Thursday, April 28, 2011

Car Of The Day: April 28, 2011

Today's car of the day comes from Firehawk73's collection and is Hot Wheels 1971 Datsun 240Z.

The Nissan S30 (sold in Japan as the Nissan Fairlady Z and in other markets as the Datsun 240Z, then later as the 260Z and 280Z) was the first generation of Z GT 2 seat coupe, and later (beginning in the 1974 model year) also 2+2 hatchbacks produced by Nissan Motors, Ltd. of Japan from 1970 to 1978. It was designed by a team led by Mr. Yoshihiko Matsuo, the head of Nissan's Sports Car Styling Studio. HLS30 was the designation of the left-hand drive model and HS30 for the right-hand drive model.

For more information and pictures of the real car please visit: Datsun 240Z

This racing tuned Datsun is a nice pick from Hot Wheels.  They've done a few other modified vintage Japanese cars in the past few years, mostly ones that are big in the drift or anime worlds.  The Toyota AE-86 and Datsun 510 also jump to mind.

The 1970 240Z was introduced to the American market by Yutaka Katayama, president of Nissan Motors USA operations, widely known as Mr. K. The 1970 through the mid-1971 model year 240Z was referred to as the Series I. These early cars had many subtle but notable features differing from later cars. The most easily visible difference is that these early cars had a chrome "240Z" badge on the sail pillar, and two horizontal vents in the rear hatch below the glass molding providing flow through ventilation. In mid-1971, for the Series II 240Z cars, the sail pillar emblems were restyled with just the letter "Z" placed in a circular vented emblem, and the vents were eliminated from the hatch panel of the car. Design changes for the U.S. model 240Z occurred throughout production, including interior modifications for the 1972 model year, and a change in the location of the bumper over-riders, as well as the addition of some emission control devices and the adoption of a new style of emissions reducing (and performance compromising) carburetors for the 1973 model year.

The 1970 models were introduced in October 1969, received the L24 2.4 liter engine and a 4-speed manual. A less common 3-speed automatic transmission was optional from 1971 on, and had a "Nissan Full Automatic" badge.

In 2004, Sports Car International named this car number two on the list of Top Sports Cars of the 1970s. One of the most appealing Japanese cars ever produced, it nevertheless disappeared almost entirely from American roads within two decades, presumably because like most Japanese cars of the time it had insurmountable rust issues.

From 1996 to 2002 Nissan did not offer the Z car line except in Japan where they sold the 300ZX (Z32) until 2000 as the Fairlady Z. In 1998 Nissan launched a program to bring back the Z car line. They began to purchase original 240Zs and restore them to factory specifications and sell them to dealerships for $24,000. This was in efforts to keep Z-interest alive. Furthermore, in 1999 a concept car was shown to the public in a plan to return to the fundamentals that made the 240Z a market success.

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