In the 60’s and 70’s, Nissan wasn’t all that well recognized car manufacturer. Sure, they weren’t unknown as well, but they were treated sort of like Deawoo in the 90’s, so a manufacturer of lower category, low quality cars, nothing really spectacular. But Nissan S30 forever changed these opinions, cause this was a car everyone would love to have in his garage. It showed quality from technical standpoint, it had amazing, very stylish design, just overall a flawless car.
Nissan S30 1971
Even today, Nissan S30 which debuted in 1970 (manufactured for three years) and is also well known under the name Datsun 260Z, looks very fresh. It could certainly rivalry as an attention grabber with cars such as Murcielago or other new supercars, and you could safely bet money on it as it is beautiful in subtle, flawless way, not kitschy way. Of course, it would be overrun easily on a race track by modern supercars, but for its time, it didn’t have to be scared of comparison with almost any other one. 151 power hp, mechanical fuel pump, five speed manual transmission or three-speed automatic one, named top sports car of the 70’s, won prestigious WRC race in 1973. In the 70’s, it was a beast, a car that everyone sought after, and that really haven’t changed all that much, cause now not maybe for performance reasons, only because of appearance. What stands out in terms of S30 is how long is the front hood, it takes about 2/3 of whole length of a car. Have you ever seen something like that in everyday traffic? No, and you won’t, cause when this was tried in other vehicles they usually failed, looked bad, but here this design works perfectly.
Nissan S30 1974
Next version from this line of cars was called 260 Z. This model was introduced to both UK and US market in 1974, but it didn’t succeed on North American market like its predecessor, cause it was there for sale only for a year. It wasn’t the kind of a car, that would care a lot about economical factors or ecology, that is why it shouldn’t surprise why US federal had many issues with 260Z. It was producing way too much emissions, so creators were forced to reduce ignition, compression ratio, which obviously caused car to lose a lot of its power and flair, and that alone can explain why it wasn’t all that popular in US. But around the world, everywhere where regulations weren’t that strict, 260Z was acclaimed both by customers and reviewers. It still was a classic 2-door coupe, but at the same time in 1974 Nissan introduced a version for four passengers, though obviously passengers wouldn’t have too much of a comfort, but kids for example could fit in there just fine. Also this car a different roofline, larger panel windows. What made this car famous as well, is that it was one of the first sports cars that had introduced advanced air conditioning, this time with the A/C system. Car gained power, now had 162 hp (in US cause of reasons we already mentioned, just around 130hp), four speed manual or three speed automatic transmission, 20 to 28 mpg fuel consumption, which isn’t all that bad considering the fact, that these were 70’s, and the car itself was a sports car; modern sports car, which often take care of the fact that fuel is getting more and more expensive every year, are now often much less economical than this classic car.
Nissan S30 1978
Third, and as it turned out last generation of S30 was introduced in 1975; production lasted till 1978. This car was very similar in terms of design, again the long hood was its landmark, but was modernized at the same time so it wasn’t all that hard to notice how it actually evolved. Looked really good, many still to this day claim, that even though first generation of S30 is most well known, it is third one that was having most spectacular design. Again this time, engine size was increased now it had 2.8 L, again also it was only 2-door coupe, so experiment with 2+2 version in second generation didn’t really played out. Later, in 1977 and 1978, it was clear people are no longer all that crazy about these cars, so Nissan tried to offer specials like “The Zap” edition, basically from technical standpoint the same car, but painted amazingly – sunshine yellow, sported black stripes down, and other feats like that. Still, it didn’t helped the whole line, and of course it is nowadays a rare car and “The Zap” on auction would go for a rocketing price, but at the same time it is not anything all that hard nowadays to paint your car just as interestingly.
Nissan S30 changed the way that brand was perceived. You will find many people sure that that is biggest achievement Nissan ever had, at least when we’re talking single vehicle.
Author: My name is David Lieberman. I work as the president of Bestforacar.com. As one of the founding members of Bestforacar.com, I have helped the company from its initial concept into the leading digital automotive marketplace. Also, I am a technology investor and advisor, helping companies and entrepreneurs with their projects and sites.