The Nissan 300ZX is a phenomenal performance sports car that is rapidly gaining popularity as a collector vehicle. The 300ZX perfectly blends a combination of sleek and exquisite styling with incredible performance. Thanks to an excellent design and quality craftsmanship, the Nissan 300ZX has won several awards and makes for a fantastic driving machine!
Nissan 300ZX History
The Nissan 300ZX was sold in both Japan and the United States markets. In Japan, the vehicle was sold for just under 19 years between 1983 and 2001, while the U.S. sold the vehicle for just under 13 years between 1984 and 1996. For both marketplaces featured two distinct model generations that followed the Nissan Z-car family, Z31 and Z32.
The Z31 served as the original model, staying in production until 1989. The Z31 was the first Z-car model with a V6 engine made through mass-production. Previous Z models used straight-six cylinder engines, which meant that the 300ZX was capable of providing more power with better efficiency than the 280ZX that came before.
The Z31 300ZX is the distinction given to Z31 models that used the new 3.0L V6 engine. The engine could come either turbocharged or naturally aspirated, with the turbocharging model being far more popular. The engines are paired with a 5-speed manual transmission or a 4-speed automatic, which offers stellar acceleration.
How much horsepower does a 1986 Nissan 300ZX have? This depends on whether the engine is turbocharged or naturally aspirated. Turbocharged models made before 1987 have 200 horsepower, while the naturally aspirated engines have just 160 horsepower.
The Z31 was also quite special as it used Nissan’s Voice Warning System. This will audibly alert a driver when something needs attention, like when running low on fuel. Paired with a top-of-the-line audio system, the Z31 was perfectly designed for the time period it was sold. During the 6 years of production, the model did have a few cosmetic upgrades. Fortunately, they were all well-received and kept sales numbers healthy.
The Z31 was a very successful generation for the Nissan 300ZX, effectively establishing a foothold in the sports performance car marketplace. Nissan used that to launch the Z32 300ZX, which featured a completely remodeled exterior. It was during this generation of production that the Nissan 300ZX Twin Turbo surfaced.
Are all 300ZX Twin Turbo? No. The 300ZX was offered with two different engines, only one of which is a twin turbo. This means that you’ll only find 300ZX Twin Turbos during the Z32 generation of 300ZX production, specifically between 1990 and 1996. Furthermore, a Z32 300ZX is only a twin turbo if it has that specific engine in it, meaning that not even all Z32 300ZX vehicles from those years are twin turbos.
The Z32 began production in 1989 and featured a radically updated appearance. Rather than a slanted body with plenty of straight edges, the Z32 300ZX has a rounded appearance, making the model quite sleek. Between 1991 and 1996, the model saw several quality-of-life improvements and minor feature additions.
What engine is in the 300ZX Twin Turbo? The 300ZX Twin Turbo refers to the Z32 300ZX models equipped with a twin turbo engine. There is only one twin turbo engine option available that drastically improved the performance of the Nissan 300ZX. This is the VG30DETT, a 3.0L V6 twin turbocharged engine. When paired with a 5-speed manual transmission, the twin turbocharged 300ZX produces an impressive 300 horsepower, and a respectable 280 horsepower with a 4-speed automatic. The original 3.0L V6 naturally aspirated engine also carried over from the Z31 generation.
Nissan 300ZX Legacy
Now that the Nissan 300ZX is almost two decades out of production, it has started to generate buzz as an excellent collector car. The model is specifically popular with the millennial generation, as the peak of production lined up perfectly with millennials in their teenage years. This gave the vehicle plenty of exposure to this younger generation, which now actively seeks the 300ZX out.
Many millennials were able to appreciate the sleek style and excellent performance of the 300ZX, but few were able to afford it. Now that the millennial generation is starting to reach their 30s and achieve some financial flexibility, they now have the means to acquire things they wanted when they were growing up. Millennials were responsible for just under 40% of all Nissan 300ZX auto insurance quotes last year.
While the 300ZX is especially popular among the millennial generation, it isn’t popular just due to nostalgic reasons. The golden years of the 300ZX were between 1990 and 1996 in the Z32 generation, during which the model won several awards, including being named to the Car and Driver’s 10 Best list every single year. That’s some serious star power right there.
Even after the 300ZX ceased production, it continued to win awards. Automobile named the Z32 300ZX as one of the 100 greatest vehicles of all time in 2004, and one of the 20 great cars of the past 20 years and one of the 25 most beautiful cars in history in 2006. The model was mentioned once again in 2010, when GQ Magazine also listed the Z32 300ZX as one of the most stylish cars from the last 50 years.
Nissan 300ZX Value
How much is a 300ZX worth? With any type of collector item, the value of it will ultimately depend on the specifications and condition. There are multiple different variants of Nissan 300ZXs, but they aren’t all worth the hefty price tags that some models are fetching. The Z31 generation resulted in higher sales, but the 300ZX models produced during that period aren’t quite as desirable today.
Both naturally aspirated and turbocharged Z31 models are less valuable than either Z32 model. Furthermore, Z32 models that are convertible or one of the last 300 Commemorative Edition are worth even more. Despite how high in value the 300ZX can get, most models are not in the best condition, making the average auction price of a Z32 300ZX around $11,000. Take a look at the numbers below to see the value of any 300ZX. Please keep in mind that all values are approximate.
Z31 Naturally Aspirated
- Perfect – $12,500
- Excellent – $9,000
- Good – $6,000
- Acceptable – $3,500
- Perfect – $17,000
- Excellent – $12,500
- Good – $7,000
- Acceptable – $4,500
Z32 Naturally Aspirated
- Perfect – $16,000
- Excellent – $12,000
- Good – $7,500
- Acceptable – $5,250
Z32 Twin Turbocharged
- Perfect – $50,000
- Excellent – $26,000
- Good – $16,500
- Acceptable – $6,000
Z32 Twin Turbocharged (1996 Commemorative Edition)
- Perfect – $61,500
- Excellent – $26,000
- Good – $18,250
- Acceptable – $7,000
Upkeep for a Nissan 300ZX
The legendary Nissan 300ZX is just beginning to grow in popularity, so now is the time to take care of upkeep and maintenance. With the use of a Nissan 300ZX repair manual, you can effectively take care of simple maintenance and servicing needs in the comfort of your own garage! You can easily complete a repair by following the detailed instructions in a manual!
Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Maintenance
If you’ve never considered do-it-yourself (DIY) maintenance, there’s never been an easier time to start. You might think a mechanic is the only person that can work on a car, but that just isn’t true. A mechanic definitely can get the job done, but so can you if you just know what you need to do! Fortunately, a Nissan 300ZX service manual will clearly illustrate all the steps required to finish any maintenance needs you have!
Things like fluid changes, part swaps, and preventative care are all covered in a service manual, allowing you to extend the life of your car! The Nissan 300ZX is a beautiful vehicle that is truly one-of-a-kind. The 300ZX is likely to increase in value as car enthusiasts begin to appreciate what it can do, so this gives you every reason to keep a 300ZX in pristine condition! Considering some Z32 models in amazing condition are fetching upwards of $40,000, the 300ZX is definitely a valuable car to adore!