1972 Datsun 240Z: Old Timer Sale

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This faded green 1972 Datsun 240Z here on eBay was recently freed from an old timer’s yard where the car sat for many moons. The faded paint is perfect for a patina-heavy restoration, as there’s nothing like the real thing when it comes to showing a car with all of its warts exposed. Of course, the rust needs to be addressed before you begin thinking this is as simple as spraying down some clear and heading to the car show.  

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The seller seems to have built himself a nice business of tracking down affordable project cars trapped in California driveways and yards. This sounds like an ideal hobby-turned-career, to me. The interior is in dire need of cleaning but I don’t see anything too troubling here, but it’s impossible to discern if the interior has been exposed to moisture or critters over time. The seller does mention that the rodents had a field day inside the vehicle, so you’ll want to check for chewed wires and nests.

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The engine appears largely stock, along with the ubiquitous Fram oil filter that seems to accompany every project car long after the first owner that cared about OEM parts has left the building. No mention is made of its running condition, so assume you’ll be starting from scratch when it comes to bringing this one back to life. Assume the worst, hope for the best, as they say.

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The rear hatch is just one place where rust has become a serious challenge, along with the bottoms of the doors and fenders. The floors actually do look pretty solid in another interior shot captured in the listing, but there’s another ugly spot on the cowl just beneath the windshield and above the hood. Overall, I think $4,000 is a strong ask for a car with corrosion issues, not to mention needing a full mechanical restoration. The option exists to make an offer – how much is genuine patina worth to you?

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Comments

  1. Dolphin Member

    To tell the truth I’d rather have this seller’s 1966 Fiat Spider with the matching hardtop and lots of usable patina instead of the ’72 Z car with the rodents nests, and past the patina stage. And I say that as a Z car guy who is restoring an early one right now.

    The Fiat will be much easier to save, structurally speaking. The Z car will need lots of new metal to fix all the perforation, plus just about everything in the interior replaced….and all that plastic is the uncommon brown, so will be a lot harder to source than the more common black interior pieces. And then there’s the worry whether the wiring has been damaged by the resident rodents.

    Z cars are still very common in better condition than this one. And with the surge in the values of good ones, a lot of decent ones are coming on the market.

  2. ydnar

    Too far gone. It’ll need a complete disassembly to be made reliable. Parts is parts.

  3. hhaleblian

    Too many zeros on the ask

  4. Danger Dan

    When I was younger I got a 65 impala ragtop from a friend. It had headlight buckets made of wood and telephone line to run the tail lights. The floorboards were made from cut up street signs. I preceded to buy 3 parts cars and break them down. I got all the super sport trim and a 4spd console. One of the cars had a tach in the dash and that was a huge win. Another friend had given me a 396 engine and I forget where the transmission turned up. Over a long hot summer I labored on cutting floorboards and trunk pieces and welding them in with absolutely no experience and a borrowed welder. My friends thought I had gone mad. They talked in hushed tones behind my back that I’d never get the car together.
    I’ll tell you what! By the end of summer I had the baddest big block rag in Berkeley. We would do 100 yard burn outs through the gears and girls would hoot & holler they loved our car. Yes I never got carpet in it or a high end paint job but that was the greatest summer of my life.
    These days there are so many lazy car guys. They make offers over the phone and never turn up. They expect so much and put out so little. I could have this Z looking sharp in 2 weeks. Yes I have experience now and can get parts and have the Latinos do the body. But Right now I’m trying to get the roadrunner going with the 426. I just drove 6 hours for some valve covers. DD

  5. Howard A Member

    Army surplus Z car? Pretty cashed out. Not exactly rare. I agree, parts only.

  6. greg

    Bought one in 1974 for $3900. What a fun car. It would do 45 in 1st, 70 in 2nd, 110 in 3rd and 145 in 4th. Wish I still had it.

  7. mtshootist1

    I owned one exactly like this one, with the green paint, and gold pinstriping. I think it had the brown interior as well. Manual shift. My wife hated the thing, because she couldn’t drive a stick. I finally sold it after we got divorced, so I could buy a brandee new Harley dresser.

  8. Ronniecarlo

    I’ve been waiting for a Zcar to appear on BF,so U can tell all the Zcar lovers about 2 Zcars about s mile from me sitting behind an old house here in Mexia, Tx.I am not a Zcar expert so this is what I do know about them.The to Zcars are I believe to be 240 Z cars, both are 6 cyl cars but here is the kicker one has 3 two bbl and the other has a big old Holley on it. Both appear complete buy have been sitting for me my years. So anyone know about the two set ups?I had a friend in college that had a 240 with an ’88 Mustang GT engine.. Deathtrap..lol

  9. nick s30

    This car is a perfect candidate for a restore!!! Especially for a guy like me that does bodywork for a living. I would pay 4k easy if i didnt have a restomod 73 z sittin in my garage now!! These are getting harder and harder to find unmolested and in “open palette” state!! I’m with danger dan!! Grow a set and restore one on your own!! Its only sweat, elbow grease, and money!!

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