Low Mileage Project: 1991 Nissan 300ZX Twin Turbo

The Z32-chassis Nissan 300ZX remains a bit of a sleeper in the class of next-generation collector cars, despite being one of the more desirable performance vehicles to emerge from the early 90s. This 1991 model is an interesting specimen, with the seller alluding to the fact that it was found in a neglected and/or abandoned state despite having just 58,147 miles on the clock. The seller is a dealer that specializes in enthusiast vehicles and notes that despite some significant work being done to bring this Z car back up to fighting form, it doesn’t make boost as it should. A blown turbo, perhaps? Find it here on eBay with a Buy-It-Now of $23,500 and the option to submit a best offer.

The Z32 was both a game-changer and an evolution. It was still a comfortable grand-tourer like the Z31 that preceded it, and wasn’t a razor-edged sports car like the top dogs in the space. The 300ZX may have brought impressive performance credentials to the table, but it wasn’t a 911 or NSX killer. It went toe-to-toe with the likes of the Mazda RX7, Mitsubishi 3000GT, and Dodge Stealth. It came in naturally aspirated and twin-turbocharged form, as well as a coupe, T-top, and convertible configurations. The preferred combo in my opinion is a traditional hardtop with the turbocharged mill and a 5-speed manual gearbox. This one almost checks all those boxes with the exception of having T-tops, which some buyers may prefer.

The interior is in excellent condition and looks the part of a low-mileage car. The seller claims they were able to “rescue” this 300ZX, which makes me wonder what happened to make it need saving. The description notes the engine was completely re-sealed along with the turbos, which may keep it dry but evidently didn’t prevent the turbos from failing. The need for replacement turbochargers isn’t necessarily the end of the world and can happen on any vehicle so equipped. If the Nissan was parked for ages, I could certainly see some residual effects from lack of use impacting the major mechanical components, but with most turbos failing due to oil starvation, I’m guessing they were leaking and then failed which is what caused the Nissan to be parked in the first place. Just a guess, of course.

The T-tops are a love-it-or-hate-it affair, and certainly are fitting for a 90s car. The glass panels appear to be in excellent condition and the seller reports that the car’s history file is clean with no evidence of accidents. The trunk lid has been repainted, possibly due to sun fade or clear coat failure if the rear end was left exposed. The seller also notes that the electronic suspension works, with the ride quality changing when switched between “Sport” and “Touring.” Overall, the 300ZX looks like a true survivor in need of some additional fine-tuning, but the price seems high for a performance car with needs. What do you think – is the mileage and cosmetic condition strong enough to justify the price?

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Comments

  1. Brad460 Member

    These are underappreciated IMO. Great styling decent performance and I’ve always been really impressed with the interior and dash design on these. Unique and not the standard cookie cutter switchgear etc. That being said with the engine needing attention I think the asking price is a bit rich.

    Like 14
  2. CCFisher

    So if the dealer is a specialist in enthusiast vehicles and did a lot of work to get it to this state, why not address the boost problem?

    Like 12
    • Raymond

      Requires a purple cow…….

      Like 3
  3. Mr. Breeze

    Hmmmm…I smell water/flood damage. Check the title folks before going forward.

    Like 2
    • Steve R

      What specifically makes you think it was in a flood? Nothing in the ad or it’s presentation even hints at something like that.

      Steve R

      Like 3
      • jeff

        he just wants to get rid of other buyers so he can get the car himself

        Like 1
  4. Cadmanls Member

    Doubt the turbos failed, problem may be something that was incorrectly reinstalled after everything thing was resealed as they are stating. Could be worse too. Seems a little high priced for a broken car. Looks nice!

    Like 2
  5. Haig L Haleblian

    Hardtops aka slick tops were only available sans turbo in the US. I’ve owned both twin turbo with t-tops and non turbo slick top. Much prefer the latter.

    Like 3
  6. Jwzg

    These were known for picking up water through the bumper inlets when driven through shallow water. Had a friend who hydrolocked his, and it cost a fortune to repair due to packaging requiring the near-complete disassembly of the front end. If you can get it fixed, it’s a bad, bad car (in a good way).

    Like 1
  7. Howie Mueler

    If it was a easy fix i think they would do that.

    Like 3
  8. douglas hunt

    Always liked these, but sheesh over 20k$
    A bit much for a car that needs further work

    Like 2
  9. gokstate

    Something super fishy about not putting the VIN in the listing, but adding it down below–I suspect salvage title or something will come up in the VIN search.

  10. James

    There was never a Turbo version of this car made without the T Bar Roof….. slicktops were only on naturally aspirated manual transmission models and are extremely rare

    Like 2
  11. zcellar

    I still have my 91 TT. Love that car. Bought new in Feb 92 as a “left over” At almost $40K they were a tough sell.

    Like 4
    • 370zpp 370zpp Member

      Great that you still have it. Hang on and enjoy.

      Like 2
  12. zcellar

    We are a buy what we like and keep it. My wife still has her 78 Beetle Conv.

  13. Gary

    24k for a car that will need motor work? Pass

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