260z nissan

Datsun 260Z (1974 to 1978)

1974 Datsun 260Z

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1974 Datsun 260Z

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1974 Datsun 260Z

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1974 Datsun 260Z

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1974.5 Datsun 260Z

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1974 Datsun 260Z

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1974 Datsun 260Z 2+2

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1974 Datsun 260Z

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1974 Datsun 260Z 5-Speed

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1978 Datsun 260Z

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1974 Datsun 260Z 5-Speed

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1974 Datsun 260Z 2+2

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1974 Datsun 260Z 5-Speed

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1979 Datsun 260Z

1979 Datsun 260ZSilverstone (UK) Race Retro Live Online (2021)

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1974 Datsun 260Z

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1974 Datsun 260Z

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1974 Datsun 260Z

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1974 Datsun 260Z

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1974 Datsun 260Z

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1974 Datsun 260Z 2+2 4-Speed

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1974 Datsun 260Z 5-Speed

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1974 Datsun 260Z

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1976 Datsun 260Z 2+2 Coupé

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1974 Datsun 260Z

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1974 Datsun 260Z 5-Speed

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The Complete History of the Nissan Z: From Datsun 240Z to Simply Z

All things Z.

Nissan Z Essential History

Grab the popcorn and make sure the keg is full—a new (okay, radically revised) Nissan Z has been unveiled. What better time to revisit the previous generations of the Z?

First Generation (S30)

The decades-long Z Car legend starts with the original Datsun 240Z, which entered production in October 1969 as a 1970 model year vehicle. Produced as something of a response to Toyota's 2000GT sports car, the Yamaha proposal for which was passed over by Nissan before it became a Toyota project, the 240Z would ultimately be far more successful, with more than 160,000 of the two-door, two-seat, rear-drive sports cars sold in just four years of production in the United States. With a 151-hp 2.4-liter straight-six engine paired with a four-speed transmission, fully independent suspension, and an affordable $3,526 MSRP, the 240Z was seen as a performance bargain, with 0-to-60 mph times in the 8.0-second range and a 125-mph top speed.

The 240Z was sold in four unofficial series. Series 1 240Zs include the earliest cars built in late 1969 through mid-1971, identifiable by two ventilation grilles below the rear hatch and "240Z" badging on the C-pillar. These early cars are typically the most desirable to collectors, although the vents, removed from Series 2 cars, would allow exhaust fumes to enter the cabin when parked or at low speeds. Production of the 240Z ended in September 1973.

The 260Z launched for the 1974 model year to replace the 240Z, and as its name suggests, displacement from the straight-six was stroked to 2.6 liters. U.S. emissions regulations initially forced the automaker to detune the larger engine's output to 140 hp, but by mid-1974 the full 165 hp that the 260Z made in the rest of the world was available to American buyers. The 260Z's interior was significantly revised from the 240Z, the chassis was reinforced for greater rigidity, and a rear anti-roll bar was added as standard, while the four-speed manual transmission carried on, with an optional three-speed automatic available. From the outside, 260Zs were identifiable by larger bumpers, new taillights, and a new, longer-wheelbase 2+2 variant. While the 260Z was sold for several years in most markets, the U.S. had just a single year of production before moving on to the 280Z, which bumped engine displacement to 2.8 liters (and output to 170 hp) to help guard against ever-tightening emissions standards.

Other changes to the 280Z included a switch to Bosch electronic fuel injection (another emissions-friendly change) and new, heavy U.S.-spec 5-mph bumpers. Models from the 1977 model year were given the option of a new five-speed transmission, a space-saver rear tire, and a larger fuel tank, which cut into cargo space. The 280Z continued in both short- and long-wheelbase models into 1978. All told, by the time first-generation Z car production ended, Nissan and Datsun had sold over 520,000 examples worldwide.

Second Generation (S130)

An all-new 280ZX entered production for the 1979 model year with the revised purpose of being more of a grand touring car than a focused sports car. As such, the 280ZX was larger, more luxuriously appointed, and inherently heavier than the initial S30 cars that it replaced. The change in ethos must have been deemed a success at the time when we named the 280ZX our 1979 Import Car of the Year.

While the suspension was a similar MacPherson strut front, semi-trailing arm rear setup, tuning was optimized for comfort over road feel, but disc brakes were found at all four corners and aerodynamic studies had brought the 280ZX's drag coefficient down significantly from the old platform. High-speed stability improved as well with a longer wheelbase for both two-seat and 2+2 models, but acceleration suffered. With just 135 horsepower now available from the 2.8-liter engine, taller gearing for fuel economy purposes, and more weight to carry around than ever before (nearly 3,000 pounds in 2+2 form), acceleration fell to sub-240Z levels. A T-top-style roof was also available for the first time and proved to be popular in the U.S.

In 1981 the 280ZX Turbo variant arrived to restore lost power—output from the 2.8-liter turbo was an impressive 180 hp and 203 lb-ft of torque. The rear suspension was revised to give sportier handling in the turbocharged model, and 1982 brought a mid-cycle refresh with a slightly more powerful naturally aspirated model and the first availability of an American Borg Warner five-speed manual transmission in the Turbo. Zero-to-60-mph acceleration for the 280ZX Turbo fell to 7.4 seconds, quick enough to embarrass many more expensive cars of the era. More changes also came to the Turbo's suspension for 1982, which significantly tightened up the chassis with firmer suspension tuning. Production ended in 1983 with over 331,000 second-generation Z cars sold.

