Ex-Tom Cruise Nissan 300ZX Turbo soars to six figures

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Remember the ex-Tom Cruise 1984 Nissan 300ZX Turbo race car that went up on Bringatrailer.com a week ago? Well, it sold … for rather more than we expected.

To recap: When actors Cruise and Paul Newman co-starred in the 1986 film The Color of Money, Newman’s love of motorsports rubbed off on Cruise. He competed on Newman’s Nissan team in 1987, racing in the Showroom Stock class of the Sports Car Club of America. The car had sat in a junkyard for years when the owner rescued it and did a mild restoration, back to street-drivable condition, complete with New Hampshire T-CRUZ plates and Road King Grenadier street tires. However, “it could be turned back into a vintage racer with fairly minimal work. Given how hot vintage racing and Tom Cruise are right now, that could be the next stop for the car, and where we’d like to see it end up,” we said.

Greg Ingold, of the Hagerty valuation crew, suggests that the top value, sans Cruise, was about $38,000. With Cruise, I wild-guessed $65,000, “unless some Cruise fanpeople get in a bidding war, and then it could tickle six figures.”

Which is exactly what happened, with a high bid of $107,200 (buyer’s premium included), apparently for the opportunity to ride around in a Planters Peanuts Nissan with Tom Cruise’s name over the doors.

Tom Cruise Nissan 300ZX Turbo lettering
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It may have set a record for 1984 Nissan Zs on Bringatrailer.com; the site lists nine 1984 Nissan 300ZXs, most of them 50th anniversary cars, topping out at $28,000. The site lists 10 1986 Nissan 300ZXs, a cheaper year, with a low gavel price of $7200 to a high of $16,750. The site had a story on a 1986 Nissan 300ZX Turbo race car was driven by the legendary Parnelli Jones in 1987 in the IMSA race at Riverside, California, shortly before the track was torn down. This car is said to still hold the Firehawk purse record for one race and was used as Firestone’s advertising car. The car was listed on Hemmings for $59,000, and again on Craigslist in Las Vegas “for a much-reduced $39,000.”

The Nissan was the second ex-Cruise car to go on Bringatrailer.com—that first one was in 2001, when a black 1986 Porsche 911 Carrera Targa that Cruise owned briefly came up for sale. It went for $86,000, lacking Cruise’s name over the door in gold script.

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