A Z sports car we don't often hear about is the Nissan 260.

I found the improvements in it over the 240Z to be interesting and anyone unfamiliar with what they were can find details below. Of course, it was only produced for 18 months, a key reason why it flys under the radar.

As classic Z's go up in value, I think we'll starting seeing and hearing more about the 260.

"Early 260s retained 240-type bumpers, adding chunky black rubber over-riders, which added 3 inches to the front and another 3 to the rear, while the '74½ models introduced all-new 5-MPH impact bumpers that added yet another 6.3 inches of length and a whopping 130 pounds to the curb weight. That means that the big-bumper '74½ 260Z was a full foot longer than the '73 240Z, all of it at the ends. These later bumpers also saw the turn signals move from beneath the bumper to inside the narrow grille slit; the later 280Z continued with these battering rams. Because they were only produced for four months, the '74½ models are considered the rarest of the bunch--rare enough that the bumpers, usually a detriment to sports-car values, have no ill financial effect.

Datsun also addressed some persistent customer grumbles with the 260Z. In order to cure wind buffeting and wandering at highway speeds, Nissan beefed up the spring rates (as much to compensate for the added equipment as to improve handling), added a slight rake, and added a rear anti-roll bar. This also made handling a good deal more neutral than the slightly understeering 240Z that came before. The shifter offered a more direct, less rubbery linkage, and throttle action once described by Car and Driver as "hair trigger" was exorcised.

Datsun also used this generation Z to expand the sporty coupe's repertoire: a 2+2 body style was added, splicing in almost a foot of wheelbase and rear jump seats that only kids and yoga instructors could fit in, as well as a first-ever three-speed automatic transmission. Inside, a new steering wheel and factory-installed air conditioning marked the major changes. The gradual trend toward more creature comforts saw the 260Z gain about 300 pounds over the original 240, creeping ever closer to 2,700 pounds for the smaller-bumper, two-seat, four-speed version. The 2+2 weighed even more, gaining an additional 200 pounds over the two-seat models; they also rode on slightly stiffer springs, to offset the additional weight."