As I walked through the glass doors in the Jacob Javits Center last Wednesday morning, preparing for my first auto show as a member of the press, the automaker that’s defined much of my motoring life was front and center.
Somewhat inexplicably, Nissan had rented possibly the best, highest-traffic space in the entire hall and filled it with a tribute to a six-figure supercar, complete with a bunch of old cars the U.S. never saw when new.
The Nissan Gripz Concept is what we all feared. The pseudo two-door vehicle, which takes inspiration from a bicycle, is the result of Nissan’s designers wanting to create “something free of conventional standards” — which is a crossover, apparently.
Executive Design Director, Mamoru Aoki, says Nissan has “a history of pioneering new crossovers.” Nissan also has a history of creating sports cars. This is where the two might, quite unfortunately for us, collide.
“The traditional two-seater sports car is evolving and this is our interpretation of its future,” said Senior Creative Design Manager Giovanny Arroba in the video showing the Gripz attacking a city in ruins.
The weekend of October 24-25 was the third running of the 24 Hours of LeMons at Motorsport Ranch in Houston, TX. TTAC was there for the insanity. And it was the fourth time our LeMons race car, a 1972 Datsun 240Z hit the track. I was an honorary “penalty” judge this time ’round (props to Autoblog’s Jonny Lieberman and LeMon’s Founder Jay Lamm for that), so I did the best I could for my teammates when they got black flagged. But I’m no crooked judge, Jonny said I was too nice to other teams, too. No matter, it wasn’t enough for us to come close to victory. Then again, the Datsun Z is the butt of many a LeMon’s joke. What’s up with that?