RE: Nissan 300ZX: Spotted

Thursday 14th December 2017

Nissan 300ZX: Spotted

A twin-turbo blast from the recent past...



Nissan's 300ZX is the oft overlooked and frequently maligned Japanese sports coupe of the 1990s. Spare a thought for it, though; not only did it have to live in the shadow of its big brother, the R32 GT-R, but it had to go toe-to-toe with JDM rivals like the Mazda RX-7 and Toyota Supra as well.


It entered into a fiercely competitive market, then, necessitating the need to make a stronger-than-usual case for itself in order to convince potential buyers it was worthy of their hard earned cash. So, what did it offer? Well, in this guise, its opening gambit was a twin-turbo V6 putting out 300hp - the same as a Ferrari 348 - and 283lb ft of torque. It had a five-speed manual 'box too, and a lot of tech for the time. A technologically advanced Nissan that takes on Ferraris for a fraction of the price... who'd have thought it?

It wasn't just good on paper though. Contemporary reviews stated that the 300ZX felt "crisp and secure" in corners, thanks to its multi-link suspension setup and HICAS four-wheel steering. So good was it, in fact, that in a 1991 MotorTrend handling test, the 300ZX Turbo came second out of 10 competitors, finishing behind only the Honda NSX and besting the Mazda MX-5, Toyota MR2 and Porsche 944 among others.


So despite being frequently overlooked among a remarkable field - more of which than is normal went on to attain legendary status - the 300ZX probably deserves more consideration than it is given. When viewed in isolation, it was an excellent car for its day.

But what about now? Well, while GT-R and Supra prices climb ever skywards, the 300ZX represents increasingly good value for money.

Whether today's Spotted falls into that category is up to you to decide, but with just 47,000 miles on the clock it seems to be in very good condition indeed. The leather interior looks good as new, as do the paintwork and wheels. The clean, once-futuristic looks have always appealed to these eyes too, and a targa top will never go out of style. It'll likely take quite an enthusiastic... enthusiast to part with the best part of £15,000, but whoever does will be left with one of the picks of a halcyon era in Japanese car design.


SPECIFICATION - NISSAN 300ZX

Engine: 2,960cc, twin-turbocharged V6
Transmission: 5-speed manual, rear-wheel drive
Power (hp): 304@6,400rpm
Torque (lb ft): 283@3,600rpm
MPG: N/A
CO2: N/A
First registered: 1992
Recorded mileage: 47,000 miles
Price new: N/A
Yours for: £14,950

See the original ad here.

 

 

Author
Discussion

sidesauce

Original Poster:

689 posts

146 months

Thursday 14th December 2017
quotequote all
£15k for that!? Oh hell no.

Definitely a car I can appreciate but not for that money.

ambuletz

6,678 posts

109 months

Thursday 14th December 2017
quotequote all
ridiculous price. you could get a freshly imported one for less probably. hell there'd be plenty of 'better' cars you could import for less.

J4CKO

24,014 posts

128 months

Thursday 14th December 2017
quotequote all
That belongs/belonged to a mate of mine, he has had it for years, it's a nice original example, he works in motorsport so it's been looked after properly.

15 grand seems a lot of money but looking at some of the other stuff out there, maybe not, original, unmodified turbo manuals are thin on the ground, you are sorted if you want big wings, daft lights, massive wheels, flip paint, shonky body kits and non turbo autos but this combo is fairly rare nowadays.

Think we get used to certain prices for certain cars and think it will always be the case, I still see RS 2000s as four grans worth like in the early nineties.

These got a bit of an image problem with the dreadful mods that got done, they looked a bit much as standard at the time, everything else has got bigger and flasher in the meantime so an original actually looks quite dainty and self effacing nowadays, shorn of the tat they are a belting looking car, front looks a bit like a bullet train.

Edited by J4CKO on Thursday 14th December 07:53

Bladedancer

886 posts

124 months

Thursday 14th December 2017
quotequote all
Looks like someone's trying to cash in o perceived classic status of 90s jap sports cars.
But this isn't a GTR so 15k price tag is well off, no matter how well it's been looked after or how low the mileage is.

s m

16,208 posts

131 months

Thursday 14th December 2017
quotequote all
Looks like this one has had a little power hike to 304bhp. Officially they used to be a bit less
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rodericb

1,226 posts

54 months

Thursday 14th December 2017
quotequote all
s m said:
Looks like this one has had a little power hike to 304bhp. Officially they used to be a bit less
Ah hang on, it also says 280hp in another spot and 205hp in the specs!! Maybe it has also had a power un-hike too?

James Junior

723 posts

85 months

Thursday 14th December 2017
quotequote all
I watch the market for used nineties Jap stuff closely as I want to start collecting a few more next year.

Prices have been rocketing over the past two years and as Jacko says, it is very difficult to find cars that haven't been butchered by tasteless modifiers.

It may be pretty strong money but I bet this will be gone within a week or two.

s m

16,208 posts

131 months

Thursday 14th December 2017
quotequote all
James Junior said:
I watch the market for used nineties Jap stuff closely as I want to start collecting a few more next year.

Prices have been rocketing over the past two years and as Jacko says, it is very difficult to find cars that haven't been butchered by tasteless modifiers.

