A Brief Overview of the Nissan S30 & History of the 260Z

1974 Datsun 260ZThe S30 platform was brought to the United States as the Datsun Z series and started with the 240Z in 1970. The compact sports car was an immediate hit and went on to win rally competitions and magazine awards alike.

The Z series timing was fortuitous as it landed during a unique time for the automotive industry when emissions and safety standards along with fuel economy became a focus. Because of these among other factors the Z saw many design changes both between and during the three major generational design periods.

260z Improvement AdThe 260z took what made the 240z Popular and improved it with an enlarged engine from 2.4 to 2.6L which resulted in greater power or a total bhp of 165. This however was negatively impacted for US models due to federal emission regulations limiting ignition timing and compression ratios. This power however would be restored during the halfway point of the model year with the special 1974.5 model which also featured large safety bumpers as mandated by unrelated regulations. This design would became the basis for the 280Z.

Another unique feature that the 260Z brought was the 2+2 seating option. An additional 11.9 in of wheelbase helped to accommodate this along with larger opening quarter panel windows. Other improvements and key features for the 1974 Datsun 260Z model year are as follows.

  • Redesigned dash with streamlined control scheme
  • Larger extended chassis rails resulting in increased stiffness
  • Rear sway bar added
  • Upgraded interior including seat trim and door panels
  • Updated tail lights

1974 Datsun 260z 2+2 Ad

It should be noted that the 260z was available as a 4 speed manual or three speed auto. The engine was the 2.6L L26 inline six although it is common to see them swapped for the larger 2.8L from the 280z. To see the full list of features and specs see our Specifications page.  Also see our Photo Gallery for a selection of images from around the web.

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