Barn Find Convertible: 1974 Nissan 240Z

Wow – this is a seriously cool barn find. There were a handful of aftermarket companies that converted the classic Datsun 240Z into a convertible, but they were far more limited in number than some of the other companies that emerged over the years to transform desirable cars into drop-tops. We’ve only featured a few of these cars over the years, so a real-deal Z car conversion popping up in Georgia is no small find. This 1974 240Z is said to have been in a barn since 2006 and it still presents surprisingly well. Find it here on Facebook Marketplace for $10,000.

While many aftermarket convertible conversions leave a lot to be desired, I always felt the vintage Z car was a great basis for a convertible build. The body is just so racy right out of the box that it lends itself well to the wind-in-your-hair look. The only trouble I see is if you break a mechanism on the top that then proves difficult to find; there may be some fabrication in your future. Of course, regardless of the rarity of the convertible, just finding a Series 1 or 2 car that isn’t a total rust bucket after being barn-stored is a major win.

The seller reports that he drained the gas tank and changed all the fluids and the car started right up. Being parked since 2006 is a long enough span that I wouldn’t assume it would run with ease, but given how clean the convertible appears otherwise, it seems like a reasonable assumption that it was stored with the intent of someday driving it again. Given you would have likely been of driving age when these conversions first appeared, perhaps it was an older owner who kept this car in his personal collection before passing away. There’s no way of knowing, but given how obscure the  Z car droptop is, I would imagine not many were seen after the production of this era of Nissan’s classic sports car ended.

The interior is in decent shape too, with all signs pointing to this being a generally looked-after example. The dash plastics are slightly misshapen and out of alignment, but that’s to be expected on any older Japanese vehicle. Fortunately, this one has the preferred manual gearbox, which isn’t a guarantee in a 240Z or a 260Z of this vintage considering how many were purchased as touring cars. The combination of the running condition, the strong cosmetics, and the rarity of the soft top make this one a winner all the way around for me, and the asking price seems more than fair. What do you think?

Comments

  1. RayT Member

    Hate to be That Guy, Jeff, but unless the convertible conversion can be definitely traced to one of the top-slicers with a reputation for doing the job right (Straman, ASC, etc.), I’d keep on truckin’ and save my $10K.

    You have to do a whole lot more to make a coupe into a convertible than just breaking out the Sawzall and going to town. The structure has to be braced, sometimes in unlikely places, and someone has to fab a top that not only fits, but at least slows the rain down in wet weather.

    I’ve seen more than one “conversion” that didn’t get the attention it needed, and the results can be pretty unpleasant. So, while the basic concept is nifty, I think I’d just stick with the original tin-top.

    Like 14
  2. RoughDiamond Member

    Seller states “This was a custom made convertible” so as RayT said I’d want to know who exactly did the conversion. The top in the up position does not look quite in proportion to me, but I don’t have the best eyes either.

    Like 4
  3. Cadmanls Member

    Look at the top of the windshield, the foam seal and it’s not finished off. No this doesn’t look like some professional conversion, the top covers a bunch though.

    Like 3
  4. angliagt angliagt Member

    1974 would be a 260Z – taillights are a giveaway.

    Like 9
  5. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    That back bumper, wow.

    Like 3
    • 8banger 8banger

      Indeed. Park bench. But ah, our little ’83 380SL has them too…sigh.

      Like 2
  6. scott m

    I’m also going to be that guy, even though I love convertibles, and say the hardtop was so iconic that it just loses the appeal and becomes ordinary.

    Like 3
    • Terrry

      I have to agree with you. The roof line made these cars attractive. Without it, the car is just “meh”, rag top or not.

      Like 2
  7. SMS

    I remember a mid 60’s two door sedan which was converted. Looked very nice. Looked at it up close and the doors were bolted shut. Talked to the owner. He bought it on looks and did not know too much about cars. A few weeks of ownership and the doors became very difficult to open or close. Had it looked at and the car was beginning to fold up.

    Like 4
  8. Terrry

    This should be a 260Z, not 240. “The 260Z was produced for less than 18 months, from the fall of 1973 to the very end of 1974, and there were two distinct styles therein: the 1974 cars, and a three-month run of what are alternately known as either 1974½ or 1975 cars”.

    Like 3
  9. Michelle Rand Staff

    Argh.

    Like 4
  10. Gerard Frederick

    Give me the original any day. These conversion jobs, not so much.

    Like 1
  11. jwaltb

    Fright pig.

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