Third Generation (Z31)

The first 300ZX debuted as a 1984 model and was the first Z car to feature a Nissan/Datsun badge, as Nissan began to phase out its U.S.-specific Datsun branding, completed in 1985. Externally, the 300ZX continued its evolutionary aesthetic changes with a more squared-off, less curvaceous body style and the swapping of fixed lights to pop-up units that allowed a lower, more aerodynamic nose. Mechanically, the changes were more significant with a switch from a straight-six to a V-6 engine configuration for improved weight distribution and efficiency.

Like before, both two-seat and 2+2 configurations were available, the suspension was MacPherson strut front, semi-trailing arm rear, and two engines were available, both SOHC 3.0-liter V-6 units. A naturally aspirated version produced 165 hp, while the turbocharged engine made 200 horsepower. A five-speed manual or four-speed automatic were the two transmission options. Turbo models built in 1987 and onward finally received a limited-slip differential. Proving that Nissan had well and truly moved into the 1980s, a computerized vocal alert system was optional which warned the driver about issues like an open door or low fuel level. A 50th anniversary edition was launched in a two-tone silver and black color scheme for the first year of production with a digital-style dashboard that monitored lateral g-force among other things, along with adjustable dampers and unique leather seats. Some 329,900 third-generation Z cars were built globally by the time production ended in 1989.

Fourth Generation (Z32)

With the all-new Z32 300ZX for the 1990 model year came a renewed focus on Z car performance and the most remarkable styling transformation the model had yet seen. Wider and with a longer wheelbase yet again, the 1990 300ZX had slippery new bodywork with faired-in fixed headlights and a rakish, almost exotic appearance. Still, the 300ZX remained a two-seat or 2+2 coupe with a lift-up hatch for cargo storage and T-top roof, by then just about ubiquitous to the model.

Nissan continued with a 3.0-liter V-6 engine for the Z32 300ZX, but with dual-overhead cams, variable valve timing, and other improvements to coax an impressive 222 horsepower from the naturally aspirated version. Enthusiasts with larger wallets stepped up to the 300ZX twin-turbo, which as the name implies featured twin Garrett turbochargers for a whopping 300 horsepower in a model year when the base Chevy Corvette made 245 horsepower. Performance from the twin-turbo car was world class, with a 5.0-second 0-60-mph time and a 155-mph top speed. Handling was also praised, especially with the twin-turbo's Super HICAS four-wheel steering.

Changes to the Z32 through the years in the U.S. were relatively small. For the 1993 model year a convertible was produced (only available with the naturally aspirated engine), the special titanium ignition keys Nissan produced were canceled by the end of 1994, and in 1996, the model's final year in the U.S., variable valve timing was removed as it would no longer meet emissions requirements Stateside. Production in Japan continued until model year 2000, but sales were roughly half of the previous generation's global tally at 164,170. This was largely because of the 300ZX's steadily rising price that pushed the Nissan closer to market space dominated by prestige models like Chevy's Corvette, Porsche's 968, and even Acura's NSX.

Fifth Generation (Z33)

For U.S. buyers, it would be six long years—including a three-year wait after seeing the 1999 Nissan 240Z concept at that year's Detroit auto show—before a Z car hit our shores again. In late 2002, for the 2003 model year, the new Nissan 350Z revived Nissan enthusiasts with a car closer to the Z car's roots. Styled by Nissan's California-based design team and launched as a coupe, the 350Z used Nissan's naturally aspirated 3.5-liter VQ-series V-6 engine producing 287 hp and a healthy 274 lb-ft of torque. Both six-speed manual and five-speed automatic transmission were available, and in 2004, a convertible variant made up for the lack of a T-top roof style. Five different trim levels were available including Base, Enthusiast, Performance, Touring, and Track. The latter included such performance features as a limited-slip differential, Brembo brakes, an aerodynamic kit with front and rear spoilers, traction control, and 18-inch wheels.

In 2005, Nissan announced Track edition and new 35th Anniversary edition 350Zs with manual transmissions would receive an up-rated version of the existing VQ engine making 300 hp, but slightly less torque at 260 lb-ft. In 2006, all 350Zs were given a subtle facelift with new taillights and some interior changes, and in 2007 all 350Zs were given another revised engine (the VQ35HR), now with 306 hp, 268 lb-ft of torque, and a higher 7,500-rpm redline. This engine necessitated more space under the hood, resulting in a subtle bulge to clear the intake plenum. A Nismo 350Z was marketed in the final two years of production, 2007-2008. Far more than a sporty appearance package, Nismo editions were seam-welded for rigidity with Yamaha-tuned suspension, unique four-piston front, two-piston rear Brembo brakes, lightweight Rays forged wheels in staggered 18-inch front/19-inch rear sizing, and a special Nismo exhaust system. Some 1,607 Nismo 350Z models were produced for the North American market, a fraction of the nearly 150,000 350Zs sold in the region in total. Global production numbers are elusive.

Sixth Generation (Z34)

The sixth generation of the Z, the 370Z, began production in late 2008 as a 2009 model, and despite looking quite similar to its predecessor, an increase in lightweight materials and shorter, wider, and lower dimensions versus the previous Z33-series 350Z meant tangible changes behind the wheel. Nissan stuck by its VQ-series V-6, but increased capacity again to a naturally aspirated 3.7 liters good for 332 hp and 270 lb-ft, enough to drop 0-60-mph times into the 4.7-second range. Though redline remained at 7,500 rpm, the new engine did have one drawback: its notably coarser feel. Though Z cars from the late 1970s forward never had a reputation for light weight, the 3,300-pound 370Z was at least some 88 pounds lighter than a comparable 350Z, with a new front subframe, rear hatch, and doors made from aluminum.

