Nissan 300ZX (Z31) '84-'86


In 1984 werd de derde generatie Z geïntroduceerd. Het was een totaal nieuwe auto die qua lijn in de verte nog wel overeenkomsten vertoond met de oorspronkelijke 240Z. Toen deze wagen op de markt kwam werd meteen afscheid genomen van de naam Datsun om voortaan als Nissan door het leven te gaan. De 300ZX komt in een aantal uitvoeringen op de markt. Als 2-zitter en 2+2, al dan niet voorzien van een T-bar. Naast de standaard versie komt er ook een turbo versie op de markt. De wagens zijn voorzien van een vijfversnellingsbak of een automatische 4 bak. De al 15 jaar gebruikte 6 cilinder lijn motor wordt in dit model vervangen door een 6 cilinder in V opstelling. De wegligging is sterk verbeterd t.o.v. de 280ZX.

Het zou de snelste en duurste Japanse sportwagen worden van dat moment. De gehele promotie was geënt op de prestaties van deze wagen. Er zijn veel vergelijkende test gedaan met de bekende Amerikaanse sportwagens van dat moment en iedere keer kwam de 300ZX Turbo er goed uit. Toch was er genoeg commentaar op het model door de "specialisten" maar over één ding waren ze het allemaal eens, de 3 liter V6 Turbo motor was een supermotor.

De specificaties van de in Europa geleverde auto's wijken af van de Amerikaanse. De Europese uitvoering van de niet Turbo motor levert een vermogen van 170 pk DIN, dit in tegenstelling tot de Amerikaanse 160 Pk DIN. De Turbo motor levert in Europa 228 pk DIN t.o.v. de 200 pk DIN in Amerika.

Van de 300ZX is in 1984 een 50th Anniversary Edition (AE) verschenen in een beperkte oplage van 5000 stuks. Alle denkbare luxe zit op deze wagen. Leren bekleding, bodysonic audio installatie, digitaal dashboard, spoilers, sideskirts, 16" velgen, enz. De wagen is gespoten in 2 kleuren; zwart en zilver.

1984 50th Anniversary Edition 300ZX

with thanks to the internet and 


"In 1984 Nissan Motors produced 75.351 of its all new 300ZX for the United States market. Of these Z cars 5,148 limited-edition 300ZX Turbos were badged to honor Nissan’s 50th Anniversary. An additional 300 vehicles were destined for the Canadian market. This Z came with no options except for a 4 speed automatic transmission. The cost of this Z ($26.000) was very pricy for the time.

The AE drivetrain and standard features were the same as the standard 84 turbo but the package included many extras. This consisted of two-tone silver metallic over black paint (color code #365), ground effects, rocker-panel appliqués, fender flares and turbo-finned 16” wheels with Pirelli P7 tires. Stiffer springs by 10% along with a stiffer recalibration of the adjustable shocks were said to have improved high speed stability.

Interior features included black leather upholstery with special gold-embossed AE emblems and full digital electronic instrument display. The AM/FM 80-watt, 8 speaker stereo with steering wheel control also featured a Bodysonic sound system. Just turn the knob and the seats vibrate to the beat of the stereo.

A car cover, floor mats and a gold key with the 50th logo also were standard features.

Exterior features included a T-Bar roof with mirror-glazed panels and bronze tinted windows. Triple gold pin striping along with gold turbo graphics and AE fender emblems top off this unique 300ZX Turbo package.

Power was supplied by a Turbocharged 3.0-liter (SOHC) 60-degree v6. This generated 200 HP @ 5200 rpm and 227 ft. lbs of torque @ 3600 rpm. The gear box is a 5-speed overdrive manual (4-speed automatic optional) and the final drive ratio is 3.545 This power plant was able to produce 0-60 in the low 7 second range and 1/4 mile times and speeds at 15.4 sec. @ 88 mph. Top speed is limited to 137 mph. Speeds in the 140+ mph range could be reached with the limiter disconnected.

Z Car & Classic Datsun Magazine picked the AE a sure bet for collector car status. I hope this info can be used as a quick reference for those of you interested in this limited edition package.

Important Note: Many Datsun/Nissan dealerships in 1984 attached AE badges (which were found in the glove box of most non anniversary edition 1984 models) to non-AE 300ZX’s. These Z’s were sold as, and to this day are being passed off as AE’s. If your Z does not have the color scheme and features mentioned on this site you don’t own a real AE."

How it looks

Under the hood


Digital dashboard and electronic Climate controls

Leather seats

Bodysonic Audio control

Special Edition Extra's:

Car cover

key and manual

Promotion material

Determining authenticity:

Question: How can I be absolutely certain the car is a true 50th AE?
1) Open hood.
2) Identify Model plate on driver’s strut tower.
3) Look at line that contains MODEL information.
4) Scan line for “L5”. If the line doesn’t have “L5” in it, the car is not a true 50th Anniversary Edition.

