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Japanese Classic: 1970 Datsun 240Z

The small Japanese sports car that caught America’s heart have been successful in racing and are an absolute joy on the streets. It is no secret that values on classic Japanese cars are on the rise, and the Datsun Z car is a forerunner in that appreciation. Prices have steadily risen the past few years where original examples like this 1969 build date car are being offered for big money. Certainly steep, this 1970 240 Z is offered for a whopping $65,000! Check it out here on craigslist out of Ridgecrest, California. Thanks to BarnFinds reader Michael for sharing this big money find!

Having covered 117,000 miles in its lifetime, this Z car is particularly clean for its not so low mileage. The original owner was a Datsun Service Rep, so maintenance and service was kept up for this Z car. A dual point distributor has been added, with a few other small items. When it comes to a car like this, the devil is in the details. Big money cars are almost always as original as possible with no modifications whatsoever, and low miles. The engine compartment is incredibly clean, and many if not all of the hoses and other fine details are Datsun specific parts. The oil cap, painted valve cover, and removed air filter housing are all points against this car, but in reality mean little to nothing to change and make correct. One interesting thing to point out is that the engine identification plate is shown removed from the car in the photos, which raises a question. Why was it removed, and were the correct rivets used to install it once again?

If you have ever owned a Z car, currently own a Z car, or have a friend who owns a Z car, then you know that dashboards are worth their weight in gold. The dash pad seen above makes me hesitant, as original uncracked dashboards are slim to none. The aftermarket realm has started to catch up with the need of enthusiasts offering reproduction dashes, but they can be pricey. The seats are also wearing covers which make me curious about the condition. Amidst the covers there are several dash plaques stuck onto the dash and glove box. Hopefully they can be carefully removed with no damage caused to the dash or glove box. Again originality is key with a big dollar car.

One incredible factor about this Z car is that it appears to be 100% rust free, and straight as an arrow. The seller claims the paint to be original, which is certainly a possibility. There are light swirl marks and “orange peel” in the paint, and there is dirt around the exterior emblems. Another odd thing is that some of the pictures show “Fairlady” emblems on the car which are incorrect, while some show the standard Datsun emblems. The bright work is in nice shape, and even the earlier style trunk lid vents are in awesome condition. While this is a very nice example, what do you think of the price of this Japanese classic?


  1. RicK

    WOW – $65K!? Back in the early 80s a guy could buy a presentable decent runner early 240Z for $1000-1500. Guess I shoulda filled my garage. I recall that Hot Rod magazine built a 240Z/28 around ’72 or so, installed the 302/4speed out of a Z/28 Camaro, anyhow when they were finished that 240Z ran mid 10s/140 mph in the quarter mile (unmodified early 240Z only weighed in at something like 2300 lbs)

    Like 3
    • Beatlepat

      I read that article way back then. It was a conversion called the Scarab.

      Like 3
  2. Bongo

    Is that 6500 no way is someone asking 65000 for one of these. I had one in the 70s they are a electrical nightmare. Any way some one is dreaming big with a price like this.

    Like 0
  3. Rex Rice

    1970 was the best year for the Z. Low weight, little anti-pollution junk affecting the engine performance made for a fun driver. But $65,000??? Buy about anything else.

    Like 9
  4. Classic Steel

    Wowsa over priced car!

    It’s only 30 k over for nice car but the
    removal of plate is crazy for sure.. did it get sent out to to get dry cleaned?

    Like 10
  5. Sparkster

    Over priced And its GREEN You’d think for $65,000 they would have replaced the dash pad.

    Like 5
  6. Bocatrip

    Way too much.

    Like 7
  7. Pat

    That’s one optimistic seller.

    Like 10
  8. Dolphin Member

    As you might guess, this car has been for sale for a while. It was for sale on CL in 2015 for $90K, with no takers.

    One big problem for the car, that many Z car fans will probably recognize, is the fact that although the seller says the car was manufactured in 11/69, it wasn’t. This car, VIN HLS-003176, was actually manufactured in 4/70, making it less valuable (based on the VIN) than it would be if it had been manufactured in 1969.

