300ZX: Good Design Doesn’t Have To Cost A Lot

I met up with Fred a while back to take a few photos of his Z32 300ZX. The car isn’t perfect by any means, but Fred is in the United States for automotive design school and felt the Nissan was one of the best-designed cars from the ‘90s within a college student’s budget.

Something we’ve all noticed is that many cars of the 1990s are now more expensive than they were new. It’s a tale as old as any and it happens with every generation; the cars that were cool when you were in high school are now within your budget. The ‘90s were 30 years ago, so there are adults with money, ready to purchase the cars of their teenage dreams.


Today in the US, prices are soaring for even average-condition Civics, Supras and RX-7s from the ’90s era. I’m sure it’s happening in your country, too. However, the US-spec 300ZX is miraculously still not outrageously expensive. They were cool in the ‘90s and they hold up today, all thanks to good design.


Under the Z’s T-top glass is without a doubt one of the most aesthetically-pleasing and dynamic cabins. The combination of analog parts and ‘90s modern tech was born in these cars. The steering wheel is a beefy unit that feels responsive and looks as futuristic as the era would allow. A combination of tasteful fabric and leather trim is handsomely placed throughout. It’s comfortable, efficient and is of overall excellent construction.


Today, there are few cars that can offer as much style, beauty and performance for the price. You can find a Miata with a similar price tag, but I just don’t think the design quality meets up at the same place the 300ZX lands.


Not only do 300ZXs look like the ‘90s idea of 2030, but the performance was beyond its time as well. While the twin-turbo VG30DETT engine is the ultimate for these cars, the naturally aspirated 3.0L V6 (VG30DE) gives the driver enough power and reliability to offer a more than engaging driving experience.


Like all Nissans, these 300ZXs have shown a few issues over their lifetime, but overall they’re a reliable partner for a ‘90s Japanese sports car enthusiast. If good design and affordability are what’s important for you in a car, perhaps the Z32 300ZX is worth a look…

Sara Ryan
Instagram: pockowokosara



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Great article Sara! Now you make me want to pursue one of my 90's dreams! LOL. Thanks.


Man looking at the 300ZX Z32 I really miss simplistic designs like this
This was definitely the peak of design in the modern era in my opinion but glad that it's making a comeback (sorta)


Every time I want to buy a z32 (which is the most beautiful Nissan ever for me), I take a look at the engine bay, think about doing anything in that tight space and regretfully abandon the idea :p


Not bad to work on at all. Id rather work on my TTZ than my Turbo MR2 any day. Its not the most spacious but everything but the Turbo's is easy enough and straight forward.


I'm pretty sure that's exactly what's keeping prices low for these and the 3000GT. Personally I'd rather have one of those than a GT-R or Supra.


so where's the interesting part about the car
it's bone stock right?
I could have just read a car dealer write up


OMG, what an inconvenience having to read this article. Really Mr. JDM you have the most whiny and irritating comments on the site.

Here it goes again

Man are you going to whine like a baby and give your sarcastic 2-cents into the comment sections of every single articles on this website? ;D


The design was so good.............until Lamborghini decided to re-use the headlamp on their cars.
Or someone told me it was due to financial reasons?

Thanks for the great photos, Sara. :)


kinda both, the pop ups wouldn't pass new regulations and the Z32 lights had the right shape so Lamborghini used them under licence from Nissan...saved a bunch of development dollars in the process


Still one of the best looking cars from the JDM stable. Even in stock form.


Yes, finally an article about the 300zx design! It's one of the few examples of any industrial design that struck a DESIGN (not engineering, other things) perfection of balance, time period... Everything. Avoiding writing an essay here, in short, the 300zx is one of the humanity museum pieces that we should tour aliens to help them understand the best parts of humankind.


At the time of its release, a New York Times writer described it thus: "the car looks like a Porsche whose mother ran away with a Ferrari."

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The ‘90s were 30 years ago, so there are adults with money, ready to purchase the cars of their teenage dreams.https://www.jobz.pk/karachi-water-&-sewerage-board-vacancies/


Very cool car but I really don't see the point in making an article about it since it's stock and essentially eazy to find. Like someone else said, a dealer could have wrote that article. An article could also have been wrote about literally any other unmodified car.


Wish they were still affordable here... I missed the boat many years ago and now all the cheap ones are more rust than metal. Gutted because it was in my supercars top trumps pack when I was a boy, and it would be great to own something out of that deck.


This was my first car! Nothing like sitting in that driver seat. I still remember the first night drive too... It was amazing.