The Truth About Cars » Nissan 300ZX http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Wed, 22 Oct 2014 14:00:10 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » Nissan 300ZX http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com Chicago 1989: Where Are They Now? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/02/chicago-1989-where-are-they-now/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/02/chicago-1989-where-are-they-now/#comments Thu, 06 Feb 2014 17:10:25 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=735185 The 2014 Chicago Auto Show marks the 25th anniversary of the introduction of two of God’s most perfect creations: The Mazda Miata and the Acura NSX. Long-time readers will know that I have a strong affinity for both of these cars. The Miata was the first car I ever owned, while the NSX remains a […]

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The 2014 Chicago Auto Show marks the 25th anniversary of the introduction of two of God’s most perfect creations: The Mazda Miata and the Acura NSX. Long-time readers will know that I have a strong affinity for both of these cars. The Miata was the first car I ever owned, while the NSX remains a focal point in my relationship with the automobile.

Automobile Magazine takes a look at both of those cars, as well as three others – the Lexus LS400, the Infiniti Q45 and the Nissan 300ZX – in what is considered to be a very strong draft class for the Japanese auto industry. Four of the five cars still exist in one form or another, with the NSX said to be just around the corner – though that’s been the word since it was discontinued roughly a decade ago.

Perhaps the most remarkable aspect is that even today, these cars still stand the test of time, whether it’s a pristinely preserved Miata or a tired LS400. Get behind the wheel of any of them, and they still manage to thrill and excite, even if they don’t seem quite so fresh.

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Generation Why: The Skyline Fades From The Rear-View Mirror http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/10/generation-why-the-skyline-fades-from-the-rear-view-mirror/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/10/generation-why-the-skyline-fades-from-the-rear-view-mirror/#comments Mon, 14 Oct 2013 12:30:05 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=623201 It’s not just oil, water and other precious resources that we’re running out of here on planet earth. Apparently, we’re a little short on automotive nameplates too. If you believe the reports in industry trade pubs, we’ll eventually be overrun by obscure alphanumerics as the number of trademark-ready monikers gradually thins out. Scarcity isn’t the […]

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It’s not just oil, water and other precious resources that we’re running out of here on planet earth. Apparently, we’re a little short on automotive nameplates too. If you believe the reports in industry trade pubs, we’ll eventually be overrun by obscure alphanumerics as the number of trademark-ready monikers gradually thins out. Scarcity isn’t the only factor behind it either. Frequently, nameplates get retired, and an all-new version of the previous car is re-introduced with another combination of numbers and letters – just like Nissan is planning to do with the Skyline after 56 years of production.

Members of the Playstation Generation that still care about cars (yes, we exist, we are legion and we are too saddled with debt to even think about buying a new car, thank you very much) revere the “Skyline” name like a person of faith reveres the Tetragrammaton. It is an ineffable, unknowable bit of four-wheeled technology that we were never privy to, and therefore, it’s reached iconic status among North American car enthusiasts, who were only exposed to the car via Gran Turismo or the Fast and Furious franchise.

Like most instances where the grass is greener on the other side, it turned out the grass was a little less lustrous and colorful once you got over the fence. Canada’s flexible importation laws meant that older Skyline GT-Rs have been flooding the nation’s streets for some time. Driven today, they aren’t terribly remarkable cars, neither particularly fast or involving. I found my friend’s Toyota Celica GT-FOUR (another piece of all-wheel drive turbocharged forbidden fruit, albeit one closer to a rally special than a Grand Tourer) to be a much more compelling way to spend $10,000 and inconvenience oneself with right-hand drive. The breathless Ray Hutton and Don Schroeder reports telex’d from Japan are not congruent with our current reality. I am sure that in the early 1990’s, this car was certainly something compared to the C4 ‘Vette, but there’s a reason why Nissan never sold them here.

The idea of paying between $60,000-$100,000 for a car with the interior from a B13 Sentra and the sex appeal of Meryl Streep in The French Lieutenant’s Woman is a recipe for commercial ruin.  The 300ZX on the other hand, had the Z car heritage, as well as the rectum-puckering performance, plush interior and removable T-Tops demanded by mustachioed 1990’s sports car buyers. Besides, the Skyline name meant nothing to most consumers.

But it means something to me, and to most readers who got their licenses right around the time the Skyline ceased to exist as we knew it. The introduction of the V35 Skyline, aka our Infiniti G35, brought an end to the familiar Skyline formula, with its naturally aspirated and turbocharged straight-six engines and its rather anonymous salaryman packaging. The V6-powered V35 shared its underpinnings with the Z car – something true Skyline enthusiasts would regard as blasphemy.

The Skyline was originally a Prince product, and legend has it that when Nissan absorbed Prince in 1966, Prince’s products, Skyline included, were regarded as orphans. The Skyline’s racing pedigree was apparently considered both unremarkable and enough of a threat to the homegrown Fairlady Z that they were never imported to America. Within Nissan, the two cars were always regarded as distinct entities, with the Z being the sports car for Nissan. Only when the forces of industry economics were brought to bear on Nissan, in the form of Carlos Ghosn, did Nissan take advantage of any synergies between the two cars.

Now that Nissan is planning to sell the Infiniti brand in Japan, the assimilation is complete. The Skyline nameplate will die alongside the V36 Skyline/G sedan (no word on whether the current G Coupe will carry on the name), and the new Infiniti Q50 will carry that name in Japan as well.

