1990 Nissan 300ZX Richard Straman Convertible Z32 Non Turbo Unicorn Z Car RARE

Price: - Item location: Rochester, New York, United States
  • Condition: Used
  • Make: Nissan
  • Model: 300ZX
  • Type: Convertible
  • Year: 1990
  • Mileage: 76,400
  • VIN: JN1RZ24A0LX018704
  • Color: Burgundy
  • Engine size: 3.0 V6
  • Number of cylinders: 6
  • Fuel: Gasoline
  • Transmission: Manual
  • Interior color: Black
  • Vehicle Title: Clear
  • Want to buy? Contact seller!

1990 Nissan 300ZX

Here is your chance to own a beautiful unicorn, 1990 non turbo Nissan 300ZX convertible by Richard Straman Coachworks. If you’re not familiar with the rarity of these cars, here is a brief history. Between 1990 and 1991 there were a total of 69 Z32 300ZX's converted, 44 were twin turbo's and 25 were normally aspirated. There are thought to be in the neighborhood of 20 total that remain, most of which are twin turbo's. I purchased this example in 2008 from a farmer outside of Sacramento California with justunder 74K miles. The car had sat in the elements for many years and was in poor aesthetic condition inside and out. I spent the next several years refreshing and doing a few tasteful modifications to enhance its beauty. In 2008 it received an entirely new interior and sound system. In 2011 it was given a new coat of the original cherry red pearl paint. I reassembled it after paint and then it sat in my climate controlled shop for the next couple of years and it only came out for local shows. In 2015 it had a full timing belt service and has been driven maybe 100 miles since and the odometer now reads just over 76K. I love this car and have spent a lot of time and money to save it, but it’s time to move to something different that I will actually drive. I would love to see this car go to a Z car enthusiast or collector who will care for it as well as I have for the last 9 years.

List of modifications. JWT pop charger, Stillen cat back exhaust, custom leather and vinyl interior, 1999 Jspec tail lights with red back lit 300ZX center panel and new 3rd brake light panel, Stillen lower front lip, RPM 505 18" wheels with custom Z logo center caps, drilled and slotted rotors. I also have brand new Eibach lowering springs and KYB struts that come with the sale. I never got around to putting them in but they will be a great addition to the look of the car.

I am very picky about my cars and as such, this one is not perfect. Here are a few things it will need to make it so. The new paint job has a few flaws (see pics) and will need some correction. The power top functions as it should, but the window is quite hazy. Three of the wheels have a little spot of curb rash (see pics) and it could use rear tires. The steering wheel desperately needs a wrap, and the center emblem on it is missing. The #4 fuel injector is misfiring and will need replaced. All and all I give the exterior appearance a 9 out of 10, the interior a 9 out of 10 and mechanically a 9 out of 10.

If you need any specific pictures or have questions for me I will be happy to answer. I am not looking for any trades, I will not reveal the reserve price.

Terms of this sale. Cash in hand is the only payment I will take. I will not accept a check or money order; I will not ship the car overseas. If you are the lucky high bidder you will need to come and physically pick the car up, or have someone do it for you in person with cash. If you’re transporting it, I can help with arrangements as I know a reputable transport broker.


More flash and dash per unit cash. by Kevin Smith - Car & Driver, Oct 1990
Nissan's new-for- 1990 300ZX rewrote the performance rules for Japanese sports cars. It isn't a cheap ride, with the twin-turbo version zinging through the $30,000 barrier like a bullet through peach fuzz. But we can't complain. That's because no previous car--at anything near the price has combined acceleration, grip, stability, lightness to the touch, and unapologetic comfort in the levels the new ZX does.

It was inevitable that retrofitters would add the pleasures of open-air motoring to that list of appealing characteristics. And equally inevitable that one of the first to do so would be Richard Straman, of the Costa Mesa, California, design-fabrication-restoration firm bearing his name. The R. Straman Company's reputation for quality metalwork has expanded its business from top-drawer restoration of collectible cars into specialty engineering and prototyping for major manufacturers. But through it all, the creation of convertible conversions has been a mainstay. The previous 300ZX was a popular candidate, so the new car went under the torch as well.

For a conversion price of $8500, Straman craftsmen turn your squat and menacing 1990 NIssan 300ZX coupe into a convertible that retains an aggressive look--top up or down. The roof is cut off, the rear hatch is unbolted, and the interior is completely gutted. Then begins the process of restoring most of the structural stiffness lost in the removal of all that steel overhead. A U-shaped bulkhead is welded in behind the cockpit, to close off the trunk. This provides a well for the folded top and ties together the car's right and left sides around the rear-suspension pickup points. A roll bar (the lawyers might prefer it be called a "stiffening hoop") is also part of the deal, since the ZX doors have to keep those funny stand-up ears to locate the upper seatbelt anchor points and the side windows' guide pins. Underneath, of course, is the usual bracing running the length of the rocker panels. Various other bits counter any local flexing that Straman has identified.

In addition to the power-operated folding top, Straman constructs and installs a steel trunk lid and some filler pieces at the beltline above the rear wheels (the one area of the conversion that looks a little unsettled). Then he reinstalls the interior, crafting new trim as required, and sends the car on its way.

And the car gets on its way smartly. Performance is essentially unaffected by the rework, which adds only about 25 pounds to the car s curb weight and controls chassis flex remarkably well. In fact, we were impressed with how like the standard coupe the convertible feels: the same solid stance on the road, responsive steering, pleasant ride, and blistering acceleration. (Straman engineered the conversion for the twin-turbo car, which, of course, is the worst-case scenario in terms of stress.) There is a touch of the cowl flutter that every ragtop this side of the 911 suffers--evident as a mild lateral waggle in the steering wheel over very uneven surfaces--but only a touch. If reduced rigidity has degraded the Straman 300ZX's handling, it isn't detectable--at least not on Southern California roads.

As a convertible, the Straman ZX works beautifully. The close-fitting soft top might make some drivers feel claustrophobic, but we've heard that complaint about the coupe's low roof as well. And this canvas top can be struck in a few seconds. Wind flows smoothly over the steeply raked windshield, allowing almost normal top-down conversation on the highway. A turbulent "curl" starts to blow in the driver's left ear at speeds above 70 mph.

Little about the 300ZX's performance is compromised by the Straman convertible conversion. Some ultimate rigidity may have been lost, but not enough to dissuade an enthusiast from indulging the car's ability to generate gratifyingly high dynamic loads. It's still a big, fast, high-performance heavyweight. And if the car's flash and dash per unit cash brought sweat to the brow of Porsche and Corvette loyalists before, watch out: it really turns up the heat as a racy roadster.

Car & Driver, Oct90, Vol. 36 Issue 4, p152,