To boost sales, Datsun needed racetrack credibility. Pete Brock delivered by whipping the competition with the 240Z and 510.
Earliest Nissan involvement: 1968
Role: Owner, Brock Racing Enterprises, 1965-73
Key influence: Brock Racing established Datsun's racing reputation with a string of major victories in the early 1970s.
Enter racer Pete Brock.
Brock Racing Enterprises put the Datsun 240Z and 510 on the map — and helped turn them into hot sellers — by regularly thumping the competition in the early 1970s.
Brock was close friends with Katayama, who hired him for the 1968 season. Brock's credentials were certainly in order: He had been hired as a designer at 19 by General Motors and in the early 1960s had designed the first Cobras for Carroll Shelby.
Brock was personable and multitalented. After disbanding Brock Racing in 1973, he turned to designing hang gliders and building a successful parts business.
Now 71, he's a freelance automotive writer and photographer in the Seattle area.
You can reach Jeff Mortimer at (Unknown address).