At the end of 2016, Mark told me a secret. He was search Craigslist and saw a post for the 1st documented Nissan Leopard on US soil.
Our friend Satoshi-san evaluated the Leopard and raised concerns. Throughout the ownership of Curtis, there were a few things that had happened. He had to rebuild the steering rack, he also had to do maint on the transmission… and there were only a few pix of the car.
Finally, Curtis offered it up for sale and a great price. Mark, Renny and I contemplated about splitting it 3 ways. It was truly unconventional and also difficult down the line the end game of the car.
Mark eventually bought it.
There is another/2nd Leopard in the PNW, but the owners are just not good people. They hate that M30 owners use Leopard items/ or have emblems or even have custom license plates with reference to Leopards. They bought a JDM leopard (which they never did any research) and act like everyone else is below them.
Since they didn’t do any research, they keep saying the M30 and Leopard are not the same at all. (M30 is a rebadged Leopard, redesigned for US standards – Credit: Road and Track Magazine, 1991).
So I will forgo meeting with them in any capacity.
After Mark purchased the Leopard, this opened up to what M30 and Leopard parts can be used between the cars. Oil filters, spark plugs and other maint stuff. The VG30DET is different from VG30E and VG30DETT in which these are offered in the US market.
We talked about Satoshi-san might know and right away, he listed a bunch of stuff that will work. Satoshi-san lived in Hawaii for 3yrs, owning M30s. But prior and currently in Japan, he’s owned nothing but Leopards. A great person and friend.
Back to the 1st Leopard, Mark is waiting for the paperwork to be finalized before having it shipped to Hawaii. It is at his cousin’s house just waiting. I had the opportunity to check it out and I must say, I really enjoyed it.
Now, I’ve driven Leopards in Japan. Both Zenki and Kouki…. but for 1st one on US soil… I felt was more special… It is an F31club car now, and owned by a brother and I know what his direction is. The Leopard will be fully restored to be better.
I have personal milestones and goals I keep track of. Seeing this car is one of them… but the opportunity to drive it… made it better. One of my sticking points is when I drive a car, if I drive a car, I am not gonna do burn outs or anything crazy… especially it is my brother’s car. I’ve seen too many times when friends borrow cars or drive them… they damage them or something happens. So I never want to be that guy.
Then to have it next to my vert, just made it really good.
It was a milestone reached!