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.
This was one of those cars I awed over as a kid. “Nissan 300ZX” always sounded cool as it rolled of the tip of the tongue. A former neighbor of mine owned a dark gray 300ZX. He seemed to take good care of it, but for the life of me I can never remember a time when I actually saw him drive it. Anytime I saw it, it was sitting in the driveway.
It’s funny, it never sounds right to me when I hear the American pronunciation. 300zedex always sounds cooler ; )
as a member of that generation I say don’t worry, I went for my liscence as soon as I could, my 16th birthday. Meanwhile a friend recently got his after stalling around for a year
getting close to 30 years now and these cars still look cool to my eye. One of these days i will throw caution out the door and pick up a turbo car.So much tech in these cars back in the day with their rear end steering and headlights.
Non turbo ones can be had for cheap because they are a bit of a pita to work on and labor is pricey if you aren’t mechanically inclined.
I still think the inside of these look nicer than the new ones,
I’m 24. I understand why kids don’t feel the emphasis on driving today. Who can afford any nice cars on minimum wage or college part-time jobs? 1976 is long gone, and that means not scoring a GTO for $2500 anymore & having money left over for a case of beer.
I got my license as soon as humanly possible, and my learner’s permit at day 1 of being 16, but I don’t blame the generation being turned off as much as they are.
I will be 37 in May. If smart phones Facebook etc were around back then I am sure things would be like they are today. With this new tech the need to actually go out and about just isn’t there like it used to be.
You can still find very inexpensive used cars all the time. For less than 1k I can find a drive able car with working AC out here in California.
Of course you can still find cars for 1k or less, no doubt about that. But how long will those cars last & endure teenage abuse and/or wear?
A lot longer than the $500 cars I bought in high school I’d reckon.
Daniel and Snucks, I split the difference between the two of you guys in age. Daniel, the whole point of driving an inexpensive beater is that you learn about limitations. Drivers learn about how not to beat the pi$$ out of something if they break parts, and they learn about making those cars last by making those repairs themselves.
To answer your question more specifically, in the last year I have bought a vehicle for less than $1,000 USD, put about $1,500 worth of parts and labor into it over the following 12 months, and already driven it about 25,000 miles. I intend to drive it another 100k more. It is entirely possible.
I can’t say I know many people who bought a car for $1,000 or less. The odds of finding anything running for that price are very slim in my area.
There are usually few running beater Tempo below $1000, and I picked one at 500
But 5 days after after hitting the pole, it was a great relief. And that single experience keeps me away from downsizing from full size in any case, even when taking a taxi.
( So it’s better not to try buying a $1000- car in the first place, unless under very special circumstances)
Most definitely. I wouldn’t trust something that cheap as my daily driver.
On a related note, I’ve seen exactly one Ford Tempo in the last year or so. Rather surprisingly, it was a nice condition one on a high-rent street on Beacon Hill in Boston.
You kids get off my lawn!
And insurance is a big burden. My roommate at late 30s, a female still can’t afford liability insurance on an older Accord in MotorCity! Starting from $130 per month is too outrageous here ( adding a little bit of variety catches up the premium fast ) What about a typical 16yo male? Oh, I just don’t want to think about it.
However, on the other hand, similar to what happened in the ’70s after the booming insurance premium, a young male can always settle on a boulevard cruiser with maximum emphasis on comfort. ( but remember many boulevard cruisers have pretty decent optional engines ) with lower wind drag, some MPG can be salvaged at the same time.
( Then I realized many young males are driving Buick Riviera around where I live )
$130/month for liability only? Wow–that is pretty outrageous. I insure 3 cars, comprehensive on one and liability only on the other two, with two drivers (34 year old male, 33 year old female) for $165/month, and I think I’m probably paying more than I could be if I switched providers.
$130/mo for liability insurance on a female driver for an older Accord in Oakland County, Michigan. That explains why I frown every time hearing no fault, especially no fault insurance.
