Low Miles, Original Owner: 1988 Nissan 300ZX

For a vehicle that can still be found in salvage yards and on craigslist – despite its generation’s production ending decades ago – the Z31 chassis Nissan 300ZX is incredibly hard to find in decent condition. Usually, when there’s still a good supply, finding a maintained example isn’t too hard, but most of the Z’s from this era have been trashed. Not this 1988 example, which is for sale by its original owner here on craigslist with under 14,000 miles. 

Over the years, I’ve held this generation with some disdain, until I met the Shiro Special. That is a car I would gladly own someday, as it ticks all the right boxes of 80s-ness that I crave in my hobby cars. This one is less rare, sporting the 3.0L V6 and an automatic transmission. The special editions, like the Shiro and Anniversary models, are the hot tickets in Z31 ownership. But finding one with mileage as low as this example makes what would otherwise be a repeatable car somewhat of a standout.

For a grand tourer, the 300ZX made a compelling argument. A torque-y six cylinder, comfortable bucket seats, t-top roof and creature comforts like A/C and full-power interior all combine to make loafing along backroads a pleasant, if not particularly athletic, experience. This example’s red cloth interior is a bit of a let-down, as I’d at least like to find leather in a non-Shiro example (those had sweet Recaro buckets), but at least the cloth appears to be in excellent condition, along with the dash and door panels.

The rear cargo area also appears unmarked and contains the likely NLA t-top panels bag. The seller is asking all the money for this car, which is a tall ask when you consider some of the best examples of the Shiro Special clock in between $12K-$15K. Still, as I mentioned earlier, this is a hard car to find in excellent condition like this one, so the seller is likely at least in the ballpark of what a collector will pay. Thanks to Barn Finds reader Bill Walters for the find.

Fast Finds


  1. Rick

    I like it and I don’t think the asking price is too far out of line. A stylistic change from early Z cars certainly, but better than the bloated later versions.

  2. Paul

    Love it! I had some of these as toy cars when I was a kid. This takes me back.

  3. Vin in NJ

    I never like the rear styling of the 1987 and up 300Z cars. I’m more of a fan of the 1983 – 1986 tail ends

    • Brandon

      I had an ’86 5-speed. Holy crap was that car slow for something pretending to be a sports car. I do like that this is a proper 2-seater instead of the far less attractive 2+2, but I’d still want a turbo 5-speed car for it to at least be tolerable to drive.

  4. Roger

    Wonderful cars but this one needs a stir stick. My 85 and my 86’s were the best cars for the money and reliable….Absolutely. A true joy to drive. I just wonder if the chips and dings are why he parked it instead of driving it? 14k miles??? GET it out and drive it like you stole it.

  5. Peter Reed

    I owned one these from new – just the thing for allowing my then blond mullet to flow in the breeze via the removed T-top! I loved that car; yes it was a sports car, but what a cruiser and awesome on a long trip.

    If I lived in the US, I’d buy this for $10K all day! As Jeff stated, where are you going to find another like this?

  6. JohnV

    I used to travel from Fort Wayne to the Hudson Valley in NY when I owned mine from new, perfect car for long distance at the time. Perfect car for a 26 year old! Loved it until a 16 year old with a new license and giant 4×4 hit me at 80 mph. Big tires up front probably saved me as it was crunched up at the base of the windshield. Mine was the same color and interior, and taking off the T-tops meant road trip! Too many stories…..

Leave A Comment

RULES: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks.

Become a member to add images to your comments.


Notify me of new comments via email. Or subscribe without commenting.