#8 Datsun 240Z / Nissan S30
We have reached the final three spots on the list. These entries will feature cars that can be modified or would be customized to taste before purchase or immediately thereafter.
The 240Z was Nissan’s inaugural sports car for the American market. So concerned was Nissan about reception of their fairly new automobile company that they created a brand name just for foreigners, Datsun. The tell tale Z was also the beginning of a line of cars that would flagship the Japanese automaker for years to come.
Why I’d drive one:
As with the Austin-Healey being the definitive British sports car, this is the definitive Japanese sports car. (I see and hear you, all you GT-R fans!) Enough time has also passed that the car has proven itself and established its mark as a classic sports car.
You can do quite a lot to personalize this car. Just search the internet for pictures, and you’ll see wide body kits. front bumper kits, engine swaps, custom paint jobs, etc. But the classic shape still holds a place in my heart. My aunt had an example of this car. Does this make it a chic car? Not at all. She was a young college student them. That means it had cool appeal to a young audience even when it first appeared to the public. It also helps that as an emerging import vehicle, it was priced for the masses with some 160,000 produced.
It first came with a 2.4 liter straight six engine (thus the name 240) a four speed manual transmission and sporty, 4-wheel independent suspension. If there ever was a solid hit with a first model sports car, this was it.
Why I wouldn’t own one:
It breaks my heart that this car fits this description. In fact, I actually considered buying one when it was advertised locally, but I had too much going on and wouldn’t be able to take on the project. That’s another story.
Still, this is not a primary owner’s car. It only has 2 seats and a relatively small trunk. You guessed it. It doesn’t pass the “grocery bags” and “more than one friend” requirements. It may not be a “one owner, one car” vehicle, but it is one hell of a sports car!