There is a guy here didn’t consider the insurance when buying a car, only to find for him ( 21yo male ) to put mandatory liability insurance on a Mitsubishi Eclipse would swallow a deep $320/mo. So he didn’t buy insurance at all, only to somehow rear end someone slightly months later. After the fines from cops and big hassle, $2000 is just barely even for the money he saved from skipping insurance.
It’s too wrong everywhere like that.
Thanks goodness that isn’t the case with most of the youth in my area. They seem to like cars and can’t wait to get there permits. Yes there are a few cases of where the smartphone is more important or sitting playing video games is more important than eating dinner but I couldn’t myself without at least 3-4 cars in my life as driving is one of the few joys left after a long hard day at work and going to car shows is a very popular past time 4-5 nights a week during the Summer months.
May I ask you where you live? I think for youth in an area to embrace on cars, it usually wouldn’t be too crowded or pricy to park ( eliminating places like Boston ) and harsh winter is a big minus ( with as much salt as sand in beach, it’s not very possible to keep cars nice, while running two cars is a stretch in most cases ) and there is always dreadful insurance to keep an eye on. After all, it depends on local economy too. I wonder if those conditions knock out half of the States, and rest half is being knocked by iPad and Call of Duty. ( anyway, I noticed kids nowadays barely even take a glance on typical Hotwheels cars, and M2 is selling quite a handful of air-cooled beetles or Dodge Coronet models to older than typical customers as I occasionally see. )
Where I live it varies from school to school a lot. Kids in the city school next to the lakeside bike path aren’t as into it as kids in the exurban school that serves five towns. Go figure.
I had a pearl white 92 just like this with t-tops and saddle leather interior. I still holding onto my 5 speed 77 280z at the time. The 300ZX had some nice Magnaflow mufflers but no turbo, I knew I couldn’t afford to fix that if it broke. It was rated around 220 horses. It was so much wider and more massive feeling than my 77 but it felt glued to the road and the brakes and stability were really good. Due to the weight and and the exhaust mods it was a little weak in low end grunt. I tried autocrossing it but I felt it wasn’t at it’s best in that venue. What it was great at was high speed over the road driving. Once past about 50 mph. that motor would wind out and acceleration from 80 to well over a hundred was impressive to say the least. This car was designed as a high speed road burner. It was comfortable with great seats and a/c and all luxury stuff. For some reason I just couldn’t love it. I sold it and held onto my 77 Z for a couple more years. If I compare it to my 96 Mustang I find that I prefer the mellow torque of the 4.6 over the higher winding ZX. But the ZX was designed as a higher end sports car from it’s inception and it was expensive. A car like my 92 sold for about 30 thousand, a big chunk of change, which limited their sales and ultimately led to their demise. The reintroduced 350Z shares its platform with Nissan’s car and suv models and has kept the price down. Luckily my son is also a car and bike nut. He really liked the 300ZX. He told me that their were only a couple of guys in his high school that were interested in cars. Currently I don’t see any kids in my neighborhood interested in working on their own cars.
Who cares about the kids. More cool cars for those of us who do care and lower prices too.;)
I have to say if I had a choice between just this car and a same year Maxima, BOTH with a manual transmission, I think I’d pick the Maxima.
I once owned a 76 280Z and to me all models of the 300Z look bigger than they need to be. At least the Maxima looks “honest”.
I always loved these cars. They were way over-engineered as Nissan was trying to create a Porsche fighter.
The hood was aluminum and so was the tire jack. Lots of aluminum in the suspension too but the car was still heavy. Didn’t feel like it though. The steering was light at low speed and heavy at high, with a linear transition unlike on the Hondas. That helped hide the heft. They were as nice on a mountain road or on a track as they were cruising to Vegas.
They absolutely blow away more romantic 280Z, which I had, for just about everything including fun to drive. The 280 felt like a damn truck with its heavy steering and tractor-like engine. The thing is a young guy could fix an old 280 himself or have it done for not much money so they kept on trucking as they say, well into the 90s.
That wasn’t the case with the ’90+ 300XZ. They were complicated cars. Smog laws (in Calif. anyway) meant you could no longer disconnect and remove something that wasn’t working like you could on an old Z in the 80s.
There are several non-stock things on this car including the panel between the headlights and the lower facia. Not sure if those are JDM parts or not.