A Nismo 370Z was quick to arrive in the summer of 2009, but without the seam-welded chassis that the Nismo 350Z boasted, likely due to the 370Z's already inherent increase in structural rigidity. Still, engine output was bumped to 350 hp and 276 lb-ft of torque, while usual suspects like 19-inch Rays wheels, stiffer suspension components, larger brakes with four-piston front and two-piston rear calipers, and a front spoiler were included on the build sheet. Nissan's SynchoRev Match manual transmission feature for automatically rev-matched downshifts also launched on this model before expanding to all manual-equipped 370Zs later.

A roofless Z car was again on offer when the 2010-2019 370Z Roadster and several special edition models came to America. A 370Z 40th Anniversary Edition arrived in 2010 with a 1,000-car production run commemorating the anniversary of the original 240Z. These cars were distinguished by a manual transmission, front and rear spoilers, sport brakes with red calipers, 19-inch Rays wheels, unique Graphite paint, and plenty of special badges. In 2019, a 50th Anniversary 370Z arrived with Rays wheels, Alcantara interior upholstery, and special graphics that harken back to the Brock Racing Enterprises (BRE) 240Z race cars of the early 1970s.

Sixth Generation Part 2 (Z34)

Nissan finally retired the 370Z after more than a decade on the market. In its place comes the 2023 Z. That's right Z, just Z. While it still rides on the same chassis as the old 370Z (and thus retains the Z34 internal code), the new Z packs fresh styling inspired by the designs of Zs past. It also packs a 3.0-liter twin-turbo V-6 under its long 240Z-like hood. The 400-hp engine mates to either a six-speed manual or nine-speed automatic transmission. Inside, the new Z welcomes modern technology such as a standard 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster and a standard 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system, with a bigger 9.0-inch unit also available. Although the 2023 Nissan Z isn't the all-new Z35 we hoped for, it appears to be a thorough enough upgrade to truly excite us.

Nissan Z Highlights

One of the rarest and most desirable production Z cars produced was never sold in the U.S. market. The JDM-only 1970-1973 Nissan Fairlady Z432 was essentially an uprated 240Z (called Fairlady Z in Japan) with the twin-cam 158-hp 2.0-liter straight-six engine from the Skyline 2000GT-R replacing the standard single-cam 2.4-liter six. The "432" designation stood for "four-valve, three-carburetor, two-camshaft" and the model boasted other uprated components like a five-speed manual gearbox, limited-slip differential, and lightweight magnesium wheels. Around 420 of these special cars were sold over four years at a cost double that of the standard Fairlady Z. Even rarer was the Fairlady Z432R, a motorsport special with a de-contented interior along with lighter doors, hood, and glass that saved over 200 pounds in total. Other changes included a 100-liter competition fuel tank and a few power-producing engine modifications. It's thought that as few as 50 of these Z432R models were built, again for Japan only.

Nissan Z Buying Tips

With literally millions of Nissan and Datsun Z cars sold over the past 50 years, finding one for sale is not difficult in the least. What can be difficult is finding the right car for you. With such a large production range filled with various engines, transmissions, colors, special editions, and so on, finding the exact specification of Z car that you're looking for in the right condition at the right price can take some time. While a buyer's guide spanning all six generations is beyond our scope for this article, we can generalize by saying that first-generation 240Z models from 1970-1973 are generally considered to be among the most collectible and desirable, with fourth-generation 300ZX Twin Turbo models also finding strength in recent years. Second- and third-generation Z cars have the least number of collectors clamoring after them, while fifth-generation 350Z and sixth-generation 370Z models are still "just used cars," with limited collector interest for now. Given that no generation of Z was immune from enthusiastic owners' aftermarket upgrades, finding an all-original example of any used Z car is a rarity and usually will command a premium asking price.

Nissan Z Quick Facts

  • First year of production: 1970
  • Last year of production: Ongoing
  • Total sold: Over 1.7 million (est)
  • Original price (base, 1970): $3,526
  • Characteristic feature: Nissan's perennial sports car, the Z in all its iterations promised fun, reliability, and accessible performance for the masses.

Nissan Z FAQ

●       How much is a Nissan Z?

We expect the 2023 Nissan Z to sticker for just under $40,000.

●       Which Nissan Z is the best?

This will depend on who you ask. Many enthusiasts prefer the original Datsun 240Z, while the fourth-generation 300ZX Twin Turbo models have many fans as well.

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240Z


The Datsuns 240Z is the first model from the first series of Nissan Z-cars. Bagged the S30, the first series was produced between 1969 - 1978 and also included 260Z and 280Z. The Z-cars disappeared from the US market with the introduction of the 300ZX Twin Turbo I 1993 and came back seven years later with the 350Z.

On its launch, the 240Z was a spectacular car that could easily compete with the best cars from the American and European market. It was a performance car with a sexy look, at a price (only $3500) that helped the maker to sell over 30,000 units in 1971 and over 50,000 and 40,000 in 1972 and 1973, respectively. Actually, the price was that made the Japanese car to have such a big success on the foreign markets.

The 240Z came in two different versions: one for the American market and one for the Japanese one. The one for the Japanese market was more design into race, while the American model had nothing of a race car in it. It was powered by a SOHC L20 Inline-6 engine with an output of 130 hp, and on the American market came with L24 Inline-6 engine with twin SU carburetors that produced 151 hp.

The engine was actually 510’s 1.6-liter, OHC four with two more cylinders grafted on to make a surprisingly lusty 2.4-liter SOHC Inline-6 with dual SU-like carburetors.

The 240Z also featured a four-speed manual transmission, disc brakes in the front and ho-hum drums in the rear.

