2007 NISSAN 350Z TRACK (5)

Long layoffs simply don’t faze the 350Z. Faultless dependability only adds to its enduring appeal.

The 350Z always returns to the road free of niggles and with energy to burn. That’s what you’d hope for with a robustly-engineered modern that has been pampered rather than pounded. If there’s one frustration for those who like fettling, it’s that, beyond the strictly routine, there never seems to be anything to attend to or tweak.

With a fresh set of Bridgestones yet to be scrubbed in, the Nissan is back to its very best. After a quiet season, it finally emerged from the Garage to greet a seminal Japanese coupe three decades its junior. Not a 240Z, or a Celica, but a Mitsubishi Colt Galant GTO, a car that was heavily influenced by early Mustang Fastbacks. Jeff’s GTO is an NZ-new survivor that spent its first four decades in Christchurch and is nicely preserved as a result.

The GTO and 350Z might be unrelated but both have detail-rich cabins with plenty of old-school instrumentation and emotive badging. They are striking two-door designs with compact dimensions and generous power for their (very different) weights. There’s a simplicity about how they function and how they entertain a driver. In the 350Z, you can see the evolution of a popular, proven recipe.

Jeff first owned a GTO in the early ’80s when his car was about the same age as our 350Z. When asked what he appreciated most about the GTO the second time around, he said: “The thing that stands out is how well the GTO still holds itself in modern traffic. It’s quick and agile and remains a fun car to drive. I think the car still makes an impression. You hardly see them now but they stand out for the right reasons.”

We can imagine a future 350Z owner making similar comments in decades to come, provided Bridgestone is still making the right rubber.

Driven one? Own one? Share your 350Z experience: keepers@kiwigarage.co.nz

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NISSAN 350Z

VARIANT Track Coupe

COLOUR Diamond Black

UPHOLSTERY black leather

ENGINE 3498cc V6

POWER 230kW (309bhp)

TORQUE 358Nm @ 4800rpm

TRANSMISSION 6-speed manual; RWD

0-100km/h 5.7 secs

WHEELS 18-inch Rays alloys

LENGTH 4.32m

WEIGHT 1480kg

EMAIL keepers@kiwigarage.co.nz

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