The Nissan S30, sold in Japan as the Nissan Fairlady Z and in other markets as the Datsun 240Z, then later as the 260Z and 280Z, is a grand tourer produced by Nissan from 1969 until 1978. The S30 was conceived of by Yutaka Katayama, the President of Nissan Motor Corporation U.S.A., and designed by a team led by Yoshihiko Matsuo, the head of Nissan’s Sports Car Styling Studio.
It is the first car in Nissan’s Z series of sports cars.
The Fairlady Z was introduced in late 1969 as a 1970 model, with the L20 2.0-liter straight-six SOHC engine, rear-wheel drive, and a stylish coupe body.
The engine, based on the Datsun 510’s four-cylinder, produced 130 PS (96 kW; 128 hp) JIS and came with a four- or a five-speed manual transmission.
For 1973, power of the carburetted engine dropped to 125 PS (92 kW; 123 hp) to meet stricter regulations.
In Japan, the Fairlady was exclusive to Nissan Japanese dealerships called Nissan Bluebird Stores.
Japanese buyers could also get the L24-engined Fairlady 240Z model (HS30), although the larger engine placed it in a considerably higher tax category.
The Japanese-spec 2.4-liter engine produces a claimed 150 PS (110 kW; 148 hp) JIS at 5600 rpm but was discontinued in 1973 as sales had dropped considerably as a result of the fuel crisis, and so until the August 1978 introduction of the Fairlady 280Z only two-liter Fairladys were available.
When export models changed over to the larger 2.6-liter 260Z in 1974, only 2-liter models remained available to Japanese buyers. A Fairlady 260Z had been planned for release, but the impact of the oil crisis stopped the model, although the 260Z was available in Okinawa (which drove on the right side of the road until 1978).
The Fairlady Z received all the changes as applied to the export models, including the addition of a long-wheelbase 2+2 model. Introduced in January 1974, this received the GS30 chassis code. In 1975 the L20 engine gained fuel injection to meet new emissions standards (A-S30, A-GS30) and once again provided 130 PS (96 kW; 128 hp) JIS.
At the end of July 1976 the car received the NAPS system, including an EGR system, to meet the stricter yet emissions standards in effect for this year, bringing with it a change in model codes to S31 (C-S31/C-GS31).
At the same time, the more luxurious Fairlady Z-T model was introduced – this was strictly an equipment level and did not include a T-bar roof, which was first seen on the succeeding generation Fairlady.