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19K Mile Backyard Find: 1973 Datsun 240Z

So, this Datsun sportscar has a tough tale to tell. The seller claims that he’s the second owner and it has less than 19K accumulated miles. So, that makes it a perfect candidate for a “What in the Sam Hill happened here? award.  Really, 19K miles and it has been sitting outside for decades? Hmmm, that sounds unusual, to say the least. OK, I’m intrigued, let’s do some sleuthing and see what the story is. Located in Richmond, Virginia, this last year 240Z is available, here on craigslist for $7,500.

Known technically as an S30 or a Fairlady Z, this two-seater became the 240Z when first appearing on U.S. shores in 1970. I refer to his example as a last year 240Z because it grew into the 260Z in ’74. According to Hagerty, 50K Z’s were assembled in ’73, and this example is one of 45K that was exported to America. The seller tells us that the original owner took great care of this car and then let it sit for decades. He adds, “This car sat outside and a tree fell on the windshield post. The glass was missing so, the passenger area took on water” Yeah, outside storage isn’t really storage, it’s just existence. Also mentioned is the need to replace the floors and rocker panels. It is wearing its original yellow finish, however, at least in the places where it hasn’t rusted off.

Oh, it gets better. The  151 net HP, 2.4 liter, in-line six-cylinder engine is mostly in pieces though the block is still sitting between the strut towers. Why? Great question, why would a 19K mile car have its engine partially disassembled and then left to sit? It’s not said in the listing if the detached parts are included. No worries about the manual transmission however as the seller tells us, “Transmission clicks like it just came off the showroom“.

Remember that tree-falling business? Well, you can imagine what that has done to the interior. It’s completely trashed. The upholstery, dash pad, door cards, steering column trim – all of it, it’s a mess. The entire environment will need to be blown up and started over – of course, not until the floor pans are replaced.

The seller tells up, “This is a special car“. I imagine that his and my definition of special are rather divergent. If it sounds like some pieces to this Datsun’s story are missing, you’re probably right. That said, I have no need to look further or know more, how about you?


  1. Ed Biller

    Strip and sell the wheels, trim, and remaining glass, then feed the rest to the crushinator. What a ridiculous asking price.

    Like 23
  2. Big C

    Yep. Came back from a nice drive on the twisties, in his low mileage 240Z and said: “Y’know? I think I’m gonna pull the engine apart, then leave her right here, under this nice big tree, for 40 years.”

    Like 17
  3. Maggy

    Parts car at best.I’d give 300 and make a few $ selling parts.

    Like 13
  4. Greg

    Wonder if it is 118K miles?

    Like 5
    • Bruce

      I am going to go out on a limb and say its on its third time around the clock. It certainty didn’t have 19000 miles on it when it was put out to pasture.

      Like 3
    • Bruce

      I am going to go out on a limb here and say it’s on it’s third time around the clock. No way would you have all this neglect and engine disassembled on a so called 19000 mile car.Just sayin.

      Like 1
  5. Steve Haffner

    I’m gonna do something with it someday. I know what I got…….

    Like 2
  6. DON

    Soooooo, the original owner took great care of this car and then… he didnt , for decades ?

    Like 5
    • 370zpp 370zpp Member

      As odd as this sounds, there could be compelling reasons for this. Maybe.

      Like 0
  7. Rallye Member

    Up on blocks = storage.

    Like 1
  8. Gary Gary Member

    WTF!? Am I missing something here? Seller says “I am in no hurry.” Me neither.

    Like 4
  9. Pete.k

    I remember when I thought this was a really puky looking yellow on these 240s. ( It still is !!! )

    Like 1
  10. eric22t

    my best guess…
    original owner parked it for what ever reason. tree fell on it. time passed and new owner bought it. new owner tore down motor that non longer ran. new owner in over his head and then it sat some more. now new owner or his wife wants the lawn back

    Like 1

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