The exterior styling was inspired by the Ferrari GTO proportions and the Jaguar E-type nose. Nissan also added delicate bumper and framed by headlights recessed into ice scoop buckets mounted in the front fenders. It had a weight of 2320 lbs.

The interior features high-back bucket seats and instrumentation deeply tunneled into the dash.

The car made the 0 to 60 mph sprint in 8.2 seconds and complete the quarter-mile in 15.5 seconds at 86.5 mph. Top speed was 125 mph.

Nissan 240Z Specifications

  • Engine: 2.4 L (2393 cc/146 in³) I6, cast-iron block, alloy head, seven-bearing crankshaft, single overhead cam, 9.0:1 compression
    • Bore: 83.0 mm (3.3 in)
    • Stroke: 73.7 mm (2.9 in)
  • Fuel system: Mechanical fuel pump, twin Hitachi HJG 46W 1.75 in (44.4 mm) SU-type carburetors
  • Power: 151 hp (113 kW) at 5600 rpm (SAE gross)
  • Torque: 146 ft•lbf (198 N•m) at 4400 rpm (SAE gross)
  • Transmisson: Four-speed manual or three-speed automatic (after September 1970)
  • Brakes:
    • Front: 10.7 in (271.8 mm) discs
    • Rear: 9.0 in (228.6 mm) by 1.6 in (40.6 mm) drums
  • Suspension:
    • Front: Independent with MacPherson struts, lower links, coil springs, telescopic dampers, anti-roll bar
    • Rear: Independent with MacPherson struts, lower wishbones, coil springs, telescopic dampers
  • Steering: Rack and pinion, 2.7 turns lock to lock
  • Wheels: 4.5J-14 steel wheels with 175 SR 14 tires
  • Wheelbase: 90.7 in (2304 mm)
  • Length: 162.8 in (4135 mm)
  • Width: 64.1 in (1628 mm)
  • Dry weight: 2355 lb (1068 kg)
  • Top speed: 125 mph (200 km/h)
  • 0-60 mph (97 km/h): 8.0 s
  • Typical fuel consumption: 21 mpg (11.2 L/100 km)
  • Nissan changed nothing about the car until 1974, and still the sales were a real big success.

260Z


The first change come in 1974, more because of the new bumper and emissions regulations. The name was changed from 240Z to 260Z because of the new engine’s displacement (2.6 liter). Also a 2+2 seated model was added to the line-up with a wheelbase 11.9 inches longer than the two-seater’s. On the US market it was sold only in 1974, but on other countries was available until 1979.

Even in the engine displacement was bigger, the output was lower, only 140 hp and that was because the emissions regulations forced a reduction in ignition timing and compression ratio. The 260Z was offered with a 3-speed automatic transmission.

Because of its reduced performance, the 260Z wasn’t a success as the 240Z; as a result the company had to lower prices.

Compared with the 240Z, the 260Z came with a few improvements: the climate controls were more sensibly laid out and easier to work, and there was additional stiffness in the chassis due to a redesign of the chassis rails which were larger and extended further back than in the 240Z.

280Z


The next changes to the model were made in 1975. As a result of a new engine displacement, the car also took a new name: the 280Z (powered by a 2.8 liter engine). The car finally came with a five-speed manual transmission; the rest the car only had cosmetic changes and a new price: $7,968. The 280Z was only sold in USA. In 1977 Nissan sold 70,000 coupes and 2+2s.

For the 280Z models, Nissan replaced the SU carburetors on all models with Bosch’s L-Jetronic field injection. The output was increased from 140 to 149 hp.

In 1977 the first series Z-Car saw its biggest power improvement: from 150 hp in the original 240Z, it was now increased to 170 hp. Also the models featured a five-speed overdrive transmission.

In 1978 Nissan offered a ’Black Pearl’ 280Z limited edition. All the models (around 850-1500) were offered in black pearl paint with a unique stripe-kit.

In 1979 Nissan unveiled the second generation Z-Cars. The first model, the 280ZX was a more refined and luxurious than the previous generation.

Conclusion


A true sports car with a retro look, the first-series Z-Cars were a real success on the market. Next with its performance, quite good at that time, there was the price, with no other competition on the market, reason why the vehicle an icon of ’70s cool and sophistication. As seen from the statistics, Nissan knew how to have a word to say on the market. They knew their customer’s desires and find solutions to create a car at a price that every one could afford to buy it. And as the history will show, the Z-Cars were and are a big hit on all over world.

Alina Moore

Alina Joined the Topspeed.com team in the early 2000s as one of the outlets very first experts, and she’s been with Topspeed.com ever since. Over the years, she’s served various roles, but today she’s is relied on heavily to verify automotive facts, assist with formatting, and discover new and engaging topics.  Read full bio

About the author
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Nissan S30

Japanese sports car produced 1969 to 1978

Main article: Nissan Z-car

Motor vehicle

The Nissan S30 (sold in Japan as the Nissan Fairlady Z and in other markets as the Datsun 240Z, then later as the 260Z and 280Z) is the first generation of ZGT 3-door two-seat coupés, produced by Nissan Motors, Ltd. of Japan from 1969 to 1978. One of the most successful sports car lines ever produced, the trend-setting S30 was designed by a team led by Yoshihiko Matsuo, the head of Nissan's Sports Car Styling Studio.[1]

Seeking to compete head-to-head with established European sports cars, Datsun priced the new 240Z within $200 of the British MGB-GT in the United States, a five-year-old design that showed its age. The 240Z's sleek styling, modern engineering, relatively low price, and impressive performance struck a major chord with the public. Positive response from both buyers and the motoring press was immediate, and dealers soon had long waiting lists for the "Z".

