Friday, September 18, 2009

Datsun 240z

Called the Fairlady Z in Japan, and originally market under the Datsun brand in the United States the Nissan S30 brought the idea of a Japanese manufactures sports car to the US. The first models were released in 1969, powered by a 2.4 liter straight 6 that produced 151 hp with a redline of 7000 rpm. Due to its low price compared to US manufactured muscle cars and German and Italian imports the sporty Z sold well.

Still looks decent in 1970's idea of a proper color

The S30 Z would also fair well in the racing circuit and push Nissan to develop a larger racing program. Some have credited the S30 as the start of the Japanese performan
ce parts and tuning industry which exploded in the late 90's and early 2000's. Nissan would revise the S30 with two releases, the 260z in 1974 and the 280z in 1975. Both cars would see an increase engine size but would suffer from a decrease in power due to strict US emission regulations. US safety standards would also affect the bumpers and frames of the vehicles making the updated models were heavier that the original 240Z. Even with these limitations people would continue to tune the Z models which maintained the high performance at a lower price that made them so popular.

The Z car would continue to be part of Nissan's line up with the release of the 280ZX in the late 70's and the 300ZX in the early 80's. America would see the last 300ZX's go on sale in 1996 as Nissan began to focus its production on SUV's that were steadily gaining popularity. In 1999 after Renault would take over Nissan after the company suffered a sharp decline in profits. Renault executives declared that they would bring back the Z and make it profitable. 2002 saw the rebirth of the Z series with the release of the 350Z which was profitable as it maintained the features that had made the initial Z so popular, high performance at a reasonable cost.

Fast back styling from the far east

A fully restored beauty

370: The sixth generation Z

Some more Pictures form flickr, photos link to their respective photo streams, which are definitely worth a look

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