No Reserve: 1973 Datsun 240Z

Datsun always denied that they took any inspiration for the 240Z from Jaguar’s iconic E-Type. Like so many people, I have some trouble believing that claim. However, one of the significant advantages that the 240Z held over the Jag was in the area of price. The 240Z might not have possessed quite the performance of the E-Type, but it was distinctly more affordable. The gap is closing because the Datsun has been increasing in value steadily in recent years. This 1973 model will need plenty of restoration work, so take a look and see if it’s a project you would be willing to tackle. It is located in Auburn, Georgia, and has been listed for sale here on eBay. Bidding currently sits at $7,200 in what is a No Reserve auction.

One of the most significant weaknesses of the 240Z was its ability to develop rust. I’ve owned a few Datsuns from this era, and this issue is not solely confined to the 240Z. There were times when I wondered whether the company was sourcing its steel from Alfa Romeo! This car does have rust issues. Its cause has probably been helped because it has spent much of its life in Texas. That hasn’t stopped the tin worm, but it is by no means the worst 240Z that I’ve ever seen. The lower doors have fallen foul of this problem, while there are spots visible on the rear hatch. The owner doesn’t provide any photos of inside the hatch, which is a particularly prone area. He does supply one of the battery tray, and while there is plenty of corrosion, it hasn’t managed to penetrate the steel. He also states that there is rust in the floors, but it isn’t clear how extensive it is. The New Sight Orange paint shows its age, but with the rust repaired and a fresh coat of this color applied, the 240Z should look striking. Beyond those issues, the Datsun does appear to be complete.

The interior of the 240Z is demonstrating all of the issues for which this model is renowned. If it has spent much of its life in the Texas sun, this won’t have helped its cause. It will require a complete restoration, but the majority of the trim items are readily available. One of the few items that can cause restorers grief is the quilted vinyl along the sides of the transmission tunnel. This can be hard to find, but the vinyl in this car looks to be in good condition. Every piece of upholstery will need to be replaced, as will the foam on the seats. The dash cap has a cover over it, so we can only guess what things look like below that. The wheel has deteriorated, while the same is true of many of the plastic components. The shopping list will be a long one, but there could be a silver lining here. You will notice a lot of Zed cars in the background. This vehicle is being offered for sale by a company that specializes in the restoration of these classics. That means that there is a chance that the buyer might be able to source a few parts before they take this one home. Alternatively, they could hand the seller a wad of cash and take it away fully restored.

Under the hood of the 240Z, we find the 2,393cc 6-cylinder engine that gave the car its name. This should produce 151hp, which finds its way to the rear wheels via a 4-speed manual transmission. This combination would allow the vehicle to gallop through the ¼ mile in 16.6 seconds. That figure is not likely to threaten a muscle car. However, I know which I would prefer to be driving on a winding piece of bitumen. With 4-wheel independent suspension, the 240Z managed to combine a compliant ride with tenacious levels of grip. When life got twisting, these classics came into their own. The good news here is that this car is in sound mechanical health. The owner recently treated the Datsun to a new fuel pump, along with a new starter, a cap, and a rotor. A tune-up was performed, and the car is said to now run and drive.

As the 1970s progressed, the 240Z started to fade into obscurity as its larger and more powerful siblings like the 260Z and 280Z emerged. However, they have begun to come into their own as the motoring public has recognized how engaging they are to drive. This one will need some work. However, the fact that there have been 19 bids on the car to this point suggests that there are a few people who can see its potential. Would you take it on?

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Comments

  1. phil1 Member

    If this is being sold by a company that restores these,one has to wonder what is catastrophically wrong with it if they don’t want to deal with it !

    Like 12
    • Joseph vencill

      I bought this on eBay last year, and drove from Ohio to Georgia and the thing was a rust bucket, they did a hack job on covering up rust, and the gas tank was not even hooked up. I left there not buying it, the “business”owners are 2 college kids

      Like 1
    • Joseph vencill

      The place where the spare tire sits is also rusted pretty bad. But they don’t have a picture of it

      Like 1
    • Jus sayin

      Fishing for a buyer ahead of time might be all that’s about. Hook em at the front and then up sell them on options along the way is how some shops do it

    • Mountainwoodie

      My initial thought! Hmmmmm………Kicked out of Z Purgatory!

      Like 2
    • JEFF S.

      Run Forrest, Run!!!

      Like 4
    • Ten50boy

      I have a Z…… you’re absolutely right….. this one has to be a complete basket case for them to sell this way…….too much lost profit if it isn’t…….

      Like 3
    • Max McCroskey

      Hello, I’m the company that is currently listing this car. There is nothing catastrophically wrong with the car, I think it’s fairly clear to see that it’s a decent starting point. Our company specializes in the restoration and sales of these cars. If you see the other pictures in the ad you can see that we have many Z cars on our site, as much as we would want to restore all of them it’s just not feasible, so we sell them as well. We typically find these cars neglected but complete and give it a minor refresh to get it back to running and driving condition with new parts, this makes it easier for another enthusiast to start on. If you have anymore questions feel free to reach out to us on eBay or on our site, resurrectedclassics.net. Thanks!

    • Max Mccroskey

      Hello, I’m the company that is currently listing this car. There is nothing catastrophically wrong with the car, I think it’s fairly clear to see that it’s a decent starting point. Our company specializes in the restoration and sales of these cars. If you see the other pictures in the ad you can see that we have many Z cars on our site, as much as we would want to restore all of them it’s just not feasible, so we sell them as well. We typically find these cars neglected but complete and give it a minor refresh to get it back to running and driving condition with new parts, this makes it easier for another enthusiast to start on. If you have anymore questions feel free to reach out to us on eBay or on our site, Thanks!

  2. Jus sayin

    Fishing for a buyer ahead of time might be all that’s about. Hook em at the beginning of the process and up sell options along the way is how some do it.

  3. Mohammed

    It looks very nice and alot of work to be done. In SA one would expect to pay around 15k for a vehicle in this sort of condition. But then it is a 240z…

  4. Jjay m

    these cars are very collectible, but people do oversell them in this condition..i recently bought a 1977 280 z, in better condition than that one, and it came with a rotted out 77, with many good spare parts, as well as another engine, and drive train..paid 4k for both…just saying

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