The fatal blow to the Skyline nameplate was delivered when the R35 GT-R divorced itself from the Skyline range upon its 2009 introduction. Without the GT-R, the Skyline is just another anonymous commodity car in its home market, just as the Chevrolet Impala is a rather unremarkable car when the hot SS versions aren’t around. But the reality is that the conditions that helped foment the “golden age of Japanese sports cars” have been absent for a long time now, and we’re now feeling the hangover after years and years of non-stop good times. Combine that with the relentless pressure for greater profits derived via increasing economies of scale in a cutthroat global auto market, and the decision to axe the Skyline name in favor of promoting the “Infiniti Brand” and the Q50 shouldn’t surprise anyone. But it does leave me a little dewey-eyed.

 

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Don’t Try This At Home: Yes, I Bought the 300ZX Digital Instrument Cluster http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/08/dont-try-this-at-home-yes-i-bought-the-300zx-digital-instrument-cluster/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/08/dont-try-this-at-home-yes-i-bought-the-300zx-digital-instrument-cluster/#comments Wed, 08 Aug 2012 14:30:48 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=455866 When I saw today’s Junkyard Find at my local self-serve junkyard, I knew that I had to own that incredible digital dash. You see, I’ve already got a Mitsubishi Cordia Turbo digital instrument cluster, which means I’m collecting this stuff now. Someone had already started tearing up the dash before I got there, but the […]

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When I saw today’s Junkyard Find at my local self-serve junkyard, I knew that I had to own that incredible digital dash. You see, I’ve already got a Mitsubishi Cordia Turbo digital instrument cluster, which means I’m collecting this stuff now.
Someone had already started tearing up the dash before I got there, but the cluster appeared to be in good shape. I had only a Phillips screwdriver and a needlenose pliers with me (which I brought in order to grab the headlight switch from a ’68 Dodge D-100, in order to replace the flaky ’78 Dodge camper switch in my ’66 Dodge A-100), but that was all I needed to yank the 300ZX’s cluster. Just $20.99 at U-Pull-&-Pay! The 50 or so connectors on the wiring harness look intimidating, but I’ll grab a factory shop manual and puzzle it all out.
With the help of brainy geek and LeMons racer Quinn Dunki, I’m working on getting the Cordia cluster to function as a wall-mounted display in my office, operated by an Arduino microcontroller. Now, of course, I’ll need to do the same with this 300ZX cluster. After that, I’ll need a Subaru XT digital dash and maybe a touchscreen Electronic Control Center out of a late-80s Buick.

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Junkyard Find: 1984 Nissan 300ZX Turbo 50th Anniversary Edition http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/08/junkyard-find-1984-nissan-300zx-turbo-50th-anniversary-edition/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/08/junkyard-find-1984-nissan-300zx-turbo-50th-anniversary-edition/#comments Wed, 08 Aug 2012 13:00:04 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=455841 After the Malaise Era of 1973 through 1983, we had the Turbo Era. I’m going to say the Turbo Era lasted from 1984 through about 1992, and it was followed by the Everybody Finally Has Electronic Fuel Injection And It’s About Damn Time Era. The real star of the Turbo Era was, of course, the […]

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After the Malaise Era of 1973 through 1983, we had the Turbo Era. I’m going to say the Turbo Era lasted from 1984 through about 1992, and it was followed by the Everybody Finally Has Electronic Fuel Injection And It’s About Damn Time Era. The real star of the Turbo Era was, of course, the Mitsubishi Starion, which was so incredibly turbo-centric that it had the word “TURBO” stitched into the seat belts. The Nissan 300ZX Turbo didn’t register much lower on the Turbo Awesomeness-O-Meter, however, and now I feel vaguely ashamed that I’ve ignored so many of these things in so many junkyards over the years. Today we will honor one of the stars of the Turbo Era!
Among the many incredible features in the 50th Anniversary Edition 300ZX was the Bodysonic sound system. Yes, you could really buy a car with a feature called Bodysonic, and it was every bit as cool as the name implies. Basically, this was a speaker system embedded in the car’s seats, so that you felt the thudding bass of your Erik B and Rakim cassette right in your butt.
Because this was the middle 1980s, Z-Car buyers needed T-tops to go with their Bodysonic beats.
I graduated from high school in 1984, and I recall thinking at the time that the Starion was far cooler than the 300ZX. Of course, your typical 300ZX was about three orders of magnitude more reliable than the Starion, not to mention quicker, but what the hell do 18-year-olds know?
This one has a mere 123,000 miles on the clock, but I’m not 100% sure I trust this odometer. Why?
Here’s why: the notoriously flaky, yet exquisitely-of-its-time digital instrument cluster. The analog odometer is driven by an electric motor, not a cable from the transmission, so there’s no telling if it’s showing anything resembling true mileage.
You want Turbo Era luxury? Check out the driver’s-side vanity mirror in the sun visor— just the thing when you need to check for traces of white powder in your Tom Selleck mustache.
A 200-horsepower turbocharged V6 and 5-speed was badass fast 28 years ago, which is sort of sad. We live in the Golden Age of Engines right now!

It wouldn’t be an 80s Nissan Junkyard Find without Datsun’s Awesome Voice Dude. Enjoy.

17 - 1984 Nissan 300ZX Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 01 - 1984 Nissan 300ZX Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 02 - 1984 Nissan 300ZX Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 03 - 1984 Nissan 300ZX Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 04 - 1984 Nissan 300ZX Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 05 - 1984 Nissan 300ZX Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 06 - 1984 Nissan 300ZX Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 07 - 1984 Nissan 300ZX Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 08 - 1984 Nissan 300ZX Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 09 - 1984 Nissan 300ZX Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 10 - 1984 Nissan 300ZX Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 11 - 1984 Nissan 300ZX Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 12 - 1984 Nissan 300ZX Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 13 - 1984 Nissan 300ZX Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 14 - 1984 Nissan 300ZX Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 15 - 1984 Nissan 300ZX Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 16 - 1984 Nissan 300ZX Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail

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