    I owned VIN 3778 and the build date stamped on the driver’s door data plate was 4/70. I also have photos of the data plates for VIN 3098 and VIN 3177 (Z car fanatics collect these things…), and both of those cars also have build dates of 4/70 stamped on their data plates.

    So it is certain that this car was not built in 1969. If it had been built in ’69 that would make it very desirable to many Z car fans.

    What’s worse, the driver’s door jamb data plate with the build date stamp is not shown in this car’s ad. What is shown is the engine bay data plate (removed from the car), and it has been incorrectly stamped with a false build date of 11/69 in a place that no correct Z car engine bay data plate has any stamping— the lower left corner where the label “CAR NO.” is printed in black letters. So it looks like someone has incorrectly stamped “11.69” there, perhaps to make potential buyers believe it was manufactured in 11/69.

    Too bad, because this looks like it’s probably a pretty decent early Z car. But you would want to see the floors and underside before you could be sure, and photos of those areas are not included.

    These very early Z cars can get sold for big money these days, but like others who have commented here, I don’t think this one is worth the asking.

    Like 18
    • Pat

      Good point, and the font of the 11.69 doesn’t match the other 1’s and 6’s. This seller is starting to smell…

      Like 3
      • Johnny Joseph

        Gotta be that he fat fingered the key pad and put an extra zero on! With all of the questionable things, this is one of those that gives buying a used car a bad name. I sold cars for 25+ years and there’s literally nothing you can say or do to a dealer to insult them. I’ve seen every kind of low down, dirty scam imaginable. It’s why I got out of the business. I could not, in good conscience, put some young couple in a piece of junk that was going to be a money pit for the next 5-7 years.
        How about throwing a potential buyers keys on the roof of the building for “wasting our time with a test drive and a lot of questions and then not wanting to buy”? Seen it. Trust me, you can NOT insult them. Offer him $500. Tell him the $6,500 is too high. You will have a good laugh and maybe a story to boot.

        Like 3
  9. Rod eaton

    The guy needs to buy my 70. Z
    Stock wheels , hub caps , metal
    Datsun emblems , Ash try and
    Clean glove box door to make it
    A $65,000 240z.

    Like 1
  10. Sparkster

    Furthermore the ad says it was manufactured in 11/69 but not sold until June 1970 , These were VERY hot sellers back in 1970, NO way in hell this car stayed on a car lot for 6 months if not longer. As most of you have noticed the “stamping” doesn’t match the factory stamping pressure, looks to be done by a hand type stamp.

    Like 3
    • Miguel

      It did have to have to to get to the US from Japan, but I get your point.

      Like 1
  11. angliagt angliagt Member

    A few other things – Fairladys were RHD,
    & what’s up with that aftermarket tach? Also not
    registered in CA – not sure what state those plates
    are from.
    I think it’d be really funny if the CHP paid him
    a visit,to investigate the ID plate.

    Like 3
    • Miguel

      That is a 1970 Colorado plate that is probably not registered to the car.

      The data plates does seem odd as the 11.69 are the only numbers that indented the plate.

      The other numbers are flat.

      I have had a few of these as well and I would never pay that kind of money for it. They just aren’t that nice of a car nor do they drive that well. Not 65K well.

      Also look at the VIN on the dash. One side is held on with a Phillips screw and the other with a rivet. I don’t think that was factory either.

      Like 0
  12. Keith

    65k? Oh H$LL Naw!

    Like 1
  13. Jay

    Very questionable car with a very thorough detail job. Run Away.

    Like 1
  14. cyclemikey

    No appraiser in the world would recommend this car on a PPI, given the data and VIN plate irregularities. You might have trouble at the DMV as well, depending on what state you try to register it in.

    Ya gotta love the shenanigans on Craigslist.

    Like 3
  15. Dave T

    Just another case of some seller watching too many classic car auctions on TV.

    Like 1
  16. skibum2

    Hahahahahahahahahah… 65K?.. do I look that stupid..

    Like 2
  17. Rod K.

    Buyer, beware on this one — at even $30K. Too many sketchy details that cloud the true history on this Z car — too bad, because the condition looks good for the age.

    Like 1
  18. Dallas

    No, not even at $30k. Needs dash, seats… and a correct VIN tag to start with…

    Like 0

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