#TBT: Nissan 300ZX | The powerful rad-era supercar that time forgot?

David S.
By David S. Wallens
Feb 22, 2024 | Nissan, Radwood, Nissan 300ZX, 300ZX | Posted in Features | From the May 2023 issue | Never miss an article

Photography Credit: David S. Wallens

We lived through the ’80s and ’90s and spent a lot of time with the era’s greatest hits–drove them, raced them, even knew them when they still had that new car smell. We fondly remember shopping for Kamei air dams, Hella lamps and 14-inch tires.

But were the cars of those times really that rad? 

We wondered that ourselves, so we ditched …

This content is available for GRM+ members and Grassroots Motorsports magazine subscribers only.

You can read it for free in 179 days or subscribe to GRM+ to read right now.

Subscribe now

Already a member?

Login to read

Join Free Join our community to easily find more Nissan, Radwood, Nissan 300ZX and 300ZX articles.
Comments
pinchvalve (Forum Supporter)
pinchvalve (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
5/18/23 8:51 a.m.

Still my favorite car of the era, I think they look as good today as they did back then. 

buzzboy
buzzboy SuperDork
5/18/23 8:53 a.m.

The transmission, FS5R30A, is absolutely fantastic in these.

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
5/18/23 10:25 a.m.

Always loved them. But by the time I got of college (dec 2005) you had two choices. 

Ratted out, high mileage headaches or pristine low mileage examples that were $$$$$$. 

Also, IIRC, looking under the hood of a TT model was enough to cause a panic attack due to the lack of room and massive amount of vacuum hoses everywhere. 

dclafleur
dclafleur Reader
5/18/23 10:34 a.m.
z31maniac said:

Always loved them. But by the time I got of college (dec 2005) you had two choices. 

Ratted out, high mileage headaches or pristine low mileage examples that were $$$$$$. 

Also, IIRC, looking under the hood of a TT model was enough to cause a panic attack due to the lack of room and massive amount of vacuum hoses everywhere. 

Same here, it falls into the same trap as the 3000 GT in my book, I'd love to own the TT version of both cars in my collection of misguided nostalgia but keeping them running and in good order is work I know I don't want to tackle. 

Appleseed
Appleseed MegaDork
5/18/23 10:40 a.m.

Seems like an LS swap would solve all the vacuum line problems and get you all the power a breathed on TT VQ gets you. I remember all the work Mike Kojima put into a 300 at his days at Sport Compact Car magazine and it got him about 600hp.

Driven5
Driven5 UberDork
5/18/23 11:11 a.m.

Perhaps erroneously, I always thought of the Z32 as the Japanese Camaro... In much the same way that the NA Miata was the Japanese MGB.

Colin Wood
Colin Wood Associate Editor
5/18/23 11:14 a.m.

In reply to dclafleur :

"Misguided nostalgia" pretty much sums up how I shop for cars.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
5/18/23 11:50 a.m.
buzzboy said:

The transmission, FS5R30A, is absolutely fantastic in these.

I had forgotten how good the transmission is until I again drove one a few years back. Miata who?

Noddaz
Noddaz GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
5/18/23 12:48 p.m.

If you ever had to look up the roof seals for the T-Tops on these, you would try to forget these also.

Been there, done that.  No Nissan t-shirt to show for it.

hunter47
hunter47 Reader
5/18/23 1:22 p.m.

Had a slicktop NA. It looked great, got many thumbs ups, neck breaks, and the attention of every cop in a 500 mile radius. 

E36 M3 MPG for an NA, E36 M3 power, E36 M3 handling, E36 M3 engine bay. 

You'll need to log in to post.

Our Preferred Partners
0gEgyCZ7sDTlHB01zHP7h6uc1ZOjJ79Nqpaho5fccYiIhwYvAXYncElj6mrVRwje