Amelia Island

14 March 2015

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Lot 175

1970 Nissan Fairlady Z 432

  • Chassis no. PS30-00092

Sold for $253,000


160 hp, 1,989 cc DOHC 24-valve S20 inline six-cylinder engine with three Mikuni-Solex 40PHH side-draft carburetors, five-speed manual transmission, independent front suspension with MacPherson struts, coil springs, telescopic dampers, and an anti-roll bar, independent rear suspension with Chapman struts, lower wishbones, coil springs, and telescopic dampers, and front disc and rear drum brakes. Wheelbase: 90.75 in.

  • Four valves per cylinder, three carburetors, and two overhead camshafts
  • Only about 420 examples produced, solely for the Japanese market
  • Acquired from its original owner in Japan in 2013


In the late 1960s, Nissan began development of a closed sports car to replace their popular Datsun 1600 and 2000 roadsters. Under the direction of Yutaka Katayama, the president of the Nissan Motor Corporation in the U.S. (known as “Mr. K” and the “Father of the Z-car”), renowned German designer Albrecht von Goertz was hired as a consultant on the project. He and the Nissan styling staff would develop the initial design, while Yamaha would engineer the drivetrain and build the prototype. Ultimately, Nissan and Yamaha didn’t come to terms and the project was temporarily shelved.

Undeterred, Nissan continued to develop the new car in-house. Chief Designer Yoshihiko Matsuo, along with Assistant Designer Akio Yoshido and their team, created the car we know today as the 240Z. It was introduced in October 1969 and was an immediate success, as it offered striking styling, strong performance, and exceptional build quality, all at an affordable price.

Although the Datsun 240Z was targeted primarily at the American audience, Nissan produced an exceptional version of the Fairlady Z strictly for their domestic market. Since their merger with Prince, Nissan had developed their formidable S20 straight-six into a competition colossus, culminating with the launch of the indomitable Skyline GT-R. This is the same race-derived drivetrain, with the upgraded close-ratio five-speed gearbox and heavy-duty limited slip differential, that would be fitted in the Z-car, creating the ultimate production variant, the Fairlady Z 432.

MY FAIRLADY Z

The Z 432 offered here is possibly one of the finest examples to come out of Japan. It is incredibly rare, as only 420 total examples were produced, with many having met their fates on the racing circuit or having been heavily modified over the years. Therefore, any highly original car such as this is rarer yet, as well as highly sought after, as few are seldom found outside of their homeland.

This car was imported from Japan in 2013 and had been acquired, incredibly, from its first and only owner. At the time, the Nissan was still registered on its original Shinagawa license plates from September 1970. Save for one repaint in its original color, it has never been taken apart, and it remains in remarkably original condition throughout. Everything continues to function as it did when it left the factory, including the original radio, clock, and heater. Additionally, the car includes its original Nissan tool roll, spare tire, and foot-well flashlight, and it also features the optional rear spoiler and desirable factory magnesium wheels.

An RM Sotheby's specialist, himself very familiar with these cars, has test-driven this Z 432 and reports that this willing, high-revving machine provided a thrilling ride. The solid feel of an excellent, unrestored car cannot be overstated, but the bottom line, as he relates, is that “it runs like a scalded cat!”

As with the Hakosuka GT-R, the Z 432 is a legend at home, and it has a growing following amongst enthusiasts in the West. Despite its recognizable good looks, this limited-production, high-performance car should never be confused with a Datsun 240Z. This is the “holy grail” of all Z-machines, and as such, the opportunity to acquire an example as wonderful as this is unlikely to be repeated any time soon.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver

aweaver@rmsothebys.com

+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

asabatie-garat@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

bruprecht@rmsothebys.com

+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 9... read more

David Swig

dswig@rmsothebys.com

+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. He is a life-long automobile enthusiast and ... read more

Don Rose

drose@rmsothebys.com

+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

dgould@rmsothebys.com

+1 954 566 2209
Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

gduff@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Ian Kelleher

ikelleher@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Ian Kelleher began his automotive career immediately following his graduation from Oberlin College with a Bachelor of Arts in Politica... read more

Jake Auerbach

jauerbach@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Jonathan Sierakowski

jonathan@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Jonathan Sierakowski developed a passion for classic cars while working at a Connecticut restoration shop as a teenager. He graduated with a... read more

Kurt Forry

kforry@rmsothebys.com

+1 717 623 1638
California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

mmalamut@rmsothebys.com

+1 805 231 6410
California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

msquire@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

... read more

Mike Fairbairn

mfairbairn@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

ocamelin@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

pdarvill@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

pfisher@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. He att... read more

Peter Wallman

pwallman@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Peter Wallman joined RM Europe in 2007 following nearly two decades in the international advertising industry, where he was based out ... read more

Shelby Myers

smyers@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

tvandervelden@rmsothebys.com

+31 653 84 19 60
United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more