I had always been a fan of the 240/260Z and was quite excited when Nissan launched the 350Z. However, as I was considering purchasing one, Mazda launched the RX8. I was completely smitten with the RX8 and purchased a brand new one, probably one of the first in the country. I had never previously been tempted to buy a brand new car.
I kind of forgot about the 350Z for a few years until I was looking to change my car and my young son spotted one for sale close by and talked me into going to have a look. I went along to humour him but the car was very eye catching and in immaculate condition – when I say eye catching it really was, being a Temper Orange 350Z HR. I took it for a test drive and loved the sound, performance and handling but was a little put off by the lack of visibility – it was fitted with a Nismo rear spoiler and really heavy tint on the side and rear windows. Felt a bit like driving a van, only using wing mirrors. I could live with the lack of visibility but the question I was asking myself ‘was I too old for a bright orange car’.
A few days later I collected the car : ). It was a good price and I decided that if I didn’t like it then I could probably get my money back. Obviously I loved it.
After the Temper Orange 350Z I decided to upgrade to a 370Z, a natural progression. I found a nice white GT Edition, 7 speed auto. This was a really good car, the GT Edition has additional sound proofing and suspension tuned for UK roads. I did find myself missing the manual box from time to time but the auto box with paddle shift was pretty good.
In hindsight I should have probably kept this car but was being tempted by another…
Next up was what I thought was the pinnacle, a 370Z Nismo, again in white. Bit odd this one because it had done very few miles, was described as immaculate but was being sold privately for less than the We Buy Any Car price. It was quite a distance away but after speaking to the owner who sounded very genuine took a train to look, and buy and drive back, if as described. It was. The seller had been trying to P/X it so can only assume he had been offered a daft price and was crap at negotiating so had priced the car based on that. Although there was nothing wrong with the car itself it really was not for me, especially on the crap roads around where I live.
I absolutely loved the look of the car, the Nismo really does look fantastic, but found it way too skittish unless on perfectly smooth roads (hard to find).
After the Nismo I decided to try something different and bought an Audi RS3. These cars are awesome, very few cars would be faster A to B on any road type. It was quite an experience but they don’t really come alive until you are doing stupid speeds and I feared for my licence so that had to go. Nice thing about the RS3 is if you buy one a couple of years old they really hold their price so no financial loss.
I was missing my Zed’s but since the next one was just for weekend fun I decided to get another 350Z. Came across an immaculate, super low mileage 350Z DE revup. I really liked this car but since my son had now passed his driving test it was my wife who would be coming out with me and not him – and she hated it. The 350Z is a lot more raw than the 370Z and despite the low miles it still crashed and bumped its way around. Probably didn’t help that I had fitted it with a Cobra exhaust so it was noisy too. It was great for solo trips but not with a passenger. So after 14 months ownership it had to go.
I then toyed with the idea of a Porsche Cayman but since it was only going to be a toy, the purchase cost and ongoing costs put me off the idea. Also found during the test drives that they did not really excite me any more than my Zed’s so just settled on the idea of another Zed.
I found a 2016 370Z GT manual (in white again!) at a Maserati dealership. Very low miles, immaculate condition but it had sat in their showroom for nearly 12 months. As with the Nismo it was priced really low. The sales guy was very honest and showed me its pricing history and it was now up for sale nearly £9K less than they had started. He even showed me the paperwork to show what they had paid for it. It drove well, was pretty much as new so I bought it.
Covid-19 had put paid to me putting many miles on it, but so far it seems to be the best version of Zed for me. It is far better behaved on the crap road surfaces than the Nismo and does not crash around like the 350Z. I am getting older so the ‘softness’ is probably better suited to me.