8. Datsun 240Z
The 240Z was the first highly successful Japanese sports car on the American market. It’s a legend even today. The 240Z featured a bigger engine, updated construction, and more power and performance than anything from Japan. Critics say it was a copy of several European designs. Nevertheless, the 240Z managed to create its own fanbase (via Motor Trend).
Datsun introduced the 240Z to America in 1970, and it was the perfect car for the time. The muscle car craze was winding down because safety regulations were killing domestic performance cars. People were searching for alternatives to provide driving excitement with better handling and prices. Most European models were expensive, but the Datsun 240Z got 150 HP from its 2.4-liter six-cylinder, providing decent but not spectacular performance.