Tribute to Nissan 350Z – The Legend Among Sports Cars


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350Z

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“Do you own a Nissan 350Z?”, “What makes you a fan boy of Nissan 350Z?” are some of those questions which I commonly get to hear now and then. Today, I decided to answer them all and create a separate thread for the tribute of this legendary sports car. Though first things first, I should hereby clear that I do not own a 350Z. Well at least not as yet but it costs nothing to dream of owning one in future, even though second hand but does that really counts when such a beauty is your heart throb? :smile: Now let’s rewind back into the past to its glory.

The History Behind Z

350Z belongs to the renowned ‘Z’ family of Nissan sports cars. The first ever Z series manufactured on Earth was Nissan Fairlady Z, which was sold since October 1969 in its hometown, Japan. With its increasing charm, the company also decided to export it by putting a label of Datsun 240Z in countries such as U.S.A. This first generation of Z-series car was codenamed as S30. It was initially available with a couple of engine options: First, L20A with six cylinders in-line producing maximum power of 96 kW and second was the L24 (Hitachi Carburettor) with six cylinders in-line producing maximum power of 113 kW. These two engine options were available in Japan’s Fairlady and U.S.A’s 240Z respectively.

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First Nissan Fairlady Z or Datsun 240Z as sold in America.

Later, Nissan released the 260Z in 1974 with an engine upgrade which was soon followed by an all new generation of Z, this time known as, 280Z (S130). From this second generation onwards, Z has now received the typical modern sports cars characteristics with features such as Targa Top, air intakes on the hood, matching rear view mirrors and what not? In fact, on its tenth anniversary, the company made it more special by including golden emblems, leather seats and climate control too! Now the only thing that 280Z carried from its elder sibling was a nifty 5-Speed manual transmission. Thanks to its modernity, public wholeheartedly accepted 280Z by setting a massive sales record of 86,007 units on its first year of release itself.

On 1983, Nissan 280Z was succeeded by its third generation model, 300ZX (Z31). Many of us car aficionados would be familiar with 300ZX because of its special appearance in car games such as Need For Speed. In fact, there are some beautiful imported examples available in our country too. Needless to say, Nissan had done a wonderful job this time by creating an engineering marvel such as this. Just like its predecessor, 300ZX became widely popular in no time and recorded itself as second best-selling car from Z-series in history. Although, the car was a huge leap forward in terms of design from earlier models but when revamped model (codenamed Z32) made its grand debut, it was altogether starting of a new era in the designing aspect of Z-Series models. This fourth generation, Nissan 300ZX boasted a more powerful 3 Litre V6 DOHC Engine with VVT, producing peak power of 222HP. Enough to leave some of its competitors to run for a cover on flat out roads. This model was so much preferred that one of the well-known international magazines, Road & Track accolade it as ‘one of the ten best cars in the world’.


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Modern Nissan Z had typical sports car character. Also seen in Need For Speed.
 
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350Z

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Re: Tribute to Nissan 350Z – The Legend Amongst Sports Cars

Drivers enjoying some serious drifting session with Nissan 350Z.
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Nissan 350Z is Born

The 21st century came as an all new beginning for Nissan Corporation. Almost 44% of shares were now in hand of Renault and they together decided to manufacture a Z which will not only bring a broad smile on face of enthusiasts but also act as a hen laying golden eggs for the company. On verge of beginning of new century, in 1999, Nissan decided to revive 240Z brand as a concept and highlighted it on North American International Auto Show. This moment, not only made Nissan proud of this fresh beginning of Z but India too because the key person behind designing this concept (and so the 350Z) was none other than an Indian itself, Mr. Ajay Panchal who has studied from highly reputed Coventry University located in United Kingdom. Nissan 240Z Concept was more or less inspired with the very first Z but with a blend of latest trend. This car employed the KA24DE engine from Altima and it was showcased in bright orange colour at various automotive events that became an instant hit. Ever since, this colour has become synonymous to 350Z in automobile language.

Nissan officially released the 350Z (Z33) on 20th August, 2002 in the coupe form. Primarily, the production commenced at Oppama plant in Japan but later shifted to Tochigi after a year. Nissan 350Z coupe came equipped along with a 287 BHP 3.5 Litre V6 Engine and was available in the following five variants: Base, Enthusiast, Performance, Touring and Track. The top-end variant had additional oomph features like Brembo Disc Brakes and Lightweight Alloy Wheels to name a few. On 2004, the manufacturer included electric soft-top roof into the line-up. Soon then, in 2006, Nissan 350Z received a mid-life makeover. This facelift brought along heck lots of apparent improvements. Z now had a six-speed manual transmission, bi-xenon projector headlamps, and LED tail lamps etc.