There are only 6 possible combination of letters for this line for the North American 50th AE's. They are:
KHLZ31XT(N or V or U)GL5W
KHLZ31XAT(N or V or U)GL5W
If it isn’t one of these numbers, it isn’t a North American AE. The “N” is for Canadian models. The “V” is for Californian models. The “U” is for the other United States models. The “A” is for automatics.

Special 50th Anniversary Edition Features:

What sets the 50th AE apart from any other 1984 300ZX Turbo?

Exterior Features:

Interior Features:

Other standard features:

These items could be found on non-AE vehicles as well.

US Production Breakdown:

















Facts and Rumors:

Rumor: Only 5000 of these special cars were made.
Fact: According to the Nissan FAST software, there were 5,148 50th AE’s designated for US sales. See the registry. There are approximately 300 models that were also bound for Canada. This would bring the total North American market 50th AE's to 5.448.

Rumor: The 50th AE’s have a badge in their glovebox stating their number.
Fact: No US 50th AE came with this badge, only in Canada did they come with it.

Rumor: Only 1500 of these cars are said to exist.
Fact: This is a total guess by people who are trying to drive the value of their cars up. Truth is, NO ONE knows how many of these cars are still around. Even after someone determines the VIN numbers for all of the 50th AE models, they still may or may not be able to find all of these cars. Some have even been exported to Japan or other countries. Not all the cars not found would be destroyed or in junkyards. There may be a few that are off the road for restoration. While I’d really like to believe the 1500 number, the evidence just doesn’t support this number. Watch E-bay and look in the local Autotrader. I see at least one 50th AE in every edition of the Phoenix Autotrader, and there’s almost always at least one on E-bay.

Rumor: My 1984 300ZX has a 50th AE badge on the driver fender, therefore it must be a 50th AE car.
Fact: Not even close. Many dealers would take this badge (it was delivered in the glovebox with attachment instructions of most of the Nissan cars delivered to dealers that year) and stick it on the car. The more unscrupulous dealers (gee, dealerships lie?) would sell these cars as 50th AE cars and charge a higher price. There are lots of fake AEs driving around.

Rumor: My car has all of these things, so it MUST be a 50th AE. / My car doesn’t have all of these things so it isn’t a true 50th AE.
Fact: As with anything, people customize, accessorize, and modify things to make them their own. Just because the car has all of these items, it doesn’t mean it came that way from the factory. Just because the car is missing a few things, it doesn’t mean it came that way from the factory either.

Rumor: The 50th AE cars came with water cooled turbos.
Fact: No they did not. There was no difference mechanically between the 50th AE and any other turbo Z31 from 1984. Chances are, if you have a 1984 model (AE or not) with a water cooled turbo, the original owner (or previous owner) had it installed. Since the AE models listed for $26.000 ($10.000 above the base model Z31), and would surely have been marked up by the dealership, chance are the original owner didn’t know much about proper maintenance and just destroyed the turbo. Since this would have taken at least a year, the technical service bulletin (a TSB is NOT a recall) specified to replace it with a water cooled type.

Nissan 300ZX (Z31) '86 Wide Body

In Amerika is er een tussenmodel verkocht met alleen de rondere spatborden en de in de kleur meegespoten bumpers, maar nog met het eerste type front en kont. Dit model kwam in Amerika in 1986 op de markt als Wide body 300ZX.     

Nissan 300ZX Z31 ('87-'89)

In  maart 1987 werd op de beurs in Genève een vernieuwde 300ZX getoond. Het hoekige ging er wat vanaf en alles werd wat ronder en deed meer gestroomlijnd aan. (Spatborden, motorkap, voor- en achterbumper, koplampkappen). De bumpers werden nu ook helemaal in de kleur van de carrosserie meegespoten en meer in de carrosserie geïntegreerd. De achterlichten zijn smaller geworden en over de hele breedte. Minder fraai zijn de grote uitstekende stootblokken op de achterbumper waar de kentekenverlichting in verwerkt zit. Het interieur heeft luxere stoelen met o.a. elektronische verstelling. Stoelen en achterbank zijn voorzien van een zogenaamd krijtstreepje. Deurpaneel is iets anders van uitvoering. Het stuur is 3 spaaks geworden en de pookhoes is niet meer van rubber. Er kwamen ook weer andere velgen onder en het motor vermogen werd ook iets vergroot en komt met 10 pk erbij nu op 180PK voor de standaard en 230 PK voor de Turbo versie. Deze nieuwe versie weegt 1430 Kg. Deze Turbo uitvoeringen hebben geen luchthapper meer op de motorkap. Turbo versies zijn te herkennen aan de donkergrijze 16 inch `zaagblad`velgen (i.p.v. zilvergrijs 15 inch) en aan de donkergrijze sierlijsten (gepolijste sierlijsten voor N/A). Ook technisch werd er nog het één en ander verbeterd. Een nieuwe turbo (watergekoeld), andere injectoren, verbeterde vering en schokbrekers, remklauwen met dubbele zuigers (niet op alle uitvoeringen en ook niet specifiek Turbo) voor en een andere anti-roll bar. Ook de stuurbekrachtiging is veranderd t.b.v het stuurgevoel en de respons.

