A sports car was defined by more than just its performance. It had to look like one and have a story behind it, and the 1995 Nissan 300ZX fit the bill. Its long hood with a streamlined shape and flush headlights set it apart from the competition. The front bumper featured a lower apron with wide and slim air intakes to keep the engine cool.
The short and arched roofline began with a steeply raked windshield and ended with a sloped rear windshield flanked by thick C-pillars from the sides. The wide taillights in the back were divided into four clusters on each side. Nissan installed four exhausts under the bumper to confirm the sports car’s status.
Nissan installed a 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V-6 engine under the hood. It was installed behind the front axle, making it a front-mid engine vehicle. This was done in order to improve weight distribution. However, as a sports car, the 300ZX needed to be quick on the curves as well, so Nissan installed a four-wheel steering system to aid in quick cornering maneuvers.
An Astonishing Overview Of The Evolution Of The 1995 Nissan 300ZX
Datsun established its reputation with its Z cars, beginning with the 2.4-liter 240Z sports coupe in 1970. The 240Z was followed by a string of successes, including the 260Z and 280Z. With the introduction of the GT- and comfort-oriented 280ZX at the end of 1978, the product line became decidedly more middle-aged, so Nissan returned the Z car to a more sporting model with the introduction of the 300ZX in the United States in 1984.
The first Nissan 300ZX, known internally as the Z31, was produced until 1989. While the Z31 was an evolutionary continuation of the original Z line, the new Z32 iteration of the 300ZX, introduced in 1990, was more of a fresh start. The 1990 300ZX was one of the first cars designed using computer software, and it included a slew of innovations, including optional four-wheel steering in turbo models.
The only element carried over directly from the Z31 to the Z32 was the 3.0-liter engine, which was revised with variable valve timing and dual overhead camshafts. In normally aspirated form, this new configuration produced 222 hp. The Turbo model, which was upgraded with twin turbochargers and intercoolers, was the most notable. The 300ZX Turbo now produced 300 hp from its 3.0-liter engine, had a top speed of 155 mph, and could accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in less than 6 seconds. Independent suspension on all four wheels ensured excellent handling as well.
For the first time in the Z’s history, a convertible was introduced in 1993, though most cars were equipped with T-tops. The 300ZX was phased out in the United States in 1996, as the car’s price rose and American tastes shifted toward SUVs. The Z name would not be revived in America for another seven years, with the 350Z.
The 1995 Nissan 300ZX Offers A Sporty Interior & Exterior Design
The interior featured two sport bucket seats separated by a tall center console that concealed the transmission tunnel. The cassette player, two vents, and a small storage compartment were all placed on the slanted center stack. Nissan oddly placed the climate control buttons on the rim of the instrument cluster. Nissan installed two equal-sized dials for the speedometer and tachometer, as well as four gauges, inside the instrument panel. It didn’t leave out the oil temperature or the boost pressure gauge.
The 300ZX looked brand new on the outside. The car had an appealing and cohesive modern design that was sleek, slinky, and less angular. Front and rear bumpers were better integrated into the car’s lines, and subtle fender flares and a purposeful stance hinted at the car’s potential performance. With looks to match the drive, critics fell in love with the car right away and praised it throughout its seven-year run in the United States.
Here’s The Cost Of The 1995 Nissan 300ZX Today
Despite its excellent reputation, Nissan’s Z32 300ZX does not have a large following today. This can be attributed primarily to the car’s youth. This is good news for collectors because prices remain low and the fun-per-dollar quotient is about as high as it gets.
Whereas a few years ago almost any Z32 could be had for a song, there is now a clear pricing divide. Non-turbo 300ZXs can still be found for well under $10,000, but depending on mileage, they can cost up to $20,000. Turbos with high mileage start in the mid to high teens. The best Turbos cost between $40,000 and $60,000, but decent ones start in the mid-$20,000s.
The 300ZX, however, lacks the aura of older cars due to its modernity, and it also has a plethora of electronics that can be costly to repair. It is important, as with any older car purchase, to conduct a thorough inspection and to find an example with a lot of documented history. If you’re willing to tolerate right-hand drive, you can often find Japan-market cars for less—but that’s a different rabbit hole.
Sources: CarAndDriver, AutoEvolution, Hagerty
Ranked: Bugatti’s 10 Best Limited Edition Cars
About The Author