Here’s how the Datsun 240Z changed the sports car game

Few sports cars are as instantly recognizable as NissanThe Datsun 240Z. No one would have a problem picking the 240Z’s sleek coupe body style from a range if that car had ever committed a crime. If the only thing the Datsun 240Z is guilty of is bringing a Japanese competitor into the American sports car market, let’s let it slide.


The Datsun 240Z combines an effortless blend of rugged yet elegant looks, raw handling and plenty of punchy power under the hood. Many die-hard gearheads consider the 240Z one of the purest sports cars to own. That statement is a far cry from what Americans originally thought of Japanese cars: economical, no-frills and straight to the point. There aren’t many JDM imports that would cause a stir earlier. Nissan tried to change this narrative – by presenting the Datsun 240Z as a sports car, which we consider comparable to a Porsche 914, MGB GT or Opel GT.

There are so many reasons why the Datsun 240Z has burned itself into the hearts of many car fanatics. With the Datsun 240Z, which was produced from 1970 to 1973, this dynamic marvel started the Nissan Z series off strong. Intelligence AND beauty, you really can’t go wrong with a Datsun 240Z.

The sports car game was turned on its head with the introduction of the 240Z from Datsun.

RELATED: Check out the new Nissan Z as a classic 240Z throwback


Sports car spirit meets sensitivity in the Datsun 240Z

1970 Nissan 240Z
Source: wsupercars

Not many people can go out and buy a sports car like the contemporary Ferrari Daytona. But any gearhead would be lying if they said they didn’t want it! Nissan felt it was up to them to invent a sports car that would combine the agility and excitement that car enthusiasts were looking for with a reasonable price and reliability to boot.

Americans had an image in their minds of Japanese-made cars in the early 1970s. Unpretentious, reserved and, dare we say it, boring. The arrival of the Datsun 240Z changed all that as Nissan made its mark in the sports car world in 1970. The Datsun 240Z brings with it an engaging driving experience – unlike JDM predecessors. But now we can’t think of a Japanese car that doesn’t convey just a little bit of sports car taste. That’s probably all thanks to the Datsun 240Z!

Datsun 204Z - Front
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The Datsun 240Z is a low-maintenance car. Although with Nissan’s reliable pedigree, maintenance may not need to be done very often. Nissan took the “unreliable” poster that sports cars of the era typically touted and threw it away. The Japanese company applied its engineering magic in the form of a 2.4-liter engine that produces 151 hp. A four-speed manual was standard on the Datsun 240Z, and both the engine and transmission in this sports car are known to be fairly bulletproof.

The Datsun 240Z marked the beginning of Nissan’s unbeatable Z series: sports cars that are still going strong today.

RELATED: This Datsun 240z held a land speed record for almost 10 years

The timeless design of the Datsun 240Z

1970 Nissan 240Z
Source: wsupercars

Nissan pulled it out of the park when it came to designing the Datsun 240Z. The long front attracts attention as it reminds us of Porsche’s sporty little 914. Other cars that compare the 240Z’s styling include Ferrari with its lightweight 250 GT and Jaguar’s pop culture royalty E-Type.

We can thank designer Yoshihiko Matsuo for the stunning good looks that adorn the 240Z. Matsuo was conscious of designing a car that was both good looking and capable. The 240Z’s design is as practical as it is beautiful, and that’s half the equation when it comes to what makes the Datsun 240Z such a game changer in the sports car world.

The design of the Datsun 240Z has stood the test of time over the past five decades. Think what other cars in the same design category could have such staying power! Only a handful come to mind, as creating a car where design durability is a factor is no small feat. The Datsun 240Z rightfully earned a spot in the Beautiful Japanese Cars Hall of Fame.

RELATED: Record-breaking Datsun 240Z works its magic over quarter-mile distance

What makes the Datsun 240Z a classic sports car

datsun-240z-with-2jz-motor-from-ccw-wheels5
via: CCW Wheels

For a car to earn the moniker of a classic sports car, it has to tick a few boxes. Unmatched, stunning looks? Check. A valuable and powerful engine? Check. Nimble handling? Check. The Datsun 240Z even has its own unique criteria to consider, such as: B. Reliability and an exuberance that can only be attributed to the 240Z.

You can even own a Datsun 240Z. These charismatic sports cars may look rare, but in fact there are hundreds of thousands of these beauties. Owning a Datsun 240Z is owning sports car memorabilia, period.

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