In Nederland zijn er van de 300ZX type Z31, 368 stuks verkocht. 196 hiervan waren in een turbo uitvoering.

zoek de verschillen:

Model: (Z31) 300ZX
Bouwjaar: ´87-´89
Motor: VG30E of VG30ET
Verschillen t.o.v. ´84 t/m´86 model: - stuur
- deurpanelen
- stoelen/stoelbekleding interieur bekleding design (streepjes)
- pook en hoes
- velgen
- voor en achterbumper
- motorkap
- spatbordranden
- sier/stootstrips/luchtroosters
- koplampkappen

- achterlichten
- sideskirts
- elektronische kilometerteller
- multiriem ipv V-snaar

- grille

1988 Shiro Special Limited Edition

Ook van dit model komt een speciale editie, alleen in 1988 gebouwd voor de Amerikaanse markt en alleen in parelmoerwit te verkrijgen. De SS, wat staat voor Shiro Special, pochte met prestatie gerichte modificaties terwijl de AE van 1984 meer gericht was op luxe.

´´In januari van 1988 hield Nissan "A White Sale." Als onderdeel van die verkoop promotie liet Nissan een speciale gelimiteerde editie van 1002 stuks uitkomen van het 300ZX Turbo SE model: de Shiro Special. De auto is in een speciale parelmoer witte lak gespoten, Shiro betekend wit in Japans.

De SS had het volgende als standaard uitrusting: Geen opties; allemaal hetzelfde uitgevoerd
- 1002 stuks, tussen 1/88 and 3/88
- Onderdeel van  "Nissan White Sale"
- VG30ET motor
- Handgeschakelde 5bak met overdrive en LimitedSlipDifferential
- 2 zitter
- Targadaken
- Zwart interieur
- Recaro sportstoelen
- Parelmoer witte lak (returned as a regular option for '89)
- Witte 16" velgen
- "Europese" frontspoiler/luchthapper
- Analoog dashboard
- AM/FM cassette
- Niet verstelbare schokdempers, lichte uitvoering, zeer stevig
- Gebruikelijke climate control (schuif bediening)
- $1000,- meer dan de normale Turbo uitvoering

Maar 75 stuks zijn naar Canada geëxporteerd. Deze ZX´n hebben een speciaal identificatieplaatje met serienummer, wat net onder de versnellingspook schijnt te zitten.``

The SS package was available on 88 models only.

Special features only available on the SS

There were no options available on the SS, they all came with

If a car is different than this then it is not an SS model.

1988 Shiro Special Description

Lacking the digital dash and fancy radio, power seats, and adjustable shocks they are lighter than your normal 87-89 turbo. I'm just guessing here, but figure 100 pounds are saved over a similar non-SS turbo car. The SS is commonly called the SE, but S/S is the correct designation according to Nissan.

The SS is the rarest Z31 made with only 1002 units produced for the US market. 75 SS models were exported to Canada and each of these models carries a badge with the edition number. Compare this to the 84 Anniversary Edition production of 5148 for the US or the 1980 280ZX 10th Anniversary Edition production of 3000.

How do you tell for sure? Open the hood and read the model plate that is located on the driver's strut tower. All SS models have the trim designation of “SS” encoded in the model information. The SS models all will read: KHLZ31ST(N/U/V)C

KHLZ31STNC = Canadian SS
KHLZ31STUC = Federal Emissions SS
KHLZ31STVC = Californian SS

Facts and Myths

myth: The SS featured the BW T5 transmission.
fact: All SS models featured the same transmission as the regular 88 turbos.

myth: The SS had more power.
fact: The SS had the same power as the regular 88 turbos.

myth: The SS had no speed limiter.
fact: The SS had the same 137 mph speed limiter the rest of the 88 turbos had.

myth: The SS is all pearl white.
fact: The wheels and the front lip are regular white. The mirrors and spoiler are the same metallic charcoal the rest of the trim is. The door handles and rear bumperettes are pearl white matching the body.

How to distinguish the years, models, etc. american market:

Year 84 85 86 87-89
Badging Datsun Nissan Nissan Nissan
Spoiler Turbo Only Turbo Only All Turbo Only
Fenders Angular Angular Flared Flared
Bumper Angular Angular Angular Rounded
General 5 spoke wheels 5 spoke wheels 3rd Brake light in Spoiler
Side Skirts
Rounded hood, fenders, front clip
Fog lights under bumper
Hard to tell 87-89 apart
Turbo Specific 5 lug wheels 5 lug wheels 16”x7” wheels
w/ short angled spokes
16” wheels
“Turbo” badging below right taillight
NA Specific 4 lug wheels 4 lug wheels 15”x6.5” wheels
w/ short straight spokes
15” wheels
no turbo sticker

Telling 2 seaters and 2+2s Apart Quickly:

The 2 seaters have a triangular rear side window, the 2+2s are 4 sided.


Met dank aan, Eric Munters en Henk