Of the choices, I’ll take the new. I always loved the earlier cars in period, but after the original they became softer and/or maintenance nightmares until the 350Z. But the sports car I’d really spend $45k now on would be the nicest Cayman or Boxster I could find.
So what? Every car screams that you can't afford a more expensive car then. 911 screams, "I can't afford the Turbo or GT3 RS" (or whatever). Maybe the Boxster is all the car fueledbymetal wants or needs.
Given the same price for an old, old classic or a new car, I'm likely going new every time. Unless we're talking about a really rare beauty, like a vintage Ferrari (but then, that's going to be many times more expensive than new).
So, I'd take the new Z over any of the prior versions. A new Bronco over any of the old. Etc.
I like the 300ZX the best because it has an original design feel to it, while the original Z always feels derivative to me. The 300ZX has also aged well.
I have to say to say that I really do like the new car quite a bit, though it seems to be in the same sort of boat as the original Z car, in that I see too many echoes of other cars in it. But that's just my opinion. Both it and the original Z certainly are good looking cars, regardless.
I have owned a 72 240Z, 76 280Z and currently have a 83 280ZX 2+2. The new Z is a beautiful car that does everything well, but for me it's how a car makes me feel. And the early Z's and now my ZX make me feel young again. And that's a great feeling for a 71 year old.
Had a '72 240zed and loved it, urine yellow paint and all. I'd probably get a 300zedx today; given the choice. Drove one of those a while back and it had enough power to make it a bit tail-happy which I like... a lot!
I've had my 260Z (early model) since 1994. When I bought it for $2500 it was barely running (it had been terribly maintained) but was not rusted. After 3 years of occasional weekend work, I got it up and running well. It's been my sunny weekend cruiser ever since (with no issues). It still supports its original paint and has yet to have any body work done on it. Although it's not especially fast, with the original flat-top Hitachi carbs, it can still carve up corners and is a joy to drive.
As always, the new one is faster , safer, more reliablle , more comfortable, etc... But I would go for the 240Z. Because I liked them when they we're new, and I don't need a daily driver. For daily driving I would go with the new one. But... I'm a boomer.
my friend bought a 73 240 new brought it home, put a 327 corvette motor and 4 speed in it, a scarab kit. 10 years later we built a 400 small block for it and put a 300 zx diff in. it was quite the sleeper. 130 mph just coming up the on ramp to the freeway. he sold it in the early 90s for 3000.00
Leaving money out of the equation, the original Z cars are attractive cars, and have always hovered on the fringes of my want list. What has kept them there are reports from owners that they are a little light on squirrels under the hood and are not the best handling cars. Tack on a 45-60K price tag... and nope The newest Zs capture some of the lines of the originals, but they are watered down in all of the places you expect newer cars to water down the lines - no chrome, **bleep** cars
I am # 12 on the waitlist for the new Z at my local dealer. I got tired of waiting and bought a 2019 370Z Nismo so I guess I cast my vote to almost new. I cross **bleep** in my life I wanted something modern.
i had a 72 240 with 4-speed and AC. I can still remember the pull and especially the sound when winding it up through the gears. The fender rot took over and I sold it. Today, I would take a new one, assuming the test drive checked all the boxes.
I own an early 240Z. Have now had it for 26 years now. When restoring the car I decided to go restomod. I now enjoy the best of both worlds, performance, reliability and classic looks. That being said, I’m considering getting the new Z but I think I’ll wait it out until all the first ones are taken.
Driving my 70 240 is like going back in time. Simplistic manual controls, road noise, squeaky plastic interior trim panels, and a radio that you can kinda hear, all add up to an experience that I absolutely cherish every time I get to drive it. I’m sure the latest versions would knock my performance expectation socks off, but there’s just something about that rough and raw rattling ride that keeps me coming back.
One of the earlier convertible versions, to be sure. I have no use for two-seaters that are not convertibles (or at least true targas). That said, the new one does look very good, should have the performance, and even has a stick available for those so-inclined.