Sports cars may not be all that popular in today’s crossover-crazy market, but there are still enthusiast caches that appreciate their cachet. With an automatic and total lack of turbos, today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe 300ZX may not be dressed for that success, but could its price make up for what’s missing?
I recently read an article about all the ways airlines are trying to pack more passengers into planes—doing things like reducing the seat thickness, making the bathrooms smaller, etc.—all in the name of making each plane more profitable. Eventually, they will reach that glorious equilibrium where they realize the shittiest product possible that people are still willing to pay for.
Unless we’re talking about sausages or the spandex pants tenuously wrapped around Chippendales dancers (which I guess is also talking about sausages), the idea of packing things in is rarely a good one.
We considered that while ruminating over last Friday’s 2005 Audi A6 Allroad which, by virtue of its complex twin-turbo V6 and Quattro AWD drivetrain, was a pretty tightly packed machine. Packed into that particular one was a rare six-speed manual gearbox and working air suspension, so the car was not without its intriguing qualities. Unfortunately for the seller, they weren’t $6,480 intriguing and the car fell in a narrow but undeniable 52 percent Crack Pipe loss.
When was the last time you thought about Nissan’s current sports car offering, the 370Z? Hell, when was the last time you thought about Nissan at all outside of considering whether the company’s former CEO is more of a Batman villain or a Bond Villain?
Yeah, when it comes to share of the consumer mindset Nissan has fallen on some pretty hard times. There’s not much that we can do about that these days, but we can reflect upon better times in the marque’s history, and can even consider some of the more interesting cars and trucks they built back before the automotive ennui overtook them.
This 1993 Nissan 300ZX is just such a car. It’s a smooth operator from the heyday of the Japanese sports car era, although it’s kitted to be moreof a cruiser than a bruiser. That’s plainly evident in the VG30DE engine, which lacks the twin turbos of its more energetic brother, the fairly obviously named VG30DETT.
That means a modest 222 horsepower instead of the rabid 300 ponies the dual-snail engine enjoys. Other fun-diminishing factors here are a four-speed automatic transmission standing in for a row-yer-own, and the heavier convertible body, which does make up for its weight gain somewhat by being, you know, a convertible.
With all that out of the way though, this is still a pretty interesting car. The seller says it comes with a modest 148,000 miles on the clock and current registration tags proving a clean bill of health for its exhaust.
It’s also described as being a 7 out of 10 externally, and 6 out of 10 inside. That’s pretty harsh and maybe the car looks worse in person, but it doesn’t come off that badly in the pics.
The Ultra Red paint seems to still be holding a shine, while the new cloth top looks to be in excellent shape as do its plastic windows. On the downside, there does appear to be something going on with the driver’s side weatherstripping or perhaps the mechanism under that. Factory alloys underpin, and those look to be without any major issues.
The interior is leather-clad and does show wear on nearly every tactile surface imaginable, all throughout the cabin. The driver’s seat has some serious bolster wear and the steering wheel looks all kinds of nasty. I’d suggest some gloves for the drive home and then doing some serious rejuvenation from there.
The car seems to be pretty solid mechanically. The seller notes a timing belt change at 104K, however, according to the under-hood sticker that took place all the way back in 2004. That means it might be time to go again even if it hasn’t racked up appreciable miles in those intervening years. Another issue here is the notable absence of the plastic trim piece over the intake plenum. That won’t affect performance or anything, but it does make you wonder what else has gone missing over the years.
So, not best of the breed, but should you be looking for a stylish cruiser that might fit in at your local Radwood ripoff or regular Cars & Caffeine event, this is one you might want to strongly consider.
Its $3,985 price shouldn’t break the bank either. Of course, we’re not here to talk about buyer viability, we’re all about the value proposition, and whether any buyer should consider this 300ZX at its presented price.
What do you think, is this cruiser 300ZX worth that $3,985 asking, even if it’s only a 6.5 out of 10? Or, do those numbers just not add up?
H/T to Dale R. for the hookup!
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