Recently, a 1996 Nissan 300ZX sold for $90,100. No, that is not a typo, nor was it your typical Z32. It was perhaps the most collectible example in the US, a big reason why the price was 10 times what a typical specimen would sell for. At the time, people thought this would be the last Z ever sold in the US.
Let’s forget for a moment that the Z32 was sold until 2000 in Japan. Back in 1996, it was nearing the end of its US run, sales suffering as a result of the SUV craze and a strong yen inflating its sticker price. Nissan decided to make the last 300 Z32s “Commemorative Edition” models, each individually numbered with a plaque and sticker denoting its special status.
The car you see here was number 300 out of 300. Remember, at the time Nissan had no replacement in sight so as far as anyone knew this was, after 26 years of continuous production, the very last American Z. Of course, the Z33 350Z would arrive seven years later, but it is completely understandable why someone would preserve this car.
And preserve it they did. It has barely been touched, registering only 533 miles on the odometer. It’s pretty darn mint, too, as one would expect of a car whose total miles are fewer than what the average human walks in a year.
The chromed wheels are an unfortunately choice, but it’s not impossible to find a new set of alloys. It’s what’s under the hood that counts, and what’s there is a twin-turbo VG30DETT mated to a 5-speed manual. The US engine made 300 horsepower, which is technically more than the 276 figure officially reported in Japan, where Nissan was still under the Gentleman’s Agreement that limited power.
While the mileage wasn’t as low as the 200-mile example we drove a few years ago from Nissan USA’s collection, it’s still pretty damn near new. Besides, that one was number 249, and there’s something cool about having the very last. You can see more photos at the eBay auction.