Yeah back in the day the Japanese were trying to out tech each other like crazy. The lowly 240sx could be had with the super hicas 4 wheel steering and even a hud. My 95 Pathfinder is still going strong 20 years after its assembly having only leaving me stranded once because of a badly neglected water pump/alternator belt that gave me 3 full years of warning before giving up the ghost.
If I spent my childhood getting driven around in today’s traffic in cars that have all the personality and allure of a washing machine, I’d maybe not care so much about driving either. Then with phones and social media kids are never really trapped or free so it doesn’t have the same kind of impact on their lives in most cases.
Just recently Mercedes has the option of adaptive high beam switch on newer models, and I was talking about that function, a 60+yo guy asked me “why they don’t make it on new models” referring cars back in the ’50s without any aware of the promotion from Mercedes.
And most of the time kids nowadays just don’t have the chance of seeing the variety of designs. I once drove my ’93 New Yorker in the meijer and a 13ish boy looked pretty confused at my car obviously wondering 1) where are the headlights 2) maybe what’s the transparent stuff on hood, then I turned the switch and as the headlights emerged behind the covers, he had an eye-popping expression.
Well you cannot really fault that young kid for not knowing what a 88-93 New Yorker looked like. I was a sophomore in high school in 1993 when the last one rolled off the line and by 1997 they started to disappear around my way. The Baltimore- Washington DC- VA area was ground zero for these cars when they were being made in 88-93 and by 2000 they were gone. They ether rusted out(which is telling since while MD is rock salt happy, there are loads of 1992-96 Camrys, 89-96 Buick Centuries and 92-95 Taurus and Sables rolling about still) or were doomed by the failure of the engine or transmission and junked due them not being worth fixing.
It seems to be that Michigan seems to be over priced in everything. I have 3 cars (1997 Buick Lesabre, 1999 Firebird and 1972 Cutlass) and it costs me the equivalent of $130 a month in Maryland.
88-93 New Yorker isn’t familiar to kids today for sure. Even for a car nut boy, in the Hemmings Classic Car magazine he could read a ’90 Town Car, or ’80s Dodge Daytona, but not a V6 New Yorker with hidden headlights. ( I suppose the young generation won’t read it anytime soon neither ) But his expression is really funny, typical for boy’s first encounter on how the headlight flips. ( More fortunate for me, I saw that first on some European exotic sports car back in the day ). The rust resistance is sort of better on New Yorker than those Taurus or Camry, but the rest isn’t so. ( dealers in Mi are picking cars from MD for the relative less rust damage ) Taurus is hanging around with big holes everywhere even for 00-06 models, earlier ones look even more sorry.
For the insurance in Michigan, I can’t complain more. And cars fetch a premium for no visible rust. Those like LeSabre get more expensive during winter and those like Firebird get cheaper. Vise-versa.
DIng ding ding ding ding! My 18-y-o told me point blank: Dad, all my friends are on Skype. Why would I drive to go see them?
Jim: This is mind-boggling stuff for me. When I was growing up in Indiana every kid was focused on age 16. If you took driver’s ed – and I did – you could get your license one month after your sixteenth birthday by passing the written and driving tests. I felt cheated because that day fell on a Sunday but you can be sure I was at the license bureau the very next day. And I drove my Dad and grandmother crazy (maybe not – they loved me and loved cars and driving, too) going for drives and testing my parallel parking ability frequently in the preceding weeks and final days. It all worked and it felt surreal driving home that day with a real license and not just a learner’s permit. Perhaps it meant a lot more in an area where there was NO public transportation but I also think at that time it was tied closely to the passage to adulthood.
It’s different now. You have to get 50 hours of driving under your belt before you can go for the test in Indiana. It took us FOREVER to get that done, not helped at all by an unmotivated student.
And when the new would-be driver waits until the last 2 or 3 days before the learners permit expires and is unable to get a driving test scheduled, it is necessary to renew the learners permit. Then, the 60 day minimum wait before licensing starts over again. Someone in my household was quite unhappy about this.
