Z Revival – 1990 Nissan 300ZX 5-Speed Auction Live

Sold – $10,800 (Plus Fees)

Nissan set their focus on 1990 as the year for the rebirth of their Z sports cars, that had slowly slipped into complacency during the past two decades. The original Z car was quick on its feet and punchy; with the Z32 generation, Nissan sought to not only revive the aging hero but to make it a world-beater. They enlisted the help of competitors cars like the C4 Corvette and Porsche’s 944 to act as performance and engineering benchmarks so that the metrics necessary for success were in line with some of the best contemporary cars – they succeeded. By the end of its first year, America alone had gleefully responded by purchasing over one million 300ZX models, making it the best selling sports car of that year!

To achieve this, Nissan put in a lot of time and effort to revise and resculpt the Z32 into a winner and today is your opportunity to own an unmodified example of their champion sports car. Finished in Charcoal Pearl (KH2) paint is in stunning condition with relatively few rock chips and scratches throughout the rakish bodywork. Nissan’s focus with the new exterior was to round off hard edges to lower the drag coefficient while also increasing downforce, going so far as to use a supercomputer to help fine-tune details. Optional exterior items for our example include sporty quad-exhaust tips, bronze-tinted glass, a rear windshield wiper, and front fog lights.

Five-spoke 16” alloy wheels painted in silver support the 300ZX at all four corners and are covered in BF Goodrich G-Force Comp tires that have traveled roughly 5,000 miles. Beneath them are four-wheel disc brakes, and up front, the rotors are 11-inch around and squeezed by four-piston calipers. Plus, these front rotors have recently been replaced by the current owner with a new set. Lighting up the cabin are glass-panel removable T-tops that still have their original storage bags.

The interior has been optioned from the factory with grey leather seats, and the driver’s seat is powered in eight directions. Matching the leather seats, grey tweed fabric covers the door panels and lower dashboard and sharply contrasts the black carpeting, and 300ZX branded floor mats. Although the old Z models had grown encumbered with additional items, Nissan still included a respectable amount of standard interior equipment. From the driver’s position, the factory black leather steering wheel and shift knob are easily within quick reach, and the wheel supports some cruise control buttons. Behind the wheel is a relatively standard instrument cluster with a 6,500 rpm redline tachometer and a 6-digit odometer that displays a bit over 78,000 miles driven. Flanking this cluster, are two driver-centric pods sporting standard climate control buttons, windshield washing dials, the fog light switch, the headlight dial, rear windshield heating element, and an instrument brightness rocker switch.

Out front of the gear lever are the optional high-performance Nissan-Bose sound system’s head unit and speaker. The current owner reports that the system powers on but does not produce sound. Automatically dimming courtesy lights and a rear cargo cover was standard equipment for the 300ZX and still function as intended. Aside from the rear hatch, the front seats fold forward to allow access into the rear cargo area.

While the interior and exterior redesigns were wholly required, the most momentous improvements to the 300ZX came under the hood. A five-speed manual transmission was standard on all cars, and our example’s unit smoothly supplies power to the rear wheels. Rated, when new, at 222-horsepower and 182 lb-ft of torque, the 3.0-liter V6 motor was up in power by 35% over the outgoing Z31. To do this, Nissan redesigned the crankshaft, connecting rods, finished the heads with four valves, and installed a second camshaft all in addition to a cutting-edge coil pack electric ignition system. Commensurate with the rest of the car, the servicing has been tightly adhered to at a dealership since new and all records are supplied with purchase. At 66,000 miles, the original timing belt and water pump were exchanged for new units. While under current ownership, the engine’s rear main seal was replaced during a clutch service, and at this time a new battery was also installed.

Sold off the lot at Campbell Nissan in Huntington Beach, California this 300ZX has been a SoCal resident for its entire life. Both owners have diligently cared for the Nissan, and it blatantly shows throughout the interior, exterior, and on the road. The current owner is offering the car as is, which includes all of the service records, the original window sticker, and factory supplied owner’s manuals and literature. A clean Carfax report indicates no accidents or damages during its lifetime, and a clean California title is ensured. If you are looking for world-beating performance, then the Z car that returned Nissan’s sports car to its roots should not be overlooked.

See the Z!