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It sure is. Cars like them are not coming back.

This also goes for many other Japanese cars from the 80's and 90's.

As great as the new Z is, it will never provide an experience like what the 300ZX, 280Z and 240Z can.
 

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Everything decent becomes collectible when it's 15+ years old. Unless you can't buy petrol any more, then it's just a garden ornament.
 

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There is a certain quality of late 80s and early 90s cars due to a mix of circumstances coming together.

The automotive industry really was gaining steam, based on economic boom and the mainstream middle class gaining purchasing power for big ticket items and discretionary spending.

They also had emerged from the malaise era and gained new vitality.

build quality and technology matured through the 1980s, and things like electronic fuel injection and computer controlled timing, air flow metering, and oxygen sensors in the exhaust to self-adjust those aspects... as well as an increase in availability of reliable turbocharging was really making things interesting.

But cars weren't the rolling distributed computing networks that they are now, with control modules and servo motors and sensors for 18 way seats with massage while the car drives for you.

There were regulations, but not until the mid 90s did they really start to favor light trucks and penalize passenger cars that didn't raise fleet fuel economy averages.

There were safety aspects, as airbags came on the scene, but the crash test and pedestrian impact standards had not yet made cars tremendously bulky, with high belt-lines, and high hood lines, and generally bloated proportions.

Z35s' chiseled hoodline is not even CLOSE to how low and sleek the Z32's sleek shape is. The Z35's interior will probably be less roomy while the bodywork is bigger and taller... because the panels and layers and pillars and crumple zones are thicker.

and the VR30DDTT will be incredibly more complex than even the VG30DETT in the Z32 Twin Turbo was.

The Z35's interior looks good... but it isn't as space-aged as the Z32, it's Subaru SVX cousin (SVX was derived from the Z32, with some shared supplier sub-assemblies and componentry), or the likes of Honda NSX's interior, and visibility won't be as good... but then again the Z35 will be an armored tank in comparison on crash survivability...

There was something special about cars from roughly 1987-1997, when they started getting to a point we still think of as modern, but before they got over-regulated, and over-complicated in comparison...

Not that current cars are bad... far from it. They just aren't quite like that anymore, just like those 80's/90's cars weren't like 1960s and 70s cars, which weren't like 40's and 50's cars... and those weren't like pre-war cars from the roaring 20s and 1930s

Change is the only constant.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Again, if the Z35's simple, smooth design becomes timeless along the likes of the original NSX, FD RX-7, Mark IV Supra, and of course Z32, it can be possible ONLY IF the next gen 'Z36' becomes an ugly overstyled successor. Plus the Z35 being the last ICE 'Z' certainly helps boost it as a future collectible, I'm sure.
 

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I guess I don't see a requirement for the successor to be ugly to make the predecessor timeless...

An ugly successor is more likely to increase tolerance for a previous design, BMW is the master at that currently... some of the new stuff makes even the most dubious Bangle era BMWs look better than people thought they looked when new... and more modestly sized, and more reliable, as well... which is quite an accomplishment for the newer BMWs to overtake.

An objectively high-merit design shouldn't require a following contrast, and ideally should be a foundation for refinement until the next original design that can succeed it on it's own merit, not discarding good design for no reason.

I see examples of both evolutionary refinement that creates things that are far more refined and perfected than any first iteration is likely to be.

As well, there are examples of retro that just won't give the future a chance, and are too tied to the past to gain new appeal.

Is it better to continue designs over and over, even if they are refined, like Porsche 911, Mustang, Nissan Z, and others?

Or is it better when things are changed entirely, such as Mark II Supra, Fox Mustang, and arguably Z31, that were each clear departures from their predecessors' styling, with no styling cues to the past iterations?

There are fans and detractors to those cars. Fox Mustang is quite popular, Mark II Supra is well received, but not the first Supra most people think of, and Z31 300ZX is probably one of the least considered Z generations.
 

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The change from Z31 to Z32 was a complete change, not a revision. IMO, it became a true driver's car with cockpit design, handling, and asthetic breakthroughs.

This stylistic homage to all the models is a collection of design elements without cohesion.
 

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The new Z definitely helps keep interest in the brand alive and makes people reminisce about the older models, thus affecting prices. But I think the vales of the older cars is also reflective of JDM cars being more accepted in the classic car scene, especially with the 25 year import rule lifting for a lot of cars.

 

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The change from Z31 to Z32 was a complete change, not a revision. IMO, it became a true driver's car with cockpit design, handling, and asthetic breakthroughs.

This stylistic homage to all the models is a collection of design elements without cohesion.
Z32 is sleek, and different than Z31, but not AS starkly different as Z31 is from S130 and S30 were before it.
S130 280ZX to Z31 300ZX was a drastic change.
Just as Mark II Supra compared to it's predecessor, and Fox Mustang from Mustang II.

