It was late 1996 and I had graduated college and was working at my first full time job in Dallas. The love of my life, Shelley, still lived and worked in Oklahoma City so it was a bit tough being in a big city for the first time and being “alone”. I still had the 1983 280ZX and it was running like a top. I usually came back to Oklahoma on the weekends when there wasn’t something going on at work. One weekend in October I headed back home to Pauls Valley to meet up with Shelley at my Dad’s house for the weekend. After I was a little over halfway home I had a blowout and had to pull over to the shoulder on the Interstate to put on the spare. I continued on to Pauls Valley and met up with everyone.
I am having trouble recalling how the rest of this purchase happened (Shelley couldn’t help me any either) so I’ll need to talk to my Dad maybe to see if he can provide any more information. What I don’t recall is if I was searching for a particular 300ZX like a 2+2 or how it came about that I was even looking for a new car. I would guess that I just had the 3 year itch that I get and since I had graduated and had a job in a big city I was ready for the next phase of my automobile journey. What I do recall is going with Shelley in her 1991 Geo Storm to Bob Moore Infiniti in Edmond, OK (the same town where I now live and purchased my first car) and looking at this beautiful maroon (cherry red pearl metallic I think is what they called it) 300ZX 2+2 5 Speed. Shelley says she thinks that I was looking for a “bigger” car so that’s why I went with the 2+2 but I find that funny myself. I actually prefer the silhouette of the 2+2 to the standard coupe, I think the length makes it look sleeker but that’s just my opinion. The 2+2 obviously also gives you back seats that can be used if they need to be. Anyway, back to what I recall, so there we were in a car dealer’s lot talking to the sales guy (not my favorite thing to do) and there sat this 300ZX, everything about this car was awesome to me, it still had the new car smell, the black leather, the looks and speed; it had it all. I knew what came next.
There was no doubt about it, I had to buy the 300ZX but they told me that I would need a co-signer to get the loan that was required. My Dad was probably the only person who would qualify for that honor but he was an hour away in Pauls Valley. They allowed me to take the car to my Dad’s house to talk over the purchase/co-signing situation as well as to show it to him. I can’t remember exactly how it all went down, but Dad probably tried to be the voice of reason and make sure I wasn’t getting in over my head but he also agreed to co-sign without much of a fight. I had the paperwork with me and he signed it so Shelley and I were on our way back to the car dealer to finalize the deal. I drove my 280 and she drove the 300, I remember this part vividly… She was following me on the interstate and it seems like maybe it was overcast or misting or something but she had the fog lights on. When I saw the front end of that 300 in my rear view with the stance, the lights and everything cruising down the highway, I knew I was making the right decision, this thing was mean looking but in a classy way.
When we finalized the deal and my 280ZX was there next to the 300ZX looking neglected with its tiny spare tire I felt bad but the 300 went a long way in erasing those feelings. I had never had a car that nice and I’m not sure I’ve had one that nice since. I ended up moving back to Oklahoma City the next year and Shelley and I got married the year after that and had our first son. When I moved back to Oklahoma I took a job for less pay than Dallas and now that I was a family man the 300ZX, though I still loved everything about it, took a back seat. I sold it in the summer of 1999 and have regretted doing that ever since. I’ve had a few cool cars since then, a 1989 Porsche 944 Turbo and a 1999 BMW M3 but I think I still liked the Z better, if for no other reason than I consider myself a Z lifer who has strayed.
This brings us to now, I am almost 40 and it’s time for me to get another Z. I’ve been in the market for a couple of months searching and I plan to update my progress on this site…