Nissan 240Z—The Game Changer

Introduced in 1969, the Nissan 240Z was something of a radical departure for that times. It wasn’t a muscle car, it wasn’t a V8, it wasn’t what was expected of a Japanese import during the time. Japanese automakers were making cars during those times quite unlike what you see today at West Covina Nissan. They tended to be small uninspiring, economical and cars, and mostly under-powered. The claim to fame of the Japanese imports of the time? These folks weresolid and good, reliable cars. In other words, these were boring. The newest Nissan 240Z would single-handedly change all of that.

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The First Japanese Sports Car

Nissan realized that the Japanese automakers had to prove they could produce a car that fun ended up being to drive. They decided to follow the European example and make a sleek sports car just like the English Jaguar, only more affordable-and reliable. They included a SOHC inline-6 cylinder engine (130 hp in Japan, a slightly larger 2.4 liter 151 hp engine model for that States) and used interchangeable parts using their company car models to keep costs down. The result was an unqualified winner. Finally, the car buyer had the option of buying a fast, economical, fun-to-drive sports car that was an exotic import and reliable to boot. Nobody had ever seen anything want it.

Success

The 240Z was introduced in America in October 1969 and sold over 45,000 units through the 1971 model year. In 1972 and 1972 the numbers were 50,000 and 40,000, respectively. These were huge numbers for any relatively unknown Japanese car company as well as a new, unusual sports car. What few would have imagined was the new 240Z pretty much sold itself: it was sleek, fast, and economical to buy and drive. The automobile started a dynasty of ‘Z’ sports car offerings from Nissan, and launched Nissan on the path to recognition and success among the world’s leading car brands. Not too harmful to a little sports car that many said had absolutely no way in competition with the big muscle cars of the late 1960s. Today the muscle cars seem like quaint dinosaurs and also the little 240Z looks surprisingly modern. Would you ever have seen that coming? Evidently, only Nissan knows the answer to that question.

You can get the latest incarnation of the legendary Nissan ‘Z’ series of sports cars, and a host of other attractive Nissan trucks and cars, just a mouse click away at www.downtownnissan.com. Check them out today.

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