Like it or not, Japanese cars are gaining traction as collectables, and early Nissan Z-cars like this 1987 300ZX are an excellent bet. With great road manners, bulletproof reliability, and looks that just don't seem to go out of fashion, this is a very affordable way to own an interesting car that's still a lot of fun to drive.
The all-new 300ZX hit the streets and started the Japanese horsepower wars of the 1980s. This is a late production car, so it has all the tweaks and upgrades, and the look is still striking, especially with some modern rolling stock. The bright white paint is an older repaint, perhaps about seven years old, and it looks great with a decent shine and few signs of use. There are little signs of age here and there, but the car still attracts the right kind of attention when it's out on the road. You don't see these very often these days, and the sleek, monochromatic look works very well on the tidy-looking hatch. Tinted windows work especially well with light-colored cars like this and the half-hidden headlights are a neat touch that kids today seem to emulate on their late-model cars with folding headlights. Out back there's a coo light bar that almost extends the width of the bodywork, and it's really nice to not see any goofy spoilers or graphics on this one. It just looks clean and sleek.
The red interior is a nice contrast to the usual tan or black and Nissan engineers got the driver's compartment exactly right. The deeply bolstered seats are probably overkill for anything on the street, but they sure are comfortable and in very good shape. The interesting 3-spoke steering wheel has a fat wrap on it to make it feel substantial, and as the top-of-the-line Nissan in 1987, everything was standard. That means you get A/C, power windows and locks, a rear defroster, and, perhaps most importantly, a set of T-tops. Big analog gauges are easy to read and the controls are all at your fingertips, as was the style in 1987. There's also a fantastically powerful AM/FM/CD stereo system with a big speaker box in the trunk, so you can show up at events and really attract some attention.
Nissan's 3.0 liter V6 was an all-new design for the 300ZX, a departure from the inline-6 that powered previous Z-cars. With fuel injection, it's silky smooth and has excellent road manners, as well as a decent hit of low-end torque that makes it feel downright fast around town. Aside from a high-flow air filter and aftermarket exhaust system, it appears to be largely stock. That means reliability is unaffected and with proper maintenance (including a new timing chain), it's obvious that this car has always been loved. With a 4-speed automatic transmission, anyone can take advantage of the ZX's performance and the suspension is the perfect blend of comfort and performance. You also get big 4-wheel disc brakes, a super sanitary undercarriage, and the aforementioned exhaust system that not only sounds great but helps build horsepower as well. The stance has been tweaked a bit to give it a bit of an attitude and it sits on graphite-colored 17-inch wheels and 215/50/17 Falken performance radials.
The time is now to get into the Japanese performance car of your youth, because good ones are hard to find and their moment in the sun is fast approaching. This 300ZX would be a great place to start. Call today!