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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Datsun 240Z (1969-1975)



Slim, attractive looks Datsun 240Z entered automotive history as the fastest-selling sports car of all time

The idea of constructing Datsun 240Z came from the president of Nissan Motor Corporation in USA Yutaki Katayama, known as "Mr. K". The Japanese company has produced sports cars since 1961, when the base was built in 1500 Fairlady Sports Datsun 1600. It was to be a completely different vehicle . Katayamie liked the long hood of Jaguar E and some solutions in European vehicles. To work on a new car stylists proceeded under the guidance of Yoshihiko Matsuo and a group of engineers led by Tiichi Hara. Many famous sports cars in the names of numbers and figures, therefore, Katayama for his project came up with 240, which means the cylinder capacity. This has always loved good-sounding letter Z.

In October 1969 a new series of the first vehicle - the Datsun 240Z was introduced in the ballroom of the Pierre Hotel in New York. Slim, arousing strong emotions sports chassis with 6-cylinder inline engine with a capacity of 2.4 l 150 bhp allowing high as 100 km / h in just over 9 seconds quickly gained recognition Americans. In addition, the car was very good driveability and ensures high ride comfort thanks to independent suspension on all wheels.

In 1969 Datsun 240Z in the U.S. cost of $ 3,526. It was a relatively quiet, if we take into account the value that this vehicle represented themselves. Performance and styling successfully compete with the much more expensive sports cars from Europe.Japanese car quickly became a hit the American market, and the waiting time for receiving ordered the car came to 6 months. In 1970 240Z used could be purchased for $ 4000, which is more expensive than new ones.

Immediately after the commencement of production of a new Datsun began to take part in sports competitions. In the U.S., regularly successful in SCCA racing series and IMSA. Also fared well in the toughest races. In 1971, Edgar Herrmann and Hans Schuller won the Safari Rally. Two years later, this African event triumphed Shekhar Mehta and Lofty Drews.

Until 1975, sold 156 076 units Datsun 240Z. On his turn, however, were already waiting new versions.

In the 70s The first model of the series "Z" subject to constant change. First, the bodywork was 260Z 2 2, then the 280Z and the 280ZX. In the next decade, entered the market 280ZX Turbo, 300 ZX and 300 ZX Turbo. However, in this period, a loss of interest in these sports vehicles. Although everything still successor 240Z coped well in the American racing series.

During the gala at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles in 1996, officially farewell to a series of "Z". Over 26 years sold a total of 1 087 409 of these vehicles. The parting was not too long. In 2001 at the Tokyo Motor Show presents another Datsun 240Z successor - the Nissan 350Z.