Crapwagon Outtake: Squeeze My Lemon

Chris Tonn
by Chris Tonn
crapwagon outtake squeeze my lemon

Apologies to Messrs Johnson and, to a lesser extent, Plant for the title.

We continue our journey through the wasteland of the automotive internet with another car that fills my imaginary garage–that fantasy world where there are no orthodontist’s bills.

I distinctly remember when the Z32 started hitting the enthusiast magazines in 1989, around the same time as another iconic Japanese sports car was filling the same pages. It didn’t hurt that my dad was a long-time Z owner–and occasional president of the local Z club–and a regional Nissan marketing executive lived two blocks away. The 1990 300ZX was right up there in my preteen automotive poster dreamworld with the usual suspects from Maranello, Stuttgart, and Sant’Agata. Dad ended up with a non-turbo version, in middle-aged-guy-appropriate deep cherry red, that he ended up trading before the 60k timing belt service was due.

The 300hp twin-turbo was mind-blowing back then–of course, minivans had around 150hp rather than the 283 in my T&C. Corvette and 944 Turbo performance from the same place that serviced Mom’s Sentra? That’s why I can’t believe this yellow example on eBay has only fifteen thousand miles on the odometer. Who wouldn’t want to drive this halfway across the continent?

The color probably doesn’t help. But otherwise (save for the Nissan hamburger logo that shouldn’t be on the between-headlamp panel on a ’90) this looks just like the cars I drooled over in the local showroom as a kid. $29k might be a stretch, too. But there are so few left that are this clean that I can imagine someone will pull the trigger.

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4 of 29 comments
  • Miketve Miketve on Apr 17, 2015

    Just two months ago I very reluctantly traded my near-mint silver '95 non-turbo for a brand new Golf. I do miss that car. My last with a manual transmission. Too many projects and no more room at a new house. I feel sad. It handled like a slot car, was extremely comfortable, and was just a great-looking car all around. A real revelation when it hit the market in 89.

  • Nrd515 Nrd515 on Apr 18, 2015

    A friend of mine had '91 or '92 in black, with a turbo, it was in the shop constantly for all kinds of stuff. He loved driving it, but the shop time made him hate it, so he dumped it pretty quickly for an F150, then about '99, he got a Trans Am that he still has, it's been pretty much bulletproof, except the junk factory head unit(s) were garbage, so it has long had an aftermarket unit in it. Weird thing, his dad bought a '93 red turbo 300ZX, and it's been as good as the other was bad. He's going to be selling it soon, as his driving days are numbered, and my friend is now thinking about buying it from him, but scared the good days are behind it. It's got 100K on it, no winters, and looks great. The old man takes care of his cars.

  • MK MK on Apr 18, 2015

    I can still remember a year or so prior to release one of my car buddies was just adamant there was no way the released car would be a twin turbo... Yeah these things absolutely stunned when they came out, my cousin bought a pearl TT when he was single and it was just gorgeous and fast, a lot of fun with the ttops out. It's also a design that's aged VERY well, I really wanted one badly but the timing and funds never worked out.

  • Maymar Maymar on Apr 18, 2015

    My first magazine subscription was for Automobile, the first issue I received was February '91, on which the cover story was the wrap-up of their four seasons test on a 300ZX Twin Turbo. Their verdict was that they loved the car so much they wanted to repeat the test, with the exact same car. That sort of praise leaves an impression on a 5-year old.