Yoshihiko Matsuo, lead designer of the iconic Datsun 240Z, died on July 11. He was 86 years old.
Matsuo was born on July 10, 1934 in Himeji, a city in the Hyogo Prefecture of Southern Japan. According to Japanese Nostalgic Car, he helped design the popular Daihatsu Midget while attending the the Nihon University College of Art, before graduating and going straight to work at Nissan. After his success at the company helping redesign the Bluebird 410 sedan, he was placed at the head of the company’s first modeling department, where the first Fairlady Z took shape.
With just a small team of designers, Matsuo was tasked with shaping the Z’s now-iconic lines, but also for developing how the car would be built, determining mechanical layout, types of materials used, and even pricing.