“Dad, all my friends are on Skype. Why would I drive to go see them?”
‘Cos sex on Skype just isn’t the same?
DIng ding ding ding ding! My 18-y-o told me point blank: Dad, all my friends are on Skype. Why would I drive to go see them?
An 18 year old could say the same thing in 1985:
“Dad, all my friends are on the phone. Why would I drive to go see them?”
Maybe it’s my single focused semi-loner nature, but what the hell are kids talking about on phones, social media and Skype? I mean there’s only so many conversations you can keep going between people, what’s their topic? The angst of teenage life? How hard the English test was? How hot that girl in study hall is? Surely they have other interests and aren’t all cliche teenage robots, they’ve got to have some personal hobby that drives them, without needing tedious friends of convenience to conversate with about- be it Cars, Music, whatever.
Hell this is technically social media that we’re on right now, talking by in large about cars. I know if I had a smartphone in High School I’d be on sites like this with it even then.
Cmon Matt, you know they’re pretty much talking about nothing, just as we were at that age. Yet it all seemed so crucially important back then. Problem is, that’s started to infiltrate their adult life – just look at the inanities on Twitter. Took me a while to find a way to do this social media thing, and its only because CC is so right for my tastes. But really, this is just a bunch of guys and gals shooting the shit about old cars. Love it. Hehehe.
Me too, hence my presence here lol
Maybe I had a more interesting group of friends at the time, we’d talk about nonsensical stuff plenty but it usually had a topic concerning an interest of ours, in my case and a few other friends it was often cars. Which says something, I’ve always been obsessed with cars, been so since I was a kid. When I discovered the internet I used that as yet another medium for that obsession, reading about them, looking at them and talking about them. And it’s not like my upbringing coincided with the golden age of the automobile and naturally would like to them(as many older generations assume), I came of age in the 00s, the nadir of the automobile. I was in high school when Facebook was created, and myspace was king(I still refuse to participate in either), I really never saw the car as a means to talk to friends, there was this device that existed for a very long time called a phone that kids used to chat to each other from the comfort of home too. Used to be connected to a wall
When these were new, the husband of one of the office secretaries got one brand new. It must have been a helluva midlife crisis – he traded in a nice early 80s Toronado. It would eventually turn out that they couldn’t really afford it and that it put some serious financial strains on them, which eventually turned into a divorce. Unfortunately, that is all I think of when I see one of these.
I will admit that when I sat in it within the first few weeks after they got it, I thought it was cool as all get out.
Each of my 3 kids got a license as soon as they could. They have been into cars in a minor way, but certainly not to the extent of anyone commenting here.
I was at a media intro for the 300ZX back in 1990 put on by Nissan Canada. We watched a detailed video on the engineering features, especially the suspension. These are very well engineered cars that looked and performed at the top of their class back then.
Hard to come by up here, I would encourage anyone who comes across a 300 ZX for sale to grab it. Absolutely a milestone car for Nissan. If only I had the money back then.
Be glad he’ll even walk to school. Here in SoCal, with perfect walking weather year-round few kids will walk or drive: they want Mom to drive them. And if they do walk, Mom has to walk with them through at least age 12. IMHO, having overly fearful parents from day 1 is what has made the millennials afraid to drive. It’s sad, this used to be the heart of the car culture (as opposed to the “transportation appliance” culture).
I tried really hard not to be one of those parents, and to temper my wife’s slightly more fearful instincts, and #1 Son is now happily driving himself to school, with a manual transmission, Daughter drives daily as well, and #2 Son is anxious to get his license.
I like the Z, but even though I try hard not to be fearful, I don’t think I’d want my kids driving it just yet… too much fun, too few airbags.
“And if they do walk, Mom has to walk with them through at least age 12.”
It explains where some problems come from. 4yrs is too short to upgrade from walking along to drive ( usually it takes maybe operating bikes or law mowers for practice between )
The whole “younger generations aren’t driving and buying cars” must be taken with a grain of salt. It all depends on location, income, work, school, etc., etc. There is evidence that in fact this notion is vastly overstated. http://www.autoblog.com/2014/12/11/millenials-driving-same-80s-counterparts/
When I was in high school, I’d say that most people I knew did in fact get their driver’s license before graduating high school. Now of course, far fewer of my friends had their own cars, as it largely depended on personal and family finances, parental rules, and number of siblings.
