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When Yutaka Katayama became head of North American Marketing for Nissan in 1960, his pet project was to develop a sports car modeled after the British cars of the time to fit with the American market. Using Jaguar E-type styling, he set out to create and brought to market the Datsun Fairlady 1500, a convertible two-seater, and progressed slowly through a series of improvements, until he convinced management in Japan that the car would never be really successful with the Fairlady.
Then in 1969, a final design for a newly named Datsun 240Z was introduced, with a smooth and solidly built 2393 cubic centimeter single overhead cam in-line six engine under its hood generating 151 hp. Nissan claimed that the car could race from 0-60 in 8 seconds flat. Under its sophisticated non-Japanese bodywork, the car was an immediate success with pricing that made it appear cheap at $3,500.
By the time the last 1973 240Z was produced, Nissan had sold 116,712 units, making this car one of the successful launches of the time, even when competing with the likes of the Toyota 2000GT, Corvette, and Austin-Healy 3000. Thus, the Datsun 240Z became the first collectible Japanese car sold in America.
Yat Ming Road Signature Diecast Model No. 92529