In the sixties the Japanese car industry flooded the world with cheap, relatively well equipped, but most of all reliable cars. With the introduction of Datsun’s 240Z they added sexy to their palet!
Even as a young boy Sander Petiet was impressed by the voluptuous shapes of the Datsun Z-series. The flowing, powerful lines, inspired on European examples from a completely different price range, made him dream about a world so much more beautiful than the dreary everyday humdrum surrounding him. A random 240Z in a parking lot enough to make him forget wherever he was going. It would be the beginning of a long lasting affair.
When the men in charge at Nissan in 1969 decided to ship the S30 to the US and Europe, they must have had a hunch they were sitting on gold. Sold in Japan as the Fairlady Z, for the western markets the S30 became the 240Z. A simple reference to the engine capacity, quite obviously like the famous Italian sports car manufacturers used to do. The 2400 cc six cilinder straight engine was both powerful and reliable, turning the sporty Datsun in to a solid opponent for mainly the British sports cars from the era. Especially in the US Nissan managed to offer the car at a very competitive price.
Whether you choose a 240, 260 or 280, with its bewildering shapes the car remains a stunner from every angle. The model name evolved with the size of the six cilinder under the bonnet, but the appearance of the Z-series remained true to its origin for the entire nine year run. It makes choosing an S30 from the offer on the market just that little more easy. Like it was for Sander, when over twenty years ago he decided to live his boyhood dream. His silver 280Z always had the status of being a second car, although privately it has always been used as often as possible. And still is. Driving this sporty runabout is just too much fun not to.
The detail in the design, but even more the thoroughly thought through engineering of the Datsun S30’s construction makes that, even today, almost fifty years after the introduction, the car feels and drives like a modern, reliable traveling companion. This Jap exceeds the econobox image we were used to from the land of the rising sun. Style and desirability so much more refined, more European. Be it affordable and most of all, reliable. The Datsun 240Z truly incorporates the best of all worlds. And that, that is what the young Sander Petiet understood very well indeed.
Marc GF Zaan