The automotive history of the Land of the Rising Sun had a lot of exciting specimens in its asset, which connoisseurs were chasing all over the world. One of these was the classic Datsun 260Z coupe.
Source: Historics Auctioneers
Most motorists are used to the fact that if you see a Japanese sports car on the road, it is most likely something relatively modern, with a moderately sized turbocharged engine. The concept of a classic “old school” sports car refers more to the American auto industry with its muscle cars like the Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro, and Dodge Challenger. Meanwhile, the automotive history of the Land of the Rising Sun also had a lot of exciting specimens in its asset, which connoisseurs were chasing all over the world. One of these was the classic Datsun 280Z coupe.
The history of the Z series from the Japanese automaker was, first of all, another confirmation of the perseverance and hard work of the Japanese nation. In 1965, the words “Japanese sports car” caused a derisive smile on the faces of American and European motorists. However, after 5 years, these same “humorists” stood in line to enjoy a new vehicle with a mysterious “Z” emblem on the body. In 1966, the newly presented 240 Z had European style, American muscularity, Japanese quality, and global appeal. Its incredible story began back in 1966 when it was created by Fumio Yashida. Later, the 260Z and 280Z were introduced – modifications that represented Nissan’s attempt to offer full-fledged sports vehicles with characteristics worthy of the Datsun GT in the era of increasing government restrictions in the United States aimed at reducing harmful emissions and gasoline consumption after the global financial crisis of 1973. The term “Emissions Control” was synonymous with frustration for speed enthusiasts in the 1970s. Introduced in 1974, the next vehicle from the “Z series” followed the new rules. The power was reduced which led the engine to become slower. The magazine Road & Track claimed the engine “struggled” above 5,500 rpm. This model also featured new technology, such as a switchless transistor ignition system that boosted reliability and helped with emissions. The exterior of the 1974 release was affected as little as possible. In 1974, the automobile had discreet black rubber “growths” as part of the new bumper. To meet demand Nissan also added a 2+2 seat version to the model’s range, adding 30cm to the wheelbase and changing the roofline. Naturally, the back seats were much more suitable for children than for adults. Interestingly, most buyers preferred the two-seater version, but the 260Z 2 +2 showed that Nissan could do better than the best.
Source: Auto Vercity
In 1974, the 240Z model was replaced by the 260Z. As the name implied, the inline 6-cylinder engine was displaced to 2565 cc, but due to tight emission controls, it produced 140 hp. This was a sporty model with a streamlined body, longbow, and short stern, in the design of which some components from already manufactured products were used. Everyone could easily drive it and experience an amazing feeling of exultation from unity with the vehicle. Following federal safety regulations, the automobile received massive bumpers that could withstand a blow at a speed of 8 km/h without deformation. A 2 + 2 modification with a wheelbase extended to 2300 mm and additional seats for children joined the double coupe. The model also needed to redo the roofline, but the trunk lid with integrated glass remained at the back, like a hatchback. In the US, the Datsun 260Z was sold only in 1974, after which it was replaced by the more powerful Datsun 280Z. In Europe and Japan, Datsun 260Z with 162 hp engine was produced until 1978
Starting with the 1974 Datsun 260Z, the company’s newer models were fitted with seat belts with an ignition interlock system that prevented the driver of the vehicle from starting the engine if the passengers’ seat belts were not fastened.
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