As a "halo" car, the 240Z broadened the acceptance of Japanese car-makers beyond their econobox image. Datsun's growing dealer network—compared to limited production imported sports cars manufactured by Jaguar, BMW, Porsche, Alfa Romeo, and Fiat—ensured both easy purchase and ready maintenance.

All variants of the S30 have four-wheel independent suspension consisting of MacPherson struts in front (borrowed from the Nissan Laurel C30) and Chapman struts in back. Front disc brakes and rear drums were standard.

The 240Z used twin SU-style Hitachi one-barrel side-draft carburetors. These were replaced on the 260Z with Hitachi one-barrel side-draft carburetors beginning with model year 1973 to comply with emissions regulations, resulting in diminished overall performance. A Bosch-designed L-Jetronic electronic fuel injection was added to US market 280Zs in 1975 to compensate.

Continuing through the 1975–1978 model years, markets outside of the United States (and Japan, which only offered the 2-liter engine from 1974) still received the 260Z coupé and 2+2. The S30 240Z is unrelated to the later 240SX, which is sold as the Silvia in Japan.

Fairlady Z[edit]

Motor vehicle

Nissan Fairlady Z
1977 Nissan Fairlady Z.jpg

1977 Nissan Fairlady Z (S31)

Also calledNissan Fairlady Z
Production1969–1978
Body style3-door coupé
Engine
  • 1990 cc S20DOHC24vI6 (PS30)
  • 1998 cc L20 I6 (S30/GS30)
  • 2393 cc L24 I6 (HS30)
Transmission
Wheelbase
  • 2,305 mm (90.7 in) (2-seater)
  • 2,605 mm (102.6 in) (2+2)
Length
  • 4,115 mm (162.0 in)
  • 4,305 mm (169.5 in) (240ZG)
  • 4,425 mm (174.2 in) (2+2)
Width
  • 1,630 mm (64.2 in)
  • 1,690 mm (66.5 in) (240ZG)
  • 1,650 mm (65.0 in) (2+2)
Height1,285–1,305 mm (50.6–51.4 in)
Curb weight975–1,205 kg (2,150–2,657 lb)
SuccessorNissan Fairlady Z (S130)

The Fairlady Z was introduced in late 1969 as a 1970 model, with the L20 2.0-litre straight-six SOHC engine, rear-wheel drive, and a stylish coupe body. The engine, based on the Datsun 510's four-cylinder, produced 130 PS (96 kW; 128 hp) JIS and came with a four- or a five-speed manual transmission. For 1973, power of the carburetted engine dropped to 125 PS (92 kW; 123 hp) to meet stricter regulations.[2] In Japan, the Fairlady was exclusive to Nissan Japanese dealerships called Nissan Bluebird Stores. Japanese buyers could also get the L24-engined Fairlady 240Z model (HS30), although the larger engine placed it in a considerably higher tax category. The Japanese-spec 2.4-litre engine produces a claimed 150 PS (110 kW; 148 hp) JIS at 5600 rpm but was discontinued in 1973 as sales had dropped considerably as a result of the fuel crisis, and so until the August 1978 introduction of the Fairlady 280Z only two-liter Fairladys were available.

1974 Nissan Fairlady Z 2+2 (GS30)

When export models changed over to the larger 2.6-liter 260Z in 1974, only 2-liter models remained available to Japanese buyers. A Fairlady 260Z had been planned for release, but the impact of the oil crisis stopped the model, although the 260Z was available in Okinawa (which drove on the right side of the road until 1978). The Fairlady Z received all the changes as applied to the export models, including the addition of a long-wheelbase 2+2 model. Introduced in January 1974, this received the GS30 chassis code. In 1975 the L20 engine gained fuel injection to meet new emissions standards (A-S30, A-GS30) and once again provided 130 PS (96 kW; 128 hp) JIS.[3] At the end of July 1976 the car received the NAPS system, including an EGR system, to meet the stricter yet emissions standards in effect for this year, bringing with it a change in model codes to S31 (C-S31/C-GS31).[4] At the same time, the more luxurious Fairlady Z-T model was introduced[4] - this was strictly an equipment level and did not include a T-bar roof, which was first seen on the succeeding generation Fairlady.

Fairlady ZG[edit]

1972 Nissan Fairlady 240ZG in Grand Prix Maroon

The Japan-only HS30-H Nissan Fairlady 240ZG was released in Japan in October 1971 to homologate the 240Z for Group 4 racing. Differences between the Fairlady ZG and an export-market Datsun 240Z include an extended fiberglass "aero-dyna" nose, wider over-fenders riveted to the body, a rear spoiler, acrylic glass headlight covers and fender-mounted rear-view mirrors. The ZG's better aerodynamics allowed it to reach a top speed of 210 km/h (130 mph), five more than the regular Fairlady 240Z (automatics' top speeds were another 5 km/h lower).[5]

The Fairlady ZG was available in three colours: Grand Prix Red, Grand Prix White, and Grand Prix Maroon. The "G" in Fairlady ZG stands for "Grande." Although the ZG was not sold in the US and was never sold outside Japan, in order for it to be eligible for competition in the US, Nissan sold the nose kit as a dealer's option which is known as the "G-nose". With the nose added, these 240Zs are often referred to as 240ZGs outside of Japan.

Fairlady Z432[edit]

Packaging the 160 PS (118 kW; 158 hp) S20 engine (originally designed by the former Prince engineers) from the Skyline GT-R created a faster Fairlady. "Z432" referred to 4 valves per cylinder, 3 Mikuni carburetors, and 2 camshafts. The model code is PS30. Approximately 420 were built.[6] Some Z432s were used by the police in Japan.

