Book celebrates 50 years of Nissan Z

Official history of the Datsun 240Z and its successors

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240z
Datsun/Nissan revived the sports car segment with the 240Z (1972 model shown)

Nissan Z: 50 Years of Exhilarating Performance was written by Pete Evanow, a professor in advertising and public relations at California State University, Fullerton, and a 30-year veteran of the auto industry, including several years at Nissan Motorsports and the Z-Store.

“The Datsun 240Z revolutionized the sports car industry and trounced established assumptions about Japanese automakers,” Nissan and Motorbooks said in their announcement of the book. “With the Z, Datsun gave the world a sleek, sexy, fast product—one that forever banished the idea that Japanese manufacturers could only build economy cars.

Book cover

“Over the past 50 years, six generations of the Z car have generated a massive, devoted following. More than 1.5 million cars have been sold in North America alone, with a considerable additional number sold worldwide.”

Among those with increasing interest in the Datsuns are car collectors, especially those who lusted after early Zs while they were in high school. 

“The retro-inspired 350Z reinvigorated the Z’s fortunes in the 21st century, and the latest incarnation, the 370Z, continues the tradition of high-performance in a modern, affordable package.”

The book includes the history of the car, and features its success in SCCA and IMSA sports car racing. 

“Special attention is devoted to the cult of Z-fans around the world who have supported Nissan’s sports car through thick and thin and the early car’s present-day emergence as a rapidly appreciating collector car,” the news release adds.

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The book is available at a cover price of $45.

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A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

1 COMMENT

  1. Ordered and the book just arrived. Thanks for the article. My Dad and I both owned 280Z’s at one time, and his brother wanted one so bad he sold it to him before I could buy it. Only wish I would have had the means to restore mine 16 years ago but had to let it go. I remember seeing a 10th anniversary 280ZX in premium condition for only $5k on craigslist, bought my 1980 for $1,200

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