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Hagerty Employee

Is the Nissan Z poised to become the next 911? | Hagerty Media

We are in the midst of a Nissan Z boom. You may be thinking, "Old news, the 240Z has been rising in value for years." Yes, it has. But here's the thing, we're now seeing it for all Zs.

When did it become about the money? I love old cars, I own 2 that I bought before all this craziness. Someday It'll just be a hobby for the rich, like most other things. I once restored a car to the point of it not being fun anymore, always worrying about scratches, theft, etc. I had to sell it as I had lost my focus. For me, when things get expensive, things get serious. Serious isn't fun. I wish it could go back to just being for the fun of it.
Advanced Driver

If by 'the next 911' you mean even s**t boxes are going to be overpriced (like rusted to death 57 Chevy's going for $10k), then it is a sad thing for the hobby. 'Investors' need to stay out of the hobby. Every classic car price is being run up by people with too much money and not enough brains.
Pit Crew

So the people with not enough brains are the people with too much money? That makes logical sense. Like "the harder I work the dumber I become."
Advanced Driver

Good analogy with the Shoebox Chevy as they both are high volume production cars. What drives up prices are the creative people that want the "ultimate" hotrod, and pay $10K for the rust bucket and dump $50K into it.

It is for enjoyment, not for making a profit. As soon as I saw the value gains as percentages I wondered if I was looking at something about cars or retirement funds. I bought my car to enjoy driving it until it is no longer usable in my my retirement not to look at and think about how I will enjoy spending the money I get for it in retirement.
Pit Crew

On the one hand we have "enthusiasts" worried that the next generation has no use for cars.
On the other hand we have "enthusiasts" upset that the next generation is paying top dollar for what the "enthusiasts" until a short time ago considered "just an old car."
As someone who no longer has the RX-7s, Zs and 944s that I sold when they were just old cars, I am happy to see their value rise, and say "make up your mind 'enthusiasts.' "
I miss seeing air cooled, and transaxle Porsches at autocrosses and DE events, but on the other hand, I enjoy knowing they are being restored and enjoyed, while we "enthusiasts" enjoy our Boxsters, Caymans, Miatas, etc. at autocrosses. I guess it is called progress.

To my fellow posters:
Face it; to some degree EVERYTHING is about the money. Think about it; really think about it.
People will do what they do— some will speculate, some will buy what they like (within their means- see… money). Some will restore, some will preserve. Some will use, some will pamper. Some will modify, some will keep as is. Lots of things people do irritate me, too. Such is life. (Tomorrow I will probably post something critical; at which point I should refer back to this…)
Intermediate Driver

Seems like a perfect storm of factors causing such a steep rise in many of the classic car prices. Covid 19, EV's only new vehicle sales laws, extra cash in 401K's and other investments, and changing demographics of the buyers. Did I leave any out?
Pit Crew

It's not hard to understand these growing values for Z cars, especially the ones that were left behind and depressed for so long (280zx and 300zx). There's a certain amount of inevitability to it based on a combination of economics and psychology. When folks are priced out of a certain segment or specific car or brand, psychologically they're left with some combination of disappointment and resentment and frustration, which leaves them looking elsewhere to meet their hopes and dreams (and plans and schemes). Add in a couple of choice internet hero cars (whether real or renderings), the fervor of dedicated Facebook groups or forums, the underdog status (everyone loves an underdog), upward trending prices for others in the lineage, and it's bound to happen that cars like the 280zx and 300zx start to build a following and build value, especially when folks start to realize the quality of the driving experience and performance comparability to their aspirational competitors (like the 930).

Personally I'm glad to see these later Z cars start to get some appreciation (both financial and otherwise) since I genuinely believe they've been too long overlooked. These are cars you can (afford to) enjoy without the baggage, guilt, concern, and hassles of something with more hype and higher values. Get 'em while you can.
Advanced Driver

Older Z cars that are not rusted out completely? Does that really exist? That is the only thing that would make them rare IMHO.
Intermediate Driver

Non rusted out older Z’s do exist, you just have to look for them out west in areas that don’t get snow or salt on the roads. I own a very nice example 70 model and it’s been a California car its whole life so rust was very minimal when I bought it in the 90’s
New Driver

In the early 60’s I was in high school and one of the upperclassmen girls came to school in a Datsun FairLady. Her dad was the Honda motorcycle dealer and just started selling Datsun. We were all awed by the car and I haven’t seen one since. In the 80’s I went to Japan and finally saw fair lady’s. It seems that the brand is strictly Japan only. Does Hagerty follow these 60’s Datsuns?
Intermediate Driver

I remember driving a 1970 "Z" when they first came out; both 4 speed and an automatic.
The automatic was actually better.
Great classic to find but they similar to the Fiat 850.
They rotted out . Terrible steel.
Like a Porsche, you have to have very deep pockets to truly appreciate these cars.
Maintenance and parts are not cheap, but, if you can afford it, go for it.
We are only able for so long so why deny yourself!

Certain cars are like stocks. People can complain all they want, it will never change.

