Yutaka Katayama, father of the Nissan Z-cars, dies aged 105

The man behind Nissan's most iconic model passed away on February 20

The Datsun 240Z was a significant car for many reasons, but none more so than the staggering success it achieved in the American market.

It made the Datsun brand a household name, and picked up the sports car baton dropped by the underpowered British sports cars that sold strongly in the U.S. throughout the 1950s and 1960s.

The man considered ‘father of the Datsun Z’, former Nissan Motor Corporation U.S.A. president Yutaka Katayama, passed away on February 20. He was 105.

Known throughout the industry as ‘Mr. K.’, Katayama was responsible for putting together the key concepts for the original Z-car.

The success of the car on its 1970 launch was unsurprising: It produced 151bhp and 146lb ft of torque from its twin-carb inline-six. Porsche-beating performance was on the cards at an MGB-baiting price – just $500 more than the British sports car at the time.

Katayama later retired from Nissan in 1977, and has since been inducted into the American Automotive Hall of Fame for his contribution to the American car market.

Last year, Nissan produced a series of three videos with Mr Katayama. You can watch these below – click Youtube’s ‘CC’ button to turn on English subtitles.

Recommended

Zagato’s AGTZ Twin Tail is a £557,000 coachbuilt Alpine A110
Zagato AGTZ Twin Tail
News

Zagato’s AGTZ Twin Tail is a £557,000 coachbuilt Alpine A110

Zagato has collaborated with La Squadra for the creation of an Alpine A110-based special, inspired by the A220 Le Mans racer of the ‘60s
22 Feb 2024
Volvo P1800 Cyan restomod makes a return in GT spec
Volvo P1800 Cyan GT
News

Volvo P1800 Cyan restomod makes a return in GT spec

Cyan Racing’s fascinating Volvo P1800-based restomod is back, this time in road-biased GT form
15 Feb 2024
New Porsche 911 (992.2) spotted – the first electrified 911?
Porsche 911 (992.2) Targa – front
Spy shots

New Porsche 911 (992.2) spotted – the first electrified 911?

The facelifted Porsche 911 is expected to offer hybrid power for the first time when it arrives this year – these latest spy shots provide a closer lo…
14 Feb 2024
The 2024 Mazda MX-5 gets tweaked dynamics, Recaro seats and a £28,000 price tag
Mazda MX-5 2024 facelift
News

The 2024 Mazda MX-5 gets tweaked dynamics, Recaro seats and a £28,000 price tag

Mazda has updated its evergreen roadster for 2024, with the goal of improving feel, drivability and in-car connectivity
12 Feb 2024

Most Popular

Hyundai i30 N and i20 N axed
Hyundai i30 N and i20 N
News

Hyundai i30 N and i20 N axed

Production of petrol-powered Hyundai N hot hatches has come to an end in Europe, with electric N models picking up the baton
23 Feb 2024
Toyota GR Yaris Gen 2 2024 review – first drive of the production ready hot hatch
Toyota GR Yaris – front
Reviews

Toyota GR Yaris Gen 2 2024 review – first drive of the production ready hot hatch

We've driven a prototype GR Yaris Gen 2 on track, now we've driven a production car on ice. Is it still looking good for the ultimate supermini?
27 Feb 2024
Ferrari Purosangue v Aston Martin DBX707 – car pictures of the week
Ferrari Purosangue v Aston Martin DBX707 – twin
Features

Ferrari Purosangue v Aston Martin DBX707 – car pictures of the week

In the latest issue of evo, we pit Ferrari’s Purosangue against the Aston Martin DBX707 – here are some of our favourite shots…
25 Feb 2024