Diamond in the Rough: 1971 Datsun 240Z

Every now and again, you spot a car listed as part of an estate sale that is absolutely being undersold or under-presented; this is one of those times. Though not a Series 1 car, this is a highly original 1971 Datsun 240Z with stacks of paperwork and seemingly in extremely original condition. The listing is presented here on the EstateSales.org website which, no disrespect intended, conveys a general lack of awareness as to the car or its significance when found in condition like this. The 240Z has a desirable front air dam that is quite hard to find today, and bears the hallmarks of belonging to an enthusiast before his or her passing.

The Datsun is currently bid to $10,600, and that’s jumped quite a bit just since last night. If you’re looking for next best thing to a Series 1 car, it’s a 240Z that was built shortly thereafter, but these cars are quickly rising in value as of late. The 240Z comes with a generous stack of paperwork and receipts, as well as owner’s manuals, brochures, and the original window sticker. One of the receipts specifies previous bodywork to address some isolated rust spots, so there’s a chance this car is a mostly rust-free example. The stickers in the back glass include a Ziebart Protected emblem and two from the American Motorcyclist Association, including their 1986 Legislative Summit.

The interior remains completely original, including the huge, bus-like steering wheel, black vinyl seats, and a hugely desirable crack-free dashboard. The description does report that the Datsun has been repainted, and assuming areas like the door jams and under the hood are original paint, we can assume it was resprayed in its factory colors. The interior will need a strong detailing, but it looks like it will come back to life and present well afterwards. All glass appears to be intact, and a factory radio remains installed in the center stack. Curiously, the listing claims the original mileage cannot be confirmed due to the speedometer needle being in the way of the first number.

The original window sticker remains in mint condition, and there’s a treasure trove of receipts and documentation awaiting the next owner. The Datsun is now located in Fairview, North Carolina, after arriving through the port in Seattle, Washington, and being sold new at Tewell Motors in Union Town, Pennsylvania. That point of sale likely explains why the Datsun had some rust issues to sort out, which the body shop receipt indicates focused on the areas under the driver’s seat, battery, door jambs, and some “rust on the body.” To me, this 240Z just looks like an absolute gem with the sort of papertrail you love to see but so very rarely are fortunate enough to find. Hopefully, one of you gets it.

Like This? Get Our Daily Email


  1. RayT Member

    Even if the seller doesn’t know anything about Z-cars, the bidders must! This looks a pretty attractive prospect, even though it is sure to need a LOT of detail work and massive cleaning before it’s ready for use.

    I’d rather rebuild the brake system than clean up the mold that seems to be growing inside, but it looks like the next owner will get to do both.

    But what a jewel once it’s done!

    Like 10
  2. Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TN Member

    Like Jeff notes, I doubt EstateSales.org primarily deals with cars, though I suspect they do handle them at times. That said, there are many sellers which could learn some basics from them. Lots of pictures, and the description is at least decent, even if they don’t know much about a Z car.

    These were cool cars in their day, I hope it gets cleaned up and running again.

    Like 6
  3. angliagt angliagt Member

    If the bidding doesn’t go much higher,this may
    turn out to be a good deal,providing the new owner can
    do most of the work themselves.
    I hate that moulding on the sides that seemed to be
    so popular back then.

    Like 1
    • Mr.BZ

      Yeah, popular for dealers who would stick it on everything for a few extra bucks. My Z had it too.

      Like 2
  4. Mr.BZ

    I was just shy of 10 when the 240Z first hit the road, and I was instantly smitten. The most beautiful car I had ever seen, and the sound of the OHC-6 was, and still is music to my ears. Hopefully, I’ll have another one soon.

    Like 3
  5. SebastianX1/9

    Estate sales.org sometimes has fantastic cars stashed away as part of a larger sale. I purchased BMW M1 wheels that were on an E21 320i rotting next to a piano from one of their estate sales. I paid hundreds if not thousands less than market value.

    Like 4
  6. G Lo

    I disagree that the sellers don’t appreciate this car and it’s value. The photographer took photos of all the most likely rust spots and that’s the main crux of it. Almost everything else is available in the aftermarket. I suspect this will go for a very good price.

    Like 3
  7. Diane Eckland

    Whats the deal with the statement that the whole car was fiberglassed?
    Any thoughts?

    Like 2
  8. GPAK

    WT? Just trying to work this out ……

    UPDATE* A family member has informed us this morning (3/20) that he believes the entire body of the car has been fiberglassed. We can not confirm this.

    Like 3
    • Bryan

      Dad blame! That would be a chore unto it’s self.

  9. JoeBob

    I suppose if you’re liquidating an estate there’s no desire to put any extra effort into the sale, but I think a better assessment could have been made of that 240Z if someone had taken the time to wash the car, especially considering the fiberglass comment.

    Like 1
  10. onecarshort

    I live near this car and inspected it yesterday. Buyers, be aware of what you’re getting into. This might have solid bones, but will need a complete repaint, rebuilding of all hydraulics, all new bushings, belts and hoses…assuming the engine isn’t seized. The clutch pedal drops nine inches before engaging

    Nice that the dash is original, but the interior overall is toast.

    This is a total restoration project, not something you wash off and drive.

    Like 3
  11. onecarshort

    The idea that the car has been “fiber glassed” is absurd. It’s caked in dust and dirt, grime on the engine stamping numbers, which nobody has bothered to de grease and certify. Probably numbers matching, but in my inspection, who cares. At $10K, it’s already overbid. The new owner will easily spend another $25K to fetch a $25K car.

    That’s my two cents worth.

    Like 3
    • JudoJohn

      That’s my take, too. WAY too much money in new parts needed. It really needs an overhaul of everything- new paint, hoses, rubber, hydraulics, interior, etc.

  12. David G. Revel

    I bought a ‘71 Z in 1981, kept it a year, and sold it so I could buy back my ‘76 Stingray. Don’t kick me too hard when I tell you I signed it away for $5,000. The fastest I ever got it to was 105mph when I literally passed a night shift patrol car. He didn’t catch me, otherwise I probably would have spent a night there in the can as Dwight Yoakam sings.

    Like 1

Leave A Comment

RULES: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks. Don't post your car for sale in the comments. Click here to get it featured on the homepage instead.


Notify me of new comments via email. Or subscribe without commenting.