In the year 1969, a lot of things were happening around the world - moon landings, music festivals, and many notable markers in American pop culture. Also occurring that year was the official unveiling of the Datsun Z at the New York Auto Show.
Datsun was a brand that went straight to racing in its early days to prove its merits as a sports car. The moniker made its rounds on SCCA circuits, putting up a fight, and gaining the respect of automotive enthusiasts.
"The Japanese manufacturers were starting to make inroads, but they were still very minor players. Until the Z came out. When the Z came out, the whole Japanese market exploded," said Greg Smith, owner of Motorsports Industries in Orange, California.
Fifty years later, Nissan is honoring the legacy of the first Datsun 240Z with an Anniversary Edition 2020 370Z. This car will have a special paint scheme that mimics the Pete Brock BRE race team livery. On the outside and inside, special logos define the special edition as well - the BRE white and red color combo will be a limited run of only 50 models, with a silver and black option being made more available.
With the sports car market getting smaller, especially the Japanese sports compact market, Nissan is staying loyal to the Z line, even through there was a big gap in the late 90s and early 2000s. In current times, the earlier cars of the Z line are highly sought after collectibles.
"Five years ago, you could buy what we'd call a 'rust bucket' for under $1,000. And now, those $1,000 cars are gone. And there have been vehicles that changed hands in the $40,000 to $50,000 range," said Greg Smith of Motorsport Industries.
Source: ABC7 News
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