Junkyard Find: 2003 Nissan 350Z Coupe
These days, I find many discarded Nissan Z-Cars from the 280Z through 300ZX eras, with the occasional 240Z or 260Z thrown in to add variety. 350Zs, though, have retained sufficient value to evade the high-inventory-turnover self-service yards where I get most of my Junkyard Finds… until now. Just as BMW Z3s and Mazda RX-8s began showing up in these yards a couple of years back, the 350Z’s time in the U-Wrench-It yards has come.
Here’s the first (but not the last) of the 350Zs to appear in my local U-Pull-&-Pay yard in Denver.
All the front body components have been removed, and I can’t tell if we’re looking at a crash victim with bent components removed for repairs that never happened or a huge score for a 350Z-owning junkyard shopper. The airbags aren’t deployed, but that doesn’t rule out a crashed-into-while-parked scenario.
The 350Z’s tiny quarter window is just the right size for a Paul Walker memorial sticker.
The ’03 350Z got 287 horsepower out of its VQ35 engine. Like nearly all cars that are 100 times more fun with a manual transmission, this one has an automatic.
This car’s final owner appears to have been a local hockey fan.
Before bargain-crazed junkyard shoppers went all Z-Car Black Friday on this Nissan, the interior was pretty nice. Once I start seeing more of these cars in places like this, I’ll have a better sense of what dooms them to this fate.
The VQ family of Nissan V6s went into so many cars and trucks from the factory (and can be swapped into plenty of vehicles never so equipped) that a high-output example like this ought to attract some junkyard buyers. I didn’t look underneath for connecting rods dangling through raggedy oil-pan holes, but that sort of problem may be the reason this engine is still here.
The Japanese-market counterpart to that commercial gets more into Nissan history.
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That Paul Walker sticker though....