1988 Nissan 300ZX: Less Brougham, More Sport

In the late ’70s, the Datsun Z-cars lost their original sporting intent somewhat. While still sporty automobiles, plusher and plusher interiors, available two-tone paint and other items were making them Z-Broughams. But by 1984, Nissan finally decided to dispose of some of the 280’s Broughamier cues in an effort to recapture the model’s essential roots:


Early 240Z, spotted by yours truly at Lindsay Park Yacht Club last summer.

The original 1970 “24-ounce.” Although the new ’84 300ZX retained a nice ride, cushy interior and myriad power assists, it was somewhat closer to that original, sporty little two-seater.


Like the 280ZX, it offered plush interiors, lots of sound insulation and a comfortable ride–but at the same time was quicker and had much-improved handling.

The 300ZX debuted in late ’83, as an ’84 model, and started the “Z31” generation with a bang, with the black-and-silver, limited-edition 50th Anniversary 300ZX Turbo, which was built to commemorate Nissan’s 50th year in business. The 1984 model was one of those transitional “Datsun 300ZX by Nissan” variants, but the following year it was badged solely as a Nissan.

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