It all started with my Uncle Tony taking me to Sears Point Raceway for a track day that was part static display and part had a vintage vibe, which was all benefiting a good cause.
At that time, Bob Bondurant's driving school had relocated there 1973 and they were using the Datsun 240-Z to teach road racing.
As fate would have it, my uncle secured me a ride in my first 240-Z, on the track no less, with a driving instructor, and it made a very lasting impression on me to say the least.
The Bondurant Z car could handle like nothing else I had ever ridden in before. At times I thought the driver would lose the car in the sloping turns of that track,but the 240Z always came back to him, with a quick input in the wheel to either the right or left, the Z would respond. The 240Z would provide a smooth and controlled response, as if it was just waiting for the driver to give the command. The car felt balanced, ready to pounce if asked, but something that felt comfortable and in control. The Z sounded good, like music to the ear headed down the straights.
(To be continued...)
After I had finally bought the 240-Z from my Aunt and Uncle, I began working on it right away, one of the first things I wanted to do was get the entire suspension upgraded as I was anticipating my new motor. Well, naturally I went to Dando's and Andy suggested some adjustable KYB's with new larger sway bars front and back along with all new urethane from Ground Control. The car felt new again, better than new, and it handled better than ever before.
As fate would have it again, I ended up not liking my position Stanford very much anymore and had resigned. I was having something done on the car and Andy started having a deeper conversation about the shop, and how busy they all were. Thinking that I was just working on my car right now anyway, I asked Andy if he would consider having me at the shop in some capacity and he got back to me one day and suggested I start the next Monday. I was thrilled! Working in something your passionate about makes you feel you truly are living the dream.
I helped with whatever I could, mostly service writing, shuttling customers back to work,or a ride back to the shop, tune up, occasional LOF, shipping custom parts to all the folks in the race scene who were always seeking Andy's advice. I deployed their first Ethernet network and brought the shop into the internet age.
The best part of the whole gig though, was Andy. He was like a mentor, and all around awesome person. He would always take time to help me with the Z in the evenings or on Saturday. Super Star of human being.
I also met Vic there, who coincidentally, lived one street over from me. Vic sold me my Mikuni's when he moved to Fuel Injection, and he also let me take my first autocross drive in his National Championship winning car. I took third, the first day, and fourth the second - not bad for my first drive.
(To be continued...)
Vic's National Championship run in Trixie back 2001. He let me drive it 3 years earlier for Marina - Regional Final.