Nissan 300ZX: Our shed

By: Rob McKay, Photography by: Rob McKay

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Our shed: Nissan 300ZX Our shed: Nissan 300ZX Our shed: Nissan 300ZX
Our shed: Nissan 300ZX Our shed: Nissan 300ZX Our shed: Nissan 300ZX
Our shed: Nissan 300ZX Our shed: Nissan 300ZX Our shed: Nissan 300ZX
Our shed: Nissan 300ZX Our shed: Nissan 300ZX Our shed: Nissan 300ZX

Japanese spors cars don't get much cleaner than Rob McKay's pristine Nissan 300ZX Z32

Nissan 300ZX: Our shed
Our shed: Nissan 300ZX


Nissan 300ZX Z32


It’s amazing what a person misses when they’re looking the other way. When the Nissan 300ZX Z32 (known as the Fairlady in Japan) arrived on these shores, I was tootling about in a Datsun 180B that was on its last pistons. It gave way to a Peugeot 504 and then a career turn took me to the UK for 12 years. London was no place to own wheels, so, apart from a few hire cars, driving just didn’t happen.

Returning to these shores was a weird experience. Despite almost yearly visits, everything was familiar but foreign. Every so often, though, I’d spy a form on the street which ticked a whole lot of boxes, most of which were aesthetic.

My formative years had seen aerodynamics change the way car designers put a skin together and all the cues I’d always enjoyed from ’70s and ’80s supercars when growing up were there. The Z32 was sleek in a way that made Z31s look rustic and the 350Zs seem somewhat robotic, despite their curves and other attributes. It also looked powerful and fast.

Though those two attributes are enjoyable in themselves, when the time actually came to buy, I was looking for a grand tourer. And with readies in short supply due to a home extension, it wasn’t going to be a massive spend. Above all, I didn’t want her to have been savagely ‘improved’, just made reasonable. Apart from the messy pipes design, purity had its attractions, almost as much as low mileage.

I came really close with a grey number in Newcastle five years ago but couldn’t manage the logistics. But this year, the stars aligned. Low mileage, untouched, right price, looked after inside and out, plenum pulled, rubber pipes rationalised. A rare holiday on the Gold Coast now had to include an unscheduled trip, full of doubt and apprehension, to the Sunshine Coast.

This example may never have been owned by anyone under the age of 30. She is now on her fourth owner, with the first one a Japanese gent, identity lost in the mists of the early 1990s. As a grey import, doubts will be entertained about aspects of her history but I take solace in mechanic reports (so far) that say she’s in great nick. She’s yet to go to a specialist but, in the end, that’s all that matters. I’ve not gone for personalised numberplates as the word I want is too long. And which word is that? ‘Pygmalion’, says it all really.


More reviews:

> The Z Factor

> Buyer's guide: Nissan 200SX S15

> Buyer's guide: 1991-92 Nissan R32 GT-R

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>> Search Nissan cars for sale



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