Fresh Outta The Barn: 1972 Datsun 240Z

1972 Datsun 240Z Barn Find

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This 240Z is claimed to have sat in a barn for 25 years after a head gasket failure. The new owner has done all the work needed to make it a runner again and claims that the engine now runs perfectly. Understandably, the car still has some flaws, but this looks like a great find for Z-car fans! It’s located in Fayetteville, Georgia and is listed here on eBay. The owner mentions that they are cutting this one loose because they already have 22 cars…

All Cleaned Up

After a $400 detail job, it sure looks good! From the looks of it, this could be the original metallic green paint too! There’s some rust in around the rear fenders, but that can be expected with this vintage of 240. The metal was thin and not very well protected, so if you add humidity into the mix, you have a recipe for disaster.

Z Interior

The interior looks great too! I can’t find any cracks on the dash and even the seats look like new. The same can’t be said for the paint over there in the door jam though! If someone was really careful, they might be able to remove the doors, repair the paint, and put it all back together without a full respray. The trick will be getting the paint to match though.

Datsun Inline Six

The seller has already had the head reworked, sleeved one cylinder, and replaced the pistons and rings. The engine is claimed to run perfectly now, so I assume the ignition and fuel system were also gone through at that time. The brakes were rebuilt too so it should be ready to go. No mention is made of the suspension though so budget in new bushings and shocks just in case.

Mini Lites

That side trim is ugly, but it helped protect the sides from dings and dents so we can’t complain about it too much. The Mini lite style rims look perfect with the Zs sexy lines. This one may look really good, but with any old car that has been parked in a barn for 25 years, it’s still going to need ongoing attention. I have a feeling that the shiny paint and running engine are driving the bidding here. So be sure to be realistic about what you are really getting into. It could be a lot of fun for the right person, but we would hate to see this Z-car go back into a barn for another 25 years!

Auctions Ending Soon


  1. Paul

    Too much money for not even a series 1 240z … add the rust and paint issues and you have an overpriced barn find. Even ten years ago when Nissan started restoring old Z cars , a finished one was only $40,000 and that came with a warranty.ill pass on this one….

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    • Paul

      Been saving Z cars for 30+ years now, overpriced.

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  2. Luke Fitzgerald

    rubbish – that car is gold – saying that, the rust is the only killer

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  3. DolphinMember

    There are a lot of 240Zs coming out of barns—-and the woodwork too right now. Lots of 240Z wanted ads also. The pause in the megabuck vintage Porsche, etc, market hasn’t affected the early 240Z market because they are still affordable for a lot of people, and early Japanese cars have even developed some appeal that they didn’t start out having among collectors.

    The highest known sale price paid for a US-market 240Z was $52K, and another one on Ebay was bid to $58K but didn’t make the reserve. Early Z-cars in Japan are selling for even more, but have different (higher) specs.

    This car looks pretty good, but that ugly rust-through over the rear wheel says there’s bodywork and paint in this car’s future. There are so many of these for sale now that I would rather pass on this one as it climbs up beyond $17K and look for one that doesn’t need serious bodywork and is a ’70 or ’71. It would be worth paying a premium for a good first-year car with a low serial number because, as usual, those are the ones that will keep appreciating the most. But this car will still be worth fixing even though it’s a ’72. Coming out of a barn like that is a plus because it looks like it hasn’t been molested.

    Good early Z cars are in demand enough that people have been reproducing scarce interior and other parts to replace degraded / broken / missing parts, especially plastic ones that are necessary for a perfect restoration. When people build molds or set up 3-D printing for scarce parts like that you know the upward movement of the early Z-cars in the market is for real.

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  4. angliagt

    I think I’m getting the new math –

    eBay = kiss any chance of getting a desirable car for a cheap price

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    • DEC

      There would be no flippers in business if that were true. They are buying them somewhere else and selling on eBay.

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      • Keith

        This is true, but not just for flippers. When i do sell a car after i finish it, I try the old CL route or some of the other sites first (recycler, etc). Thing is that
        1) people looking to buy on those sites are wanting a 50%+ discount of whatever your asking price is, and
        2) you’re only reaching your local market.

        Ebay gets you access to the people with money (aka: foreigners). 90% of all the cars I’ve ever sold are via Ebay and go to either Europe, South America, or Australia.

        Conversely, when I’m on the buying side, I’ve only ever bought 1 car on Ebay.

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  5. Jesper

    17,400$ for rusty Datsun?
    Hmmrff. No..

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  6. Eric Dashman

    $18,500 now. Looking at the rust on the wheel arch, the peeling paint is very thick, almost as if it were already bondo’ed and resprayed, although none of the pictures showed any overspray. I’m not sure why the engine work cost $3500. That seems like a lot of money for internal components and a cylinder sleeve. Must have been some heavy labor and machine shop charges! Nice buffing job, but I’d say that this is a $10K vehicle in its present state. I love the early 240s and would jump at a chance for a reasonable one.

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  7. John

    If it’s finish were absolutely flawless, it would still be an early 70s Japanese car. They all had metallurgical issues. Simply put, they dissolved in water. Perhaps if this one were to go to Arizona and be gone through stem to stern with rustproofing it might have a chance. Anywhere else, it’ll melt.

    Pity though, it’s a beautiful car. Bids are over 20K. Lotsa other people think it’s beautiful, too. I hope they live in Phoenix.

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  8. David Mann

    You’ll be saying Hmmrf.No when these cars go out the roof.If the z was italian it would be 2,500,000. Check the 2000 gt and the skylines. The 240’s time is coming

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    • Paul

      The 2000gt and the desireable body styled skylines were not mass produced cars, you are comparing yugo’s to ferrari’s…The 240z will become more desireable of course but not ever over 40k anytime in the next 50 years im sure of.

      You never really know though what car is going to become valuable or not. Last year when I went to sell my Bitter SC Coupe, I thought I was going to get rich, Think again….

      Even though it looks like an old Ferrari, it is not worth the cash like the similar bodied Ferrari is……..apples to oranges.

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  9. Chris A.

    Now lets see, buy a rusted “Z”, strip off all the body panels, repair the innards and mount a replica fiberglass Ferrari GTO body. Never worry about rust again. I’ve always thought of the “Z” as a Japanese 6 cylinder Fiat. Back in the day a new one sure was fun to drive if you were ready for the front end lift at speed. This one is worth renovating, but not north of $20K.

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  10. Tom Driscoll

    Have you guys noticed what turbo 300zx and celica’s are bringing? These Japanese cars are quite hot at the moment!

    Like 0

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