The 2016 Nissan 370Z is a really special car with a crazy loyal following and the coupe has pretty much been cemented in the history books as an automotive icon.
The problem with being an icon, though, is that the car has a lot to live up to. Does the most recent Z car live up to the hype?
Letís Start with Some History
The Nissan Z is one of the survivors from the golden era of Japanese sports cars
, although it was born in 1969, long before that amazing automotive time that was the 1990s. Many of its counterparts like the Toyota Supra, Honda S2000, Acura Integra, Mazda RX-7, and Mitsubishi Eclipse, among others, have all been phased out. From the get-go, the Z was hailed as a beautiful, lightweight sports car with legitimate performance bonafides that gained a lot of fans for its reliability and affordability
Hanging out at the ZCon (the annual Z car convention and largest gathering of Z car enthusiasts in North America), Jeff Fox, who owns a 1970 Datsun 240Z, agrees with that sentiment.
'A Porsche at the time would cost you about $12,000. A Corvette was about $10,000, and this Datsun was $3,400,' said Fox, who also was lucky enough to drive Yutaka Katayama, otherwise known as Mr. K, father of the Z, during a previous ZCon. He likes his Z not only because of the affordability
, but the fact he can do a lot of the maintenance himself because the Z is not a complicated car. He also loves how it drives.
'You know youíre driving. You feel the road. They donít have a lot of power, but they are light and they just drive like crazy. Itís loads of fun.'
Alfonso Mazzarella, who restored a basketcase 1972 Datsun 240Z to original stock condition after finding it rotting in a barn, pipes in. 'Itís about camaraderie. Itís about the brotherhood. You see someone break down, and weíre all going to stop and ask how we can help,' he says. 'These cars are unique. They are fun. Especially the older ones, theyíre super fun to drive. They respond to your movement, itís like an extension of your body, and you just feel happy.'