1984-’89 Nissan 300ZX Turbo | Hemmings Motor News

5 Nov 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on 1984-’89 Nissan 300ZX Turbo | Hemmings Motor News
Nissan 300ZX

Blending High-Tech Performance and Accourtrements

Feature Article Hemmings Sports Exotic Car

By the fabled Datsun Z-car took our nation by storm a years earlier had largely into memory–and was sorely Big bumpers added length and to later iterations of the original Z, and by the 1970s, Nissan (then the Datsun name) decided to the Z upmarket. The result, perhaps as a result of worldwide emissions as a way to drive up profitability in the face of car quotas here in the States, was the

On the one hand, a turbocharged powerplant was to help reinstate some of the and vigor of the original Zs. It also had of the style of the previous Zs. On the other, it had soft with luxury was often decried as being the of car your orthodontist would and think was sporty. (Mine had a naturally aspirated 2+2 that was in need of a wash.)

A fresh was needed, so when Nissan that they wanted to the comfort of recent ZX models but performance in the spirit of the original Z, grew hopeful. Everything the all-new 300ZX, internally Z31 and launched in the fall of 1983, was yet familiar: It was still rear-wheel-drive, but the engine still had six cylinders a turbocharged option was maintained), it was a first V-6 engine that had built.

The iron-block, SOHC aluminum-head allowed for more modern methods and tighter tolerances as as a lower hoodline, allowing a more aerodynamic profile and an weight savings (compared to the Supra’s inline-six) over the wheels. Production VG30 and head castings powered the GTP-ZX Turbo and NPT-90

The turbocharged version utilized an AiResearch unit putting out 6.7 and was rated at a healthy 200hp–a that many enthusiasts thought they’d see again as entered the 1980s, much from a six. (Mid-’87 and engines were rated 5hp thanks in part to better flow and fully floating pins; 1988 and ’89 models also featured a Garrett T25 turbocharger and higher

Suspension remained fully but more modern chassis allowed a wider track, an two degrees of caster in front and two degrees of negative camber in the offset springs for the MacPherson in front and springs completely from the shocks in back, a linear rate of toe change bump to rebound, and 20 percent roll stiffness than the The result was both a smoother and better handling.

The style was sharpened up with early 1980s aesthetics, pop-up half-hidden headlamps, bumpers and (for the turbos) a scoop. Designer Kazumasu took advantage of the lower allowed by the VG-family engine, and a cutting-edge drag co-efficient of (A steady diet of body throughout the car’s life that number slightly time.) The aero-friendly sheetmetal in concert with the engine to an electronically limited 137-mph top end in the A 2+2 was still available, but not as a Turbo.

Nissan’s gambit worked or not can be by Z-car enthusiasts until the end of but buyers spoke: 75,351 and four-seat 1984 300ZXs sold in the United States; by the the run of this generation concluded, 329,000 were built, more than 294,000 for 270,000 of which ended up in the For the purposes of this story, we discuss only the two-seat models, as they’re the most

The 1984 and ’85 models are indistinguishable from each they are also the most with nearly 150,000 in the U.S. between these two years. The ’85 turbo went from red to smoky with a center tail callout above the license that reads 300ZX and the turbo became watercooled. two years are the Zenki (early) Z31s.

Model year 1986 was of a transitional year and is sometimes as the Chuki (middle, or as-is) standard 16-inch wheels, the shaved from the hood, a new spoiler with integrated brake light, and the flared fenders (now with blistered rears) and side from the 50th Anniversary

The next year, 1987, saw facelift, this time a new hood and headlamp doors, moved from inboard the to the front bumper, smoother front and rear, and the taillamp going full-width across the of the car. The ’87s also got wheels, larger front vented rear discs, and front seats.

Late (after April) received a limited-slip differential that’s a to earlier Z31s and features a final drive; 1988 got gray wheels, a compression to 8.3:1, a Garrett T25 turbocharger 4.5 pounds of boost, and a 5hp boost torque numbers were The ’89 models were

Two special editions were during the Z31-generation’s run: the 50th Anniversary Edition, and the Shiro Special. The Anniversary seen here, celebrated 50 years of building cars. A of 5,148 50th Anniversary Zs built for the American market; got an additional 300 cars of their

Drivetrain was the same as other ZX models, and beyond the 10-percent springs, recalibrated adjustable and turbo-finned 16-inch wheels Pirelli P7 rubber, the special also added silver-over-black with gold decal and emblems, ground effects, flares, mirror-glazed T-top panels, bronze-tinted windows, leather interior with embossed emblems, the digital display, leather door an 80-watt AM/FM eight-speaker with steering wheel and the Bodysonic sound system, a car floor mats and a golden Later model year Zs some of these upgrades, the wheels, wider front (1986-’89) and fender flares. price was a stiff $26,000; the option available was swapping out the five-speed transmission for a four-speed

The Shiro Special offered springs with matched heavy-duty anti-roll bars, a limited-slip differential, Recaro paint-matched 16-inch wheels matched the Shiro’s pearl body and a special front and deleted the adjustable shocks every other Z31 Turbo with. All had T-tops, analog and a five-speed manual transmission.

Motor Trend tested one the electronic speed limiter and got it up to 153 mph in 1988, the fastest car in Japan at time. Just 1,002 built in early 1988, 75 more built for Canada; for a Z31 this is arguably the most Z31 the factory offered in North

And Greg Smith thinks it’s just a matter of before the Z31 generation catches on. runs Motorsport Auto in California, a parts supplier for all and Nissan Z-cars for more a quarter-century, and he sees the early coming up. The first 300ZX was a car, but it’s got plenty of touches in it.

There are more accessories. There’s better fit and in the interior. And people are starting to that right now.

new parts are coming on line like weatherstripping, but keep in that these cars made of higher-quality materials some of the earlier cars, so less that needs

Other than the Anniversary (like the one shown here, by Menifee, California, resident Bauchner) and the Shiro Specials, ones are people after? The ’84 cars often without T-tops, and people out for those. Later cars a little extra power and a differential, and those ’87-up are getting a real following in the Z31

So is this the time to buy? especially if you look at it long-term. something you can work on, enjoy and for years. As far as Zs go, the Z31s are a bargain. one of the few good-performing cars from the ’80s.

It’s not something want to take to Barrett-Jackson in but if you’re looking to get into inexpensively, you can really enjoy a example at a reasonable entry

ENGINE (1984 Model)

Type: SOHC iron block and aluminum

Displacement: 2,960cc (190.6-cu.in.)

x …: 87 X 83mm

Compression 7.8:1

Horsepower @ rpm: 200 @

Torque @ rpm: 227-lbs.ft. @

Turbocharger: Garrett T3, air-cooled, wastegate, 6.7 p.s.i.

Nissan 300ZX
Nissan 300ZX
Nissan 300ZX
Nissan 300ZX
Nissan 300ZX
Nissan 300ZX
Nissan 300ZX
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