• Image Credit: Murilee Martin
  • Image Credit: Murilee Martin
  • Image Credit: Murilee Martin
  • Image Credit: Murilee Martin
  • Image Credit: Murilee Martin
  • Image Credit: Murilee Martin
  • Image Credit: Murilee Martin
  • Image Credit: Murilee Martin
  • Image Credit: Murilee Martin
  • Image Credit: Murilee Martin
  • Image Credit: Murilee Martin
  • Image Credit: Murilee Martin
  • Image Credit: Murilee Martin
  • Image Credit: Murilee Martin
  • Image Credit: Murilee Martin
  • Image Credit: Murilee Martin
  • Image Credit: Murilee Martin
  • Image Credit: Murilee Martin
With 19 model years of production, the 300ZX version of Nissan's venerable Z-Car was built for more years than any other member of the Z family (that's 18 years if you don't want to count the Japanese-market '83). The first generation, the Z31, was the first of the Zs to get a V6 engine instead of the I6 of the earlier cars, and here we have an early example of the 300ZX Turbo, found in a Denver self-service wrecking yard last month.



Electronic fuel injection and ignition finally came of age during the 1980s, which meant that turbocharged cars worked much better than their temperamental predecessors. Once you could buy a turbocharged car that started and drove like a real car, the word TURBO became a potent symbol of 1980s masculinity. For this reason, most car companies slapped TURBO badges everywhere they could, with the Mitsubishi Starion winning the Most Turbo Emblems Per Car prize (mostly thanks to TURBO-emblazoned seat belts).



Nissan was relatively restrained about TURBO braggadocio during this period, but the 300ZX Turbo still meets the Minimum Turbo Badge Requirement (MTBR) standard for 1985.



There's plenty of denting and scraping on this car's body, but you Midwesterners should feel free to gnash your teeth over the utter lack of rust here. The Z31 is a good car and worthy of restoration, but the values haven't climbed anywhere near those of the earlier 240Z/260Z/280Z cars and rough ones tend to wind up in yards like this.



For just $19,699 (that's about $45,500 in 2017 dollars), the 300ZX Turbo had excellent performance numbers for the price tag. 200 horsepower in a 3,139-pound car was hot stuff in 1985, a year in which the $24,873 Corvette had 230 horses moving 3,088 pounds and the $21,440 Porsche 944 offered 143 hp in a 2,675-pound car.



Those cars didn't even have an electronic compass and/or G-meter, which you could get in the 300ZX in 1985. Japanese sports cars in the 1980s were all about the future.



T-tops? Of course!

"Ya flick the adjustable suspension to FIRM and go for it, 'cuz you've got three liters' worth of fuel injected muscle."



Nissan had respectably macho voiceovers in their mid-1980s TV advertising.



However, if you craved Z31 ads with really macho voiceovers plus video-game music, you needed to go to Japan in 1985.

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