Attention Future Collectors: 1993 Nissan 300ZX 2+2

A car made for model year 1993 is not going to fit everyone’s idea of a “barn find.”  But I’m proud to present it to you, because any intelligent discussion about classic or collectible cars eventually will turn toward “the future.” What cars will people be interested in 10 years from now? In five? Which ones will they be paying big bucks for? I think this is one of them.

You’ve probably read numerous articles about these (wait, you’re not here just to look at the pictures, are you?), and you have likely seen the 300ZX ranked high in plenty of top ten lists of ‘future collector’ cars.

This particular specimen is a good one to feature because it’s a great example of a ‘minor project car’. It needs a few odds and ends, but isn’t a total disaster. And when I say total disaster, I’m not talking in the context of just 1930s farmyard cars with no floors. What I mean is, if you’ve flirted with the idea of owning a 300ZX like I have, and you’ve looked at lots of ads, then you know and you have seen that 24 years is more than ample time to make a disaster out of one of these (or any other car). By this age, plenty that I have seen have lots of problems I wouldn’t want to begin to try to solve, even though this is not many people’s idea of an ‘old’ car.

This one, is said to have less than 100,000 miles, and needs work on the power antenna and the Bose stereo system. Presumably it runs and drives well, but there isn’t a word about that in the seller’s description. The interior looks great, as shown. Some buyers might not consider that a big deal, but problems there are not always inexpensive or easy to solve. T’were mine, I’d probably get the hood painted shiny black again, and find some nice, factory wheels, as well. The automatic transmission is not optimal, but I’d still roll with it.

This car is located not far from downtown Indianapolis, Indiana. These are the only four photos the seller has provided. The craigslist ad contains the standard “don’t need help selling” mantra, which more often than not, I find myself wanting to argue with. I guess it depends on how we define the word “need,” in this case. The asking price is $3,750. And now it’s your turn. How about the price? Future collectible, or no? Let us know what you think.


  1. Bill

    I must be at the wrong place. I thought this website was “Barn Finds”

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    • Moe G

      This ad is the regular crap found on Craigslist everyday. Not too stoked seeing it on this website. I hope they get back to the barn finds, odd balls and rare cars that made this site great and worth following.

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      • Bill

        I agree completely. i am becoming disappointed with a lot of the stuff I am seeing on here lately. it seems they are getting off topic of the original intent of the website, just posting random used cars now.

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  2. jeff6599

    come on Marty. Stick with the business plan

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  3. Hector

    My friend had one in college were nice cars when new. Anyways l used to be into british bikes when people didn’t think much of them used to be able to buy them cheap 300 to 500 bucks then. Never thought that Japanese bikes would ever be worth buying in the future look at the prices for a nice Kawasaki Z bike now. Nice find.

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  4. grant

    These are already starting to go up in value and this is a good price if it isn’t hammered. I actually bought one of these as a 19 year old PFC, but after a very persuasive conversation with my commander, I realized I couldn’t afford it and it got returned. Georgia at the time (1994) had a 72 hour lemon law which allowed you to return a vehicle within 72 hours. I may have waited a day or so…

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  5. Tirefriar

    Ok, maybe not the standard BF fare but… one an interesting choice. I had a ’91 NA T-Top coupe in white with 5 speed. why is it so significant? Because at the time I could have used the purchase price as a down payment on a 2 bedroom condo in the swanky part of town. That same condo is currently well over $600k now. I sold my ’91 in ’98 for about $12k. I’m not known for always making wise decisions, but I can tell you that the memories of being in the 20’s and driving the Z down through the canyons and along the PCH with the t-tops off on a warm California summer eve almost make that decision to seem like the correct one.

    Enough reminiscing. Z32 are the future classics. Go and find a very clean TT with a manual for under $15k. NA cars had 222 under the hood, while the TT were good for 300! Torque in the NA cars would come on over 3k, below that the car was somewhat gutless. That’s why the auto trans was just a good touring car, but pretty worthless off the line. Z32 was also a bit of a maintenance pig, especially when it came time for timing belts. Because the engine bay was cramped at all four corners, doing timing belts was not a cheap affair and one was better off to do all belts, hoses, water pump, cam seals, etc while there. IIRC the belts were to be done at 80k. Not every dealership had techs who knew how to work on these without butchering them. Word of mouth was your friend. I ended up going to Escondido (from LA!!) to get the service done because it was hard to find a tech you could trust. Overall very good car and great memories. Not sure I’d do it again since I already had one, but I’d go for a drive. Next to my ’69 Firechicken it was my second longest ownership of any car. Like going back to your ex girlfriend, all it’s good for is a one night stand. Any more than that might spoil the fine memories forever….