Once most people I know entered college, there was much less of a need to own a car for that period. Most people I know lived on campus or in a city, and most colleges charge an outrageous amount for semester-long parking, if they even make enough parking available for students. Many friends of mine who did own cars, left them at home.
To make a long story short (too late), just about everyone I know under age 25 has a driver’s license. It’s just that not everyone has the need in their life for a car, considering the cost.
Some source indicates otherwise ( http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/energy/2013/12/131217-four-theories-why-teens-drive-less-today/ ) but both taken into account, the era for boulevard cruising in reasonable priced personal car ( personal luxury, personal coupe such cars with less emphasis on practicability) is inevitably fading way, probably reserved for older generations in some degree.
And family finance is having greater influence on vehicle ownership also, as decades ago a well worn out Beetle can always be a practice vehicle even if the family is far from rich. ( Just hard to imagine a decade when a boy was kicked out for making a girl pregnant and all he had was an Oldsmobile, then turning life over from an AMC factory )
And parking fee, always a dreadful topic. One reason where the people is less dense having better chance picking cars as hobby is it doesn’t hurt to leave an older bigger car in the yard without paying anything. ( like an unfinished 30yo project Falcon ) I think the Falcon would be far recycled in a dense area otherwise.
These were always a favorite of mine as well, having hit the market when I was 10 years old and being forever enshrined in the pantheon of “cool cars from my childhood”. Still think it’s an absolutely beautiful shape, not saddled with too many details which date the car. Clean and athletic.
One of the primary investors in the Uber car hire service recently made news for declaring “Millenials don’t give a s–t about cars” at a press conference. And I think that, for the most part, he’s right. I’m at the tail end of Gen X (born in ’80) and as it happens most of my friends here in Richmond are younger than I am, late 20’s to early 30’s. Not a one of them care about cars at all. Just too many other distractions for attention, plus a general rejection of consumer culture and a growing sense of environmentalism. But there are still some out there, as this Z proves.
In my small town in Oregon, the thrill of teen driving is still hot on the minds of many, especially my kids … when it’s a 2 mile walk to school (and raining – OREGON!) that leaves the bus as the only option unless you have your own wheels … so my kids craved their own rides in spite of the cost, even when I’ve made them pay it. In my case, it’s been me wanting to hold them back and wishing that the law didn’t allow driving until high school graduation!
New cars are incredibly expensive boring safety mobiles. The lack of interest millennials have in cars is supposed to be a shock? Hard to get into them when everything you grow up around is pretty much like everything else and about as fun and stylish as a dishwasher. Not to mention the prohibitive insurance rates to keep “high performance” cars out of our hands in the name of “safety” (I for one tend to drive cars I hate more recklessly, negating that safety conquest of theirs).
But I will also say that it’s mostly a myth. Are boomers and Gen Xers really that interested in cars NOW either? I’m going to say with the tepid sales of sporty cars (the sales of all three current pony cars combined is barely what they were in for the Mustang ALONE in 1970) and the swaths of cookie cutter Camcords on the roads our older generations are hardly setting an example. And keeping a possible mid-life crisis acquisition in the garage for 364 days out of the year doesn’t count. Cars like the 300ZX, as well as many other late model sports cars I do indeed see in the hands of people my age and younger a lot and they tend to be modified in a way that emphasizes driving performance to boot, I can’t remember the last time I saw anyone in their 40s-60s doing mods to their cars.
And I love the 300ZX, I never liked it’s 350Z replacement. Went from looking like a Lotus Esprit to looking like a Audi TT – Yuck.
My father has a 1990 MT pearl white with red cloth interior, though in the less popular 2+2 configuration. I don’t even think it has 100K on the clock yet. Whenever I drive it the car feels massive and quite low to the ground with the high window sills. Still runs smooth though he is fastidious in his maintenance.
