“No no, that’s a Nissan”. Okay, let’s clarify. In the early seventies, this model was marketed globally as the Datsun 240Z. The original Nissan S30 moniker remained untouched back in Japan, however, until it was racily re-badged the Nissan Fairlady Z to aid decreasing sales. Finding a keyring to match this car proved something of a nightmare.
Queue one quick look at the silver lettering on the Dat-Niss-un that has pulled up in front of us. Curiosity abated, we’re quickly back on-course, ‘oooh’-ing and ‘aaah’-ing over one of the most desirable sportscars of the 1970s. A strong claim, given the Ferrari Daytona’s elite presence.
A slightly dented wallet and a late mortgage payment was a small price to pay for a 240Z. Quite literally. For although this future rally stage specialist was certainly not cheap, it did cost significantly less than the Miuras and 308 GTBs already buzzing around. That, plus the look of the thing.
Muscular yet elegant, a 120+mph top speed seemed almost insignificant. Having left less successful seventies throwbacks to fend for themselves in the attic (Soda Stream anyone?), the Niss…er, Datsun’s reputation refused to wane. So strong was the 240Z’s appeal that Nissan commissioned a run of fully restored models in the US to celebrate the launch of its new GT-R. Praise doesn’t get much higher than that.