Sold at ¥88,550,000 ($807,665) BH Auction, Tokyo, Japan January 11, 2020, Lot 16 Chassis number: PS3000289 SCM Condition for this car: 1- You may have seen this car already on your newsfeed — possibly in articles or posts on how the American market sees the 240Z and its history. Many writers don’t consider how the cars that were only offered in Japan are viewed in Japan. The Z432R is a couple of models past from the original base Fairlady Z. The original Fairlady Z (S30) came with an L20 2.0-liter inline 6, while the U.S. market received a more powerful L24 2.4-liter inline 6. In 1969, when the first Nissan Skyline GT-R was released, it was equipped with an S20 2.0-liter DOHC cross-flow head with triple Mikuni Solex carburetors for the inline 6. This new top end increased the setup by 40 horsepower. This new S20 engine was then used a year later in the Z432 and Z432R.

Light and fast

The Z432 had a close-ratio 5-speed transmission, stiffer suspension, a limited-slip differential and dual-pipe exhaust. The real weight savings came with the Z432R model. Fiberglass hood, plexiglass side windows and hatch window, a 26-gallon gas tank (up from 16), bucket seats and magnesium wheels. The factory even removed all the heating components and clock. On top of all that, thinner metal was used for the body, decreasing its weight over 220 pounds. The Fairlady Z initially came out in December 1969. The Z432 and the Z432R cars were released in 1970. Despite having a race-spec version available, sales were stagnant. At first, the race-spec setup made it impossible for the car to get a vehicle inspection. That means it was illegal to drive on public roads. Of course, this made the car even more desirable — to people who wanted to purchase an expensive race car.

Very rare cars

There were only 20 to 30 cars produced, with only about 10 left in existence. To put the sale price in perspective, there was also a Z432 at the same auction that sold for ¥16,280,000 ($149,222). This Z432 car actually sold at RM Sotheby’s 2017 Amelia Island auction for $170,500 (Lot 244). To put the rarity of the two cars in perspective, there were about 420 of the Z432 built. It’s tough to own an old car in Japan. Old cars have higher registration fees, and they must pass a very difficult vehicle inspection that requires everything in working order. In addition, Japanese owners need a parking spot that won’t leave the car out to rust. All these challenges make older cars more expendable in Japan — except with car enthusiasts. In short, this is a rare car. There are possibly just 10 remaining. Couple that with the great legacy of Nissan at the time. It’s also a rare-trim car — and was probably the first one offered in a public auction. So, yes, the bidding was wild. It is tough to say if it was well sold or bought, but at least two people thought it was worth bids well over $750,000. Wow. — Brian Baker ♦

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