Nissan repositioned its Z-car as more of a personal luxury coupe than a dedicated sports car in the 1980s, but it took a 1990 redesign known as Z32 to insiders for it to balance performance and comfort. The curvy coupe — which could be had with a T-bar roof for that open-top feel — boasted a luxurious interior with soft lines, but it was also sportier than its immediate predecessor.
Base models put out 222 horsepower, while the turbocharged version of that engine was rated at an even 300 hp. A 5-speed manual was standard fare, with a 4-speed automatic on the options list. Turbo models even came with four-wheel steering and adjustable shocks. At about 3,300 pounds, the 300ZX was still on the plump side, but it was way more powerful and a smidge lighter than the aging Toyota Supra.
Unlike the Mitsubishi 3000GT that would follow for the 1991 model year, the 300ZX retained a rear-wheel-drive layout. A limited-slip rear differential was standard fare, and all 300ZXs came with grippy tires.
A 2+2 version with a slightly longer wheelbase offered small back seats, which were better at expanding the car’s cargo-carrying capacity than they were at accommodating humans.
In retrospect, the 300ZX was more like an Infiniti than a Nissan given its style and the close attention to detail paid to its interior design and materials. Then there was the matter of its price tag: About $28,000, or closer to $34,000 for a 300ZX Turbo. Those prices were on the hefty side for the time, but they positively skyrocketed through the 1990s as the Japanese yen continued to rise in value to the point where a car imported from Japan was prohibitively expensive.
Back in 1990, though, the 300ZX got off to a good start. That’s the year of this exceptionally well-presented T-roof version, which has barely more than 14,000 miles on its odometer. The photos reveal few signs of wear and they show off the buttery leather and unique interior trim finish Nissan used on early ZXs before the automaker was forced to cut costs in an effort to keep prices in line.
Pop the hood and you’ll find the naturally aspirated V6, though at least it’s paired with the manual gearbox here. This 300ZX was equipped with all options otherwise, including leather upholstery, Bose audio, and Pearlglow white paint. At about $29,000 from an Infiniti dealer — which seems appropriate — it still costs less today than it would have when new, and it has apparently had quite a bit of maintenance in preparation for the sale. Find a Nissan 300ZX on Autotrader