It may be pretty strong money but I bet this will be gone within a week or two.
These were pretty much the class leader until the last of the Supras took over, at about K-reg? iirc

stuckmojo

1,794 posts

116 months

Thursday 14th December 2017
quotequote all
Nice cars, I always liked them. That was the golden era of Japan's sports cars.

They had a quirky looking key if I remember correctly.

Stil, £15k seems very ambitious. You can buy a newer 996 for that.

James Junior

723 posts

85 months

Thursday 14th December 2017
quotequote all
s m said:
These were pretty much the class leader until the last of the Supras took over, at about K-reg? iirc
Yes exactly. I remember reading somewhere that it won awards almost every year of it's lifecycle in the US from one of their biggest car mags. I imagine it wasn't up against such stiff competition that side of the pond mind you.

Funny how it seems to be perceived as an 'also-ran' in the UK and seems doomed to forever live in the shadow of the MK4 Supra.

I must confess that I would prefer a Supra TT to a 300ZX, but if prices for the former keep climbing I might have to plump for a SWB TT Z instead. Cannot imagine it being too much of a compromise. smile

J4CKO

24,014 posts

128 months

Thursday 14th December 2017
quotequote all
I think people put the GTR as some way higher in the pecking order, not sure what the price differential was when new (dont think it was massive) but the main thing is that they were different cars with different markets, the 300ZX in the UK, when new was bought by wealthy older blokes in the main, then they got cheap and fell into the hands of the modding scene, an original manual turbo on standard wheels is a rare thing.

Also, I bet that this is actually rarer now than Skyline GTR's, just depends which you want, though to be fair, the rest all seem to be sub 10k.

Turbobanana

943 posts

129 months

Thursday 14th December 2017
quotequote all
There seems to be a weird developing trend in these "Spotted / YKYWT" articles, whereby PistonHeads copywriters attempt to convince us, the seemingly gullible reader, that the Classifieds section is rammed full of expensive cars that are somehow "worth it".

What then follows is an outpouring of "At that price you're having a laugh"-type comments, often with genuine examples of better-value alternatives offered as evidence.

Come off it guys, if you really want to direct us to your Classifieds then highlight something that looks good value and actually makes us want to buy it.

Admittedly at the other end of the scale is "Shed of the Week", which generally hits the spot and often surprises people by shedding (no pun intended) light on how cheap some genuinely desirable stuff has become. The comments on a Friday morning generally follow the "Wow, didn't realise these were £xxxx now, if only it were nearer / I needed one "etc.

Shedding rules, it appears.


Mabbs9

292 posts

146 months

Thursday 14th December 2017
quotequote all
I had one a good while ago and loved it. It had a really nice interior, much better quality than the 200sx. The T bar roof was a useful feature too. Possibly the best detail was the titanium key.

Mine was completely standard and looked just like this one.

coldel

613 posts

74 months

Thursday 14th December 2017
quotequote all
I was really keen to get a 300zx a couple of years ago but the amount of rot-boxes I saw was unbelievable. The sills rot because the drainage from the targa roof goes down to an exit point in the sills which of course gets blocked up so the sills end up full of water. I ended up getting a Celica GT4 which has been a stunning car and very happy.

I would say these are less a sports coupe and more of a GT car like most of the later Nissan Z cars. The turbo engine is an utter nightmare to work on, it literally fills the entire space no chance of getting access to anything without serious time put in to remove stuff first.

£15k for this? No way. Minter TTs were going for £5k-£7k max 2 years ago, if you go on the bay now you can see a couple of almost identical cars, lower mileage, stunning looking condition, at £8k and £9k respectively.

They are certainly appreciating, but you have been utterly robbed if you pay £15k for this car.

rodericb

1,226 posts

54 months

Thursday 14th December 2017
quotequote all
Turbobanana said:
What then follows is an outpouring of "At that price you're having a laugh"-type comments, often with genuine examples of better-value alternatives offered as evidence.
Most of the time the supposed better-value examples are either non-existent in the market (ten grand immaculate R33 GTR) or fanciful long-shots like a quarter million-mile 911.

jason61c

2,780 posts

102 months

Thursday 14th December 2017
quotequote all
stuckmojo said:
Nice cars, I always liked them. That was the golden era of Japan's sports cars.

They had a quirky looking key if I remember correctly.

Stil, £15k seems very ambitious. You can buy a newer 996 for that.
Yes, which one will cost £1500 a year to keep on the road.

Tuvra

7,466 posts

153 months

Thursday 14th December 2017
quotequote all
My Dad had one of these and I loved it. For me though, they never looked right and required at least an after market set of wheels.

Something looking like this (in black) with a stripped out interior would be brilliant though:-

coldel

613 posts

74 months

Thursday 14th December 2017
quotequote all
For £15k you can easily pick yourself up a 370z if you want a big engined GT car

givablondabone

2,402 posts

83 months

Thursday 14th December 2017
quotequote all
There's one of these parked up just down the road from me. Hasn't moved for some considerable time I must add. Same colour as this and quite ropey to look at. Don't know much about them but 15K sounds, err, ambitious?

The Crack Fox

12,757 posts

120 months

Thursday 14th December 2017
quotequote all
"it had to go toe-to-toe" - It's a car, an inanimate object, not a person. Also "besting" - would you talk like that in person? Just missing the words 'helm' and 'heft' for a full house of car Journo twaddle.

/GrumpyAtTheQualityOnPistonheads.