Used car buying guide: Nissan 350Z

If you’re looking for a truly special 350Z, keep your eye out for the commemorative GT4 edition. So called because it was available as a playable car on the Gran Turismo 4 video game, it celebrated 35 years of Z cars with bespoke yellow or black paintwork and a free PlayStation 2. Only 176 examples were imported to the UK, so expect to pay at least £15,000 for a good one now – and that won’t even include the console.

It’s also worth bearing in mind that the 350Z’s relative affordability and capable performance made it a firm favourite among tuners, and although the smart money is in factory-spec cars these days, you’ll still see a lot of garish paint schemes and lairy bodykits on the market.

If that’s to your taste, then no harm done, but do take the time to inspect the quality of any aftermarket components that have been installed and make sure the car has never been driven beyond its limits.

How to get one in your garage

An owner’s view

Jack Dabrowski: “Check for rust, mainly underneath, on the braces and arches. Check its history; regular services are key, and ask if it uses any oil; they’re prone to burning a bit. Let it warm up properly before giving it the beans to get the internals and oil up to temperature. Service it regularly and it should be good. It’s a solid engine if looked after, so don’t be put off by mileage, as long as the history shows it has been maintained well.”

Buyer beware…

■ Engine: Nissan’s 3.5-litre V6 is revered for its dependability, but the less powerful DE unit fitted to pre-2007 cars is known for burning oil, which can cause fatal damage if left unchecked, so look for smoke and pull the dipstick. Keep an ear out for excessive noise at idle; the standard exhaust is prone to cracking just before the catalytic converters.

■ Suspension: Original bushes will need replacing by now, especially those on the lower control arms; they typically fail at around 75,000 miles. Any knocking noises over bumps are likely to be from worn anti-roll bar links; Nissan sells uprated replacements.

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