A 50-year love affair with Z

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A 50-year love affair with Z

Longtime Nissan 240Z owner and super fan, Jim Arnett, helped Nissan celebrate the future of Z when the Z Proto passed through his hometown of Dallas, Texas recently as part of a media event.

Coincidentally, just ahead of the planned event, Arnett saw Nissan’s new TV ad featuring a Safari Gold Z – the exact trim he purchased 50 years ago. The proud Z owner reached out to Nissan through the company’s Facebook page just to share photos of his restoration. To his surprise, he received a response and an invitation.

“Nissan mentioned to me that the new Z Proto was actually in Dallas and asked me if I’d like to see it in person. It didn’t take long for me to say yes,” he said. Within a day, Arnett found himself driving his 1971 Safari Gold 240Z to meet the Z proto. We got a chance to visit with the longtime super fan and ask him some questions about his 50-year love affair with his beloved Z.

What inspired you to buy the 240Z in 1971?

I was a member of a car club that participated in autocross events. Z had come out at that time and I fell in love with it. The problem was, so did everyone else and you had to get on a waiting list and pay a deposit to get one. Also, when your name came up, you had to take whatever Z they gave you, no matter the color or how it was equipped. I almost decided to buy a different sports car when a friend told me one was available at Trophy Datsun and to go immediately to the dealership. I did and it was love at first sight. On March 29, 1971, we became a couple.

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