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Ross Parks headshot

Restoring the Datsun business across Canada

Rivers Corbett |

Born on the Ides of March 1966 in Wolfville Nova Scotia, Ross Parks attended High School in the Valley then Loyalist College in Belleville Ontario where he completed his Broadcasting Diploma in 1987.

Ross spent 28 years in the broadcast/media field in various positions with Radio, TV, Billboard, Jingle Production, Publications and Transit advertising.

His passion since his parents bought his first small diecast ‘Datsun’ in 1969 was always automotive. Ross collected ‘diecast miniatures’ all along, but it wasn’t until he picked up a 1990 Brochure for the all-new Nissan 300ZX Twin Turbo, that he thought “I want to purchase a real one next time.”

Next up Ross met an individual in Harrisburg Pennsylvania in 1993 that he worked with thru his Radio Station Jingle Venture, Todd Matthews, who was a real AMC collector. He had restored and kept 5 real cars! Five years later on his birthday (1998) and 8 years of saving, Ross bought his first Z from a car dealer in Vancouver. That black 1992 Nissan 300ZX Twin Turbo! On September 14th, 2003 he decided to have a party at his home in Halifax for anyone that had a Z car. 22 cars showed up.

In April 2004 Ross and two other members incorporated the Atlantic Z Car club Society, a nonprofit which is now comprised of over 600 owners in Atlantic Canada.

One of those original house party individuals came to him in the fall of 2006 and said ‘I just got laid off, and we know of many folks in Atlantic Canada with jack stand cars(cars that are in the midst of restoration but likely will never make it to the end) we should start an import company”.

On January 1st, 2007 ZSportCanada was formed. As per the website, their main goal was to bring in rust-free cars that were complete, assist with shipping, organizing and negotiating with US sellers to make it a very pleasant experience for customers. Since then they have become Canada’s largest importer of Datsun vehicles to Canada, with over 439 completed transactions. In the summer of 2020 Ross became sole owner of the Datsun North properties.

Almost immediately Ross formed partnerships with a variety of individuals with different skill sets. A fabricator. A mechanic. A body man. A painter. A machinist. An engineer. With these folks, Ross and his team started a restoration of Datsun business across Canada as well. This business is now in full motion with work available for 20 years or more.

In 2006 Parks connected with another Z enthusiast who was interested in partnering up on buying a set of buildings near Kentville NS. They purchased an old ‘chicken farm’ in North Alton in March of 2012 to store their own vehicles, of which they had 50 between the two of them. However, they had 190 empty spaces, so they completely renovated and turned it into Canada’s first ‘Car Farm’ called ‘Datsun North’. Since then they have been sold out every year for winter storage space.

Ross’ plans for 2022 are to work on his own cars and get out of the importing and restoration business and continue to expand and improve the winter storage business.

It’s quite a journey in a niche market driving great business lessons.

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