Fairlady Survivor: 1974 Datsun 260Z

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The seller of this 1974 Datsun 260Z acquired it from a friend and longtime owner of the car. With the second owner since 1981, it sat parked in a pole barn for the last several decades with no plan for preservation other than to keep it off the roads. The paint shows some wear and tear but the bulk of the exterior remains presentable and the cabin is mint. Find it here on eBay with bidding approaching $5K. 

The seller speculates that the limited run of 260Zs, sandwiched between the most desirable early 240Z and the later 280Z, makes a car like this quite desirable. I won’t say that a survivor-grade 260Z isn’t desirable, but the sheer volume of cars made and the obvious affection among enthusiasts for the earlier examples hasn’t helped the 260 models appreciate like the oldest ones.

This 260Z does have a lot going for it, however, most notable the interior which is in stunning condition. If you’re looking for a 240Z/260Z project, be sure to check out our recent Barn Finds Exclusive for four Z-car projects that need rescuing in Georgia. I will say, not one of those cars has an interior like this one!

I dig the rear window louvers and old-school Oregon plates, which helps validate just how long this 260 has been off the road. The burnt orange paint and dark chestnut interior is a great combination, and I hope the next owner simply gets the car running reliably without touching the perfectly aged cosmetics.

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  1. Howard A. Howard AMember

    I think it’s a bit odd 2, 260Z’s would show up here. It was a one year car and most rusted to bits. The seller is clearly trying to cash in on that one year thing, this one looks pretty tired, especially underneath. Clutch leaking, rusted lines, someone drove the heck out of this car. Nice 280’s can be had for this, and after looking a bit, it seems the best deals are on 280Z’s or ZX. I think they sold the most of those. After seeing what’s out there, I think the blue one is a better deal. Not sure why this one is fetching double. Shill, perhaps?

    Like 1
  2. h5mind

    I had one of these in “Fade Away Silver” and can vouch enthusiastically for their ability to rust. I would not consider the 260 as desirable- it’s slower and heavier than the 240Z it replaced but not as 80’s funkadelic as the subsequent 280ZX.

    Like 1
  3. FordGuy1972 Fordguy1972Member

    “perfectly aged cosmetics?” Sorry, Jeff, I’m not with you on that. The bodywork has too many dents and dings, the paint is worn/sunbaked and the trim is worn and tired. This car needs a paint job and the trim should be restored or replaced. The car overall looks promising as it appears to be rust free and the interior is quite nice but the exterior gives the impression of a worn-out beater. Given that there probably will be some mechanical freshening-up needed as well, I wouldn’t be too keen on throwing too much money down to own this particular 260Z. I’d want it at bargain price. But that’s just me, others may feel it deserves a premium price as-is.

    Kudos to the seller for his write-up. He’s trying to give the impression he’s offering you the automotive Holy Grail but the 260Zs just aren’t as good as the before and after models.

    Like 2
  4. Miguel

    I have never had anybody refer to the 260 as desirable.

    It seemed like Nissan was experimenting on this car to see what worked for the 1975 280 model.

    Most of what they did, did not work.

    Like 1
  5. Tom Justice

    Wasn’t there some sort of engine issue with the 260? All you in the know care to comment?

    Like 0
    • Eric Friedman

      260Z’s had a problem with vapor lock.

      Like 0
    • Oddimotive Cason Oddimotive CasonMember

      Some combination of the flat top Hitachi carbs and other emmisions bits resulted in a lot of vapor lock problems – basically meaning difficulty starting when hot. For the record, the 1973 240Z had most of the same problems without the extra displacement of the 260! Anyway, you’ll see a lot of carb-swapped 260s with emissions equipment (air pump) removed.

      Like 1
  6. Mountainwoodie

    I think the 260 has been voted off the island.

    Like 0
  7. Chuck

    This is a late 74 model as seen with its park lamp/signal located in the front grill. The early 74 had them below the bumper.

    Like 0
  8. Jay Dub

    The 260Z was a 1 year model because it was such a dog. Emission regs we’re choking the 73 240Z so they increased engine size and decreased compression but it was still the slowest first gen Z. Then add more weight with the big bumpers to slow it down even more.

    Like 1
  9. FairladyBO

    No body has a clue. This is a RARE car. Pre emission and the only year with big bumper. Not “desirable” only means you can’t appreciate how RARE this model is. There may be fewer of these than series 1 240zs. Beautiful car and original! You aren’t buying a 240z for performance or you would buy the 280z or later. It’s about nostalgia and rarity. Great car!

    Like 0
  10. Dean

    The 260 was essentially the same car as the 73 240. The year had two variations. Up to 7/74 had the small bumpers and the later had the notorious park benches that followed into the 280 series. All drivability issues were from the terrible emissions era “flat top” carbs that were also used on the 73 240. Change those and the car had the same bullet proof reliability and drivability as the earlier cars.

    Like 1
  11. R.Spaide

    If you stopped the coolant lines that ran through the carberators they ran as good as a 250.

    Like 0

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