There were so many great cars to come out of Japan in the late 1980’s and 1990’s. There was the Honda NSX, Mazda RX-7, Subaru WRX, Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution and Toyota Supra. A car that stood out for me was the Nissan 300ZX Z32. Admittedly, the naturally aspirated version didn’t have the outright performance of these other Japanese greats but I loved the futuristic styling and the front engine, rear wheel drive layout.
I’ve been searching for a 300ZX for some time and ideally wanted an Australian delivered, manual, naturally aspirated model. Although the twin turbo 300ZX models are much faster than the NA models, I steered clear of them due to the majority being heavily modified and engine cooling being an issue.
After getting some money saved this year, I had a serious look at buying a 300ZX and found a 1990 naturally aspirated, five speed manual 2+2 model for sale with only 150,000 km’s travelled and located in Victoria. It’s not an Australian delivered car however this wasn’t much of a concern as this was the only decent manual car in Victoria.
When I saw the car for the first time I noticed that the body was clean and straight with no accident damage or rust evident. It had aftermarket 18 inch G-Max wheels fitted and was also offered with a spare set of original 16 inch wheels. The test drive revealed a small misfire and the car would veer to the left. All things considered, I put a deposit down for the car and agreed on a price of $6400, however it didn’t come with roadworthy or registration.
I purchased an unregistered vehicle permit with the aim of getting a roadworthy and registration done as soon as possible. The first thing I did was replace the spark plugs and that seems to have fixed the misfire. I also got an original gear knob from Japan to replace the horrible blue Sparco one that was on it. Hopefully a wheel alignment and balancing will enable the car to track better.
I put the original 16 inch wheels back on the car as they look better than the G-Max ones. The plan is to sell the G-Max wheels and tyres and put the money towards some lightweight wheels and semi-slick tyres. Down the track, the plan is to further modify the car to compete in Tampered Motorsport track days at Sandown and Targa events. Future updates include fitting a roll cage and extinguisher, a decent racing seat, adjustable coil-overs and larger brake discs and pads.
The car is currently in for it’s roadworthy. Most items are fine however there is trouble with the ABS that needs fixing. The rear control arms are modified and therefore original control arms need to be located and fitted for the car to pass the RWC. It’s unfortunate as parts are getting hard to find and the previous owner doesn’t have a certificate to say that these components have passed Australian Design Rules.
Other items to get include roof shades, a dash vent, fixing the washer bottle, removal of the rear seats and getting a full sized spare tyre to replace the current spacesaver. I’ll let everyone know of any future updates and plan to get the car on the track soon!