It has been a pretty long wait for the market launch of the new Nissan Z / Fairlady Z, but a fan of the sports car from Japan has found a way around the problem. Instagram user SKP diorama bought a Nissan 350Z and has spent the past two years transforming it into a Fairlady Z lookalike. While the car is not finished, a set of photos from the ongoing project will give you a great idea of its potential.
A silver 350Z (Z33) facelift served as a base for the build, which included the addition of new and altered body panels. Despite its age, the 350Z (2002-2008) bears a fairly close resemblance to both the 370Z (2009-2021) and the Z (2022) thanks to similar proportions and surfacing, making it a good choice for the conversion – at least in theory.
The first step was to tweak the design of the front bumper which got a taller grille and a new splitter. Then, the owner created the triangular-shaped bulge on the bonnet which is a signature element of the new Z. Next came the aerodynamic side sill extensions, a rear spoiler and a more prominent diffuser.
A pair of aftermarket headlights were fitted on the 350Z with LED graphics on a black background. In order to bring the angular shape of the 350Z headlights closer to the rounded shape of the units on the Fairlady Z, the owner added pieces of tape, before altering the front fenders and the bonnet to help cover the taped areas.
The most difficult part was likely the rear, since it is challenging to replicate the LED taillight graphics of the new Fairlady Z. A black-painted portion bearing Nissan’s updated emblem, a “Fairlady Z” logo plus a healthy amount of black and yellow tape brought the 350Z closer to the current design language, even though the result hardly passes for a new Z.
As a finishing touch, the car was painted yellow, matching the Nissan Z Proto, with glossy black accents on the rear bumper and the roof. The two-tone look was enhanced by the silver lines above the side windows and the black-painted five-spoke alloy wheels.
Setting aside the cosmetic features, the car hasn’t received any mechanical upgrades. This means it should be fitted with the stock naturally aspirated 3.5-liter V6 which produced up to 306 hp (228 kW / 310 PS) in the facelifted Nismo variants back in the day. While it won’t match the 400 hp (298 kW / 405 PS) of the new model’s twin-turbo 3.0-litre V6, the old horse is potent enough.
So what do you think about the Fairlay Z impersonator? Would you do this to your 350Z or would you rather keep the stock body panels? As a final note, we have to appreciate how well the original 350Z has aged for a model that was launched twenty years ago.
The history of the Nissan Z-car
The Nissan Z-car is known for their distinct styling and reputation for power and performance at a competitive price. The history of the Z-Car has taken an exhilarating road from the Datsun 240Z and Fairlady Z from Japan in 1969, through the 80s with the 300ZX, 2000s with the 350Z, 2010s with the 370Z, and into tomorrow with the all-new Nissan Z.
The Z-Series began in late 1969 (for the 1970 model year) with the Nissan Fairlady Z in Japan and the Datsun 240Z in the US. Its introduction was the culmination of 3 years of research and design that successfully looked to create a modern-styled, two-seater 6-cylinder coupe for the North American market.
Launching in 1969, the Fairlady Z premiered the first generation of Z Cars. Also known as Datsun 240Z or “Z-car”, the FairladyZ was manufactured for 9 years, as a representative car of Nissan all over the world. It sold more than 520,000 units, a record for sports cars within a single model.
The 1970 Datsun 240Z (a.k.a. the Nissan S30 or Fairlady Z) reached American soil in high demand circa 1969. Part of the first generation of Z-Cars, the 240Z brought with it a win in the 19th East-African Safari Rally.
A second generation Z (S130), was launched in 1978 as a 1979 model year. The new interior and exterior styling of the Datsun 280ZX attracted much interest and offered a higher level of luxury to meet the growing demands of the sports car customer. The 280ZX offered four wheel disc brakes, a 2+2 model, a Turbo model and the first offering of T-tops on a Z.
The Fairlady Z evolved into the third generation Z31 in 1983. 300ZX was introduced to American markets in 1983 and produced through to 1989. This third-generation Z-Car (Z31) brought with it standard air conditioning, leather upholstery, and offered an affordable entry point for sports car enthusiasts similar to its’ predecessors. The hottest topic was newly designed turbo V6 engine. The winning car of the 1985 All Japan Rally Championships, it was an outright sales success for Nissan.
The fourth generation Fairlady Z (Z32) or known as the Nissan 300ZX, was released in 1989. It was both bold and beautiful with its wide, low-proportioned styling, distinctive front end featuring headlights slanted at over 60 degrees, a lively silhouette, and the short overhang that accentuated its excellent maneuverability and increased performance.
The Nissan 350Z, a two-door, two-seater sports car, kicked off production for the fifth generation of Nissan Z-Cars 2002 and ended the 6-year production hiatus in the US. 350Z, with its’ sleek redesign of 240Z DNA, helped rejuvenate the Nissan market presence going into the latter half of the decade.
