Barn Find Z: 1970 Datsun 240Z

Many of us have probably seen Z cars of every vintage rotting away in lawns and in barns and never thought much about them. After all, they were produced in fairly strong numbers and across many years of different model generations – it was never hard to find one up for grabs as a project. That’s changing, especially as other vintage sports cars grow increasingly out of reach. The earliest Datsun Z cars are the most desirable models right now, known as a Series 1 car, and they’re selling for big bucks in restored or survivor-grade condition. The seller of this Series 1 240Z claims it’s a genuine barn find that he hasn’t even had a chance to blow the dust off of yet, and with the tell-tale sign of the vents in the rear hatch, it seems like he’s correct about it being a real-deal Series 1. Find it here on eBay with no reserve and bidding just under $3,000.

The early 240Zs are desirable for multiple reasons, from the general collectability of first-generation models of almost any iconic car to the limited production numbers to the better overall performance of the 240Z series. The slim bumpers and overall more delicate proportions were calling cards of the Z car when it was first introduced, and it gradually became more bulbous and heavy overtime. The next generation 260Z may have looked similar, but new regulations around safety and emissions requirements had a resounding impact on the car’s appearance and performance, only serving to make the earliest models even more desirable before they were even considered “old.” Still, plenty of Z cars weren’t seen as much more than a used coupe as they went through their first few owners, and overly sensitive sheet metal sent plenty of them to the scrap heap due to insatiable rust.

This car does have significant scarring caused by the tin worm, with the floors in rough shape and needing replacement. Still, like any desirable import from this era, replacing the floors has become par for the course, so it’s not surprising to see a project grade 240Z needing new floors, and certainly not a reason to write this one-off. The interior is there, and it’s a manual transmission car, which makes it deserving of a proper restoration. The body is still rough in places, and I can’t tell if that’s Bondo poking through just ahead of the driver’s side rear fender. The door sill looks good, thankfully, which is another area that is a serious liability for anyone taking on a forgotten Z car project. If the color is original, orange is a great shade to find an early 240Z in.

The engine appears complete, down to the factory air cleaner remaining in place. The matching paint on the shock towers and around the engine bay suggests this 240Z does indeed wear original paint elsewhere. The seller doesn’t offer much in the way of detail about the 240Z ‘s history or where it was stored prior to being dragged out into the light, but for anyone chasing a 240Z project, those details don’t tend to matter as long as the car hasn’t already broken in two. The price at the moment seems cheap given what genuine Series 1 cars are selling for in restored condition, but it’s also possible the market has pulled back a little bit so that the roughest cars aren’t selling for crazy money. It seems like a smart buy as a project, however, as I can’t see genuine Series 1 cars losing their value anytime soon.

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Comments

  1. Mogen

    Nothing that $ 100k plus can’t fix.

    Like 7
    • stu

      That’s pretty cheap fix….lol

  2. Charles Sawka

    Put it right back in the barn.

    Like 6
  3. Mr.BZ

    “Many of us have probably seen Z cars of every vintage rotting away in lawns and in barns and never thought much about them”–not I, my friend!!

    Like 2
  4. EPO3

    Take the rear hatch off that’s were the money is

    Like 3
  5. Stan Marks

    Do not pass GO, do not collect $200, go directly to the car crusher.

    Like 1
  6. DON

    Of course he didn’t have time to wash the dust off , he’s a flipper and he couldn’t even wait to take the car off the flatbed to snap some pictures !
    That being said , these cars are in demand, and even if this one is too far gone it will be a treasure chest of hard to find parts.

    Like 2
    • Stan Marks

      Not too far good, Don.
      It’ll make for the perfect vintage lawn ornament.

  7. Steve Clinton

    This must be where old Japanese cars go…melted down and made into toys.

  8. Bob Davis

    This POS looks like it was dragged out of a junk yard . It is not a candidate for a 250 GTO conversion .That’s the only reason I looked at it .

  9. terra nova

    Drive as is.

    Almost perfect.

    Sympathetic restoration

    Put it back in the barn, Clem. That’s next year’s fertilizer

    Oops, gotta find a bathroom, hot trot for trailer.

    Wheel shifts inward as suspension fails at frame in minor rust-alanche.

  10. Kenn

    For a DIY it seems to me this would be doable, and have a nice ride for not way too much money. No, not concourse doable, but why does every “find” have to be destined for that. By the way, numbers matching? Original miles?
    Where are all the commentators who find that of utmost importance?

  11. Z daddy

    Hard to fine to find parts? Maybe, other than that it’s DONE !!!

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