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Nissan 260Z Information & History

The S30 Nissan/Datsun 240Z (known in Japan as the Fairlady Z and later in other markets as the 260Z and 280Z) are sports cars from Nissan of the 1970s. The 240Z was introduced in 1969 with a 2.4 L straight-6 L-series engine, rear wheel drive, and a stylish coupe body. The engine, based on the Nissan 510's I4, produced 150 hp (112 kW) and only came with a 4-speed manual transmission. A 4 wheel independent suspension consisted of MacPherson struts in front (borrowed from the Nissan 1800) and Chapman struts in back. Front disc brakes & rear drums were standard.

The 240Z and 260Z used twin carburetors. Fuel injection (L-Jetronic electronic fuel injection, designed by Bosch) was added for the 280Z. This was primarily in order to cope with the difficulty faced in getting enough power using carburetors while still meeting emissions regulations. The early 240Zs, prior to smog controls, had significantly more power than the post 1973 models. Those levels of power would not be achieved again until the 300ZX was introduced.

The 240Z was the first sports car from Japan to be widely popular in the US and the first major success for the Nissan Motor Corporation, which at the time sold cars in North America under the name Datsun. The 240Z also broadened the image of Japanese car-markers beyond their econobox success.

First built in 1969, the 240Z was introduced to the U.S. market by Yutaka Katayama widely known as 'Mr. K.' Katayama was the president of Nissan's U.S. operations. The very early 1970 model 240Z had chrome number 240 and a chrome letter Z on each upper rear quarter panel as a badge. Two vents were included in the hatch. Later cars had the letter Z in white. In 1972 and later models, the side badges were replaced by vents and the vents were eliminated from the hatch.

In 2004, Sports Car International named this car number two on the list of Top Sports Cars of the 1970s.


2.4 L (2393 cc/146 in) Straight-6, cast-iron block, alloy head, seven-bearing crankshaft, single overhead cam, 9.0:1 compression
     Bore: 83.0 mm (3.3 in)
     Stroke: 73.7 mm (2.9 in)
Fuel system: Mechanical fuel pump, twin Hitachi HJG 46W 1.75 in (44.4 mm) SU-type carburettors
Power: 151 hp (113 kW) at 5600rpm (SAE gross)
Torque: 146 ftlbf (198 Nm) at 4400rpm (SAE gross)
Transmisson: Four-speed manual or three-speed automatic (after 09/70)
     Front: 10.7 in (271.8 mm) discs
     Rear: 9.0 in (228.6 mm) by 1.6 in (40.6 mm) drums
     Front: Independent with MacPherson struts, lower links, coil springs, telescopic dampers, anti-roll bar
     Rear: Independent with MacPherson struts, lower wishbones, coil springs, telescopic dampers
Steering: Rack and pinion, 2.7 turns lock to lock
Wheels: 4.5J-14 steel wheels with 175 SR 14 tires
Wheelbase: 90.7 in (2304 mm)
Length: 162.8 in (4135 mm)
Width: 64.1 in (1628 mm)
Dry weight: 2355 lb (1068 kg)
Top speed: 125 mph (200 km/h)
0-60 mph (97 km/h): 8.0 s
Typical fuel consumption: 21 mpg (11.2 L/100 km)

Z-car usually refers to a series of sports cars manufactured by Nissan. Early on they were released under Nissan's Datsun brand name. Starting out in 1969 with the 240Z, the Datsun Z-cars have been popular in Japan (where they are known as the "Fairlady"), the United States, and the United Kingdom. For their good looks and strong performance, they have been remarkably affordable automobiles.


The first two generations (240Z/260Z/280Z and 280ZX) of Z-car were powered by a Straight-6, (part of the L-series of Nissan engines, which powered most of their vehicles until the early 1980s) with a displacement of 2.4 L in the first incarnation, and increasing to 2.6 L and 2.8 L in the 260Z, and the 280Z and ZX, respectively. Their form was deliberately derived from the 1960s Jaguar E-type.

The second generation, the 280ZX, was a complete re-design, retaining only the L28 engine and other driveline components. A turbo option was introduced, but this still did not bring the 280ZX's stock performance up to the level of the original 240Z.

The third generation, the 300ZX, switched to a 3.0 L V6. Two generations of 300ZX ended in 1996 in the US, but the Z32 model continued in Japan until 1999 with a major design change in 1998. The cost of production was rising too fast for US consumers to be willing to pay, and sales were dwindling, so Nissan limited its 300ZX to Japan.

In the 2003 model year, Nissan reentered the US sports-car market with the 350Z, powered by a 3.5 L V6, and styled in an attempt to create a more modern interpretation of the 240Z's lines.


Among Z-cars, the most sought after are the early 240Zs, due to their being unencumbered with emissions regulations, and thus putting out significantly more power than later Z-cars, until the later 300ZXs. In 1998, Nissan even offered restored 240Zs through its dealerships. Also popular is the Twin Turbo Z32.

The first generation of Z-car are known for unusually quick handling, easily comparable to cars such as the Porsche 911, but usually at a much lower price. For those for whom the inline-6 is not enough, V8 conversions are popular. Some companies have even specialized in producing such conversions (like Scarab Engineering, which is no longer in business). Many forums exist for modified cars, being a major one.

The 240Z, and to a lesser degree the 260Z and 280Z, were well-regarded for their light weight and good balance, which contributed to their speed and handling. The 280ZX, while maintaining a similar overall look and drivetrain to the earlier cars, was not as well-regarded due to its increased weight, and the addition of more accessories making it less of a pure sports car. This sentiment continued with the 300ZX. The second generation 300ZX was also thought by many to be overpriced for what it offered.

Nissan has managed to salvage the reputation of the Z-car with the 350Z, however, which is known for its speed and handling, and not just its good looks.


The engine was enlarged with a longer stroke to 2.6 L for the 260Z in 1974. A 2+2 seating option added with an extra 11.9 in of wheelbase. This engine was sold in the United States for the 1974 model year only, but was available in other countries until 1979. In the US, federal emissions' regulations forced a reduction in ignition timing and compression ratio, resulting in a lower power output (140 hp) despite the additional displacement. A 3-speed automatic transmission was an option to the standard 4-speed manual.

Most people regard the 260Z as the least desirable of the line, because of the reduced performance. This has resulted in lower prices on average for the 260Z

Despite these deficiencies, the 260Z also claims a few improvements over the 240Z. The heating and air conditioning controls are more sensibly laid out, and easier to work, and there is additional stiffness in the chassis due to a slight increase in the sheet metal thickness used in certain areas. The US model also featured heavier, safer, impact-absorbing bumpers. The 260Z was also the first Z car to be offered in a 2+2 (four-seat) model. The wheelbase was increased by 10 inches (250 mm) in order to create space for a back seat.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from articles at Wikipedia - The Free Encyclopedia

Most Popular Parts For Nissan 260Z

1974 - 1974 Nissan 260Z Fan Clutch
Brand: Japan

 Part # G5010-26418

Year Range: 1974 - 1974
Model: 260Z
Application: Fan Clutch

Category: Nissan Water Cooling

1974 - 1974 Nissan 260Z Oil Filter
Brand: NPN

 Part # A6000-66633

Year Range: 1974 - 1974
Model: 260Z
Application: Oil Filter

Category: Nissan Oil System

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