japanese parts. Unlike 240sx and Silvias, there wasn’t an abundant amount of Leopards. Banged up JDM fender and bumper? Really out of luck!

I also have concerns of the wrong person getting this type of car. I’ve met guys that get a car and want instant recognition and fame. Some without even knowing what the car is. I knew this guy who talked big and when it came down to it, he didn’t know much about cars. He never wanted to learn, but he acted like he knew what it took to swap or fix a car. When Skylines became available, his parents bought him one. He then went around showing off his Skyline. Being that many people are superficial, people suddenly were “jocking” because he had a skyline. Yes, that superficial fame. Did he help build anything in the Nissan community? No. Did he connect with people and tried to make events happen? No. He simply was able to buy a high end car and use that it to get popularity.

The Nissan Leopard is an enthusiast car. It takes someone who appreciates and values these cars for it to be truly worth it.

Getting closer…

I am no web designer, but I’m kinda liking how it is turning out. I wish the slider images can be made smaller, I will look into that.

I was happy to find an online banner maker.

Gotta figure out the gallery.

Linked to my youtube playlist, minkara page and a few others.

Gotta do the write up for the about pages (infiniti m30, leopard, zenki, kouki, vert)

Also gotta set up the manuals pages.

I also have quite a few things to do for the forums.. still clean it up and hopefully get more pictures from others that might have saved them.