Z35 may be a mix of previous cues, but generally it seems OK, and better than the 370Z's looks.
It may not be the most cohesive design ever, but it doesn't seem drastically disjointed.
And it seems to do about as well as modern cars can with current safety and pedestrian impact regulations that make current cars bigger and bulkier, even if they aren't overly heavy.
 

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Z32 is sleek, and different than Z31, but not AS starkly different as Z31 is from S130 and S30 were before it.
S130 280ZX to Z31 300ZX was a drastic change.
The Z31 retained many peculiarities of the previous 280ZX. The super-squatty rear suspension, the whole "GT" vibe, Tokyo fab interior electronics including optional voice system. I had a few Z31's whilst my friends had 280ZX's, the 2 cars felt/appeared remarkably similar. We also had a Z32 amongst our friends, and that car was completely different, felt totally "clean-sheet".

The only thing a Z32 has in common with a Z31 is it is a "3.0 V6" even though it's not the same engines.
 

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It sure is. Cars like them are not coming back.

This also goes for many other Japanese cars from the 80's and 90's.

As great as the new Z is, it will never provide an experience like what the 300ZX, 280Z and 240Z can.
The cars from our past, our youth, hold fond memories for sure but to say the Z experience won’t be like the 300zx, et al, I think unfairly ranks one’s glory days ahead of the superior performance of today’s sports/performance cars. Bear in mind that the 370Z on which the new Z is based was as unrefined as they come so I fully expect the new Z to be visceral and somewhat primitive (but less so than a 370Z) so it‘lol be anything but sterile or soulless. In fact, I enjoy the unrefined nature of my current G37S Coupe 6MT so much that I’d be disappointed if the new Z weren’t similarly “handicapped”. I had two 280ZX’s and a 1990 Sentra SE-R back in the day. While they were great cars in their own right, it’s the memories, not the dynamics, that stuck with me. Don’t get me wrong... I loved the smoothness and the sound of my 280’s in-line six just as I enjoyed the high revving yet torquey down low SR20DE in the SE-R, but it was the road trips, going out on dates, long distance drives to visit my girlfriend (now wife) that made those cars seem greater than they were. At 50-something, I recognize that as I loved the cars of my youth, they don’t hold a candle to my G, and I suppose the G won’t be able to do anything but stand in the new Z’s shadow. I’ll qualify that by stating my G (naturally aspirated) will have a better sound than the turbo-muffled Z will have if Infiniti Q60 exhaust videos are anything to go by. Having said that, I’m happy as a clam that the Z is here and that the Nismo version isn’t far off. In the meantime I’ll enjoy driving and making new memories in my G that will one day make me feel it was better than it was. Perhaps I’ll console myself by hitting 60 in under 4 seconds in my 2024 Nismo Z - with a six-speed manual, of course.
 

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While they were great cars in their own right, it’s the memories, not the dynamics, that stuck with me. Don’t get me wrong... I loved the smoothness and the sound of my 280’s in-line six just as I enjoyed the high revving yet torquey down low SR20DE in the SE-R, but it was the road trips, going out on dates, long distance drives to visit my girlfriend (now wife) that made those cars seem greater than they were. At 50-something, I recognize that as I loved the cars of my youth, they don’t hold a candle to my G, and I suppose the G won’t be able to do anything but stand in the new Z’s shadow.
One of my favorite cars I ever owned was a 1995 Acura Legend. I owned it about 7-8 years. Back in the 90's it really was a sweet ride.
About 2 years ago I found one on Craigslist with 50K miles on it. Perfect cream puff condition. I went to go test drive it. Was totally expecting to buy it. However, as perfect as that car was, it was a total let-down. I ended up getting a Q60 instead. Didn't want to worry about a minty time capsule being ravaged in traffic, and didn't want to drive something so slow any more. Still love that car more than most others I've had!
 

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One of my favorite cars I ever owned was a 1995 Acura Legend. I owned it about 7-8 years. Back in the 90's it really was a sweet ride.
About 2 years ago I found one on Craigslist with 50K miles on it. Perfect cream puff condition. I went to go test drive it. Was totally expecting to buy it. However, as perfect as that car was, it was a total let-down. I ended up getting a Q60 instead. Didn't want to worry about a minty time capsule being ravaged in traffic, and didn't want to drive something so slow any more. Still love that car more than most others I've had!
I hear ya. I had a similar experience. While contemplating which mid-life crisis car to get, thoughts went to my first car, a 280ZX. Yet when I realized I had no garage to preserve it and that it would be among the slowest cars on the road while lacking any semblance of modern handling prowess, I knew I had to have a relatively modern car. Your Legend (and the Legend Coupe) had some of the nicest interiors of any car of its time regardless of price. Acura would do well today to incorporate those “old” dashboard designs in everything they make today - so would just about every other maker.
 

