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…