Nissan has a long history of sports cars dating back to the Datsun SPL311 Spots car of the 60's. The little 1600 cc engine with was repalced by a 2000 cc and created the 2000 Roadster in the late 1960's. Those cars were aimed directly at MG and Triumph. Although it had the straight line performance and a reliability that set a new standard, they still lacked the styling of the Brits and some sophistication. In 1970 Datsun took care of all that and then some with the introduction of the 240Z. The 240Z nailed the coffin shut on the rest of the worlds sports cars by 1980 the Z car stood alone. As it always seems to happen, every year the evolution of the 240 to the 280z made it better and heavier. By the time of the introduction of the 280ZX it was more of a luxury GT than a simple sports car. The now available turbo provided more than enough power to make up for the additional weight that the car had gained. A little side note here. Datsun during the period after WWII, Datsun/Nissan licensed engine designs. A wonderful thing happened when they took the basic Austin 4 cylinder engine and converted to metric and gave it an aluminum cylinder head. They ended up with a superior engine that was lighter, more powerful and more reliable than the original design they licensed. That basic re-engineered design dating back to the 1940's stayed in production with Datsun until the 1980's. The 4 and 6 cylinder engines single overhead cam engines were another animal altogether. At this point feeling their oats, as far as I know they did not license the design of the 510 4 cylinder engine or Z car six. In a very clever way, they took the design of the Mercedes 4 and 6 cylinder single over head cam engine dating from the 50's in the 190 and 280 Mercedes sedans and flipped the blue prints over and created the series of engines that would power the company until the 1990's. In 1984 with the introduction of the 300Z as a Nissan shed its Datsun English marketing name, and introduced to the world an original engine design to power its flag ship. Although the 300 set a new technological direction for Nissan and the new vehicle shed any traces of crudeness it was now much more upscale than the 280 series. I however did not care for the styling that was to angular and did not flow well. Nissan once again found its sense of style with the 3rd generation car of the 90's that we feature here. The new 4 cam engine that was designed from the start to be turbo charged has broken all kinds of records for power out put. The 4th generation and current design is near the end of its tenure and who knows how history will see it.

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