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100 Cars I Love: #1 – 1984 Nissan 300zx

100 Cars I Love: #1 – 1984 Nissan 300zx

The Z-Car reinterpreted as a GT.

Greetings, dear readers. 1984 saw a ground-up redesign of the Nissan Z-car. The rounded styling of the 240Z, 260Z, 280Z, and 280ZX evolved into the more blocky, angular lines of the then-new 300ZX. This new machine also saw a new powerplant, a 3.0 liter fuel injected SOHC V6, called the VG30E, or VG30ET in turbocharged form. The naturally aspirated engine made 168 horsepower @ 5600 RPM, 174 foot-pounds of torque, and the turbo motor peaked at 200 horsepower and 227 ft-pounds of torque. Weight of this new chassis (called “Z31″) was up, too, turning this new-generation Z into more of a grand tourer than a pure sports car like the old 240Z. Nonetheless, the power provided by the new V6 was certainly ample. The coupe was availible as either a 2-seater or a 2+2 configuration, with the choice of either a 5-speed manual transmission or a 4-speed automatic transmission, with overdrive toggled by a switch labeled “POWER”, which illuminatd green when O/D was turned off. Eighties style abounds in this car, with t-top roofs and hideaway headlights. Other “high-tech” parts for the time included an electronic voice warning system (”FEEYUL LEVEL IS LOW!”) and an available digital dashboard.

While well-recieved at the time, the Z31 300ZX doesn’t have a huge following today, and I attribute that to the combination of high weight and 80’s styling. I had the joy of owning one (not very special as far as they go, automatic trans/2+2) and despite these, found it to be a competent speedster, it certainly had more go than I have courage. I’m still gaga for it, and would pick up another Z31 given the chance, but I’m shooting for a manual turbo next time!

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