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1977  260Z Review
  • Incredible good looks!
  • Incredibly hard to drive!

by Ben C

Take a look at the first incarnation of the Nissan Z-Car, I wonder if Mr. Matsuo had any idea of the juggernaut he was creating, the two-door rear wheel drive, front engine design that would ultimately define a generation and form some of the most iconic cars out of Japan. The idea that would later spawn the Skyline, its super hero cousin, Italian stallion scaring, GTR and not to mention the more sedate and gentlemen…or porn producer.. friendly Z-Cars of the current era.

The reality of the 260Z is, no matter what camp of car consumer you identify to, the bite your hands good looks and outright beauty in appearance has survived the test of time, the long sweeping bonnet, swept back windows and flared guards are something that we still see today, need proof; Ferrari California, Corvette, the BRZ/86. Put simply the absolute stunning nature of this timeless beast would surely even impress Nas Campanella

But, I want to get this off my chest early, the 260Z I was given to review was terrible. We all have these romantic notions about cars from a previous generation, the sound of the exhaust, the feel of a carburetted engine, rolling through the hills on a sunny afternoon with our lady friend, to park right outside the café and drink latte, while passes by admire the elegance and simplicity of what is presented before them. But, the simple reality is, classics are about as temperamental as a Greens back-bencher. Trundling the 260Z around the place is downright hard, once a not insignificant amount of time is spent letting the engine warm up, it then needs to be feathered between shifts to stop the horrendous sound of misfires, the gear shift is implausible difficult, it weighs in at broadly what you find a track ready V8 Supercar and to get the thing moving from lights requires the skill set of Garth Tander.

But the dichotomy of this is the incredible sound of the exhaust that comes from the 130kw, straight 6, triple Webber Carby fed engine, while not deafening, it is a sound that could replace pacemakers. The feel of the 255 wide tires and Koni adjustable suspension offers a ride quality that is nothing short of impeccable. The 260Z will glide over undulations and potholes without a second thought and the steering while heavier than gravity itself offers a kind of lazy, relaxed feel to corners, as if, apexes are no longer important. And this leads me to perhaps the best defining factor of the 260Z; the fact it is, simply, slow. Hear me out here; we have all taken a girl for a drive up in the hills with every intention to impress, to only end up with nothing more than a passenger side full of vomit and a crying specimen of the breed (this has literally happen to me, several times). But in the 260Z, you experience the thrill of a Sunday drive, while actually moving forward at a really slow rate. The vast and downright simplicity of the 260Z would possibly make it the ultimate Sunday tourer, the car you use in a mating ritual with the opposite sex. While The 260Z is not a car you would even humor the idea of daily driving; next time I have a lady friend to take to dinner, I’ll take the slowest car I have driven in the a long time, I’ll take the 260Z. Did I mention I am single?

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1977  260Z Review Review
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