A Look at Classic Nissan Cars

Nissan has innovated and excelled in car markets in Japan, North America and throughout the world.

Recently, Nissan successfully adapted itself to a changing marketplace, and that has had a particularly stunning effect in North America. Both Nissan USA and Nissan Canada are experiencing broader success in the last few years than ever before.

In light of this recent success and renewed image, it’s more important than ever to remember where it all started. Most consumers are surprised to learn that the first Nissans, the Nissan Zaibatsu, rolled off production lines in the 1930s. In the nearly eight decades since, Nissan has manufactured a number of cars that have made a lasting impression on the industry. Let’s look at three of the most important.

Nissan S30


Image Source: Wikimedia

Sold in North America as the Nissan S30, the S30 also goes by the names Nissan Fairlady Z and Datsun 240Z, 260Z and 280Z. Manufactured from 1969-1978, the defining features of these models were the 4-wheel independent suspension, high-performance carburetors, front disc brakes and rear drums, and sporty styling, all at price that was significantly lower than locally manufactured like-models.

In the mid-to-late 1970s, Nissan faced some great challenges in North America due to increasingly stringent safety and emission requirements. The 280Z was its answer to that. It was available as a 2-seat coupe and a 2+2 hatchback, and it used a Bosch fuel injection system as well as a larger 2.8L engine, which helped compensate for some of the power lost due to emission requirements.

Nissan 280ZX (S130)


Image Source: Wikimedia

The Nissan 280ZX, also called the Fairlady Z and the Datsun 280ZX, was the next evolution of the 280Z, and it emerged in North American markets in 1979. It only lasted until 1983, but this model is still so popular among fans of classic Nissans that it’s not unusual to find it on display at many Nissan dealerships. For the S130, Nissan added a turbo inline-6 motor, it offered a four-seater and it further improved aerodynamics, emissions and economy.

Nissan 300ZX


Image Source: Classic Cars 2 Sale

Nissan manufactured the 300ZX in North America in two distinct generations. It manufactured generation one, the Z31, from 1984-1989, and generation two, the Z32, from 1989-2000. Sold in Japan as the Fairlady Z, the initial 1984 model influenced the North American sports car market more than any other car Nissan has ever manufactured. From the mid-80s through the 90s, the 300ZX, with its 3.0-liter turbo V6, was standard by which all other sports cars were measured.


~ by velofinds on October 1, 2009.

One Response to “A Look at Classic Nissan Cars”

  1. Cool post. I love the first version of the z car the most!

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