One thing you notice cruising the image conscious streets of Southern California is that there is no shortage of quality rides and quality women. Although Portland may not have as many hot women, they do have their fair share of clean, old school rides. We thought it would be fun to take a road trip (read: Primedia was too tight to spring for airfare) up to the little town of Canby, Oregon, just south of Portland, to attend the annual get-together of all things Datsun and Nissan known as the "Datsun Driving Canby Fun" event. See, Canby, Oregon can be fun. No matter what you favor in the Datsun/Nissan family it was well represented at Canby. At any given time there were over 100 cars there, totaling somewhere near 150 at one point. It was a full weekend, but the event is paced in such a way to give it a very laid back atmosphere, which is just perfect for us.
On Saturday morning we cruised the swap meet to look for potential deals, and prepared for the cruise to the Timberline Lodge at Mt. Hood. The cruise was flawlessly planned and executed by Aaron Suchy of the Datsuns Northwest Car Club (the hosting club for the entire event). Aaron did everything but trim the crusts off our baloney sandwiches and that was only because our moms already did that for us. After that we took a nappy before the bench racing session on Saturday evening. The club had a big dinner prepared at the Clackamas County Fairgrounds and showed lots of vintage videos of Datsuns and Nissans in action. The highlight had to be the documentary on Tom Cruise's stint racing an S12 200SX in SCCA road racing during the mid '80s. Mind you, this was vintage Cruise when he wasjumping into race cars instead of over couches.
After a good night's rest at the cheapest motel we could find (thanks, Primedia!), we headed down to the fairgrounds once again for the all-important Show & Shine. There were loads of clean 510s, 240Zs, Roadsters, and even a few 1200s. The Nissan corral boasted several 300ZXs, 350Zs, and even an R33 Skyline. After the awards were handed out, Steve Pepka's red flared 510 took home the award for best 510 with an L-Series engine (soon to be featured on these very pages). Kevin Koford's yellow KA24DET 510 dominated not only the 510 Engine Swap category, but even claimed the coveted Best of Show award. Also placing high in the Roadster category was the SR20DE-powered Roadster of Jason Brainard (also to be featured here soon). For those who love all things JDM, there were even a few RHD Datsun Bluebird Coupes in attendance. In fact, this year there were so many they got their own category. Jim Froula, with his super clean vintage Bluebird racer, won that award. Hard to believe such a rare car is actually raced on track with other vintage hardware, but it is.
The event routinely draws not only Datsuns and Nissans from all over Oregon, but also Washington, California, and even a few cars from Canada. If you are interested in attending the event next year, you can find all the info at www.datsunsnw.org. Every year the event seems to grow by at least 15-20 cars, so next year's event should be even better. If you have a love of all things Datsun, or a love for "earthy" women (we're soo there - Staff), you should definitely be in attendance next year.