The 1990s provided us with some of the JDM cars to have ever come out of Japan. People are immediately reminded of the Nissan R32 GT-R, Toyota Supra, and Mazda RX-7 – and rightfully so. But there is one car not mentioned that truthfully was equally as good, the Nissan 300ZX. Although often forgotten, a few people have seen its potential and modified these 300ZX’s into something awesome! Here are 6 awesomely modified Nissan 300ZX.
Before we begin with the list, it can be good to have an understanding of why the 300ZX doesn’t share the same popularity as some of the other 90s JDM cars.
It is quite simple actually, and there are basically two reasons for this.
Firstly, The Nissan 300ZX Z32 was co-developed at the same time as the first true GT-R, the R32 Skyline. Nissan put a lot more resources into the R32, such as a larger marketing budget. And while similar priced, with similar performance, the R32 was more elegantly styled. The styling of the 300ZX was reminiscence of the 80s, and people were looking for a change.
In today’s time, the styling of the 300ZX is back in business – and while often considered too boxy for the 90s, we think the 300ZX Z32 design has aged very well. So why aren’t people buying the 300ZX? It is reasonably priced in comparison to many other JDM cars. The simple truth is, that the Z32 300ZX is horrible to work on. We’re not saying it is hard to work on, it is damn near impossible to work on unless you’ve got a full arsenal of very specific tools. And it is a shame because it offers really great performance for the cost of purchase.
Did you know the speed record for the fastest 300ZX in the world is about 261 mph? And that it wasn’t set recently, but over 25 years ago. That is completely bonkers, considering even heavily modified cars today don’t even hit those numbers.
During the early 90s two reputable Japanese tuning shops, JUN auto and BLITZ teamed up together in order to create the fastest 300ZX in the world. The result was magnificent.
This 1,200hp monster features the 300ZX 3.0L VG30DETT V6 engine, but this time bored out to 3.1L displacement. Two KKK 27.2 turbochargers, a reworked manifold, and 890cc injectors were fitted in order to boost the power 4 times from its stock figures.
The aerodynamics of the car was also reworked in order to keep the car stable at high speeds. A rear diffuser, roof vane, and bulge in the hood are made in order to fit the larger surge tank fitted.
This 300ZX was the first JDM car to have ever crossed 400 km/h (249 mph). The speed record of 261 mph (420 km/h) was set within the E/BMS group and is yet to be beaten.
This JDM 300ZX Z32 surely carries some real JDM history on its shoulder, hence the expected sale price of about $71,000.
Kalvin first purchased this vehicle as a bone-stock 1990 Nissan 300ZX 3.0L NA with the automatic. Obviously, he didn’t buy it with the intent to drive it as such, he had other plans – swapping a 2JZ-GTE into the engine bay.
On his YouTube he goes through the process that goes into 2JZ swapping a 300ZX, it is not as straightforward as some would believe. The engine department is surprisingly small and there is a lot of hacksawing involved in order to make it work. And Kalvin did it all, even without a lift – impressive.
A lot of time and effort was also spent on the exterior of the car. New paint, rear and front bumpers, suspension, and wheels. The end result is a beautiful wine-red 300ZX with a powerful 2JZ engine.
Kalvin was even invited to SEMA 2019 where he displayed his Z32 and actually won first prize.
Below you’ll find him showing off his project from start to finished product, it really makes you appreciate the finished product so much more, enjoy!
A fan favorite of ours. You can tell this Z32 immediately means business just by looking at it. And the first thought which struck my mind was, why aren’t their more modified 300ZX’s? These cars are so awesome.
This specific car features an all-around TwinZ body kit. This body kit which originates from Peru is pretty rare, but god damn if it isn’t one of the coolest Z32 body kits to exist. It really complements the figure of the 300ZX. Some tastefully golden Enkei RPF1 are fitted which complements the blacked-out Z32 really
The interior is fantastic, everything looks brand new and the Alcantara interior together with the Recaro bucket seats means the interior also screams performance.
The owner still rocks the 3.0L VG30DETT engine, however it has been slightly bored out and basically anything which can be upgraded has been. The turbos are upgraded to a pair of Garret GTX2867’s which boosts output to about 650hp. Perhaps a little much for a road car, but still quite reasonable considering some of the other cars on this list.
Can’t have a complete list without a drag racing JDM monster. This particular Z32 is not just any drag racing car, it literally obliterates the competition as well.
This Z32 holds the record for the fastest quarter-mile at 8.91 seconds @ 150 mph for a 300ZX Z32 street chassis with a stock motor.
The owner figured he’d just throw in a bone-stock VG30 engine, keep the internals completely stock, and just throw in some better injectors, fuel rail, and two large Garret 3776 turbos until the engine blew. A world record and a few years later the stock engine still holds up even though power is up to about 800hp.
This man alone has proven that the VG30 is no slouch. 800hp with stock internals is close to outperforming the legendary 2JZ. But unlike the 2JZ, the VG30 is really difficult to work on. But if time and patience aren’t a problem, purchasing a VG30 over a 2JZ will definitely save you a few bucks.
This Australian bloke bought this 300ZX, and just a few months in it blew up. Instead of throwing in the towel Pebbles decided to just go bonkers with it.
Consider this Z32 has over 1,000hp it has a really modest look to it. Sure, one can tell stuff has been done to it, but aside from the air suspension it almost looks stock.
Although the exterior isn’t anything crazy, Pebbles totally nailed the look. He painted the Z32 midnight purple, added some air suspension, and together with the WORK Meister S1s it goes without saying that we’ve got ourselves a winner.
Once he was happy with the look, he had only one thing in mind, power. In current form, the fully built VG30 produces 1,000hp. But Pebbles is not satisfied yet. As of now, his sole purpose is to add boost and up the numbers. Once he hits 1,100hp he says he wants 1,200hp.
It is safe to say, if I saw this on the streets there is no way on earth I’d tell that this Z32 had over 1,000hp under its hood.
The only Z31 on this list, but man, what a Z31 we’ve found.
Okay, so this 300ZX Z31 doesn’t feature the VG30 engine, but it has something else we love, an RB. And not just any RB, this particular is named the RB28DE, and I know there was never sold an RB28, but let me explain.
So, the owner originally purchased a stock non-turbo RB25DE engine. He then bored and stroked the engine to 2.8L. He then upgraded all the internals to make the engine as durable as possible. The result is about 260-280hp. And you may think, all that work and only so little power, from an RB? That’s the downside with a non-turbo RB, they just don’t make that much power.
It just weighs about 2,800 pounds anyways so, even at 260hp it still moves fairly well. But the point of this car is not to have a lot of power. It’s about finding a fine balance, an experience. And what could be more of an experience than driving an RB with a 12,000 RPM redline. I mean I have never driven anything remotely to that, but I’d imagine it be quite the experience.
Overall, a really cool build and not something you see that often considering most people is just searching for more and more power.
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