Worth Saving? 1988 Nissan 300ZX

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Might someone get a Nissan 300ZX project with just one measly bid? There’s always a chance. This Z32-chassis 1988 300ZX has been relisted a few times now due to non-paying bidders. The seller isn’t asking much for the car, which is advertised as a total project. Fortunately, it’s a desirable 5-speed model. Find the 300ZX here on eBay with one bid to $1K and located in West Virginia.

The car has been parked since 2015. Inspection stickers indicate it was last running at that time, but the Nissan has only performed yard drives since then. The body itself is quite filthy, so it remains to be seen as to whether the paint would clean off after years of sitting under vegetation. However, from what I can see, the panels and lenses are all surprisingly straight.

The interior isn’t bad, either. Mileage is indicated on the odometer at being a hair over 115,000. The seats aren’t all torn up and the carpets don’t appear stained or past rejuvenation. As mentioned, this is equipped with the preferred manual transmission. The dash is cracked, but these show up so often in junkyards, I’ll bet you can find a replacement fairly easily.

I can’t quite tell where this is in relation to the car, but I suspect it’s the trunk on the right or left side – just a guess. This isn’t rot-through, but indicates water has likely been finding its way in and causing some surface rust to blossom. While the turbocharged V6 is the model that catches my attention, there’s nothing wrong with a cheap, running, and clean-titled Z32 with what looks like a solid body.

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  1. bobhess bobhessMember

    That looks like the right rear trunk area in the last picture.

    Like 2
  2. CanuckCarGuy

    This era 300ZX carried the 2+2 body lines well…without a nasty humpback appearance. If it could be put on the road with some elbow grease and a moderate mechanical refresh, it would be a fun driver. I’d not want to invest too heavily in a normally aspirated 2+2

    Like 1
    • HydTech

      Yes, perhaps a mechanical refreshing would yield good results.

      Like 0
  3. ATL_Jeff

    Just one slight correction — this is a Z31 chassis. The Z32 was 1989-96 in the US and is way more desirable than the earlier Z31 300zx’s.

    This car might be worth $1K in this condition. You won’t get your money out of it anytime soon if you need to any kind of serious restoration. If it runs and drives, hopefully you can get away with basic maintenance and make it a decent driver. Otherwise walk away, or just restore it because you love it and want to make it great and don’t worry about the investment.

    Like 2
    • Tom Wasney

      84-89 is z31, 90-96 is z32… Have owned at least 8 z31 cars…

      Like 0
  4. jf85tr99

    These are fairly easy to work on my buddy had one back in high school. Looks like the interior is pretty mold free considering where its sitting which is a big plus, i’d still have a much closer look to be sure especially considering it’s a T-Top. If that’s the worst of the rust, this thing could be a fun cheap summer DD I’m in at $750 tops though.


    Like 1
  5. Steve R

    Someone would be better off spending a couple of thousand more on a better car, any car. It’s been sitting for an indeterminate length of time, they couldn’t even bother to wash it or clean out the garbage. It screams money pit. It’s rough and is at the bottom of the depreciation curve, and likely won’t move in positive territory for a long time, if ever, since it’s a non-turbo 2+2. The one thing going for it is that’s it’s a stick shift. This car is one moderately expensive repair away from the salvage yard. Not every car can and should be saved, this car falls into that catagory.

    By the way, it’s “sold” twice recently on eBay, but neither buyer completed the transaction. That’s likely a hint as to its quality.

    Steve R

    Like 4
  6. Ike Onick

    Why would anyone buy a car from someone who couldn’t be bothered to at least put a $100 cover on the car?

    Like 3
    • Dovi65

      Never mind a $100 cover, how about hosing off the accumulation of leaves, & dirt. That’s free, takes only a few minutes. That alone could make the difference between a potential buyer passing it by, or stopping for a closer look.

      Like 5
  7. 8banger DaveMember

    And thus begins the car cover outside debate…

    Like 4
  8. Dovi65

    I’ve always liked the “big Z’s”, and have come to appreciate them more in recent years. As long as this one doesn’t require a huge investment for mechanical freshening, it would be a great car for a H.S/college kid. A weekend or two of parent/child elbow grease and a little tinkering could have the kid a decent personal sport coupe. The cost will be a lot less than a new/gently used car and give more smiles per mile.

    Like 3
  9. Karl

    You know what guys I have a really hard time taking anybody seriously about selling a vehicle when they can’t even sweep the leaves off the car in their selling pics. If this is the life this car has had it’s worth nothing to me!

    Like 1
    • don

      I totally agree ! How hard would it have been to fill a 5 gallon bucket with water , get some dish soap and a sponge , wipe it all down and then hose it off ? It still may not be worth a restoration , but at least make it presentable !

      Like 0
  10. ChebbyMember

    Worth washing, at least.

    Like 0

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