Though the highly popular Datsun 240Z was targeted primarily at the American audience, where it was enormously successful, Nissan produced a radically distinct version of their Fairlady Z strictly for its domestic market. Since their merger with Prince, Nissan had developed the former’s formidable S20 straight-six into a competition colossus, culminating with the launch of the indomitable twin-cam Skyline GT-R. It is this same race-derived engine that would be fitted into this rare and exceptional Z-car, along with other competition-oriented components, creating the ultimate production variant, the Z 432.
This Fairlady Z 432 is possibly one of the finest examples to come out of Japan. Incredibly rare, as only 420 units were produced, many of which have met their fates on the racing circuit or have been heavily modified beyond recognition over the years. As a result, it is extraordinary to find a highly original car such as this, and rarer yet in lovely, restored condition, even in Japan, let alone the literal handful that are known to have been imported by enthusiasts.
Although its external appearance is unmistakably familiar, its heart — the GT-R drivetrain — lends this car a unique character, the high–revving nature of the engine especially results in a supremely involving and highly entertaining performer. As with the Hakosuka GT-R, the Z 432 is a legend at home and has a growing following amongst enthusiasts in the West. Despite its familiar looks, this limited-production, high-performance GT-R variant should never be confused with a 240Z: this is the 'Holy Grail' of all production Z-machines.
RM Sotheby's will be offering this example at their upcoming Amelia Island auction on the 11th March, the estimated value is between $150,000 – $200,000. For more information on this and other vehicles at the sale, click on the link below. Photos: David Bush ©2017 Courtesy of RM Sotheby's.