Although the old guard won't enjoy hearing it, Japanese cars are becoming collectable. We're already seeing spikes in prices of cars like the Datsun 2000 roadster, the Toyota 2000GT, and the early Mazda Cosmo, so there's no sense in fighting it. The Datsun/Nissan Z-car now has a history that's nearly as old as some of our beloved American iron such as the Camaro, Firebird, and Dodge Challenger. And for a generation that grew up in the 80s, the Nissan 300ZX was something we eagerly read about in the pages of our favorite car magazines.
Someone obviously felt the same nostalgia, because they purchased and preserved this fabulous 1985 Nissan 300ZX, which today presents in 100% factory original condition with only 3322 original miles. Yes, 3322. No, I'm not joking.
You need to put this car in context to really understand how ground-breaking it was back then. Camaros and Mustangs, with V8s that were 40% larger than the V6 in the Nissan, were struggling to make 175 horsepower, while the naturally aspirated Nissan made a noteworthy 160, and the turbo cranked out an impressive 200 horsepower. With light weight on its side, the 300ZX was more than a match for our beloved pony cars, and the handling was light years ahead of the domestics. In terms of sheer bang for your buck, the Z was pretty hard to beat.
Nissan wasn't too creative with the colors, but this Dark Blue Metallic hatchback looks fantastic no matter what it's called. Beautifully preserved, this car is like new in almost every way, and for a car that's now 25 years old, that's no mean feat. Japan was already well-known for its assembly quality, and the gaps on this car are precise. The paint is par for the course in 1985, with some orange peel, but great gloss and excellent coverage, and thanks to years of buffing and shining, probably looks better now than it did when it rolled off the boat in Long Beach. A two-tone gray pinstripe stretches from end to end, an elegant touch that emphasizes that particular line on the car. The overall preservation is honestly quite amazing, and this is a very handsome car in this color.
Other items such as the rubber, the T-top seals, the trim around the rear quarter windows, and even the large rubber rear wing, are all in superb condition. None of the perishable items have dried out or cracked due to age, and the chrome Z-car badge on the nose remains bright and clear. All the lenses, including the large tri-color tail lights and unique semi-concealed headlamps are in new condition, and the headlights open and close as they should. Factory mud flaps were included on this particular Z, and remain in undamaged condition, probably never having been called upon to do their jobs.
The engine is a 3.0 liter single overhead cam V6, known internally as the VG30E. With modern construction and state-of-the-art (for 1985) engineering, it was an impressive piece that made the domestic automakers sit up and take notice. This one is so beautifully preserved, all the bright plated components under the hood are still shiny, the belts and hoses appear to be original, and it's obvious that someone really, really cared about this car. The aluminum bits look like they just popped out of the molds, and the bright red finish on the intake isn't faded and flaking due to underwood temperatures. In fact, the only component that appears to be a replacement is the battery and master cut-off switch, which is just plain smart on a car with this much electronic wizardry under the hood. It's likely that the oil and fluids have been changed a few times, but otherwise, this is a factory fresh Z that runs like a brand new car. Impressive.
The engine drives a 4-speed automatic transmission, which, for 1985, was cutting-edge technology, and there's a Nissan R200 differential out back. The suspension is completely stock, and in 1985, was fully independent which gave the Z much sharper reflexes than its pony car competitors. The original exhaust system, including catalytic converter, remains under the car and is almost factory perfect, giving the V6 a unique sound all its own. The brakes probably still include the original pads and rotors, and there's no evidence of rust or condensation on the braking surfaces. The original 15-inch alloy wheels are shiny and unblemished, with no curb rash or marks from an errant tire store torque wrench. The only noteworthy upgrade is a set of newer 215/60/15 Toyo radials.
Nobody could argue that the Japanese were not in love with technology, and the futuristic interior is a big part of the Zs appeal. Finished in very attractive two-tone blue with leather buckets (an $1100 option), it's a surprisingly modern driving environment that has aged very well. Condition-wise, everything is wonderfully preserved, and the seats don't even show much evidence of human occupation. This car is also loaded with equipment, including power windows, A/C, a power antenna, and a powerful stereo system that actually sounds pretty good given its age. Everything is housed in brushed aluminum faces no faux wood in this Zandt remains in new condition. Factory 300ZX logo floor mats match the original carpets exactly, and all the gauges work perfectly. Under the rear hatch, there's a lot of storage space, as well as the original bags for the T-tops.
As with all future collectables, the documentation makes a difference, and the fellow who preserved this Z knew what to do. We have the original window sticker showing a MSRP of $18,994 and $1500 worth of dealer add-ons such as the mud flaps, door edge guards, floor mats, a spoiler, and a 5-year, 60,000 mile warranty. This car also includes what would probably count as the build sheet punch card used to guide the installation of equipment as the car moved down the assembly line. The pre-delivery checklist is included, along with an odometer disclosure statement, owner's manual, new vehicle warranty booklet, and brochures on the corrosion warranty and leather protection that the dealer installed.
Is this the world's nicest 1985 300ZX? I'd be inclined to say it is, and there just can't be many with lower mileage. Wonderfully well preserved, it's a veritable time capsule that'll take you back to the 80s. And once you get there, you'll be surprised by how good the cars were. This one delivers respectable performance and comfort, with a ton of luxury items that were all standard equipment. It's also great-looking and you just don't see many of them around anymore. So give the land of the rising sun their due, they've built some pretty cool cars in the past, and cars like this 300ZX certainly qualify for collector status today. Call now
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