A lot of people ask which model Z is my favorite. This is a really hard question to answer honestly. They are all great but all for completely different ways.
After driving the 300zx (Z32) for so many years and drifting it, road racing it, and drag racing-(very minimal), this would be my go to car for that raw feeling of road racing. Where there are no computers controlling what your doing whatsoever, no traction control, just your skills and the car. If you mess up, your car messes up. You do a clean run, it reflects and the car does a clean run. On the down side, in order to own one of these you need to expect to spend 10k minimum to get one up to speed with all new bushings, suspension, and general maintenance. It’s incredibly hard to diagnose with OBD1, you really need to find someone who knows the car and knows the common issues with them to repair. And expect engine pulls as a part of life.
Having the 350z (z33) for a while now this car as the base model has no traction control or any version of it and is wonderfully predictable for a drift car. It’s near perfect weight distribution of 53-47 is just biased enough to make this the ‘funnest’ of the Z’s in my opinion. You don’t need a lot of power in this model to have a good time. Base 350z, weld the diff, get some good suspension and boom-fantastic drift car, better yet-reliable drift car. With the car not really being ‘too old’ it doesn’t generally need a crazy amount of ‘out of the ordinary’ maintenance. It’s just old enough to have a strong aftermarket backing for upgrades and not be too expensive.
With the 370z (Z34) while beautiful, this car has too many electronics controlling everything. Even when turning the traction control off with the button on the dash, it still has the ipdm controlling and trying to fix what your doing while driving, disconnect the ipdm at the track and the steering gets stiffer, the gauge cluster becomes inoperable, and you gain maybe 50% more control but then you have to have a code reader after the event or go to a dealer to get all those lights off your dash, get the gauge cluster to work, and reset the module. With the electronic steering it feels like it takes an extra second when attempting to counter steer before it does which makes the difference of spinning out on track or being able to hold a drift. The unfortunate thing about adding anything to the 370, is the aftermarket backing for modifications is still priced pretty high since Nissan has been making it for 10 years now (09 models through 2019 models) its still like purchasing parts at pricing for brand new car. I would put the 370z on my list of the perfect fun daily driver with light track use. It has just the right amount of computer control that would help any newer driver on track to make up for mistakes the driver would make without having to do too many modifications to it.
All in all, without having to do many modifications I would have to give the 350z my vote for the favorite-as much as I love my Z32’s and Z34’s one is very high maintenance and one has too many computers controlling the drive.
I don’t have much experience with the older models yet, but if your reading this and do, please put your opinions in the comments below.