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The Z Awakes: 1987 Nissan 300ZX


By 1987, Nissan’s “Z Car” had grown in size from its original sporty four cylinder 240Z to the much bulkier, more grand touring like 300ZX. Find this Z here on craigslist in Fairfield, Connecticut


The 300ZX superseded the earlier 280ZX, with improved aerodynamics and added power. The 300ZX offered a higher output V-6 engine to replace the previous model’s straight six. The internal model number for this generation of the Z cars was “Z31,” and it was a popular design in the US and elsewhere around the world with over 37,000 units manufactured in 1987 alone.


Since Nissans of this era were prone to rust, especially in the Northeast, where I live, it’s unusual to find one in more or less pristine condition anymore (I have to admit that I find it really hard to believe it’s been almost 30 years since the car shown here was new.) The interior of this car looks beautiful too.


The seller does not say whether he is the original owner of this car, but it only has 46,500 miles showing, and has clearly been well cared for during its lifetime. The seller provides a large number of photos to show off the fine condition of this car.


This 300ZX has the desirable t-tops, a 5 speed transmission, air conditioning, power windows, mirrors and locks. It has the sport seats with three electric lumbar settings. The seller has installed new tires, and has had the car gone through by his mechanic.


The seller claims his car is exceptional, with no squeaks or rattles, and I think this is a fair claim. It does have the time capsule look that is really hard to find in a thirty year old car.


The seller is asking $8,200 for his Z car, and while I am sure some readers will disagree, I think this car is worth something close to that amount (I checked Hagerty, which shows $8,000 for a car in excellent condition, with prices on the increase). A buyer will want to check it over closely, but if this car is as good as it looks, it should sell fairly quickly.


There just don’t seem to be that many rust-free, low mileage Z cars out there anymore, and this one really stands out. Even though white is not my favorite color at all, on this car, white looks pretty good. So what do you think, is this a car you might like to own?


  1. Avatar photo wagon master

    Four cylinder 240Z??
    Screams dolphin flipper find, but could be really nice. High side price wise.

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  2. Avatar photo Bob

    The Z cars never had a four-cylinder. The original 240Z had the L24 engine. A straight six.

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    • Avatar photo David Wilk Member

      My bad on the 240Z engine, typing far too quickly for my own good. Yes, I know it had a six! I am in Barn Finds purgatory today :)

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  3. Avatar photo Vegas Vic

    8k great price for these
    Heavy cars, but ok styling
    Fun rides

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  4. Avatar photo Jim

    8200 is high side price, but the 300z is a fun car to own and drive. If the car is what he says he should get what he’s asking or real close

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  5. Avatar photo DW

    Nice to see it’s not on eBay with a 15k starting price.

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  6. Avatar photo Mr. TKD

    A friend of mine owned one of these new. I always enjoyed riding in it. I almost bought an 88 anniversary turbo edition, but the insurance would’ve been too much for me to handle. Great cars! if I had the money, I wouldn’t think twice about buying this car!

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  7. Avatar photo Eric Dashman

    A buddy of mine had an 84 with the T-tops and 5 speed. He also had the electronic instrument panel which failed after about 50K miles and was a pain to fix, i.e, replacement required. It was a sweet ride though….plenty of power despite the weight, and handled well enough.

    I’ve never been a fan of T-tops. Bit of a headache to take off and put on, as well as being prone to leaking if the seals aren’t properly maintained. Frankly, I’m not a big fan of detachable sunroofs either (such as the one on my 1984 RX7). I have both the regular and the glass moon-roof and while they haven’t leaked remain a nuisance. Give me a convertible any time, powered or otherwise.

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  8. Avatar photo Blueprint

    It was listed on BaT recently and failed to meet reserve at $6,700. Nice one!

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  9. Avatar photo John Vreeland

    I had one of two sold in Ft Wayne In that I knew of and loved the car. Took way to much abuse and handled super! Unfortunately, I found myself in the way of a 16 year old new driver with a 4×4 with 4 different rims, smoking Mother Nature, and going about 80 when he finally hit me…I had pulled off to the side of the road and stopped as I saw this mess coming. The Z took the punishment well and the front driver side wheel ended up near the windshield, but I lived, albeit all broken ribs on one side and other dings……the kid flew out his windshield missed the largest trees I ever saw in Indiana, stumbled over to me and looked inside and said “oh sh*t” .Not what you want to hear……maybe I ‘ll bid. Thanks to Huntertown, Indiana rescue/fire/ambulance for getting me out!

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  10. Avatar photo Jeffrey Duddles


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  11. Avatar photo james burton

    worked on many of these. they were prone to the rear suspention rotting away or freezing up becoming solid sus. which broke the body into really bad on t-top cars. the 240, 260, 280, and 300 refered to eng. size 240 being 2400cc 260, 2600 cc size and so on. these with 280 turbos were mean sob’s but the futureistic electronics in the intieror and eng. man. were to far ahead of there time and the dealerships didn’t have a clue how to fix or stay on top of troubleshooting them. the 80’s turbo daytonas and lazers had the same downfalls

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  12. Avatar photo Dolphin Member

    Price is a bit high depending on how much you value the low miles and good condition. The SCM Guide has the median auction price paid for these at $4,200, with the high auction price ever paid being $6,500 but heck, it’s only a few thousand difference and only a drop in the bucket when you think of the asking for some of the rusty cars we see on here these days.

    I would much rather put about the same money into the best early 240Z I could find, which look better, are much simpler to work on, and are appreciating much more than these later cars. But if you want a nice smooth luxury ’80s Japanese cruiser this would probably be OK.

    The Turbo versions bring a bit more money, and they really haul at the top end, as I saw once when a guy in one passed me in my 240Z and disappeared down the road pretty quick.

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  13. Avatar photo JohnM

    Makes me nostalgic for digital dashes.

    Fairfield CT is a great place to buy a car like this from–guarantee it’s lived a pampered, well loved life.

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  14. Avatar photo Roger

    When I was a kid ( 14 ) I had a 1986 300zx. It was white just like this one, had red leather interior and t tops . Had a 5 speed. My father had several used car lots when I was growing up and this was one of the cars for sale. He was using it as his daily driver and taught me how to drive on it. I fell in love with the car and bugged the sheet out of him for it. He gave it to me as a birthday present. After many months learning to drive in parking lots he started letting me take it on the road ( only with him in the passenger seat ). Well, one time he had me driving him around running errands . We were leaving the city and it was quite late and he ended up falling asleep on the way home. I had gotten on 95 taking the long way home lol. Anyway I had a third Gen Camaro messing with me and we can’t have that now can we???? I got into it and he awoke to see the digital dash at 110! HE WAS NOT HAPPY TO SAY THE LEAST! He not so quietly asked me what the hell I was doing , I told him racing a Camaro – he said well did we win! Lol. I got barred from driving for a few months because of that little incident.

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  15. Avatar photo Alex

    Wow, very clean! I just bought one of these a week ago, and it’s nowhere near this nice!

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