Richard Straman and the the Queen of Hearts both liked to say Off with their heads! but eventually it was the former that Motor Trend commissioned to un-coupe Nissan's 300ZX. Today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe Straman creation is one of only about 350, but is its price worth losing your head over?
Not surprisingly, yesterday's '05 P-71 Diddy ex-cop car took home an 88% Nice Price win for its sixteen hundred asking price - the squeals of joy at the thought of rolling five-oh drowning out even the loudest naysayers. The hail damage, by the way, seemed to only add to its desirability.
When driving today's uber rare custom 300ZX you'll want to seek cover should the hail start to drop, as this product of the legendary R. Straman's Costa Mesa shops offers little protection from those icy projectiles.
Hail is just one way that the sky tries to kill us, but thankfully this professionally drop-topped ZX will let you enjoy the weather when it's not feeling homicidal. The 300ZX convertible was originally commissioned by Motor Trend magazine, in their attempt to create a car equitable to the old Austin Healey 3000. Featured on the cover of the April ‘84 issue, and described as Z Sun! Z Wind! Z One we've been waiting for! the convertible edition of Nissan's grand tourer took to its convertible status like a fish takes to swimming in its own shit.
This ‘85 is one of 352 said to have been chopped by Straman and differs from the initial MT car by having a fiberglass boot lid rather than weighty steel. It is otherwise the same, and looks - like most all Straman's efforts - like a factory job. The ad notes 184,000 "pampered miles" in its all-caps shout, as well as the fact that the non-turbo 5-speed car has been restored. Details of what that might have entailed are absent, but from the pics alone, it appears that the car is in really nice shape.
One of the most important aspects of a convertible is of course the top, and this one seems not only intact but as tidy as that of a Miata, with a plastic back window that is as clear as an abstainer's eye. The rest of the body looks perfect, and aside from the somewhat ungainly bumpers that were endemic to the Z31, still seems pretty darn attractive.
The interior is awash in black leather and ‘80s angularity, although at some point it has lost its two-spoke steering wheel for a four-spoke wooden replacement. The shifter knob is also tree-based. Another bit of modernity is the stereo which is an aftermarket unit, not the chiclet-buttoned cassette job the car originally carried.
If you read any of the buff books in the ‘80s then you would be familiar with R. Straman's work. His shop chopped everything from Ferrari's 365 GTBs to Honda's CRX, and the work performed was always exemplary. That expertise did not come cheap, and the cost to change a 300ZX from closed to open was at the time $7,500.
Interestingly, that's almost twice the current asking price of this car today - yay depreciation! Of course it may be your stance that its price could be - and perhaps should be - even lower, and it is now time to make that opinion be known. What do you think, is this Straman ZX worth its $3,999 asking price? Or, should that price be dropped like its top?
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