Nissan is releasing a special edition version of the 370Z to commemorate 50 years of its revolutionary sports car. The Nissan 370Z 50th Anniversary Edition is based on the 370Z Sport, but features a distinct two-tone graphic that fans of Nissan’s motorsports heritage will surely recognize.
As denoted by the colors and twin stripes on the door, the livery is a nod to the distinctive warpaint worn by the BRE Datsun Roadster, 240Z, and 510 race cars of the 1960s and 1970s. Those machines, campaigned by the factory supported Brock Racing Enterprises, were highly successful in American road racing in that time, when Nissan was just entering the US market. Their many championship wins helped transform the perception of Nissan, and Japanese cars in general, in the US.
The 370Z 50th Anniversary Edition is based on the 370Z Sport model, a trim that adds a viscous limited-slip diff, 19-inch Rays wheels wrapped in High-grip Bridgestone Potenza S007 tires, and the SynchroRev rpm-matching manual transmission. and a Bose premium sound system. All of these are included, but the 50th AE adds no additional powertrain enhancements, soldering on with the 3.7-liter V6 generating 332 horsepower and 270 lb-ft of torque. A 7-speed automatic is also available.
Nissan is offering two color choices on the 50th AE. The one most true to the famed BRE race cars is the white and red two-tone, which features a red hood, trunk, side mirrors, and A-pillars. This accent color is, according to Nissan, not a decal package but actual paint.
A “50th Anniversary” emblem is added to the rear, beneath the standard “370Z” emblem, and a “50th” crest decal surrounds the Z emblem on both front fenders. Additionally, the Rays wheels have a thin red accent line around the edge of the rim.
Of course, it’s not a one-to-one match of the original. For example, the BRE 240Z had a red roof, while the 370Z’s remains white. The red also extended below the side windows; on the 370Z, they’re replicated with a thin decal line that extends from the headlight to the C-pillar. For some reason Nissan chose to delete the rear spoiler for the 370Z, but a small ducktail would have matched the tribute more closely. The iconic twin stripes the side stop about mid-way up the flanks, but there could be good reason for that.
In 2014, BRE team owner Peter Brock began producing his own 240Z cars for clients, and they sported a similar graphic with the twin stripes thicker and more sharply angled than on his original liveries. The second color for the 370Z 50th AE, silver and black, is a closer match to his white and silver demo car as well.
Cabin-wise, its 4-way power seats feature a crest insert on the backrests. A unique “50th Anniversary” Alcantara-wrapped steering wheel, sill plates with the Z logo, special door panel inserts, floormats, and dark chrome trim throughout separate the 50th AE from regular 370Zs. Additional “50th Anniversary” logos are also present in the tachometer and shifter base plate.
Overall the look is fairly clean, much more so than the BRE tribute 370Z that Nissan produced back in 2010. There, the stripes ended up looking way too dominant. The proportions of the 370Z are different enough that not all of the 240Z’s elements will translate perfectly.
As to why Nissan chose to commemorate 50 years of the Z with a BRE tribute, Ivan Espinosa, Nissan vice president of global product strategy and planning, explained, “It’s no secret that the Datsun 240Z started the ball rolling for Japanese sports cars in the US… After the BRE 240Z debuted in 1970, Nissan/Datsun became one of the most successful companies in American motorsports — with thousands of victories over the past five decades.”
According to Nissan, the 2020 370Z 50th Anniversary Edition cars will be available at dealers next month. Only 50 of the white and red versions will be made. There will be more of the silver and black ones, but the exact number has not been determined at this time.
Images courtesy of Nissan.