Fairlady Z432R[edit]

A Japan-only model Fairlady Z equipped with the twin cam 2.0 L inline six-cylinder "S20" engine shared with the KPGC10 Skyline GT-R was released in the Japanese domestic market (JDM) for homologation purposes (to enable its use as a rally car). The Z432R were all painted orange with black aluminum wheels and a low luster black hood. Z432R had lighter front guards, doors, and bonnet, as well as further engine enhancements over the Z432.

In January 2020 a 1970 Z432R sold at auction in Japan for a record A$1.17 million, about US$837,000.[7]

240Z[edit]

Motor vehicle

The 1970 240Z was introduced to the American market by Yutaka Katayama, president of Nissan Motors USA operations, widely known as "Mister K". The early cars from 1969 to mid-1971 had some subtle differences compared to late-71 to 1973 cars. The most visible difference is; these early cars had a chrome 240Z badge on the sail pillar, and two horizontal vents in the rear hatch below the glass molding providing flow through ventilation. In mid-1971, there were production changes, including exterior and interior colors, was restyling of the sail pillar emblems were with just the letter Z placed in a circular vented emblem, and the vents were eliminated from the hatch panel of the car, due to complains of exhaust being circulated into the car. Design changes for the US model 240Z occurred throughout production but were not always reflected in the JDM Fairlady if they were specific to federal requirements, including interior modifications for the 1972 model year and a change in the location of the bumper over-riders, as well as the addition of some emission control devices and the adoption of a new style of emissions reducing carburetors for the 1973 model year.

1971 240Z interior with the rare blue upholstery

The 1970 models were introduced in October 1969, received the L24 2.4-liter engine with a manual choke and a four-speed manual. A less common three-speed automatic transmission was optional from 1971 on, and had a "Nissan full automatic" badge. Most export markets received the car as the "240Z", with slightly differing specifications depending on the various market needs.

In 2004, Sports Car International named this car number two on their list of Top Sports Cars of the 1970s.

Specifications[edit]

  • Engine: 2,393 cc (2.4 L; 146.0 cu in) L24inline-six, cast iron block, alloy head, two valves per cylinder, seven-bearingcrankshaft, Direct Acting OHC, compression ratio 9.0:1; Maximum recommended engine speed 7,000 rpm.[9]
    • Bore X stroke: 83 mm × 73.7 mm (3.27 in × 2.90 in)
  • Fuel system: Mechanical fuel pump, twin Hitachi HJG 46W 1.75 in (44 mm) SU-typecarburetors[9]
  • Power: 151 hp (153 PS; 113 kW) at 5,600 rpm (SAE gross), 140 PS (103 kW; 138 hp) DIN at 5,600 rpm[10]
  • Torque: 146 lb⋅ft (198 N⋅m) at 4,400 rpm (SAE gross), 19.5 kg⋅m (191 N⋅m; 141 lb⋅ft) at 4,800 rpm (DIN)[10]
  • Transmission: Four-speed manual, five-speed manual, or three-speed automatic (after September 1970)
  • Final drive ratios:
  • Brakes:
    • Front: 10.7 in (272 mm) discs
    • Rear: 9.0 in (229 mm) x 1.6 in (41 mm) drums
  • Suspension:
  • Steering: Rack and pinion,[9] 2.7 turns lock to lock
  • Wheels: 4.5J-14 steel wheels with 175SR14 tires
  • Top speed: 125 mph (201 km/h)
  • 0 to 60 mph (97 km/h): 8.0 s
  • Typical fuel consumption: 21 mpg‑US (11 L/100 km; 25 mpg‑imp)

World Rally Championship - round victories[edit]

In 1973, a 240Z, in the hands of Shekhar Mehta, won the 21st East African Safari Rally.[9]

  • 1970-71 Datsun 240Z Series I (US Model) in color code 907 racing green

  • 1971.5-72 Datsun 240Z Series II (US Model) in color code 113 green metallic

  • 1971 East African Safari rally car

260Z[edit]

Motor vehicle

Datsun 260Z
Datsun 260Z am Strassenrand.jpg

Datsun 260Z 2-seater

Production
  • 1974-1978 (Global)
  • 1974 (US)
Body style
Engine2.6 L L26I6
Transmission
Wheelbase
  • 2,305 mm (90.7 in)
  • 2,605 mm (102.6 in) (2+2)
Length
Width1,626 mm (64.0 in)[11]
Height1,285 mm (50.6 in)[11]
Curb weight
PredecessorDatsun 240Z
SuccessorDatsun 280Z

The 260Z was sold in the United States for the 1974 model year only, but was available in other countries until 1978 (aside from Japan, where this model was never regularly available except for in Okinawa). The engine was enlarged to 2.6 L by lengthening its stroke bringing with it the new model code RS30. In the US, federal emissions regulations forced a reduction in ignition timing and compression ratio, resulting in a lower power output of 139 hp (104 kW) SAE net for the 260Z despite the additional displacement, whereas in other countries the power output increased to 165 hp (123 kW). There was also a 1974.5 model sold through the second half of 1974 in the US that had the full 165 hp with the addition of the larger 5 mph safety bumpers, that would become the standard for the 280Z.