In production from 2009 to present, the 2010 Nissan 370Z coupe was a staple of the Nissan vehicle lineup. Built with a V6 engine and an available 7-speed automatic transmission, exquisite performance has been jam-packed into its sleek and refined aerodynamic frame. What is next for the Nissan Z?
The Nissan 370Z roadster was noted for its outstanding performance during the independent media groups annual “Topless in Miami” event. The Nissan 370Z was noted for its styling, ease of its convertible top operation, quietness and performance. More than two dozen vehicles were included in the annual event, in which vehicles are judged in various categories. The 370Z Roadster convertible was produced for nearly 10 years.
The all-new Nissan Z serves up classic sports car proportions of a long hood and a short rear deck. Staying true to its performance roots, and iconic Z styling elements, it creates a complete modern design Thats not all,. the all-new 2023 Z has a powerful 6-cylinder under the hood; a Front Midship, and a rear-wheel-drive design that places the engine farther back in the chassis for enhanced balance.
Nissan is reawakening the Power of Z. []
Transmission: 4-speed manual Suspension: Strut (front & rear) Engine Max. torque: 177Nm (18kgm)/5,600rpm Braking: Front disc/Rear drum Curb Weight: 2,292 lbs. Length: 162.0 in. Wheelbase: 90.7 in. Height: 50.7in. Width: 64.2 in.
Transmission: 4-speed manual (3-speed automatic optional) Horsepower: 150 @ 6000 rpm Torque: 148 pound-feet @ 4400 rpm Engine: single-overhead-cam inline-6 Curb Weight: 2,238 lbs. Length: 162.8 in. Wheelbase: 90.7 in.
Transmission: manual 5-speed gearbox Suspension (front, rear): Strut, semi trailing-arm Horsepower: 135-hp Torque: 144 lb-ft Engine: Nissan L28 gasoline (petrol) 2,753cc Curb Weight: 2,936 lbs. Drivetrain: Rear-wheel Drive Wheelbase: 99.2 in. Hatchback coupe
Suspension (front, rear): Strut, semi trailing-arm Engine Max. torque: 333Nm (34kgm)/3,600rpm Engine: VG30ET (V6, OHC), 2,960cc Curb Weight: 2921 lbs. Drivetrain: Rear-wheel Drive Wheelbase: 91.3 in. Length: 170.6 in. Width: 67.9 in. Height: 50.9 in. []
Suspension (front, rear): Multilink Engine Max. torque: 388Nm (39.6kgm)/3,600rpm Engine: VG30DET (V6, DOHC), 2,960cc Curb Weight: 3461.3 lbs. Transmission: 5-speed MT Wheelbase: 101.2 in. Length: 178.1 in. Width: 70.8 in. Height: 59.4 in.
Transmission: 6-speed close-ratio manual Drivetrain: Rear Wheel Drive Horsepower: 287 hp Torque: 274 ft-lbs. Brakes (front/rear): Disc Curb Weight: 3,197 lbs. Length: 169.60 in. Wheelbase: 104.30 in. Height: 51.90 in. Width: 71.50 in.
Engine: 3.7-liter DOHC 24-valve V6 Horsepower: 332 HP Torque: 270 lb-ft Brakes (front/back): vented discs Curb Weight: 3,494 Lbs.
Engine: 3.7-L DOHC 24-Valve V6 Aluminum Alloy Horsepower: 332 HP Torque: 270 lb-ft Brakes (front/back): vented disc Interior Volume: 51.6 cu. Ft. Curb Weight: 3333 lbs.
Engine: Twin-Turbo 3.0-liter V6 engine Horsepower: 400 HP Torque: 350 lb-ft. Brakes: ventilated disc Interior Volume: 51.4 cu. Ft. Base Curb Weight: 3486 lbs.
The all-new Nissan Z with a manual transmission and twin turbo V6 engine is the future of the Z-Car lineage. With inspiration taken from over 50 years of careful composition, the next-in-line to hold the title of a Nissan Z-Car is just that—unmistakably Z.
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How much is a 350Z in 2022?
At $30,090, the bottom cost from the 2022 Nissan 370Z is among the greatest within the class. You will find multiple greater trims, using the range-topping Nismo beginning at $45,790.
240Z, 300ZX, 350Z, 370Z & More
The legacy of Nissan sports cars has been built over more than 50 years with more than 40 models. Some of Nissans sports cars include: the original Nissan Skyline, the modern GT-R, the historical Fairlady Z, the Nissan 350Z, and the newly unveiled Nissan Z. Nissan has earned its reputation of being strong contenders on and off the track.
Does Nissan still make Z Cars?
What is the fastest Nissan 350Z?