1994 Nissan 300ZX V8 IMSA GTS

Offered by Bring a Trailer Auctions | May 2023

Photo – Bring a Trailer Auctions

So this may be a purely purpose-built, tube-frame race car with composite bodywork, but it does have your standard Z32 road car tail panel, which is excellent. Nissan was around for the Group C era, and they eventually transitioned to the GTS class in IMSA.

Initially, they started campaigning second-generation 300ZX race cars with their twin-turbocharged V6s. But those became a little too dominant for IMSA’s liking (in 1994, a 300ZX won the 24 Hours of Daytona and the 12 Hours of Sebring outright before winning their class at Le Mans). So for 1995, IMSA outlawed the twin-turbo V6.

And Nissan said “okay, we’ll raise you two cylinders.” The next season’s cars, including this one, were powered by a 4.5-liter V8. Two such chassis were so equipped, and the racing history for this one, #008, includes:

  • 1995 24 Hours of Daytona – 21st (with Steve Millen, Johnny O’Connell, and John Morton)
  • 1995 12 Hours of Sebring – 5th, 1st in class (with Millen, O’Connell, and Morton)

This is a pretty serious machine that I suspect would be terrifyingly fast at 50%. You can read more about it here.

Update: Not sold, high bid of $156,000.

Spartan II

1986 Spartan II

Offered by Mecum | Houston, Texas | April 2-4, 2020

Photo – Mecum

The Spartan was initially produced by Spartan Motors of Santa Ana, California, in about 1983. They later relocated to San Marcos, California, and became the Spartan Motorcar Company. In 1998 – yes the company was still around in 1998 – production was shifted to the Table Mountain Rancheria, an Indian reservation in Friant, California. They wanted to keep building them. It is unknown if they were successful.

While the initial Spartan was based on the Datsun 280ZX (and could be purchased at Datsun dealers, which is insane), the Spartan II was based on the Z31 Nissan 300ZX. It features a 3.0-liter V6 that made 160 horsepower when new.

It’s a polarizing car, I know. But these are one of the more common neo-classics. They were liked enough when new that this company was around for nearly 15 years. Go out and get you one! Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $12,650.

Nissan 300ZX

1992 Nissan 300ZX Coupe

Offered by Auctions America | Hilton Head, South Carolina | October 31, 2015

Photo - Auctions America

Photo – Auctions America

The Toyota Supra. Mazda RX-7. Mitsubishi 3000GT. And the Nissan 300ZX. These were the sportiest Japanese cars you could buy in the 1990s. But by the mid-to-late 90s, they were all gone. As the prices came down on used ones, high schoolers took over, modifying them beyond repair. This car is a glimmer of hope.

This generation of Nissan’s Z-car was built between 1989 and 2000 (although they ceased arriving on American shores after 1996). The engine is a 3.0-liter V6 making 222 horsepower. An even-sportier twin turbo model was also offered. This car does have the glass T-tops.

Because so many of these have been driven into the ground by young people desperate to get their hands on something fast, not many remain – especially this clean and in this condition. In fact, Supras and RX-7s are climbing in price and are hardly ever seen. This is the most common of the three but you never see one that really looks like its got its stuff together. It’s a low-mileage, one-owner car estimated to bring $25,000-$30,000. Hopefully it goes to a good home. Click here for more info and here for the rest of Auctions America’s lineup.

Update: Sold $12,100.