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This has been a lot of fun. I have been writing for 10 months about cars I think are cool, significant or exceptional… And here is another one.

Back in 1969, Nissan released a car that would be a game-changer. It was revolutionary for its time. Both Nissan and Toyota had previously made forays into the sports car world, but hadn’t had a real effect outside of the Japanese domestic market. When the Fairlady Z (Datsun 240Z in the United States) came on the market, that changed.

1971 Datsun Fairlady 240Z, the winning car of ...
1971 Datsun Fairlady 240Z, the winning car of 19th East African Safari Rally (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

While the Datsun 510 had some success racing, the 240Z had more. The performance was exceptional, the price was low. The styling was VERY forward, and they are still a handsome car.

More importantly for Nissan (and even Toyota) was that the car wasn’t a tuned economy car, but rather a purpose built sporting car. With its success in that realm, it moved the perception of the Japanese company away from being a builder of boring economy cars to one of being a “real” automaker.

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