Dealer Trade: 20K Mile 1985 Nissan 300ZX

Seeing cherished vintage cars end up at a new car dealership makes me feel like we’ve stepped back in time, where awesome period sportscars like this 1985 Nissan 300ZX are still sitting on the lot (instead of a fleet of crossovers and SUVs). This gorgeous example has 20,319 original miles and presents extremely well, hence the $14,588 list price as seen here on eBay

While there are a fair number of these classic Nissan coupes still floating around the used car market, they are rarely this nice or well-preserved. This example is about as loaded as it gets, with a gorgeous leather package, T-top roof and (ugh) automatic transmission. The seller notes that a thick binder of service records accompanies the car, which should give you all the evidence you need that this 300ZX led a charmed existence.

Oh, and it’s red leather to boot! Even better. The seats still proudly display their embroidered 300ZX crest and the the interior is hard to fault. These Z31 cars weren’t so much corner carvers as they were grand tourers (in my opinion), but that doesn’t stop the import crowd from attempting to tune these cars up for more power or better handling. Thankfully, this example has been left completely stock, right down to the polished OEM wheels.

While it’s not as desirable as a Shiro Special, a Z31 in an unmodified state will always be popular. I believe this 3.0L V6 is the VG30E, which should provide plenty of silky power even if it’s not blisteringly fast. Though the previous owners likely got completely hosed when they traded this survivor-Z car in, hopefully they at least took home a fully-loaded 350Z in return. What would you offer for a new-in-the-wrapper Z31?

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  1. Rx7turboII

    Non turbo, automatic, two plus two, no Digital dash all equals up to pretty much your run-of-the-mill z31 in my opinion. It is a very nice car but for that kind of money I would rather invest in a turbo, 5-speed, with digital dash, and no back seats. They can be had all day long for this kind of money and similar mileage but again, very very nice car, just not for me in this price range.

    • Stephen

      This is not a 2+2, as it does not have the awkward 12-inch elongated roofline between the T-tops and hatch hinge, much less a back seat. Your preferred variant, with the same mileage and in the same condition, would likely cost you double the price of this one… partly because so many modern day tulip-hoarders view older cars as “investments”. :-/ 🙁

      • Rx7turboII

        My mistake, when looking at the pictures I thought the rear parcel tray was the tops of the back seats. But as far as buying one with the same amount of miles in a turbo in a 5 speed, I can buy them all day long for the same price so let me know when you want to buy one from me…I’ll hook you up.

  2. Miguel

    I think all new car stores should have examples of previous generations of the cars. I don’t think that would help sales of the new styles though.

  3. JohnW

    What is it with the hate on automatic transmissions? Sure, for may they might not be fun to drive as a stick, but if you want to keep young people interested in cars (the lazy ones who don’t want to learn stick) automatic classics like this just might be the savior of car culture for the next generation.

    • Jeffro

      Years ago, I convinced my son that it’s so much easier to do burn outs with a stick. Of course, I had to demonstrate.
      It was all fun and games till I made him pay for/replace the clutch and tires.
      Ah, one of life’s little lessons!

    • Miguel

      On this particular car the automatic is annoying.

      When you shift it into drive the rear end drops.

      The stick was a much better choice for this car.

    • Rx7turboII

      I’m pretty sure that all the hate for automatic transmissions comes for the fact that you’re buying a sports car, not a daily driver that you can drive back and forth to work and most people who buy a sports car don’t want an automatic transmission. I can’t really speak for anyone else but myself if my RX-7 had an automatic transmission I would donate it to my grandfather and let him drive it back and forth to the bingo hall and then go by myself an RX-7 with a manual transmission like I already presently own. LOL LOL


    Beautiful car that I suspect was ‘stolen’ on trade in. I’ve tried to trade in several older cars that presented as above excellent and they always bring out some book with a really low ball price. I just sold a 25 year old PU for 4 times what the dealer offered me on a new car trade.I guess that’s why they’re they, they know how to make money.

  5. David Miraglia

    Good as a GT. No barn burner

  6. Craig

    I had one of these, with a manual. Super fun car, great memories. Once the first baby came, it had to go, regretably.

  7. Jubjub

    Just saw one of these in good shape in traffic today, but a dark metallic bronze, five speed.

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