Do you own or want a 350z but wonder if it’s JDM or not? And what about “Fairlady Z”? A lot of this is new stuff you’ve never heard of.

Is the 350z JDM? If the Nissan 350z was made with original US parts (or bought in the US), it is not “JDM”. JDM stands for Japanese Domestic Market. In order for a Nissan 350z to be considered JDM, it would need to have the internal parts (ECU, Engine, etc.) to be swapped out with authentic Japanese parts or if the 350z was imported from Japan. 

‘Fairlady Z’ is another name given to the 350z’s that are considered JDM.

The JDM stands for the Japanese version of the car, which is different than the 350z sold in the United States. It debuted in 2002 and continued to be made until 2009.  So, what are the other differences are there between a 350z and a “Fairlady Z?”

What’s the Difference Between 350z and Fairlady Z JDM?

The Fairlady Z (350z) car is the Japanese exclusive car only sold in Japan. 

What does JDM mean?

JDM stands for Japanese Domestic Market. It is meant to stand for vehicles that adhere to Japanese standards and suit Japanese buyers. Japanese buyers are looking for innovations rather than long-term car ownership, a stark contrast to American buyers. These vary greatly from the cars that Japan manufactures for export. 

What makes it a Fairlady Z different?

The Fairlady Z parts are also only sold in Japan, making it a region exclusive. The 350z is the United States version of the car, which is also sold in the American domestic market. There were slight style variations between the two cars, such as:

  • Seat color
  • Exterior differences
  • Wheel changes 

The international car market kept the two separate in their respective domestic markets. The Japanese version of the car also has higher performance capabilities due to less strict standards compared to the US. 

Fairlady Z’s can also have any of the options added to the base model, while the US version creates different models with different features. 

So, instead of having to get the 350z Grand Touring to get all the bells and whistles, you can get a Fairlady Z and add all the options that you want to it. Fairlady Z’s also have rear wipers, which are not present in the US 350z trims. 

Check out the Forzacentral forums for more information about the differences between the two versions of the Nissan car. 

Why Is The 350z JDM Called A Fairlady?

The original Fairlady Z was created in 1969 as a way to market Nissan’s first sports car internationally. Mr. Katsuji Kawamata, the Nissan President at the time, specifically wanted to market to the United States. He thought of the name after watching the Broadway musical “My Fair Lady,” while visiting the US. 

Kawamata was so taken by the beauty of the music and leading lady, that he related it to the beauty of his car. It was common and culturally relevant to use such names when selling cars in Japan. Fairlady Z marketing in Japan was very successful. 

In the United States, however, it was more common to use engine size and model numbers when selling cars. So, the name was dropped and the engine name “Datsun 1600” was used in marketing in the US instead. 

The newer Fairlady Z model, termed the 350z JDM in the US, followed the same pattern. The 350z and Fairlady Z are interchangeable, depending on where you are. In the US, you’ll find out more information from people when using the 350z JDM name. 

In Japan, more people will recognize the Fairlady Z name. 

ZHome goes into great detail about the origin of the name and how it varies between Japan and the US. Definitely check it out if it piques your interest!

How Much Does It Cost? 

There are different factors that can affect how much a 350z JDM can cost. Some of these factors include:

  • Mileage
  • Year
  • Features
  • Location
  • Parts

How many miles are on the car will affect its overall cost. The Fairlady Z mileage is also listed as km rather than miles.  The miles essentially measure the life of the car, more miles mean that the car is closer to breaking down and needing to be fixed more often. Trade car view lists various prices on the Fairlady Z models available. 

The year can also impact the price of the car. The classic cars made in the 1970s-1980s can range from $70k-$90k, not including shipping costs if it is being sent to the US. The 2003-2009 cars can range from $6k-$18k depending on mileage and features within the car. 

The features within the car will also affect the cost. Whether you want manual or automatic driving capabilities can affect it. The color, interior type, and engine power can also change how much you’ll pay for it. Trade car review reports that the cost can vary from approximately $6000-$18,000. They detail the differences in features in more detail, and you can check it out here

Location can also impact the cost of the car. If you are getting it shipped from out of the country, the shipping costs can range from $2k-$4k depending on what city it is being sent to in the United States. The Car from Japan website lists various Fairlady Z models for sale that you can purchase directly from Japan. It shows you how much shipping the car will be as well.  

The parts are also expensive, given that the Fairlady Z is a JDM car. So parts will need to be imported directly from Japan. The varying parts are also given as a range since shipping costs will also increase the price. Nengun’s website shows various parts for sale and how much they will cost to import from Japan. 

Is It a Good Car?

Is the Fairlady Z a good car to invest in? It certainly is more affordable than most convertible cars. Most convertibles can be $40k+, so having one that you can pay around $25k for doesn’t sound so bad. But is it worth it? 

Let’s check out some of the features this car has to offer. Looking at the 2009 model, the Fairlady Z is a two-seater car with a coupe body style. It can be driven with a stick shift or automatic. It also has right steering, as compared to the left steering in the 350z US version. It has the V-6 3.5-liter engine giving it that convertible power. 

Instead of having different trim levels, the Fairlady Z can be customizable. You will have to check out the features of used cars to see if it has all the options you want, but if you were buying new, you could list what you wanted. 

Check out this review video from DbigBike, who gives great visuals of the car itself as well as talk about the history of the Fairlady Z line of cars. He gives an in-depth review of the size and space the car offers on top of its power and luxury.  

To Summarize

The 350z JDM or the Fairlady Z is a Japanese car made by Nissan in 2002. The original model got its name, Fairlady Z, from a Broadway musical in 1969. It is a sporty car that is also affordable. It has a powerful engine that drives smoothly on the road. 

It provided its pricer counterparts with some healthy competition during its heyday from 2002-2009. They are available for purchase currently, and continue to perform well. 

Ultimately, it is a good car that’s original model impacted the definition of “sports car” for Nissan for years to come.