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  6. Tirefriar

    BTW, the car featured here is the least desireable of the Z32 family. 2+2 AND it’s an automatic. Crap paint, crap wheels. No service history makes it a nail biter, I recon the reason for sale is that the timing belts are due to for r&r. Unless its something you can do yourself, prepare to pluck down about $1k for belts, water pump, hoses, cam shaft seals. Priced too high for what is offered – my guess would be $2500 tops.

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    • Marc D

      I see you spotted that, automatic sports cars suck, I never cared for this model, I once got stuck ridding in the back seat for 2 hours in a 2+2, I’m 6ft… the owner was an ass but his gf was my gf sister…. karma came and bit his backside when he drove his 300xz into some water and sucked enough water to blow the engine… and later, the gf stole $250k from him, but by then I had dump the old gf. I guess we all have car stories/ dramas….

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  7. Adam T45 Staff

    I get where you’re coming from with this particular car. The 240Z and 260Z could be picked up for next to nothing in the early “80’s, and look what they fetch now. The Z car brand took a huge hit with the 280ZX, which was slow, heavy, thirsty and possibly not the most attractive thing on four wheels. I think that in a few years people are going to look at the 300ZX and realise that this was the affordable car that indicated that Nissan had found its mojo again. When you consider what Nissan was producing at this time, the 300 was the car to have for Nissan-ophiles who could not afford a GTR. I wish that it was in Australia, as I’d seriously consider this, although I guess that when you’re 52 years old it probably does scream “mid life crisis!”

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  8. hhaleblian

    Playing to a tough crowd tonight. I bought a 1990 TT new. Sold it in the divorce in 95. Nice road car too heavy for the track. Bought a like new 93 Slickback with 120k for $6500 last year in San Diego drove it 2000 miles back to Chicago. Averaging around 80 got 23 mpg and didn’t burn a drop of oil. Maybe I’m getting old, but I actually prefer the non tt over the tt. Most comfortable driving car I own. One of the few Japanese cars that I consider gorgeous. Figure I’ll double my money fairly soon if I decide to let it go.

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    • Tirefriar

      The slick backs are now the crowd favorite, whether Nissan or BMW, for their rigidity and in part to the rarity factor. IIRC, solid roof coupes were available only in ’90 m.y. Perhaps yours was a special order. These are still beatiful to look at. Maybe a ‘one nighter’ with the blast from the past wouldn’t be such a bad idea after all…..

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  9. CowboyChris


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  10. Dolphin Member

    I test drove a 2-seater non-turbo when these were new, and altho it didn’t have the snap of the ’70 240Z I owned at the time, it had a very good chassis, a decent V6, and was way more refined and comfortable than the 240Z.

    I don’t think the 300ZX will ever be as sought after by collectors as the first-year Z car or various other vintage GT cars, but it has a very decent body design and the price is right even for good ones.

    For those who want only cars that actually came out of a barn there’s a very easy way to get past cars like this 300ZX: just scroll down to the next ’37 Buick 4-door or whatever.

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    • tirefriar

      Dolphin, hard to say about the future of the Z32. Its one of the best styled Z cars. True, the 240Z is iconnic, 260Z/280Z riding its coat tails (after swapping out federalized bumpers of course), the 280ZX and the 300ZX (Z31) were the gold chain on a bare chest in a satin shirt look.

      I sort of got away from cars and into motorcycles. Its interesting to see how the 90s Japanese big cube crutch rockets have shot up in price (GSXR, Fireblade, etc). Scant 3 years ago these were almost considered to be disposable. Now, mint first gen GSX-R750 can fetch close to $10k!! Thats used Ducati money on a sport bike!

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      • Chicaghost writer

        Agreed!! I got my 99 R6 for maybe 5500 with 2300 miles. Liter bikes were like 7ish. RR’s, GSX-R’s etc. Now 12k is absolutely normal. I will admit though, the tech on those bikes has time warped. I recently got on a gsxr 600 expecting to just treat it as a 600. I was blown away by the power and handling. It was like riding a early 2000’s R1. Granted I didn’t crack it at 90 like the old 900-1000’s; but it sure reminded me I wasn’t as confident as I expected to be!!!

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  11. Eric 10Cars

    A buddy of mine bought a new 94 convertible with a 5 speed. I drove it a number of time and really liked it. The convertibles are extremely rare (I know, I watch for them) and are priced like it. His was a very dark purple….it almost looked black in some light. As with most Nissan’s, it was a very well-built car with it’s v6. Very comfortable, handled well and had lots of pep. I don’t particularly like the instance vehicle for some of the reasons already expressed, but these were good cars. My friend traded an 85 Corvette for this one (he hated the Vette because was so cheaply made…at the least the interior…and gave him all sorts of mechanical issues). He traded the Nissan 300 on a very nice Lexus GS. He also has a 2014 Corvette convertible with an automatic and paddle shifters…a much nicer Vette than his earlier one. So sports cars can have automatics that make sense these days.

