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20-Year Slumber: 1973 Datsun 240Z

1973 Datsun 240Z

This example of an early Japanese sport coupe is located in Harrisonburg, Virginia and is offered for sale here on eBay where bidding started at $200 without a reserve. The seller tells the sad story of his father working on the car over a long period of time prior to dying before the car was completed. It doesn’t run at the moment but does look largely complete. The Datsun has been off the road since 1994/95, but must have been stored fairly well as the usual Z rust is there but not terminal. To the seller’s credit, there are lots of clear pictures of the trouble spots and it looks like the car is being honestly represented. I’d replace the 280Z hubcaps with a set of Panasports for a period look and get the car back on the road. If the paint couldn’t be saved, and I’m thinking with the rust repair needed it couldn’t, I’d be tempted to paint it with a BRE tribute scheme. What do you think, too overdone?


  1. mtshootist1

    I owned a 73 240 Z back in the late 70’s to early 80’s. Brings back a lot of memories. The bidding is already up to over 2ooo bucks which is more than I would pay for a running one at this point. I see them out here in Montana on Craigslist for this kind of money. If I was the son, I would have gotten it running and put together, just because my old man owned it. I would have finished the project he started, just because….

    • Big Fan

      Yeah seriously. Last chance to feel that close to the old man. A wasted oppurtunity.

  2. Sam

    this is the best looking body style of all the Z cars, IMO. It would be fun to work on, but the price is getting a little high. I had a buddy who had one of these, and the twin carbs were a challenge to get calibrated. Hey, just go wild and put a small block Chevy in it (kidding).

  3. Rich

    Had a ’76 a long time ago. It was an absolute blast to drive! Went through a few clutches tearing up the roads with it. Was a very fast and nimble car.

  4. Dolphin Member

    Of the early 240Zs the ’73s like this car are the least desirable. They have flat top carbs that were changed from the earlier dome top Hitachi (SU design) carbs for emissions reasons, and driveability and power suffered. There are a lot of ’73s still around and for sale, but the earlier cars, especially the ’70s are the most desirable and have the highest driveability and value.

    This car looks like a parts car, and I would not put money into it. There are still lots of easrlier cars out there and for sale, and those are what I would look for.

  5. DT

    I never liked the feel of these,and I just bareley fit in them. Had a lot of power.I always like Independent rear suspension. I like them now for historical reasons.

  6. Stuart

    Pardon my ignorance-but what is BRE paint reference?

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

      Stuart — reference is to the BRE (Brock Racing Enterprises) Datsun teams of the early 70’s Trans Am series. Here’s a picture of one.

  7. MikeH

    Would someone explain to me why the 240-60-80 Zs have never caught on as collector cars. I’ve had no association with them other than driving several back in the day. The power was there, the box was nice, the front heavy handling left something to be desired–but what sports cars in the 70s didn’t have flaws somewhere. I think the looks are great and the durability is legendary. Does it fall into pseudo sports car category of the Corvette? I’ve never understood why interest in them is close to zero.

    • mike young

      Zero interest? Very wrong. The interest in the (high quality) Japanese cars has finally caught on. The earlier comment about ’73 240Z’s is sorta right (but how hard is it to swap a pair of carbs? About as difficult as balancing two carbs. Yes if you can adjust one…then to adjust and balance two is quite simple.

  8. Sundaydriver

    @Dolphin, @ MikeH

    First gen Z’s are catching on in popularity! Unfortunately. Even the 73’s.
    Bring a Trailer just recently had a 73 in really nice condition with a repaint ( not original color ), original owner car that did not meet the reserve at $19,750! They put the bidder in touch with the seller and I’m sure that car is gone for somewhere around 20K.

    I watch the auctions on these cars fairly closely since I own a 73Z. Nice examples sell routinely around 15K. Flippers/dealers have them asking around 25-30K on their websites.

    Japanese cars are finding their supporters in todays market. Not just the Cosmos or the 2000GT either. First gen RX7’s, RX3’s, first gen Celica’s, are all getting proper attention. Even CRX’s!

    I equate it to the lack of respect the cars had when first new ( not the Z or RX7 ) for lack of power or whatever was in the heads of American consumers at the time. Much like the Gremlins, Pacers, Fiats of any kind ( fix it again Tony! ), these cars now have plenty of aftermarket support and the evils of their past are easily rectified.

    I also, like Dolphin, would not buy this example, but find yourself a decent driver and watch the smile come across your face! Fun, fun, fun cars!

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