HomeFeatured VehiclesPick of the Day: 1991 Nissan 300ZX Turbo Convertible

Pick of the Day: 1991 Nissan 300ZX Turbo Convertible

R. Straman Company built the car Nissan never built


Remember when there were no convertibles in the market so resourceful companies were converting turret-tops into something more fun? A need was determined and, years later, we have these unusual collectibles to consider. Exhibit A of this type of automobile is our Pick of the Day: a 1991 Nissan 300ZX Turbo convertible conversion by Straman. It is listed for sale on by a private seller in Warren, Ohio. (Click the link to view the listing)

When the revamped “Z32” 300ZX began production in 1989, it was a much-needed nod back to the 240Z after the previous-generation “Z31” 300ZX got too soft. To be certain, the Z31 was a nice car when it debuted in 1983, but it got long in the tooth as the decade wore on, becoming more of a Japanese Camaro than a cut-rate Porsche. That was rectified with Z32, which also was introduced with a new DOHC version of its trusty 3.0-liter V6 that included variable valve timing. And just like the engine gaining another camshaft, the turbo version gained another turbo, something unique in the market at the time. Those cars were putting out 300 horsepower and capable of hitting 0-60 in the low-5 range. Twin-turbo 300ZXs also featured a novel four-wheel steering system.

For the 1993 model year, Nissan commissioned ASC to chop the tops of 300ZX and make it official but, previous to that, a fabrication firm in Costa Mesa, California called the R. Straman Company was converting 300ZXs to convertibles complete with power-operated tops at $8,500 a pop. The company had already built a reputation on automotive restoration and was branching out into specialty engineering and prototyping, according to a period article in Car and Driver. The magazine reported that only 25 pounds had been added to the Nissan’s curb weight, and chassis flex was not an issue.

This 129,000-mile 1991 Nissan 300ZX Turbo is one of the rare Straman conversion. Included in the conversion and presented here are custom “Z”-embroidered leather seats with matching floor mats. “Brand-new custom top and refreshed interior look like new!” says the seller. “Newly installed Sony touch-screen sound system with Bose speakers.” Luckily, this 300ZX Turbo came from the factory with the important stuff, meaning the five-speed manual. Other features include power windows, seats, and mirrors, the latter the anti-fog kind.

Fewer than 4,000 300ZX convertibles were built for the U.S. market, but Nissan never offered a 300ZX Turbo as a convertible, making this Straman conversion quite the unique collectible. For $25,750 OBO, this Nissan checks all the boxes.

Click here for this Pick of the Day.

Diego Rosenberg
Diego Rosenberg
Lead Writer Diego Rosenberg is a native of Wilmington, Delaware and Princeton, New Jersey, giving him plenty of exposure to the charms of Carlisle and Englishtown. Though his first love is Citroen, he fell for muscle cars after being seduced by 1950s finned flyers—in fact, he’s written two books on American muscle. But please don’t think there is a strong American bias because foreign weirdness is never far from his heart. With a penchant for underground music from the 1960-70s, Diego and his family reside in the Southwest.


  1. I can’t say I’ve ever liked a Z convertible with the top up, but from 1990 forward, this is the best looking with the top down. And in general, the Z32 was one of the best-looking cars of the 90’s (if not ever, but just my opinion). That being said, owning and working on one is a nightmare due to the cramped engine compartment and overcomplicated features. They’re a blast to drive though, and really kicked off my love for Z cars.

  2. The best Z model was the “slicktop” which was simply a solid roof without the ubiquitous T- tops. It made the body more sturdy than the standard T-top model and convertible. The only draw back was that it was only offered in the naturally aspirated, non turbo model.

  3. I got a 1990 300zx with less than 70,000 miles on it. Everything stock , color red garage kept. I love it so much , a very fast car for its yr. an eye catcher and thumbs up whenever I see a z lover. Manual transmission was a plus for me..I wonder what’s it worth?


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