New Nissan Z Car? Let’s Drool Over an Awesome 1990 300ZX Twin-Turbo
This 1990 300ZX Twin-Turbo has aged very well indeed. Let’s take a closer look at this ’90s masterpiece.
As we've recently told you, the time to buy a Z32-generation 300ZX is … well, probably a couple years ago. And with a new Z car on the way, interest in the older ones is going to go up. Values have been steadily rising, particularly for twin-turbo models in original condition with low mileage. Part of that is simply a function of time, the classic situation where kids who had bedroom posters of cars like this can finally afford them. But partly it's because the trite phrase is true: They don't make 'em like they used to.
The 300ZX Twin-Turbo was, in its time, a junior supercar. That's something you can't say about the modern 370Z, even if the performance differential isn't that vast between the Z32 and Z34 cars. With 300 horsepower and 283 lb-ft of torque courtesy of two turbos and a 24-valve DOHC heads, the 30ZX TT has the gusto but the 370Z actually has it beat with 332 horses and just a smidge less torque, at 270 lb-ft. The 370Z Nismo is even stouter, at 350 horsepower and 276 lb-ft.
But in 1990, the 300ZX TT was a revelation, pumping out significantly more horsepower than a contemporary non-ZR1 Corvette, and featuring available technology like the Super-HICAS rear-wheel-steering system, variable intake valve timing, and a viscous rear limited-slip differential. The high-tech components reflected Nissan's desire at the time to be the industry leader in automotive tech. The 300ZX wasn't just a sports car, it was the embodiment of the company's mission statement.
And then there was its subtly exotic look, low and lean with encased headlights that were so aerodynamic and stylish that Lamborghini swiped them to use on its Diablo supercar. That's pedigree! The shape has aged well, and the car is much smaller in person than you'd imagine in pictures. The understated interior has maybe aged less gracefully, but at least there's enough '90s-futurism in there to keep the vast expanses of hard plastic interesting. Check out the gauge-cluster side pods with various controls, a very '80s/'90s touch intended to impart a bit of fighter-jet feel.
This one's also outfitted with the ultimate early '90s accessory: a car phone, which was a functional way to conspicuously display one's wealth. They weren't cheap, and the stick-on curlicue antenna signaled to bystanders the person inside was important. Heck, people were buying fake antennas and slapping them on their beaters at the time just to get a taste of that feeling.
This example went up for sale on Bring a Trailer. It's beautifully clean and original, and it hasn't been modified or abused as far as we can tell. It's basically a one-owner car, since the selling dealer only recently acquired it to flip. It's showing 32K claimed miles and given its good color, it's sure to attract some serious bidding. This auction site isn't always the best place to get a great price on something like this, but whether this one sets a new record or ends up at a surprisingly low price, it'll be interesting to watch. Either way, if you want one, don't wait too much longer—and don't say we didn't warn you.