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Bored Restoring: 1973 Datsun 240Z

While you can rationalize getting burned out on a ho-hum project, it’s harder to understand hitting a wall on a car that is considered a desirable specimen by most enthusiasts. A 1973 Datsun 240Z that isn’t a rust bucket and that has a running drivetrain would be the kind of classic car you’d normally find easy to press forward on, but the seller of this example listed here on eBay sounds like he’s ready to move on. Bidding is at $9,400 with the reserve unmet.

The 240Z looks super sharp in what the seller calls an original color known as Lime. What’s harder to deduct is whether it’s been repainted in its original color, or if this is the paint the Z left the factory with. Regardless, it’s a great shade, and among Z enthusiasts, it’s quite desirable. The smaller bumpers of the earlier cars are light-years better looking than the later models that got slapped with the ugly safety-oriented bumpers. I don’t love the wheels but it does give off a slight rat-rod vibe.

The interior is a trip and indicates some restoration work has taken place inside. Those orange buckets have most likely been reupholstered and the three-spoke steering wheel is a period-correct upgrade. The dash doesn’t even appear to be cracked which is a rarity among almost any generation of Z car. The door panels are in good shape and the carpet looks like it has been replaced. Overall, there’s not much to fault inside the car.

Rust is a big concern when shopping for Nissan’s iconic sports car, and this one appears to be structurally sound in photos. We don’t have a ton of pictures to verify the condition underneath but what we can see is encouraging. The seller indicates the car needs some further carb tuning, noting “….the Weber carbs when hot get stuck when driving.” Hard to believe another weekend under the hood wouldn’t get this 240Z sorted out, but sometimes, you just have enough. Would that be enough for you to throw in the towel?


  1. alphasud Member

    Looks like the seller has removed the reserve. Love the car and agree spend a weekend sorting the carbs and just enjoy it! I was so glad I made my Corvair Corsa a nice driver before I decided to take it apart to restore. That gave the the desire to move ahead with the restoration. Getting board or burned out on a project can get to the best of us.

    Like 7
    • Big Bill

      I worked in the parts department of a Datsun dealership in 1973 they had a lot of problems with the carburetor’s from the get go on the 240Z vapor lock I can’t remember now the factory sent the dealership some sorta kit to wrap the fuel lines didn’t help. It had something to do with new pollution laws the government mandated.

      Like 2
      • JasonV

        That was indeed true for the ‘73s with the stock “flat top” SU carbs. The pre-‘73 cars did not have such issues. This one however, appears to have been converted to Webers.

        Like 1
  2. Chuck

    Nice but the orange buckets don’t work for me with the exterior color.

    Like 15
    • Clay

      Agreed. Should have stuck with the factory black vinyl. Still, this would be an easy (looking) project. I had one once and I still miss it.

      Like 2
    • John B. Traylor

      Just what I was about to say, what a horrible color combo.

      Like 3
  3. Dr Ron

    Beautiful everywhere except that rust hole in a front frame box frame rail…
    Once there’s an entry point for water, the insides of those boxed areas turn to rusty mush and if you’re lucky, the engine drops out before the front suspension collapses at speed.
    Ive experienced the former and have seen the latter.
    After my engine mounts lost their support and were extensively repaired in our shop, all iterations of 1970’s Z cars that came into the body shop went up on the lift and we would poke and prod that area with screwdrivers and ice picks to see how much Swiss cheese we could make.
    About the only ones that passed that test had been garage queens that never saw winter or rain for that matter and Arizona or New Mexico cars.
    I have to give credit to the seller for showing that photo but that small hole probably got them thinking about selling…
    Repairs aren’t impossible but can be very costly.

    Like 5
  4. Bama

    I’m partially color blind, but even I can see orange seats don’t go with that exterior color! Black or brown, but not orange!

    Like 5
  5. Tony C

    Throw in the towel just because of a finicky carburetor?? I can’t fathom that myself, especially with the one Z-Car series that holds its status above them all. My mother used to have a ’71 model, with which she put many muscle-cars to shame; and, she held onto that car even when it went through enough punishment to put seven others in junkyards. This is one of the few Japanese cars I actually have respect for.

    Besides, a finicky carburetor is child’s play for anyone who has any degree of gearheads skills above newbie. I brought back a far more complex car from the dead and dealt with numerous mechanical (though never structural) headaches, and it still is going and turning heads anywhere it goes. If I had the real estate and the resources, I’d likely add this car to my collection.

    Like 2
  6. Tim Foote

    Why would anyone install Orange Seats, in a Line Green Car? 🥴

    Like 3
  7. Tim Foote

    Why would anyone install Orange Seats, in a Lime Green Car? 🥴

    Like 3

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