105th One Built: 1970 Datsun 240Z

This Datsun 240Z, VIN HLS30-000105, is the 105 th car to come off the line, and it did so in late 1969. It just went up for auction here on eBay and has already garnered 49 bids to $15,000 within the first 4 hours of being listed. It’s sure to go much higher despite lots of needs. That just reflects the steep rise in 240Z values lately, especially for the earliest cars. A lot of that is because a lot of the early cars have either been restored already, or crushed/crashed/rusted out long ago.

One of the appealing things about these early cars, apart from the fact that they are true survivors since so many of them are no more, is that they differ from the cars that were built just a few months later in so many small ways. The factory had such a hit on its hands that it needed to ramp up production and keep it there to avoid disappointing lots of buyers. During early production many small details of the cars were still being worked out, and the early cars received slightly different parts than the later cars got.

That makes them interesting, but also creates problems for restorers. I know because I’m restoring a very early 240Z right now, and if a few people weren’t reproducing certain rubber, plastic, and metal parts there would be no hope of returning the early cars to their original state. So it can be done, but this car will need a lot of metalwork to be safe and secure to drive. Amazingly, the engine still runs, as shown in a video that the seller included a link to in the listing. When it was found it was surrounded by greenery and broken branches right in front of – but not in – a barn. Go figure.

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  1. F.A.G.

    I love the looks of the shop!

    Do the tyres actually look like they have Armor-All on them? Literally lipstick on a pig syndrome right there.

    I always wanted a ’70 240, beautiful little cars.

  2. Tony S

    Cool car. Those are last years Poke Weed – I HATE Poke Weed – it’s a menace around here too.

    Mustangs had that first year problem too. :-)

  3. stillrunners lawrence Member

    Guys with wrecking yards have been putting these back for years – it was the poor man’s Corvette…..and Datsun offered to rebuild them a few years back…

  4. angliagt

    At least you know that this one will be saved,& a ton
    of money will be spent.
    Too bad it doesn’t have the original (Black?) plates –
    those are from the ’80’s.

    • David Frank David F Member

      “Too bad it doesn’t have the original (Black?) plates –
      those are from the ’80’s.”

      Those are likely the original plates.

      Actually, the black plates ended in 1969 when California switched to blue plates. In 1982 California switched to white plates with blue numbers.


      • angliagt

        It could have had Black plates,if sold in ’69.
        If not it would have had Blue/Gold plates with six figures-
        three letters,followed by six numbers,not like the seven
        that are on this car.

  5. ccrvtt

    These were the first truly classic Japanese sports cars imho. Sure the Toyota GT gets stupid money these days, but the 240z ranks with the E-type and the GTO as benchmark designs. Nice find.

  6. Woodie Man

    If you put 60 or 70 K ( and it looks like at least that given what appears to be frame rust) into it can you get it back? I say this as a lover of the earliest Z’s.

  7. Mike

    How many times do sellers have to say “rare”? People in the know already get it. Seller mentions the word 5 times. We got it the first time around Mr. Seller…

  8. irocrob

    Way too much money to me. I think the body has lots of issues plus its not the 1st one but number 105. Big deal

    • Dolphin Dolphin Member

      The first few 240Zs made were preproduction cars and were never sold to the public, which is what usually happens with a brand new model. Often the factory either crushes them so they never get into the hands of the public, or they keep them and place them in the manufacturer’s museum if they have one.

      Even some later cars, like 240Z numbers 14 and 15 were pre-production cars, and were used as road test models and never sold to the public. The public almost never gets to buy the first car of a new line. So, for any 240Z fan car number 105 is still a very desirable low-VIN car.

  9. Alexander

    You can contact the Nissan Heritage collection directly to get a read on that VIN #105. I agree that it is low, and may be one of the first to be sold outright with a title to the average buyer. To me, this fact is insignificant compared to what condition the frame is in and how difficult soft parts will be to find.

  10. Black Cat

    With a chassis as low as #105, I would think she’s worth restoring regardless the amount of understructure work needed.

    As my handle would suggest, my interests are more E-Type than Z, but I admire the Z for taking so many E-Type cues and making such a car accessible to enthusiasts who didn’t want the level of engineering sophistication or cost embodied in the E, but did want the great bang-for-buck and style that the Z did offer.

    Good luck to whomever takes this one on; do a good job with it, and it should be both emotionally and financially rewarding, if kept long enough.

  11. Fran

    Neat! BUT I have a feeling that car like many others on fleebay will be wasted away in relistvile.

  12. Rich Truesdell

    Saw these Sunday at the San Marino Motor Classic in Southern California.

    Early Datsun 240Zs are about to get propelled into the pricing stratosphere. In a year’s time they will be an integral part of almost every high-end auction, like early Toyota FJs are now.

  13. DRV

    It’s a candidate for a serial number swap to an unrusty one with the transfer of special pieces parts. So much new metal is needed …

    • Dolphin Dolphin Member

      DRV, yes, maybe, but….

      240Zs have their VIN deeply engraved on the engine bay side of the firewall, and anyone willing to pay up for a low VIN car like this car will want to see that VIN clearly and without any signs of having been messed with. Then there are 3 other places where the same VIN needs to appear on the car. Then there is the matching-numbers engine that is indicated on one of those other 3 VIN places….so, it’s hard to swap VINs on a 240Z and not have it noticed or detected, which is a good thing.

      Also, there are a lot of repro parts available, and even some brand new ones from Nissan, including body metal like floors, floor stiffeners, hatch shelves, frame rails, rockers, etc. Also, there are cut-out body parts from good cars being sold occasionally on Ebay.

      This car could be restored to like new without going over budget given the ultimate value of the car if done right. Just don’t take it to RM and expect that to happen within a reasonable budget.

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