A four-speed or 5 speed (non US) manual remained standard equipment, with a three-speed automatic transmission optional.

early 1974 Datsun 260Z 2-seater (US)

A 2+2 model built on a 300 mm (11.8 in) longer wheelbase was introduced, with larger opening quarter panel windows and a slightly notched roofline. The 2+2 looked largely identical inside (aside from the rear seat and its associated seat belt reels), but did receive a carpeted transmission tunnel rather than the quilted vinyl material used on the two-seater.[13] The rear side windows on the 2+2 were push-out units, to add ventilation for rear seat occupants.[13]

The 260Z claimed a few updates and improvements over the 240Z. The climate controls were more sensibly laid out and easier to work, and those cars with air conditioning now had the A/C system integrated into the main climate control panel. There was also additional stiffness in the chassis due to a redesign of the chassis rails which were larger and extended further back than previous models. A rear sway bar was added as well. The 260Z debuted a redesigned dashboard and console, as well as new seat trim, and door panels for the interior. The tail lights were updated, moving the back up lights from the main tail light housing to the back panel. Early 1974 US 260Z models had bumpers that resembled those of the earlier 240Z, though increased slightly in size, pushed away from the body somewhat, and wearing black rubber bumper guards rather that the previous chrome bumper guards with rubber strips. These early cars still had the front turn signals located below the bumpers. Late 1974 U.S. 260Z models (often referred to as 1974.5 models) carried the heavier bumpers that would remain on the 1975-76 model years of the 280Z so as to be in compliance with United States bumper legislation in 1973. These late cars had the front turn signals relocated to the outer edges of the front grill, above the bumper.

Specifications[edit]

  • Engine: 2.6 L (160 cu in) L26 I6, cast-iron block, alloy head, two valve per cylinder, seven-bearing crankshaft, single overhead camshaft[9]
    • Displacement: 2,565 cc (156.5 cu in)
    • Bore: 83.0 mm (3.27 in)
    • Stroke: 79.0 mm (3.11 in)
    • Compression ratio: 8.8:1[14]
  • Fuel system: Mechanical fuel pump, twin Hitachi HMB 46W[9] 1.75 in (44 mm) SU-type carburetors
  • Power: 162 hp (121 kW) at 5,600 rpm (SAE gross); 139 hp (104 kW) at 5,200 rpm (SAE net)[14]
  • Torque: 157 lb⋅ft (213 N⋅m) at 4,400 rpm (SAE gross); 137 lb⋅ft (186 N⋅m) at 4,400 rpm (SAE net)
  • Transmission: five-speed or four-speed manual or three-speed automatic
  • Brakes:
    • Front: 10.7 inches (272 mm) discs front[9]
    • Rear: 9.0 inches (229 mm) X 1.6 inches (41 mm) drums rear, servo assisted
      • Total swept area: 393.7 sq in (2,540 cm2)[9]
  • Suspension:
  • Steering: rack and pinion, 2.8 turns lock to lock[9]
  • Wheels/ tires: 5.5 by 14 in (140 by 360 mm) pressed steel wheels with 195VR14 radial tyres[9]
  • Top speed: 127 mph (204 km/h)[9]
  • 0 to 60 mph (97 km/h): 8.0 sec[citation needed]
  • Fuel consumption: 20 to 28 mpg‑US (11.8 to 8.4 L/100 km; 24 to 34 mpg‑imp)
  • Engine oil (sump): 5.1 L (1.1 imp gal; 1.3 US gal)
  • Tare weight: 1,295 kg (2,855 lb) (2+2 Automatic)[14]

280Z[edit]

Motor vehicle

1978 Datsun 280Z 2+2 in color code 611 wine red metallic

Nissan released the Datsun 280Z model for the North American market in the 1975 model year. In a further effort to keep the S30 models sporting in the face of increasingly stringent U.S. emission and safety requirements, engine size was again increased, this time to 2.8 liters. The L26 engine was bored out 3 mm (0.12 in) to create the L28, and a Bosch L-Jetronicfuel injection system was added. Canadian versions were uniquely equipped without the anti-smog components mandatory in the States. The model code is HS30, the same as for the original 240Z.

The 1975 and 1976 models continued to be fitted with the U.S. federally-required 5 mph (8 km/h) impact absorbing bumpers that had been introduced for the mid-1974 model year of the 260Z. These bumpers were smooth surfaced, and blended into smooth black rubber extensions as they met the body of the car. The 1977 and 1978 models received bumpers with recessed channels added that blended into corrugated- or accordion-style black rubber extension trim. Also new for the 1977 model year, 280Zs no longer received the full-size spare tire, and instead had a "space saver" spare and a larger fuel tank. This resulted in a raised rear deck area made of fiberboard, reducing cargo space. In late 1976 and for most 1977–78 models, an optional five-speed manual transmission was available alongside the four-speed manual and the three-speed automatic options. It included a "5-speed" emblem on the left bottom edge of the rear hatch. For 1977 there was also an update from the charcoal painted hubcap style (with a chrome Z floating in the amber center emblems) to a hubcap that resembled an alloy wheel, bearing a center cap with a chrome Z floating in a black circle.

In 1977 and 1978 respectively, Datsun offered two special edition models. The "Zap" edition was offered in 1977 as a "special decor package". Zap cars were finished in "sunshine yellow" paint, and sported black stripes down the center and sides, with yellow, red, and orange chevrons at the front ends of the stripes. An estimated 1,000 "Zap Z" cars were offered in 1977. The "Zap Z" model was also used as the pace car in the 1977 Long Beach Grand Prix. The Black Pearl edition (produced in 1978) came with black pearlescent paint and a "special appearance package" (SAP), which consisted of dual racing mirrors, rear window louvers, and unique red and silver striping. It has been estimated that each United States dealer was allocated one Black Pearl edition to sell, though due to high demand some dealers reportedly received additional allocation. It is estimated 750 to 1,500 of these cars were ultimately produced, however the exact number remains unknown.

Both the two-seater and 2+2 280Z coupes remained available throughout the 1975–1978 model year run. The S30 series was replaced for 1979 by the Nissan S130.