Every time I see one of these I think of one owned by a woman in an apartment building I used to live in. I found her car quite attractive but hadn’t yet decided if she was. One day I came upon her in the stairwell lugging a couple suitcases down the stairs. I insisted on helping, and I grabbed the heavier suitcase. I probably wore a hole in the bottom of it dragging it out to her car. By the time I got it there I was sweating profusely. It was full of weights; it turns out she was a bodybuilder. I suspect she had a good laugh at skinny old me being so insistently helpful.
The price of fuel seems to be a consideration. Cruising was more alluring when gas wasn’t $4/gal
Yup.. Pretty much!
Its hard to burn $4 gas when you get paid $8 an hour!
I was a sophomore in high school in 1981. Gas was 1.31 a gallon and I made $2.35 an hour- minimum wage. To make matters worse I drove my 66 Coupe deVille to work at about 6-7mpg. Sadly I had to sell it…
$4 per gallon gas is almost free ours has come down a touch but is still around $8,50- $9.00
Not to mention the current cost of higher education is about the same as a dozen brand new cars, and you’ll be paying it off longer.
My cousin bought a 1992 300ZX new. I’m not much into Japanese cars but I was impressed with this one. He let his daughter take it to school when she got her license. She got creamed by a redneck in a jacked up 4X4 that ran a red light the second day she drove it. She wasn’t hurt very bad but the car was DOA.
19 year old checking in here. I’ve had my license since as soon as I could get it, and my first vehicle was purchased a month later. Unfortunately, this vehicle, though purchased cheaply ($601), introduced me to another aspect of cars.. They are expensive! So, while I would love to have a nice, shiney classic car to cruise (I’d gladly take an old Kaiser, Willys, or-my personal favorites- an advanced design Chevy truck, or a bathtub Nash), the kind of cash to insure and maintain two vehicles (thank you Ohio and your salt covered roads) just isn’t feasible for a college student in this day and age. It’s tough being a kid these days!
Oh, and fyi? We don’t actually talk about anything on Skype, twitter, or Facebook, a fact I find slightly annoying….
Great to see your discerning and individualised tastes in old vehicles Jake. You’ll get there.
Insuring and maintaining two cars can be costly and difficult, but it’s still possible as long as getting the trick right.
The cost of insurance would be for two vehicles if driving both, and there is usually one insurance policy. However, you may pay for only one of them because you can only drive one car at a time. ( suppose there is no one else driving your car ) In Ohio, the situation could be driving a summer car during the corresponding months with the coverage, and switch the car when winter comes. The summer car lives in the garage for 4 months during winter and doesn’t need coverage except for storage ( and usually that’s only a smaller amount, in my case it’s even lower for the multi-car discount ) and for a car living in garage, it doesn’t need maintenance neither, except keeping a tight eye in mechanical condition when switching cars. ( few ounces of transmission fluid, a cup of engine oil. Tires even didn’t go low if the car kept well )
If you drive a 25+yo older car as a second car, keeping your daily car under regular insurance and getting a Hagerty insurance ( for classic cars ) for that older car is a good idea, as they charge far less than regular insurance for daily cars ( my ’78 Plymouth Volare only costs $500 yearly for full coverage in Oakland County, Mi next to Warren where insurance is both highest nationwide http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/cars/2014/09/14/auto-insurance-costs-detroit/15622121/ If outside Michigan, I quote a $230 around Seattle ) And for older car, keeping it in top condition saves money.
This car, along with the “4DSC” 88-94 Maxima, represent my favorite Nissan design language ever. Very stylish yet perfectly clean. IMHO their current designs are the worst ever.
Big fan of those Maximas too. Like this ZX, stylish and clean – and from what I’ve heard a fine driver’s car for a FWD. The father of a guy in my Boy Scout troop had one as his DD in the mid 90’s- his other cars were a BMW 2002 tii and a Healey 3000 roadster, so I could tell he was someone who appreciated a good car and it spoke well of the Maxima to be a part of that garage!
Agreed. I’ve never been a fan of Japanese cars, but Nissan certainly won my heard back then and I still hold cars like the ZX and 4DSC Maximas on pedestals for their categories. Their current lineup is the complete opposite of what the early-mid 90s cars were, they’re as clean as Jabba the Hutt now.
