In the early '90s, Japanese automakers pulled out all the stops and built some of the most impressive sports cars of the period. Near the top of the list was the Nissan 300ZX, whose shark-like looks, impressive handling, and user-friendly nature make it a great choice for affordable fun today. This 1994 Nissan 300ZX convertible is a fine example with the desirable 5-speed manual transmission, so it's ready for top-down fun this summer.
The 300ZX looks even better as a convertible than as a hatchback, and the rock-solid platform doesn't seem to mind being topless one bit. Shiny black paint makes the sporty ragtop look like a million bucks, emphasizing the long, low shape and with just 67,511 original miles, this one is remarkably well preserved. Nissan's paint quality was quite good and it's held up reasonably well over the past two decades. It's not perfect, of course, and there are signs of use and age, but this car will still get peoples' attention as it cruises through traffic and a professional buff job and a visit to the paintless dent guy would take it up a notch. The headlights, which are one of the Z's most distinctive features, remain clear and bright (someone added aftermarket clear marker lights that look trick), and the flush-fitting tonneau cover gives it a sleek profile when the top's down.
There's little doubt that this car was built by and for drivers when you climb inside. The black leather buckets are firm and grippy, holding you in place during spirited driving but remaining comfortable for long-distance hauls, too. The dash is low, giving excellent sight lines and in typical Japanese fashion, all the controls are at your fingertips on short stalks or pods that line the outer edges of the instrument panel. Entertainment and HVAC sweep down the center stack and end in the shiny shifter for the highly-desired 5-speed manual transmission. As Nissan's flagship, everything was standard in the Z, particularly the convertible, including A/C, power windows and locks, and a great-sounding AM/FM/cassette stereo system. The leather's in excellent shape, with only the driver's seat showing any notable wear, the carpets are extremely nice, and there's a bit of storage behind the seats as well as a somewhat useful trunk out back. A black canvas top has an impressive fit with great weather seals that make this convertible close up like a coupe and that roll hoop gives it impressive rigidity that you can feel.
The naturally-aspirated 3.0-liter DOHC V6 was the mid-level engine in the 300ZX, and the only one available in the convertible. With 222 horsepower on tap, performance is energetic, even today, and it makes a wonderful guttural growl at full throttle. These engines proved to be virtually indestructible in the real world, and while they respond well to modifications, this one is completely stock. It starts quickly and easily, just as you'd expect from Nissan, idles perfectly, and actually pulls down decent fuel economy as long as you're not stomping on the loud pedal all the time. Handling is agile, but they gave the convertible a softer edge, so it's more of a grand touring machine, albeit with powerful brakes and an all-independent suspension. Attractive 16-inch alloy wheels still look stylish and wear 225/50/16 performance radials.
A fast, fun, reliable convertible that you don't see very often and still ready to be your daily driver. Call today!