The Nissan Z is Nissan's long running sports car series. In Japan, the model is known as Fairlady Z, while most export versions drop the "Fairlady" part. With the exception of the second generation, every generation has been made into a Hot Wheels car.
First Generation (S30)
The model made its debut in Japan in October 1969, as the Fairlady Z. The name was a continuation of Nissan's previous sports model, the Nissan Fairlady (aka Datsun Sports). The Fairlady in turn was named after "My Fair Lady", a popular Broadway musical at the time and a name that Nissan executives thought would appeal to westerners. Nissan Fairlady Z represents a modified version of this first generaton, Japanese market Z.
In most other markets, it was sold as the Datsun 240Z. Z-Whiz,Datsun 240Z and the Custom Datsun 240Z are all meant to represent the export version. The Custom Datsun 240Z replicating the "Fugu Z" owned by celebrity, Sung Kang.
Third Generation (Z31)
The Z31 was introduced in late 1983 for the 1984 model year, when Nissan was right in the middle discontinuing the Datsun brand in favor of using Nissan everywhere. Because of this, for the first couple model years, the North American version of the Z31 actually wore both Nissan and Datsun badging. 300ZX was the name that Nissan chose for the export version, and it would carry over to the next generation.
Fourth Generation (Z32)
The Z32 was introduced in 1989 for Japan, and 1990 for export. Lagging sales in the Z's traditionally best-selling market led it to be discontinued in the USA after 1996, though production continued in Japan until 2000. Nissan Custom "Z", and Nissan 300ZX Twin Turbo is a Z32.
Fifth Generation (Z33)
Nissan took a little break from the Z before launching the Z33 in Japan in July 2002, and in North America the following month for the 2003 model year. The export version of this model was called 350Z, and is represented by Nissan Z (2002). Nissan Z (2006) is right-hand-drive, and meant to represent the Japanese version.
Sixth Generation (Z34)
The Z34 was introduced in December 2008 for the 2009 model year. The export version is known as Nissan 370Z.
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