We are always slow on trends where I live. My kids and their friends have always wanted to drive as soon as possible. Thanks to a freak of circumstance, our kids can get school permits at 15, and school lerner permits at 14 as their high school is outside city limits and is considered rural. My 14 year old has been driving me around today.
I can tell you that at least in the south, teenage and young adult car lovers are alive and well. I’m 29 and I’m on the older side of many of the people at the weekly cars and coffee event.
In fact one of my CC plans is a super nice original FB RX7 driven by a 20 year old guy locally. Super cool kid, he came over and helped me put the engine in my Beetle a few weeks ago.
I have two brothers, both younger. One didn’t get his license until he was nearly 18 and still at 25 cares little about cars. Although he did learn to drive a manual and currently has a 5-speed Golf. Then there’s my youngest brother, part of that cars and coffee crowd in his 2005 GTI (5-speed) and working on his ’62 VW Bus.
Don’t lose hope, they are still out there.
Yes I have noticed that many teens today don’t seem to be as interested in getting a license to drive as we did back in my teen days which was long, long, ago in the fifties. I got my license in 1960 as soon as I could, as did every other kid I knew. Back then you could buy a decent running car from most any dealer lot for $100. I remember seeing a showroom condition 1941 Buick fastback sedan in a lot in Pennsylvania for $150 in 1961. How I wanted to buy that car but no way would my dad let me have a car even though I had the $150. My Mom had a friend who had a 1937 Chevrolet that had spent every winter up on blocks in a brick garage and she wanted us to buy it for $50. I think it had about 30,000 miles on the odometer and was like new in and out. This was in about 1958 when my Mom’s friend decided to buy a newer 1954 Chevrolet. Dad went so far as to ask a couple people what problems we might have with the 37 and he was advised if it had “knee action suspension”, forget about it. So that was enough to scare him off. My dad was only interested in cars from an engineering and economics point of view as he was an engineer himself. But in my opinion, one can still find bargain transportation if the homework is done and you are persistent. Back in 1988 I was looking for a winter beater when living in northeast Ohio where winters are brutal. One morning I dropped into the local Chevy dealer and the young salesman said they didn’t have much because they had just sold a bunch of likely candidates to a junk yard for about $100 each. But, he continued, “there is a 79 Corolla up in the back of the lot that you might want to look at.” So up we went and sure enough there was a 79 Corolla in sunshine yellow that likely had never been polished and had several massive dents in the roof plus the front fender on the driver’s side was all bashed in over the tire. Having owned several Toyotas I knew it might be a safe buy if it ran right. So I took it for a test drive and I was quite surprised at how quiet and smooth the engine was plus it had a hydraulic clutch with 5 speed manual transmission that was unbelievably smooth to drive. I took the car back in and I said to the young man, “How much do you want for it?” He said,” we’re asking $900 for it.” Of course he had already told me they sold a bunch of like cars for $100 so I said, “well it drives ok but looks terrible and the interior has the worst cigarette odor I have ever smelled in a car but if you want to sell it this morning I will give you $400 cash for it right now.” He had to go see his manager about it and I have forgotten just how many times he went to see that manager but every time he came back with a new deal I just repeated my first sentence about giving him $400 for it if he wanted to make a deal this morning. In the end it worked and I got the car for $400 plus tax and title. As I recall the only money I spent on that car in 2 years was oil changes and a new set of tires. I had to leave the windows open for about 2 months to get rid of the cigarette smell and in the end a friend offered me $700 for it so I let it go. Other drivers never liked to get close to me when I was driving that beater because it had so many dents but that was one of the most fun cars I ever owned!
2 of my nieces drive and actually like classic cars.The other 2 have shown no interest in them and have never even bothered to get a licence.2 of my nephews like driving and share a V6 Camaro as a summer/classic car,another has no interest and the other drives cheap runabouts in winter as he is more interested in motorcycling(just bought a very nice Kawasaki W650 til he can get his mitts on a Bonneville or Sportster)