1987 Nissan 300ZX: Sports Samurai

1987 Nissan 300ZX: Sports Samurai

Engine Turbocharged V6 Horsepower 200 BHP (147.2 KW) @ 5200 RPMTorque 227 Ft-Lbs (308 NM) @ 3600 RPM Engine Location Front Drive Type RWD Weight 3140 lbs | 1424.28 kg Transmission 5-step manual, 4-step automatic

The 300ZX was the third and fourth generation of the famous Fairlady Z sports car. The car was produced in an open Targa body between 1983 and 1989 and was very popular partly because the brand handed out various awards when purchased. The model was widely exported (especially to the USA) until 1996 when it was replaced by the new 350Z (Fairlady Z Z33).

Source: Shannons Insurance

After the Datsun brand closure, produced under the Nissan brand, the new 300ZX (Z31) succeeded the famous Datsun Z-Car series (released in 1969-1983). The model turned out to be successful, especially in terms of export. It shared the same platform as the Datsun 280ZX and had powerful engines and a comfortable interior. Moreover, its completely new aerodynamic body was super trendy in the 80s. This car became popular in wedge-shaped style with a third door and pop-up headlights, especially in the West. For six years of production of the first generation, the company sold 329900 300ZX, most of them in the US and Europe. The car was also a racing star, winning the 1986 Trans Am Championship and the 1994 24 Hours of Daytona.

The origins

Source: GR Auto Gallery

The sixties were the beginning of the triumphal procession of Nissan Motors on Western roads. The company owed this revolution to the American “quality management” philosophies and Yutaka Katayama, founder of Nissan Motors Americas. The legendary executive came from a wealthy Japanese family and was the most atypical manager of his time. He converted to Christianity and adored American culture and sportscars. He was confident that success in the North American market would ensure a bright future for the Nissan company. Thus, the production of models intended for export to the North-American market began. The first model from the Z series with an inline 2.0-liter “six” L20 with a capacity of 130 appeared in the US at the end of 1969. It was crazy because no one believed in the success of the Japanese sports car. How could it compete against multi-liter 8-cylinder American monsters? However, Katayama did not even plan to compete with them. “Mr. Kay” intended to take the American auto market with lightness and super handling. The appearance of the compact Datsun 510 and the Z-series proved him correct. In 1983, the third generation of Z31 (300ZX in the American market) appeared with the same wheelbase but a modified design. It swapped round headlights for a combination of Eighties-fashionable lifting lights and narrow rectangles. Everyone appreciated the streamlining! It was a success! 

The 1987 model year

Source: AutoHunter

Nissan produced the third generation of the 300ZX from 1984 to 1988. The 300ZX (with an internal index Z31) was a huge sales success, becoming Nissan’s most massive Z vehicle. This generation’s design belonged to Kazumasu Takagi and his team, which improved the automobile’s aerodynamics and power over its 280ZX predecessor. The new Z-series featured a drag coefficient of 0.30. The vehicle received Japan’s first V 6 engine instead of the inline sixes of previous Z-automobiles. The new engine emphasized the sporty six-cylinder spirit of the original Fairlady Z in a more compact and efficient package. 300 ZX of 1987 release had five engine options: turbocharged 2.0L, turbocharged 2.0L V 6, naturally aspirated single 3.0L V 6 (VG30E), supercharged single 3.0L V 6, and naturally aspirated 3.0L V 6 (VG30DE ). Also, the 300ZX had electronic fuel injection (EFI) and was rear-wheel drive. From 1984 to March 1987, the VG30 engine  A or B-type designation. Later (from April 1987 to 1989), models received W designation. The W-series engines were equipped with self-adjusting valve lifters and featured a redesigned water jacket for additional cooling and fully floating piston pins. The automobile received a 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic gearbox. It was also fitted with an R200 rear differential from April 1987. Later turbo models received limited slip differential clutches, except for the 1988 Shiro Special, which had a dense limited-slip type.

Did you know?

Source: Mecum Auctions

This Japanese sports vehicle was trendy in TV shows and movies in the 90s. So, it starred in such cult series as The X Files (1993-2002), Beverly Hills (1990-2000), and Moonlighting (1985-1989). 

Contact us if you have this or another classic car to sell.

1987 Nissan 300ZX: Sports Samurai

Engine Turbocharged V6 Horsepower 200 BHP (147.2 KW) @ 5200 RPMTorque 227 Ft-Lbs (308 NM) @ 3600 RPM Engine Location Front Drive Type RWD Weight 3140 lbs | 1424.28 kg Transmission 5-step manual, 4-step automatic

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