Rising Sun: 1990-1996 Nissan 300ZX
Whether you have had a Z32 for decades or are now in the market there is good evidence to suggest that the value of well cared for cars is on the rise.
The Pinnacle: "Last 300" 1996 Nissan 300ZX Twin Turbo 300/300
The highest value Z32 sold to date was sold in September 2017. In the 1996 Model year Nissan only produced 2929 units, the last 300 of which were commemorated as the "Last 300". The final car numbered 300/300 and was the final production Z32 for the US Market and showed on 526 miles on the odometer at time of auction. This car sold for $90,000 and will surely be held as a collector.
Well Preserved Single Owner: 1991 Nissan 300ZX Twin Turbo
This Diamond Black 1991 Nissan 300ZX Twin Turbo Sold for 66K in March of 2019. For reference, this is nearly twice the MSRP Price that was paid in 1991.
First Model Year Time Capsule: 1990 Nissan 300ZX Twin Turbo
In March of 2020 This Immaculate 1990 Nissan 300ZX Twin Turbo sold at auction for $61,600 at Amelia Island. With 1990 being the highest production year for Twin Turbo models this is a good sign for the growing value of the Z32 chassis.
Late Model Year Gem: 1996 Nissan 300ZX Twin Turbo
At the Amelia Island event in March of 2019 This 1996 Nissan 300ZX Twin Turbo sold for $53,200. With this car not being a Commemorative edition and being a OBD-II model, most Z32 300ZX enthusiasts would shy away from paying this high. However, there are collectors out there willing to pay high dollar for low miles and mint condition.
Mellow Yellow: 1990 Nissan 300ZX Twin Turbo
This Beautiful Yellow Pearlglow 1990 Nissan 300ZX Twin Turbo sold for $44,000 in March of 2019. In my opinion, this car is not as well kept as the other models that fetched a little more.
Swiss Miss: 1992 Nissan 300ZX Twin Turbo
A Sotheby's Auction of a 1992 Nissan 300ZX Twin Turbo pulled in 32,000 Euros in April of 2019 in Switzerland. This original USDM car was from Arkansas and spent time in Dubai before being imported into Europe in 2017. Even with the amount of travel and 25,000 miles it still managed a fair price.
What about the non "Concourse Condition" cars?
The examples I showed above were some of the benchmark cars that show what prices can be hit for pristine examples. All of those cars were presented at Sotheby's auctions in a setting in which other cars would be crossing the line selling for over 1 million dollars. For a more in-depth look at what other Z32 300ZX cars are selling for we can look at the auction site Bring A Trailer.
The chart pictured above shows 127 Nissan 300ZXs (NOTE: This chart also includes Z31 Models which account for a majority of sales below the $10,000 mark) that have been listed on Bring a Trailer. What is clear from this chart is that in the summer of 2018 to present the average sale price has shifted from approximately $10,000 and has shifted to approximately $17,500.
After scouring previous BaT auctions of Z32s I was able to find a few tastefully modified examples that sold well at auction.
Modified 1991 Nissan 300ZX Twin Turbo
This car would be well known to many Z32 Enthusiasts who frequent the Facebook page "300ZX Addicts and Enthusiasts". The owner spent many years maintaining and building an exceptionally well done car. Even with 187,000 miles this well loved 1991 Z32 Twin Turbo was sold for 18,500 on Bring a Trailer in April of 2020.
LS Swapped 1990 Nissan 300ZX
Another highly modified example sold for $17,500 on Bring a Trailer in late 2019. This car featured a 6.0 Liter LS engine mated to a 6 speed transmission and a TwinZ widebody kit. With the amount of time and money spent on this build I beleive it to be sold under its value, none the less it goes to show that even a wildly modified model can sell at a decent price.
Looking to the future
If it isn't obvious yet, Z32s are in fact growing in value. The high sale prices of the cars posted above have got the attention of car collectors and others in the automotive industry. Last year Haggerty insurance wrote a feature article about the appeal that the Nissan 300ZX has to millennials that are now financially stable enough to afford their 90s dream car:
The 1990-1996 Nissan 300ZX , a car that’s become especially popular among Millennials. The car currently holds a Hagerty Vehicle Rating of 76, a five-point jump since the previous month’s HVR. The rise is sparked by a 12-month increase in Hagerty insurance quotes and issued policies, particularly among drivers born between 1981–2000"
What does this mean for Z32 Owners?
In my opinion the biggest factor keeping the prices of the Nissan 300ZX at their current level is the community itself. The cost to own, maintain, and restore these cars is not cheap. As a community we should come to expect that due to these costs it is reasonable to demand a premium for a well kept Z32. The benchmark prices of the top-tier models selling $40k and above leaves plenty of room for the average owner to be asking $20K+ for their cars should they choose to sell. There is no doubt that the longer we hold on to these cars the more they will continue to grow in value.