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As alluded to already a bit in this thread. collectability is like a meme. value or understanding is given to something because the commonality in that community. the classic barret jackson auction style cars we have watched for years have their value because yes they made an impact on the industry for their time...but the honest reason is nostalgia. At its core its generational people of a certain age( that community of the initial muscle car enthusiasts within a few generations) that grew up on those cars lets say the 1960s have acquired the wealth to purchase that car and they are buying a memory. With the passage of time this is surely to shift. im 41 and I respect all cars but I have no emotional attachment to a classic Camaro or Chevelle or GTO at all. but a pristine R32 makes me drool. Porsche like the article suggested where certain 80's and newer cars are starting to be appreciated like the 60s muscle cars. The classic Zs I think will have their own niche here. You are already seeing this happen with used 90s car values and it will continue to move up to even more current cars as time progresses. I would be nostalgic over a mint z32 300zx right now

I will take it one step further the newer JDM sports cars like The Supra (MK4 era) the Z NSX the GTR ect will all eventually see a time when the gran turismo generation ages into that nostalgia buy especially the specialty variants like the S2000CR anything NISMO Honda Type R ect. Are top-trim Japanese cars following muscle cars into the stratosphere? | Hagerty Media

I'm starting the hashtag #nismor35tothemoon 10-15 years early. 🤣

Screenshot_20210610-220504-588.png
 

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The Z31 retained many peculiarities of the previous 280ZX. The super-squatty rear suspension, the whole "GT" vibe, Tokyo fab interior electronics including optional voice system. I had a few Z31's whilst my friends had 280ZX's, the 2 cars felt/appeared remarkably similar. We also had a Z32 amongst our friends, and that car was completely different, felt totally "clean-sheet".

The only thing a Z32 has in common with a Z31 is it is a "3.0 V6" even though it's not the same engines.
I'll defer to your experience, but I was mostly talking about first-impression visual design cues, rather than mechanical differences or similarities. I was talking about the overall look that is plainly obvious from the first advertisement image, before even considering deeper analysis.

280ZX shared many design cues with the S30 Z cars before it... from pocketed headlights on either side of hood long enough for an I6 engine, to the forward-peaked roofline, and a distinctive C-pillar, rear fender arch, to a Kamm style tail, and stacked horizontal bars as rear lighting. S130 was an evolution.

Z31 was absolutely not an evolution of what came before it, stylistically, just as MA60 Supra looked very different than it's predecessor, and Fox Mustang looked nothing like any of the previous Mustangs, and even C4 Corvette lost it's Coke Bottle curves from the C3.

Z32 was mechanically much improved, and had a much nicer interior, no dispute there... and not much of a styling evolution from Z31, but it kept the flat slant-nose with aero headlights in leu of aero pop-up headlights, and was a second successive styling renovation that was not an evolution...
but it wasn't the first styling departure from the classic Z visual traits, and by not being the first design departure, but rather the second iterative departure, Z32 doesn't seem as stark of a break from preceding tradition, even though Z32 is clearly a very positive design change, and one of the best looking cars of the modern era, let alone the Z lineage.

Just as Mark III Supra is a better looking car than Mark II... Mark II was a much more stark difference from Mark I, and Fox Mustang was the biggest stylistic departure from tradition in Mustang's History.


Most people would probably consider S130 280ZX, Z31, and Z32 as cars that skirt the line between sports cars and Grand Touring cars, especially with 2+2 versions and increased amenities at the expense of weight... where cars like RX7 remained smaller and lighter.

Z33 was when it came back to a sports car format, where G35 took the GT role on the shared platform, and was the better looking car, IMHO. I wished the 350Z had looked even more like a 2-seat 3-door G35, and didn't like that 370Z went the wrong way stylistically. Somewhere between Z32 300ZX and G35 coupe would be a point of auto design nirvana.

The Z33, Z34, and now Z35 are all designed with some measure of retro cues to classic Z cars, and are not complete clean-sheet styling, the way the 1980s cars were. Just as SN-95 to current day Mustangs, Camaros, modern Beetles, SSR, HHR, Thunderbird, Prowler, Charger, Challenger... and on, and on, and on, and on.... all look to the past for design lineage as well as their nameplates, rather than clean-sheet originality.

A completely new design is much harder to pull off successfully. Original designs have a much higher risk of being rejected if they are controversial, especially with a nameplate that has tradition behind it. Nissan doesn't have a great track record with original design. I still blame Juke for a lot of 21st century ugly car design. Catfish Maxima was not great, either... 370Z, Cube, outgoing Pathfinder... and the horror of Murano CrossCabriolet...
 
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