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Today is a sad day for the Z community as the designer of the 240Z Yoshihiko Matsuo, has passed away. He was 86 years old.

Yoshihiko Matsuo, lead designer of the iconic Datsun 240Z, died on July 11. He was 86 years old.

Matsuo was born on July 10, 1934 in Himeji, a city in the Hyogo Prefecture of Southern Japan. According to Japanese Nostalgic Car, he helped design the popular Daihatsu Midget while attending the the Nihon University College of Art, before graduating and going straight to work at Nissan. After his success at the company helping redesign the Bluebird 410 sedan, he was placed at the head of the company's first modeling department, where the first Fairlady Z took shape.

With just a small team of designers, Matsuo was tasked with shaping the Z's now-iconic lines, but also for developing how the car would be built, determining mechanical layout, types of materials used, and even pricing.

Of course, we all know how it turned out: The 240Z became one of the most popular sports cars in America. Stunning looks, an affordable price, and a stellar driving experience meant explosive sales numbers for the brand. The 240Z solidified Matsuo's name in the history books, and catapulted Datsun's reputation from small import brand to a main force in the market.

He will be sorely missed.



Yoshihiko Matsuo
 

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I wonder if he was shown the new Z? It’s S30 design inspiration is a fitting honor to all him. His design helped to make Nissan what it is today (minus the financial blunders of Ghosn).
 

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I wonder if he was shown the new Z? It’s S30 design inspiration is a fitting honor to all him. His design helped to make Nissan what it is today (minus the financial blunders of Ghosn).
I hope he got to see it before he left.
 
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