NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Scott Fisher is a man on a mission. Not the kind of mission with deadlines and meetings – a mission to reconnect with his 1967 Datsun Fairlady Roadster and discover the wide-open spaces of North America. Fisher has blogged the entire trip in detail at RoadsterRoadTrip.com, sharing an impressive array of his photographs from the road.
"I had owned a manufacturing business in Las Vegas for 16 years. I knew I needed to kinda' get out, and unwind, and get my mojo back," said Fisher.
In his travels, Fisher has covered more than 30,000 miles to date, starting from his Las Vegas home last spring and heading up the West Coast.
"I got up into the Northwest when it was hot in the South, and I got over into the Northeast for fall, which has allowed me to keep the top down, maybe 80 percent of the time. I drove through the polar vortex cold snap. Car even ran well through that. Started right up, idled, didn't seemed phased by it at all," said Fisher.
Now, with 44 states and seven Canadian Provinces behind him, Fisher has stopped in Tennessee at Nissan's invitation to show off his red Datsun and share some tales from the road. The day started with a visit to Nashville's Lane Motor Museum, a place where a car guy like Scott Fisher can check out vintage automobiles and relive a childhood memory.
"This exact car would have been one of the cars I watched racing when I was growing up. Nissan brought these in and started cleaning up. I definitely didn't think I'd be sitting here when I woke up, let alone back then," said Fisher.
Then Fisher headed down the highway to Smyrna to tour Nissan's Assembly plant.
The extensive road trip has become more than just a chance to decompress and enjoy driving a machine from a simpler time. It is a connection with the natural beauty of a continent and the hospitality of its people that has given Fisher a renewed optimism for life.
"Pretty much anywhere I stop people will come up and talk to me. The car is like a little ambassador. Like traveling with a puppy, people want to come up and look at it, pet it," said Fisher.
Part of Scott's Middle Tennessee visit was a tour of Nissan's Smyrna Assembly plant, where he witnessed a level of modern automobile manufacturing automation that was not around when his Fairlady rolled off the line at the Shatai plant in Japan in the mid-1960s.
It was a day of unusual hustle and bustle for a man on a year long journey traveled at his own pace, stopping and taking in landmarks and natural beauty whenever the opportunity presents itself.
"I feel like I've got a better sense of the country than before I started, for sure," said Fisher.
Then it was off again, down the Natchez Trace Scenic Highway toward more undiscovered states and beautiful scenery passing by as the soothing sounds of a 45-year-old carbureted Datsun purr under the hood.
"I'm planning on taking my time down through Mississippi, and then getting over into New Orleans. And I am really grateful to Nissan for inviting me to come by. The hospitality and the generosity has been fantastic," said Fisher.
The trek that began as stress relief has become something much bigger; a blog started for close friends and family now has legions of followers. And for Scott Fisher, a man of many talents, the next curve brings a window of discovery to be shared with an old friend.