Where would you prefer to spend $30k?
This past week, the Nissan Z Proto was revealed to the world and although it's a concept, it looks nearly production-ready. Get ready for the Nissan 400Z. It's been a long time coming because the current Nissan 370Z has been with us since 2009. The new Z Proto clearly pays tribute to its predecessors with numerous styling cues and one of our favorites can be found at the rear. Its taillights, which Nissan refers to as a "floating Tylenol pill" look, were first seen on the 1990's favorite 300ZX.
Internally known as the Z32, this 300ZX was in production from 1989 until 2000, and it looks quite a bit different than any previous Z car. Although it retained the front-engine, rear-wheel-drive setup, the 300ZX featured a wider body with an overall more rounded look. It was the perfect sports car for a new decade and the sales numbers proved that.
For the 1990 model year, the 300ZX was the best-selling sports car in the US. Bear in mind the first-generation Mazda MX-5 Miata had just arrived, so it didn't have enough time yet to outsell the Nissan. The 300ZX was also part of the era of great Japanese sports cars which also included the A80 Toyota Supra, Mitsubishi 3000GT, and third-generation Mazda RX-7. It was a wonderful decade.
The 300ZX came powered by a naturally aspirated 3.0-liter V6 rated at 222 horsepower and 198 lb-ft of torque. Buyers had a choice between a four-speed automatic and a five-speed manual transmission. There was also a twin-turbo 3.0-liter option that produced 300 hp and 283 lb-ft. For enthusiasts, that was clearly the one to get. But unlike today's 370Z or the 400Z, the 300ZX had a rear seat, although it was quite small.
Both coupe and convertible body styles were offered but there was also the T-top. Only in North America was a full hardtop offered, albeit exclusively with the NA V6. Also, these hardtop models were strictly two-seaters; you had to store those roof panels somewhere. Nissan only began offering the convertible in 1992 after seeing an unexpectedly large number of aftermarket conversions.
But as the decade continued, the demand for these Japanese sports cars dwindled. The RX-7 and its RX-8 successor are both gone, as is the 3000GT. The Supra was just recently revived, and the 300ZX was succeeded by the 350Z in 2002.
What's interesting, however, is that used 300ZX prices today can be pretty high. This 1990 Nissan 300ZX can currently be found for sale on Autotrader with an asking price of $29,999, which is nearly the same as a new 370Z in base trim. Why the high price? This one has just 13,982 miles on it.
It spent most of its life in Kansas but is now in Naples, Florida. It's recently had $4,000 worth of maintenance performed by Naples Infiniti. At present, it's on display in the dealership's showroom. This treasured 300ZX now needs a new home but chances are only a serious fan will be willing to pay this amount.