In 1995, a year before Nissan killed the legendary Z car, Mike Taylor traveled to Japan.
His mission: Persuade the company to keep the faith with Z car nuts and someday bring it back.
Taylor, head of a Z car enthusiast club, went to Japan to offer a surprise birthday greeting to Nissan's venerable Yutaka Katayama — better known as Mr. K, the father of the Z.
That surprise contact with Mr. K opened doors at the company for “Mad Mike,” widely known among car guys in the United States for his free-spirited road rallies.
When the 240Z debuted in 1969, the car captured the hearts of thousands of young enthusiasts. Taylor worshiped the car — even though by the mid-1990s, it had morphed into the overpriced, overweight 300ZX.