They say kids today don’t care much about cars and driving. My 18-year-old son is the poster child for that: he dragged his feet for two years on getting his driver’s license. With some paternal pressure, he got the job done last November. I even had a car waiting for him, and his mom even said he could drive her ’06 Mustang to and from school. That Mustang especially would have lit my fire at that age! But not my son, who walks to school unless it rains. And so it goes with most of my peers’ teenaged children: they all say “meh” to driving. So it was refreshing to find this Nissan 300ZX in student parking when I visited my alma mater last autumn.
Tthis 300ZX has been retrofitted with JDM badging. I wonder if anything else here has been upgraded to JDM spec.
Taking a peek inside, it gets even better: a manual transmission! Some college kid is not only driving a two-seat sports car that nods to its nihonjin roots, but he also shifts his own gears! There’s hope yet for the leaders of tomorrow.
As best I can tell, this 300ZX is no older than 1992. I say that because of the airbag and suede interior trim, both of which became standard that year. Perhaps someone more Z-savvy than I can pinpoint the year more accurately.
I always liked this-generation Z car’s lines. It’s my second favorite Z car after the original 240Z. And I’m glad this one lacks the spoiler, as it spoils the delightful tail.
I walked away from this Z car filled with optimism for the future – and a little bit of jealousy, because I wanted one of these when they were new. Alas, I was not that far out of college myself back then, and my just-getting-started salary didn’t stretch that far. But used examples are plentiful and often reasonably priced now, if you can find one that hasn’t been shredded.