Nissan went back to Z-car roots with 300ZX

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Datsun/Nissan took the world by storm when it released the 240Z. Overnight, this disruptive force made manufacturers from England, Germany and Italy either go back to the drawing board or just prepare to end their efforts at producing an entry in the affordable sports car market. 

The 240Z was a car that offered better performance, both on the track and the street, as well as amazing reliability, and all at an affordable price. It changed the landscape for sports cars completely.

The original car went through three generations and then was replaced by the similar looking but more luxurious 280ZX. With the launch of the 280ZX many thought Nissan had lost the plot by softening the car too much and focusing more on the luxury side of things.

Even though the 280ZX was a strong seller, Nissan worked to return it to a true sports car like the 240Z. The result was the launch of the 300ZX in 1983.

The new car was built on what Nissan called the Z31 chassis. The car  had a wedge-shaped design. The earliest also wore both Datsun and Nissan badges on the rear deck.

The performance of the new Z was strong, especially with the turbo model, with a 0-60 time of 7.1 seconds and a ¼-mile time of 15.1 seconds, both strong for the era.

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The interior was upgraded significantly, with every conceivable option available. The most interesting of these was the Bodysonic option for the stereo, which placed speakers within the seats.

Our Pick of the Day is a 1984 300ZX Turbo 50th Anniversary Edition being advertised on ClassicCars.com by a dealer located in Homer City, Pennsylvania. Only 5,148 50th Anniversary Edition cars were built, making this a rare 300ZX. 

These cars came with literally every option available, including those not offered on any other 1984 300ZX models. These included special silver-over-black paint with gold decal trim and emblems, side skirts, fender flares, mirror-glazed T-top roof panels, bronze-tinted windows, black leather interior with special embossed emblems, digital instrument display, leather door inserts, an 80-watt AM/FM eight-speaker stereo with steering wheel controls and the Bodysonic sound system, special car cover, 50th Anniversary floor mats and a golden ignition key.

Some but not all of these options would be available on later 300ZX Turbo cars, but this was the car where they debuted. This added up to a sticker price in ’84 of $26,000, which was a lot on cash for any Nissan in 1984.

This car on offer here has covered 72,364 miles from new and looks as good from the top or under the car. A true time capsule, this is the perfect car to take to Z-Con or RADwood and to impress your friends with a rare Nissan Z car.

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With the prices of classic Datsun Z cars recently crossing the $100,000 mark, this is likely the perfect time to buy a time capsule 300ZX Turbo such as this one. Finding one of these cars in this condition is harder and harder as that most were driven regularly and have been basically used up.

The asking price for this stunning example of a 300ZX is at $22,900 and looks to be an excellent deal.

System put speakers within the seats

With value trends in the car hobby, it is better to buy early tan to wait and pay more later.

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.

Andy Reid's first car, purchased at age 15, was a 1968 Fiat 124 coupe. His second, obtained by spending his college savings fund, was a 1966 Ferrari 330 GT 2+2. Since then, he has owned more than 150 cars—none of them normal or reasonable—as well as numerous classic motorcycles and scooters. A veteran of film, television, advertising and helping to launch a few Internet-based companies, Reid was a columnist for Classic Motorsports magazine for 12 years and has written for several other publications. He is considered an expert in European sports and luxury cars and is a respected concours judge. He lives in Canton, Connecticut.

4 COMMENTS

  1. Great but how about the 1980 10th anniversary 280zx? Only 3000 where made. Today this is a rare vehicle, not to many left. Great collector car today

      • Myself, I can’t go to far forward (240 would be the latest). I have a 66-SPL (the 4 spd 1600) and a 70-SRL (the 5 spd 2000). I’m too glued to those roadsters. Old Datsuns were awesome.

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