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  12. ATLjeff

    I’ve got a 90 NA sitting in my driveway right now. Fell in love with this body style upon its release when I was still in high school and swore I would own one someday. Opportunity came knocking a few years ago and I couldn’t let it go.

    Just so no-one gets in over their head, these 90-96 cars are a bear to work on, and parts aren’t cheap. But they are super fun to drive, can be tastefully updated, have a huge following worldwide, and several specialty companies are making parts that Nissan doesn’t anymore or they did a lousy job when they did make them. That to me is a good indicator of future collectability.

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  13. nessy

    As a true Z car fan, this thing is no 240Z or 280ZX Turbo that’s for sure. As far as this being a car that belongs on Barn Finds, that is up to the rest of you..

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  14. Tom Driscoll

    I’ve been watching for a nice unmolested twin turbo for a couple years now, clean cars with under 75k miles are bringing $20k these days. The toyota supra it competes with are $40k and up…I would consider that collectible territory for sure.

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  15. Kevin Hill

    On Saturday I bought a 94 300ZX TT in very good condition. I wanted a project car that was going to be reliable right from the get go. 91k on the odometer, untorn leather buckets, new belts, new tires, clean interior, tasteful upgrades throughout the car. It’s pushing 12.5 vs the stock 9.2. The adjustable suspension works for what its worth to todays standards of comfort. Its a rocket and the prior owner took very good care of the car before they let it go. A little body work is needed in some spots but the car looks great when shined up. Antenna needs to be fixed (going to replace it with a stubby). Rear wiper was deleted. Glove box doesn’t hold close. I LOVE this car. If it didn’t have so much horsepower I would drive it everyday.

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  16. boxdin

    Future collectables in the sports area;
    Nissan like one shown, w or wo turbos
    Audi TT any form
    Chrysler Crossfire

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  17. Bruce Best

    The engineering and styling behind these were very impressive. In some ways they were trying to compete with the 928 Porsche with the 2+2. The automatic was very popular for the same reason it was with the 928 crowd.

    Fun to drive, good looking but for some reason and if someone out there can explain it was a horror in ice and snow. As if you greased all 4 wheels with any kind of frozen water around. Where it is warm amazing and I think they will be collectors cars in the future just like the Supras are but it will take a while longer to get there.

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  18. DAN

    the standard “don’t need help selling” mantra, which more often than not, I find myself wanting to argue with. I guess it depends on how we define the word “need,”

    that is due to spammers,just want to con you out of $$ not help you sell.
    guy posted they wanted $3.99 to sell his car
    he used a debit card pre paid with $5 on it
    they tried to charge $399.00, lol
    that is the scammmmmm

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  19. Car Guy

    I’m so tired of the “murdered out” look. All the lines disappear and the wheels might as well be black steelies because the pattern disappears. Poor car……..

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  20. Mel B.

    Looks like a good deal. I’d buy this if I t were closer. I’m in L.A Calif.

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  21. smittydog

    Ya I guess all the barns have been found and emptied. Let’s see, how bout car port, lean to, vinyl shed Finds…..

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  22. Tom Driscoll

    …and basements…?

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  23. Aaron

    Don’t understand all the criticism. If you don’t like the car, scroll on down to the next one! I personally enjoy seeing cars like this. Going to high school in the early 90s, this is a car I would drool over. I’d love to pick one up some day. Now if I could just find a GMC Typhoon to park it next to in the garage . . .

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  24. JohnM

    Agree that the model is collectible, disagree that this particular car is collectible. Find a bone stock one–especially a twin turbo 5 speed–and put it in your barn and it’ll easily outperform the stock market. Key words there being “bone stock.”

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  25. CarNut from Winnipeg Member

    TT, 5 spd, 2 seat YES – collectable
    NA, auto, 4 seat NO

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  26. Pete

    Well it’s all about what you like. I always thought the 300’s were a fantastic looking car and would have been happy to own one. Mostly because of my experience with a 1975 280Z being such a pleasant one. The RX-7 first gen and last I believe are going to be very collectable if not already. The Lexus SC-400 or SC-300 with a manual tranny (which are rare ) will also become collectable if they are solid. Essentially the same body as the last Supra. Think about the Fast and Furious movies those tweaked out Nippon cars are what the Millenials were raised on and that is going to be what they want when they get old enough to buy a cool toy to play with. Just like us old geezers want Chevelles, MG’s and other high dollar exotics. Like the Ferrari 308 GTBS of Magum P.I. days. I could give a damn if it was found in a barn or not. That is a term that salesman in the antique car trade over use to sell an old rust bucket. No offense BF. LOL.

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  27. Burzel

    I worked at a Nissan dealership when I was 19. I got the dream assignment of going into the city to pick up and drive back a customer’s brand new Z32 300ZX – a two hour trip. Man, it was awesome listening to the Bose system and blasting up to 220km/h… but karma bit me in the azz when the next week, I was required to do the same drive in a new Micra… with no radio…

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