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Impressive Condition: 1973 Datsun 240Z

The original Z car remains a viable alternative to the likes of the Porsche 911 if you’re shopping in the 70s sports car arena. While values have leveled off slightly, there’s no denying the virtues of a clean early Z car before the bumpers got big and the driving experienced dampened by emissions equipment. The car shown here is a 1973 240Z listed here on eBay as an exceptionally clean example that looks to have been restored – and if it hasn’t, it remains in incredible condition.

Bidding is approaching $30,000 with the reserve unmet, and I’m not surprised we haven’t cleared that barrier yet. This 240Z simply has too much going for it to sell for less than that, from the awesome paint scheme to the gorgeous chrome bumpers to the period-correct front valence. The overall presentation is excellent, and I always applaud owners who keep the stock hubcaps rather than opting to throw on a set of replica Minilites. The factory muffler was aggressive to say the least, and it looks perfect jutting out from beneath the bumper.

Now, when you see the interior, it really does start to seem like this 240Z has been restored. It’s just a little too perfect inside, with upholstery that shows virtually no wear and tear and carpets to match. The paint is also very shiny inside the door jam which suggests to me it’s been resprayed at least once. Still, it seems odd not to mention those details in a listing like this, but whatever the story is, this is an outstanding exterior/interior color combo.

The seller notes that the six-cylinder engine is numbers matching, and that it has been upgraded with round-top SU carburetors. The manual gearbox is also numbers matching, so even if this 240Z has been previously restored, the builder began with an excellent basis for ongoing preservation. The first generation Z car represents an outstanding value compared to a long-hood 911, as you couldn’t touch one of those in restored condition for under $100,000, whereas you can likely buy one of the best non-Series 1 240Zs for well under $65,000. Which would you choose?


  1. Stanley O'Neal

    That’s an aftermarket muffler though popular during period. IMO the Z always looked better than a Porsche and much less costly to maintain.

    Like 6
    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Mortensen Staff

      Better than a 911?

      Like 1
    • Rbig

      I would agree, not knocking Porche but I just have never seen one that did anything for me styling wise. To each their own

      Like 6
  2. carmicheals

    It has been restored – the interior door panels have been redone as they aren’t the factory pattern. The factory carpets were black. The round-top carbs (which were from a ’72 or earlier Z) were a popular retrofit because the factory flat-top Hitachis were notorious for drivability problems. The chin spoiler is aftermarket – also a popular period mod. My father bought HLS30157457 brand new in the same color combo in late ’73 after the first gas crunch. He got a deal on it because it had an automatic transmission and nobody wanted it. The port-installed A/C system was about useless.

    Like 5
  3. JRHaelig

    Back in the day I modded my ’73 with ’70 carbs & intake. Big difference.

    I applied the fiberglass spoiler and buckets when the originals continued to dissolve before my eyes.

    Note the trouble light under the hood. It has a 3 or 4 foot wire coiled up inside to pop off and roam around the engine bay.

    They are a hoot to drive!

    Like 3
    • 8banger 8banger Member

      Yes indeed they are. I love it just for the fact that it’s not rusted to death.

      Like 4
  4. frank denardo

    Nice car. When the Z car came out in 1970. The competition was the Chevrolet Corvette which went for $6000, Jaguar XK-E was $7000, the Porsche 911e was going for $9000, and the Maserati Ghibli price was $15,000. One thing you got from the Nissan Z car is reliability. What they did was build a sports car but without the high price. Car was selling for $3500 which is about $25000 in today’s money.

    Like 8
  5. Derrick

    Ebay posted mileage 176 so I assume 176,000.

    Hopefully the car had regular oil changes because engine rebuild parts are expensive and a complete replacement short block actually looks cheaper and just save the original block.

    I owned a new 260Z bought on the dealer showroom and paid $5200.

    The 260Z had an aggravating no engine start safety seat belt system that locked all the time with a hyperactive inertial locking spindle wheel.

    These cars are fun to drive and zippy but underpowered and don’t handle high speed road curves well.

    I prefer a drive in a Porsche 928S on any day and every day.

    Like 2
    • ChasMan

      Actually, there’s a close up in the pictures (picture no.30) where it shows odo.
      Mileage is 100176. Still a little tricky but what to expect from a used car dealer.

      Like 0
  6. Marques Dean

    Race on Saturday and Sunday, drive to work Monday thru Friday. If you wanted a “working man’s sports car”,the Z was living proof of that. This is a nice looking Z that’ll fetch some money. In recent years with the drifting craze some of them have been turned in restomods.
    One of the first things some owners have done for that is 86 the 2.4,2.6 and 2.8 liter straight six engines and in their place install the Japanese spec SR20DET turbo four cylinder engines. More power with the added benefit of reduced engine weight and fuel injection.

    Like 0
  7. Davelaf2

    I had one a Boeing engineer redid the motor, 72, blew up 2 rear diffs, Frames are not that strong, Japanese tin??
    Still, super cool cars, wish I still had that car, among others

    Like 0
  8. CalypsoDave

    Twice in my life I had the chance to get a Z car. One was a 260, one a 280. Passed on both, but knew the guys who did buy those cars. The 260 was totalled within 6 months by its new owner, the 280 disappeared without a trace one night from the driveway of its new owner less than a month after the deal was struck.

    Like 2
  9. George

    When new there was $10 difference in list price for the Z, the MGB-GT, and the Opel GT. Which would you choose?

    Like 2
  10. George

    When new there was $10 difference in list price for the Z, the MGB-GT, and the Opel GT. Which would you choose?

    Like 1
  11. Giacolino

    Had a 74 1/2 260 2+2 automatic. We owned it until 79. With all the bells and whistles out the door about$7500. What a great car. It out handed my buddies 911t and was so much more civilized for daily driving. What a great car for a time when American cars were crap.

    Like 0
  12. Greg

    If this seller is serious about selling this car he should definitely consider a repaint. Looks like a stolen vehicle color. Nice classic other wise.

    Like 0

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