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Nissan 350Z

Nissan 350Z Published: 21st Apr 2016 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!

Nissan 350Z
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Looking for a classic with a difference – then why not consider a gem from Japan suggests Chris Rees?

Japanese cars, for so long neglected by the classic car movement, now have a huge following. That charge has been led by the hard-to-ignore Mazda MX-5, which single-handedly reinvented the two-seater roadster. But so pervasive is the MX-5’s influence that Mr Editor has instructed me not to talk about it. Which is good because there are so many fantastic Japanese classics out there.

From 1970’s retro rides to 21st century performance icons, Japan’s rich car culture has produced an impressive spread of machinery to choose from. The fact that so many of these are ‘under the radar’ in the car market means there are some bargains out there. But our prediction is that values will soon rise for many Japs. Why? Because they’re undervalued and because owners love the fact that they’re more reliable than other classics. So here’s our choice of cars that you can buy at bargain prices, enjoy and, very probably, see increase in value over time. There, I didn’t mention the MX-5 at all. Er, doh!


PRODUCTION: 2002-2009
VALUES: £5000-£15,000

If you like your sports cars butch and burly, you’ll love the 350Z. With one of the world’s best V6 engines, it sounds amazing and delivers 280bhp of naturally aspirated power, sent to the rear wheels via a carbon-fibre propshaft (cool, huh?). Expect 0-60 in 5.8 seconds delivered in a satisfying fashion. The six-speed manual gearbox is more mechanical in feel than any other modern transmission, and the handling is extremely grippy and well balanced. All in all, this is a superb driver’s car. And it looks good, too, recalling the glory days of the 240Z. Its cabin is also a great place to inhabit, especially in GT Pack form with heated leather seats, Bose sound system and cruise control. Downsides? You’re unlikely to better 25mpg and the cabin doesn’t wear terribly well. We’d steer clear of automatic imports from Japan, and the 2005-on Roadster lacks the sharpness of the coupé. The 350Z currently represents fantastic value for money, starting at around £5000. Quite a few have been modified but, as ever, we’d advise buying a totally standard one in good nick with low miles and tweak it yourself afterwards. You’ll enjoy it plus it’ll be a sensible future investment, too.

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