These American Racers Are The Reason We Love Classic Nissans
Photography by Michael Banovsky
Fifty years is a long time, but you wouldn’t have known it on Saturday. At the Petersen Museum in Los Angeles, Brock Racing Enterprises held a car show, interview panel, and gathering for its friends, fans, and colleagues.
It all began not with the Datsun Roadsters, 510s, and 240Zz that we all love, but with Hino, a Japanese marque that Brock worked with in the early ’60s, bringing the brand to U.S. race tracks. Once Toyota bought Hino and shuttered its racing operations, Carroll Shelby was chosen to run Toyota’s official cars—a move that sent Brock to Nissan’s doorstep.
After Nissan’s (Datsun at that time) U.S. operations kept saying no, Brock figured out how to reach out to the company’s Japanese management: and things changed immediately. In its first year with Nissan, BRE was already winning races with the “uncompetitive” Roadster.
BRE’s list of accomplishments is way too long for this article, which is to say that Brock and his team quickly began to dominate pretty much any category they entered. Fifty years on, it was awesome to see former BRE team members and fans mingling at the Petersen during a car show and a Q&A session.