Rare 5-Speed: 1993 Nissan 300ZX Convertible – SOLD!
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June 10, 2022, Update – We confirmed the seller of this “Classifind” deleted their listing, so we’re now able to call this one “SOLD!” While this one got away, please reach out either by email or call us directly if you’d like to be informed when we come across something similar.
Nissan recently introduced the latest iteration of its classic Z car, and by many accounts, it looks like a home run. The last 350Z was getting fairly long in the tooth, having stuck around for so many years that many of us forgot you could still trundle on down to the Nissan dealer and buy one brand-new, off the lot. That said, the Z32 chassis 300ZX is likely the next one to become a collector’s item, and this rare convertible version originally listed in May 2022 on Craigslist in Kingston, New Hampshire features the elusive five-speed manual gearbox with 72,400 miles for $15,000. Comparing that price against the Classic.com model page shows us that the average selling price is $11,541 with the most recent recorded sale settling in at $10,000.
The Z32 is an interesting option for collectors looking to get into a 1990s Japanese sports car. The Mitsubishi 3000GT has sort of fallen out of favor with most enthusiasts, owing to its heavy curb weight and realization that its performance didn’t really live up to its hefty equipment list. The Mazda RX-7 is a legitimate performance icon, and its average sale price indicates that collectors recognize its intrinsic value. Loosely translated, that means it’s not a cheap purchase these days. The Acura NSX is obviously hard to find for less than $50,000, and that leaves the 300ZX: a car you can still buy with twin turbochargers and a 5-speed for well under the price of a crummy NSX. The convertible version, like most drop-top versions of its hardtop sibling, is less desirable, but finding one with a stick changes the conversation slightly considering how many of them came with the optional automatic gearbox.
The MotorWeek Retro Review Channel features this 1990 review of the Z32 300ZX when it debuted for the 1990 model year:
A few years ago, I had a 1999 BMW M3 convertible with a 5-speed. It wasn’t my favorite car but it was a hell of a lot of fun hearing the intake and exhaust noise with no intrusion from a roof and rear glass. The Nissan 300ZX only came in naturally-aspirated form when you ordered your Z32 with a soft top, so that’s why an automatic convertible isn’t exactly sought after. The seller’s car, in addition to possessing the manual gearbox, also has relatively low miles and remains in mostly stock condition. The seller is including the OEM wheels so don’t get too distracted by the aftermarket rollers (the pictures show it with the stock wheels and it looks way better.) He’s also tackled lots of recent maintenance, including the pricey timing belt job that also includes the water pump, tensioner, drive belts, O-rings, crankshaft sprocket spacer plates, and other internal components, along with replacing the alternator and A/C compressor. The list goes on, including a new starter and clutch, so this 300ZX seems like a smart buy at the asking price considering all the work done and the desirability of a 5-speed convertible.
Here’s the seller’s description:
“Here is a 1993 Nissan 300zx “Fair Lady” 5- speed convertible for sale. She is extremely rare with only 3843 produced and approximately half was the much more desirable 5 speed like this one. There is not even a hint of rust throughout the car, and she comes with a tan leather interior and only 74,200 original miles. I have babied this car for many years and believe there is not more than a handful left in her condition. I have included pics with both sets of tires and rims that will come with the car. Took it out last weekend to Old Orchard Beach and she ran like a charm. Just a few things to point out:
*A complete timing belt maintenance was performed at 62.5k miles including replacing the Timing Belt, Timing Belt Tensioner, Water Pump, Thermostat, Coolant Bypass Hose, Crankshaft Sprocket Spacer Plates (1 front and 1 rear), Camshaft Variable Timing O-Rings., Camshaft Variable Timing Springs, Camshaft Oil Seals, Crankshaft Front Seal, 3 Drive Belts (A/C Compressor, Alternator, and Power Steering).
*Power steering lines replaced
*Installed high-performance clutch at 72,000 miles (better torque)
*Runs perfectly with quick acceleration
*Newer paint job – Honda Black with sharp blue hues seen when the sun hits it
*Newer Convertible Top
*Upgraded to Vision 17” chrome rims w/ new tires with less than 5,000 miles
*The original 16” Nissan 300zx rims with tires will also come with the car. The OEM rims look original, and the tires have less than 5k on them.
* NO Rust anywhere – Nada
*The driver’s side leather seat has a little cracking due to age. Passenger side, carpet, and rest of the interior is excellent.”
Convertible or hardtop: does the 5-speed gearbox make you want to abandon your search for a twin-turbo Z32 hardtop?