Market Finds: Did You Know About Nissan’s Elegant ‘ZG’ Homologation Special?

Did You Know About Nissan’s Elegant ‘ZG’ Homologation Special?

By Andrew Golseth
May 24, 2016

Photography courtesy of The Finest

For years, stateside enthusiasts have grumbled, “America always gets shafted when it comes to imports.”—and for good reason. Plenty of incredible foreign vehicles never make their way ashore “The Land of the Free.” Thanks to our stringent vehicle safety and emissions requirements, us yanks are often denied the opportunity to buy some of the world’s greatest vehicles when new. Worse yet, our government’s stubborn, unnecessary, and pedantic bureaucratic import regulations make privately importing grey market vehicles all the more nauseating.

Thankfully, there is one exception to importing a grey market vehicle that makes it legally possible—the 25-year classic car rule. They say, “forbidden fruit tastes the sweetest” and if you’ve been yearning for the day to import a grey market classic, perhaps the wait will be worth it? After all, some wines are better with age, much like this grape colored 1972 Nissan Fairlady 240ZG headed for The Finest’s auction block next month.

In its heyday, the Nissan 240Z was a very capable sports car—still quite good fun in stock trim even by today’s standards. In 1971, Nissan set its sights on Group 4 racing but knew its stock S30 wouldn’t suffice. So, Nissan took standard 240Z and bolted on over fenders, a rear deck lid spoiler, and a custom ‘aero-dyna’ fiberglass wedge fascia complete with acrylic glass headlamp covers. Accompanying the streamlined nose job, widened track, and rear spoiler was a five-speed transmission, LSD, and lap-timer clock. Thankfully for us, Group 4 required entrants to race production vehicles, forcing Nissan to build a homologation run of the “ZG” model Fairlady.

The Japan-only-market Group 4 homologation “ZG” was offered in only three colors: Grand Prix White, Grand Prix Red, or Grand Prix Maroon—this choice example being the latter. First registered in the Tokyo ward of Shinagawa, this genuine ZG model’s history is vague at best. We love the fender mirrors, thought. In 2013, the car was purchased by Vintage Yoshino—a Japan based JNC specialist—who then sold the car to a prominent U.S.A. vehicle importer who brought the car stateside.

The car was resprayed back to its original Grand Prix Maroon and recently had its shocks and brake lines replaced. The interior is believed to be all original including the seat covers and the uncharacteristically crack free dash. The car presents in near-factory specifications with the exception of aftermarket plug wires, period-correct grey Watanabe wheels, a Datsun racing steering wheel, and an added rear brace—the ad doesn’t mention if the original steelies and hubcaps are included, but that doesn’t sway our liking.

The G-nose Fairladies are some of the most coveted amongst Nissan enthusiasts. Although the 432 model were equipped with high-output S20 engines sourced from the Hakosuka GT-R, the ZG models are revered for their instantly recognizable elegant, elongated snouts. If you’re an S30 fanatic, you already know what the 432 models pull in today’s market, making the ZG all the more tempting from an investment standpoint. “A rising tide lifts all boats” and with the most worshipped Japanese Nostalgic Cars fetching six-figures, this grape flavored Z looks like a top shelf import you could appreciate without depreciation.

– Rare homologated authentic “ZG”
– Japanese Domestic Market-only model
– Repainted in original Grand Prix Maroon

~150 horsepower, 2.0-liter L20 SOHC straight-six engine, five-speed manual transmission with rear limited slip differential, front independent coil spring MacPherson strut with anti-roll bar and rear independent Chapman strut suspension, front disc and rear drum brakes. Wheelbase: 2,304 mm.

Vehicle information
Chassis no.: HS30 – 100011

Auction house: The Finest
Estimate: $65,000 – $85,000
Price realized: Auction on June 11

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Ian Fraser
Ian Fraser(@goop_troop)
5 years ago

They were called Datsun’s at the time.

5 years ago
Reply to  Ian Fraser

Datsun was a brand within Nissan in export markets. This, being a Japanese domestic vehicle, would be a Nissan.

5 years ago
Reply to  Ian Fraser

Datsun was a brand within Nissan in export markets. This, being a Japanese domestic vehicle, would be a Nissan.

Tom DesRochers
Tom DesRochers(@brown76)
5 years ago

Yes, I did. The car appears in both Gran Turismo 4 and Sega GT 2002.

Guitar Slinger
Guitar Slinger(@gtrslngr)
5 years ago

No as a matter of fact … I did not . Congrats Mr Golseth ! You’ve… ‘ Stumped the Grump ‘

And yeah .. we really do get the shaft when it comes to both cars and motorcycles … time and time again . Some of it [ Toyota’s ‘ real ‘ FJ70 & Hilux etc ] makes no sense at all

See Mr Golseth ? Sometimes you not only get the better of me … but we wind up agreeing as well . 😉