Specifications[edit]

  • Engine: L28E I6, cast-iron block, alloy head, seven-bearing crankshaft, single overhead camshaft
    • Displacement: 2.8 L (168.0 cu in; 2,753 cc)
    • Bore: 86.1 mm (3.39 in)
    • Stroke: 79.0 mm (3.11 in)
    • Fuel system: electric fuel pump, Bosch L-Jetronic fuel injection
    • Compression ratio: 8.3:1
    • Power: 170 hp (127 kW) at 5,600 rpm (SAE gross)
    • Torque: 163 lb⋅ft (221 N⋅m) at 4,400 rpm
    • Transmission: four-speed manual, five-speed manual, three-speed automatic
    • Final drive ratio: 3.55:1

Racing[edit]

Bob Sharp Racing 1970 Datsun 240Z

The Z was very successful in SCCA racing in the 1970s: Bob Sharp Racing out of Wilton, Connecticut with Sharp, Elliot Forbes-Robinson and later Paul Newman driving; and Brock Racing Enterprises (BRE) in the western US with John Morton driving a #46 240Z to the SCCA C Production national title in 1970 and 1971. Other drivers, such as Clearwater Florida (and later Maryland) racer Don Kearney had much success with the Z-car between 1970 and 1978. The Z and Datsun 510 are credited as catalyst for the US Japanese import performance parts industry. Nissan also supported and was associated with Bob Bondurant's race driving school from its inception.

In 2013 Nissan claimed its 97th SCCA national championship victory with Greg Ira at the wheel of his orange #2 RevTech 240Z.[15] On his way to his championship Ira set several road course records in SCCA's E Production class, beginning in 2006, including:

Ira was awarded SCCA's prestigious Kimberly Cup in 2008.[18] Previous Kimberly Cup recipients include Bob Holbert, Roger Penske, Mark Donohue, and Peter Revson.

On September 27, 2015, Greg Ira won his second (and Nissan's 98th) SCCA National Championship, in his EP2 Revtech/Ztrix.com 240Z, at Daytona International Speedway.[19]

Relaunch attempts[edit]

From 1997 to 2002 Nissan did not offer the Z-car line outside of Japan, where the Fairlady Z (Z32) remained available until 2000. In 1998, Nissan launched a program to bring back the Z-car line by first purchasing original 240Zs, then restoring them to factory specifications, and finally selling them to dealerships for $24,000. This was an effort to keep Z-car interest alive. Nissan over-estimated the market for the cars and low demand (and the high price) meant that less than fifty cars were re-manufactured and sold. Furthermore, in 1999, a concept car was shown to the public in a plan to return to the fundamentals that made the 240Z a market success.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^Buckley, Martin; Rees, Chris (1998). The World Encyclopedia of Cars. Hermes House. ISBN .
  2. ^自動車ガイドブック: Japanese motor vehicles guide book 1973/1974 (in Japanese), 20, Japan: Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association, 1973-10-30, p. 99
  3. ^自動車ガイドブック [Automobile Guide Book 1975~76] (in Japanese), 22, Japan: Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association, 1975-10-31, p. 122, 0602-509072-2228
  4. ^ ab自動車ガイドブック [Automobile Guide Book 1976/1977] (in Japanese), 23, Japan: Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association, 1976-10-20, p. 86, 0053-760023-3400
  5. ^自動車ガイドブック: Japanese motor vehicles guide book 1972—73 (in Japanese), 19, Japan: Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association, 1972-10-23, p. 95
  6. ^Zurschmeide, Jeff (June 2015). "1970 Nissan Fairlady Z 432". Sports Car Market. Vol. 27 no. 6. p. 75.
  7. ^Turner, Mandy (20 January 2020). "Old Datsun sells for $1.1 million, breaks auction records in Japan". caradvice.com.au. CarAdvice.com Pty Limited. Retrieved 30 April 2020.
  8. ^ abcd"Datsun specifications » 1969 Datsun 240Z". Carfolio. Retrieved 2013-12-26.
  9. ^ abcdefghijklmnoNorthey, Tom, ed. (1974). "Datsun". World of Automobiles. 5. London: Orbis. p. 498.
  10. ^ abIsakson, Börje (ed.), Alla Bilar -74 [All Cars 1974] (in Swedish), Stockholm, Sweden: Specialtidningsförlaget AB, p. 72, ISBN 
  11. ^ abcd"Datsun specifications » 1973 Datsun 260Z". Carfolio. Retrieved 2013-12-26.
  12. ^ ab"Datsun specifications » 1973 Datsun 260Z 2+2". Carfolio. Retrieved 2013-12-26.
  13. ^ abWakefield, p. 59
  14. ^ abcWakefield, Ron, ed. (May 1974). "Road Test: Datsun 260Z 2+2". Road & Track. Vol. 25 no. 9. CBS Consumer Publishing Division. p. 59.
  15. ^"The Sports Car Club of America - Ira Declared EP National Champion At Runoffs". scca.com. Archived from the original on November 9, 2014.
  16. ^"Greg Ira's Revtec Team Sweeps Daytona". Classic Zcar Club.
  17. ^"Greg Ira's sweet sounding 240Z at VIR - MY350Z.COM Forums". MY350Z.COM Forums.
  18. ^"The Sports Car Club of America - Club Racing". scca.com. Archived from the original on January 30, 2015.
  19. ^"Ira scores "super sweet" E Production win". Racer.com. Racer.com. Retrieved 29 September 2015.

Sources[edit]

  • Datsun Z: From Fairlady to 280Z, Brian Long, Motorbooks International 1998 (ISBN 1-901295-02-8)

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Datsun S30.
Sours: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nissan_S30

Nissan 260z

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