Different Roles of Nissan 350Z

Apart of serving as an everyday sports car, 350Z has played various roles in the automobile industry. It has been of great significance in motorsports. Especially when it first entered into motorsports in Grand-Am by marking the third winning position in 2003 season. After observing extreme capability of 350Z in motorsports sector, Nissan build up a special ultra-light 350Z race car for the next season which proved out to be an extreme success for such competition. The car has even in fact replaced Nissan’s Skyline GTR in Super GT’s GT500 class. On the other hand, one of the things, which 350Z is exceptionally famous for are its superior drifting habits. Many drivers such as Tanner Foust have tasted success by driving 350Z in Formula-D series.


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Nissan 350Z serving as a Police Patrol car.

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350Z

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Re: Tribute to Nissan 350Z – The Legend Amongst Sports Cars

Nissan 350Z Special Gran Turismo 4 Edition.
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Bidding Adieu to Nissan 350Z

It was a day of absolute sorrow for many sports car fans, including myself, when Nissan announced halting the production of 350Z, but it was only a matter of time when its successor came in: The 370Z. Nissan 370Z is an entirely new product but carries some cues from 350Z. Although, it is another major beginning for the company in various markets, but a special room that 350Z had created in my heart and probably among various other petrolheads too, it'll be remembered forever.

Nissan 350Z's successor - The 370Z
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Nissan Z Facts:

- Note Nissan’s initial trend of skipping tens in naming of models. 240Z, 260Z, 280Z, 300Z.

- Nissan 350Z stayed into production from year 2002 – 2009.

- Nissan 350Z was available in two door coupe as well as roadster variants.

- This sports car is said to be an amazing handler with great weight distribution.

- The designer of Nissan 240Z Concept and 350Z is an Indian, Mr. Ajay Panchal.

- Performance-inclined NISMO version of 350Z was available in UK for only a year.

- The Nismo version of 350Z was also used to patrol by Tochigi Police force in Japan.

- On October 29th, 2008, Nissan Corp. announced the successor of 350Z, the 370Z.

- Neat Pre-owned Nissan 350Z’s are available for sale in India for as low as Rs.20 Lakhs.
 
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350Z

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Re: Tribute to Nissan 350Z – The Legend Amongst Sports Cars

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Due to credit to Netcarshow.com for pictures. This article is a property of The Automotive India (c) 2011. Do not copy without prior permission of our authorities.
 
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Re: Tribute to Nissan 350Z – The Legend Amongst Sports Cars

excellent! I will come with a similar thread for my favorite car. Keep guessing which one is it! :P

but seriously, a tremendoes effort to collect all info Vibhor!
 
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Re: Tribute to Nissan 350Z – The Legend Amongst Sports Cars

+1,
Vibhor, I can see the Respect, Love and Affection/Addiction for Nissan 350Z.
Great information and explanation about Z-series.
 
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350Z

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Re: Tribute to Nissan 350Z – The Legend Amongst Sports Cars

Thanks a ton for the compliments. My heart is feeling really light after writing down almost everything about the 350Z. And I can still say a lot more. :smile: Please feel free to post if any of you also have something interesting to share about this lovely sports car. Would love to see separate threads for your dream cars as well.

excellent! I will come with a similar thread for my favorite car. Keep guessing which one is it! :P
You signature and avatar says it all.

Drive Safe,
350Z
 
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Re: Tribute to Nissan 350Z – The Legend Amongst Sports Cars

'Z' series, wonderful output from Nissan.
350z & 370z looks small in photographs, but once I get near the car I can feel the real size.
Eye catcher for sure.
 
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Re: Tribute to Nissan 350Z – The Legend Amongst Sports Cars

Awesome write up about an awesome car. [clap]

370Z comes with a 3.7Lit V6, 6-speed manual/7-speed automatic, 350 bhp (yum!!!)
 
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Re: Tribute to Nissan 350Z – The Legend Amongst Sports Cars

Great thread 350Z , got to know some interesting facts about the Z-series , appreciate your effort in collecting the information.
 
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Re: Tribute to Nissan 350Z – The Legend Amongst Sports Cars

I had gotten a chance to drive this car in UK for a weekend trip. We wanted to hire some more renowned sports car, but did not have enough credit to pick up a Porsche or Subaru. But fortunate to get our hands on black '02 350Z. It was just sheer pleasure, and will never be able to put in words. Even the inside of the car was so fresh and sporty. Loved it.

A very nice write up 350Z. It surely displays the efforts you have put in.

If I write up about a car, I guess it will be Mini. I so wish it could be produced in India [sad]
 
Thread Starter #13

350Z

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Re: Tribute to Nissan 350Z – The Legend Amongst Sports Cars

You are indeed so fortunate. Do you have any snaps of that black beauty?

Drive Safe,
350Z
 
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Re: Tribute to Nissan 350Z – The Legend Amongst Sports Cars

That is what I am trying to find [:)] Will post as soon as I get it.
 
Thread Starter #15

350Z

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Re: Tribute to Nissan 350Z – The Legend Amongst Sports Cars

Eagerly waiting for it. A short experience of your drive will also add to the reading pleasure of this thread.

Drive Safe,
350Z
 
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