Blue Plate Driver: 1973 Datsun 240Z

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Hagerty Insurance recently issued a report wherein it predicted that the Datsun 280Z – the model that came after the celebrated 240Z – would start to see a bit of a softening in the collector car marketplace. That would make sense considering how rapidly the car rose in value after the earlier 240Zs began to chase the classic Porsche 911 in terms of valuation. However, I also wonder if the 240Z will start to drop a bit, particularly if it’s not a Series 1 car. This 1973 240Z listed here on eBay is a genuine California blue-plate car that has been stored indoors since 1995 and was recently refreshed. Bidding is at $14,000 with no reserve.

To me, one of the most interesting things about the collector car hobby is when a car rockets upwards in value and then proceeds to either stay there in perpetuity or start to recede once the buzz wears off. For instance, seemingly every era of the Porsche 911 has rocketed skywards after a few years, never to return again; the same can be said for the E30-chassis BMW M3 and the modern-day Ford GT40. I don’t think these are falsehoods; rather, those cars will remain very expensive to buy until the internal combustion engine ceases to exist. Cars like the Datsun 240Z, on the other hand, are interesting to me because I don’t feel as if the marketplace has given this model a full-throated endorsement, the kind that would keep it a $30,000 car from now until eternity.

The exception, of course, is a survivor-grade Series 1 car. That will likely be an expensive model to buy no matter what, but I don’t think it’s going to remain a case of a rising tide lifting all boats. They simply made too many of them down the line, so the 280Z and the later 240Z’s will likely remain attainable for mere mortals for some time to come – and that’s a good thing for most of us, save for the few individuals who spent crazy money on one over the last two years. The black interior of this 240Z is in excellent condition for an unrestored car and white over black is always a tempting combination.

Unlike many dealers these days, the seller has actually done some work in advance of the sale to get the 240Z ready for its next owner. This includes new tires, brakes, battery, clutch, and a “major service” to get it running. The carburetors have also clearly been changed and the seller is including the original SUs in the sale. Overall, this 240Z looks quite clean inside and out, and aside from some corrosion in the battery tray area, the seller confirms there is no rust to contend with, so it seems like bodywork won’t be much of a factor in bringing this 240Z all the way back to life. Do you think the Z car has peaked or will the best cars continue to rise in value?

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  1. angliagt angliagtMember

    These were bargains for years.You could’ve picked a
    decent one up for about $3500 not that long ago.
    The ’73’s are the least desireable of the 240’s,with those
    front bumpers & emission equipment.

    Like 4
  2. bobhess bobhessMember

    Worn out door seals with paint on them. Might check the body out real good before jumping on this one. That particular carb change gets you nothing in terms of performance or ease of tuning.

    Like 8
  3. Ed VT

    Gone. $17k

    Like 2

    Sold for $17,000 Someone got a good deal.

    Like 4
  5. Chris

    I bought my 77 280Z for 1K back in 1996. It’s crazy how these have gone up in values the past few years, the good thing is it’s driving up the aftermarket parts availability.

    Like 0
  6. The Other Chris

    It was obvious this car had a crappy re-paint. I hope the buyer knew that and considered in the price what may (or may not) be hiding under it.

    Like 1
  7. Barry Ervin

    There also was a 260Z, which came in between the 240Z and 280Z.

    Like 6
    • CF

      You are right Barry. At least there was in Australia

      Like 0
    • Pete

      I owned a 74 for a couple of years, carburetors were a known bad issue, the ports leaked badly and needed to be rebuilt after just after 4 years of use. They were OK, but nothing compared to the higher end sports cars of Porsche or Corvette, well the Corvette took a hit after oil embargo too.

      Like 0
  8. Rosetta Kreger

    I think 240Z is a car that will be wanted by many for many years to come .they are one of the cheapest sports car out there that is very desirable by many .I had two and had no problem reselling them .I have a third one now and it’s in such fine shape. I got it from a lady who had parked it in her garage for ten years the garage was better than most homes. He husband was also a collector of cars. Mine is original blue with white interior. My motor has 37k on it and my son’s rebuilt it .40 thousands over stock. Inlarged the exhaust and put headers on it .Bumped up the cam and went through the side drafts. It’s up for sale as of last Friday .

    Like 0

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