I've owned a couple of air cooled 911s and wasn't impressed. Don't get me wrong, they're beautiful cars. High build quality for the most part. I loved the sound of the door closing. It made a Thunk sound that denoted a solid body. The boxer 6 made a very nice sound during acceleration, too. But the 993 was a pain to work on. My G50 had it's engine out twice by the time it had 75K miles and I found broken head bolts at 105K. Any other car that needed three engine pulls in 105K miles would be called unreliable. I didn't like the way they handled.

The 240Z was a beautiful car in 1970 and is a beautiful car today. Some body styles hold up over time and others don't. The Z cars are beautiful, fun to drive and dependable. Easy to work on for the most part, as well. For years, Japanese cars and motorcycles were discounted, even when their engineering and quality were clearly superior. Miatas are still a great bargain.
New Driver

will always be a third sized ghibli clone, fun car but for that money...
Pit Crew

I own a 1977 low mileage 280z and a 2003 Porsche 911. Both cars are exceptional driving cars and are rust free soithwestern vehicles. Both were reasonably priced though I will admit took alot of research and time to locate. I understand the similarities in value..

Like Porsche 928 (1978-1995), Porsche 944 (1982-1991), Porsche 968 (1992-1995), the 240Z is the one to have. Not abt money in my world~

I had a 260Z back in the day but like a lot of them it was badly rusted. I made it look good and got talked out of it. The guy I sold it to sold it to a local girl and when driving over some railroad tracks to fast it actually broke in half. That is RUSTY! The other day my wife said why don't you just buy a new car and be done with it? Normally I would not give that idea a second thought. But if the new 400Z is decent, priced right and looks as good as the 240/260/280Z then I will give it some serious thought.

The greatest is that these Asian sports cars are often hard to find in good condition. Most rusted out in many non dry areas. 

They often had technology and parts that were difficult and expensive to repair vs the value of the car. 

Then NOS or reproduction parts are non existent for many of these models. 

The very early Z cars will hold some special value if they are in good and or near original condition.


As for the 911 air cooled. It is a cult to itself. Parts are not rare and often the value makes them worth the investment. They also are easy to work on. 

If you can work on a VW Bug you could become a good 911 air cooled mechanic. 

The water cooled 911 is much like the Asian sports cars. A great car but tech and more expense will hinder them from being easily restored. 

To restore most of these cars anymore you do it for the love not the investment. That way if it is not worth a thing you have a car you treasure. 


The strain of hostility in comments is justified. Things are getting overheated, people are paying irrational money for cars not worth it and continuing to do so. I have had both Porsche and a 280ZX
and loved them both. It was years ago, before hysteria overwhelmed the market. Let me remind everybody that the Hobby is the only place generating consistent yields over time similar to Fine Art.
So the demand is there and the supply is shrinking. It also serves to bar entry level enthusiasts from
getting into the Hobby.
I respect and admire Hagerty, as opposed to Hemmings, to which I am a serial subscriber, that went through some sort of fiscal and editorial revolution and is now an in your face Auction Site which is
disgusting. I wish Hagerty would advice its readers (we're all not Rockerfeller) about how to get into the Hobby without sacrificing your first born.
Pit Crew

"I wish Hagerty would advice its readers (we're all not Rockerfeller) about how to get into the Hobby without sacrificing your first born."
Kinda seems like that's exactly what this article just did.  It makes a valid comparison of value growth between Porsche 911 and Nissan/Datsun Z cars.  Should it have been more explicit to tell readers that 280zx and 300zx are still out there for relatively cheap prices, with enough room to be good buys with plenty of potential growth in value?  I think that's probably asking a bit too much, but if you read between the lines and do a bit of your own research (as anyone looking into buying any car should), there's plenty out there to make it evident, and it will tell you that 280zx and 300zx are still bargains generally in terms of getting a vintage, quality, enthusiast level, sports car.

Pit Crew

Screw the prognosticators. Spend your hard-earned money on something you actually like to drive. The bonus may be that, (like an Abarth) it's still just under the radar of all but the true car geeks and poised for rapid appreciation once discovered.

It is what is, griping ain't gonna change anything, but it sure does help with it.
Pit Crew

I loved my 280Z 2 + 2 T Top from the day I picked it up at the dealer in 1981. Mechanically it never failed, and the manual tranny was joy to run through the gears.But the handling was shall we say, a bit quirky. I learned it's limits and we had some great adventures It's worst issue? You could hear the rust eating it up. My choice at the time when I bought it was a Porsche. No regrets. I hope the ones being harvested and restored by this generation appreciate the role the Z cars played in keeping the world of autos from being defined by the likes of Chevy Citations and Mustang II's.
We move on and a retro electric Z would be a wonder to behold.
Intermediate Driver

I’m glad to see some of the other scars getting some appreciation. I have a 77 280z that is stock and has almost no rust. It runs and drives very well and has no rattles or squeaks. In fact it is quieter on the highway than my 2008 RL.
In 16 years of ownership I haven’t found any parts that are not available. The closest was the AC drier. It turned out that there were 3 different ones used in 1977. Mine turned out to be one shared with an International Harvester combine. Parts seem to be available and reasonably priced. Everything works except the clock, which occasionally decides to run again for no particular reason. I could have it rebuilt I suppose.
Intermediate Driver

It says “scars” but I meant Z cars…