On paper, every car can look good. There’s not one manufacturer that says something bad of their model in a brochure. Every brochure mentions that it took a lot of testing to develop a car like the one mentioned. But those tests are nothing, compared to the ONE real (sometimes) long test the car will have to withstand once it’s sold new in the showroom. This time we’ve got a Nissan 300ZX. More than 20 years old, and more than 200,000 km on the odo. How does this car hold up? Japanese craftsmanship or plain old crap? Let’s find out.
DON’T buy a Nissan 300zx, unless you’ve got a lot of technical knowledge.
Where do you live? What do you do for a living?
I live in Burcht, a suburb of Zwijndrecht, part of Antwerp. I’ve got my car mechanic degree for about 2 years now, and I’m currently working for a Peugeot garage in Bazel.
You are driving a Nissan 300ZXzx. Not the most common choice as daily driver, how did you come to choose/buy a Z-car?
My dad used to own a Nissan garage for 15 years, so I grew up with this great Japanese brand, and the 300zx has always been a top model from Nissan. My dad used to love this model as well, but unfortunately he has never been the proud owner of one. So I, the son who has always been very close to the business (still am), took over the love for the ZX. I’ve always wanted to buy a special, beautiful and fast car, and about a year ago I got the chance. I decided to buy my first car, and the choice for a ZX was made in a blink of the eye.
What are some of your previous cars? How are they, if you compare them to the Nissan?
The first year, I drove my mothers’ Suzuki New Swift, which is a great car as well. Obviously you can’t compare it with the Nissan. Not in comfort, power, looks, …
How long have you owned this Nissan? How long do you plan to keep it?
I bought the car in April 2010 and I’m planning on keeping it forever.
The Nissan 300ZX is famous for its styling. The interior is praised quite often as well. What’s your opinion on the exterior and interior?
I think the car is just GREAT, there aren’t a lot of cars from that age and with the same price tag, that can compare to the styling and looks of this car. Even the shape of the dashboard is unique. From the moment on you sit in the drivers seat, you just know that you’ve entered a very solid, fast car.
If we look at the options, this car was very luxurious for its time. 4WS, cruise control, electrical seats, … How does the technical side hold up after 20 years, and more than 200,000 kilometres?
I was kinda surprised myself, because the technical side of this car is just perfect. Even after all this time, everything is still as it should be, and more important; reliable.
Like mentioned before, this car featured 4WS. How does that hold up? Do you notice it, when you just use it as a daily driver?
Sure do. In the beginning; it’s a really weird feeling. If you drive the car normal, and don’t use it’s power and abilities, you hardly notice it; but when you press down that pedal under your right foot, and take a few good corners, it just starts to feel like something on the rear of the car came loose and the car is going to break out. But that’s just a feeling, which is caused by the 4WS. It certainly helps fast cornering, but you’ll notice it on the wear of the rear tires as well. But like everything, every pro has it con.
How is the parts supply? Are the parts becoming hard to get or is everything still available?
Parts of the suspension and motor are still available, but parts of the interior and exterior are very hard to get. Because of that, I bought another ZX for spare parts. Now I’ve got for almost for every partt a spare.
What are the modifications you’ve done?
I didn’t do a lot of mods. I didn’t change one single thing engine-wise, and for the moment, I won’t either.
Some small mods:
- D2 coilovers
- 18″ Ultralite Nurburgring rims
- K&N open airfilter
- Nismo shortshifter
- 4 blue Chargertech intakes
- Pioneer woofer
- Other tail lights
- White side turn signals
- Headlights swapped for H1+H3 Blue vision
- White leds for the city lights,interior and license plate lights.
- Interior plaque: Nissan 300ZX 01/1991. Special fabrication and mounted on a spot where the dash was damaged.
- Alu Z logo plaques under the hood
- Alu dash surrounding
- 2x TurboXS dumpvalve
- Newly tailored leather seats with Z logo
Only the Ultralite rims where mounted when I bought it. The rest was made/ordered by me. I’ve rebuilt the gearbox myself because 4th gear made a lot of noise. Obviously, I mounted a new clutch as well. Changed the aircon compressor and refilled the gas. Changed the two motor mounts, fuel lines, and brake pads. In the mean time, I’ve mounted my second pair of new tyres on the rear. The back of the car is freshly painted because of some rust as well. Of course, I’m forgetting some small things, but these are the main things I’ve done to keep my ZX in perfect shape.
What are your (long-term) plans/ideas for the ZX?
I want the back seat, steering wheel, and the rest of the interior (like the door panel, mid-console, glove box, and so on) newly tailored like the front seats. I want to mount drilled rotors on the front as well as on the rear of the car. Re-tint the windows, fit it with xenon lights, new rims, and of course handle a few spots of rust. Then the car will get a new paint job as well. But that last thing won’t happen until I’ve bought another daily driver.
Are you a real Gearhead? If so, why?
I think I’m a real Gearhead. I’ve spent tons of money on this car, and I’m planning on investing even more money in it. But it’s certainly worth it!
Any tips for people considering to buy a 300ZX?
Don’t buy a 300zx unless you’ve got a lot of technical knowledge. If you don’t have that last one, this car is going to drain your bank account.
How can people get in touch with you? Are you on certain Nissan forums? If so, what are your usernames?
I’m on autoforum.be (Timo_ATT-Racing), the Dutch Z32 forum (Timo), the JDMsociety forum (Timo_300zx), and last but not least; the forum on Nissan Club Nederland (Timo_300ZX).
You can always reach me at our own website as well; www.attracing.be
Specific type: Nissan 300ZX Z32
Engine: 3.0 V6 Twin Turbo
Weight: 1500+ kg
A really beautiful Nissan 300ZX, and one that is still going strong after all this time with more than 200k kilometres on the odo. Thanks Timo, for this interview!
What do you think about the 300ZX? Are these cars still known for the oldschsool Japanese crafsmanship , or are they something completely different? Let us know what you think! Getting Gearheads together, getting them united; Gearbox Magazine!