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No Reserve Driver: 1971 Datsun 240Z Series 1

Japanese manufacturers developed a reputation during the 1960s for creating solid and reliable cars featuring excellent build quality and impressive fuel consumption figures. However, companies like Datsun wished to push the envelope with cars providing motoring excitement. One of the products of this thinking was its Z-Car models. This 1971 240Z Series 1 is an example of that philosophy. It is a solid, clean, dry-climate classic that runs and drives well. It needs a new home, with the seller listing the Datsun here on eBay in Pacoima, California. Bidding has raced to $10,200 in a No Reserve auction. The listing is approaching its conclusion, so you may need to act fast to park this gem in your driveway.

The 240Z first appeared in North American showrooms in 1970, and many drew immediate comparisons with Jaguar’s legendary E-Type. This was understandable because both shared similar styling attributes and a six-cylinder powerplant under the hood. The 240Z received an update in mid-1971, bringing subtle styling changes. This car pre-dates the changes, making it a more desirable Series 1 machine. However, it has undergone a few changes that purists may choose to reverse to return the car to its former glory. The seller admits that the Green paint gracing its panels isn’t original. They state it originally wore Orange, and a check of the company’s color charts suggests it would have been a shade called New Sight Orange. It can be seen peaking through in a couple of places, making the idea of stripping the panels and returning it to its original form look pretty attractive. That would provide an opportunity to tackle the few minor panel bumps and marks, but the reassuring news is that life in a dry climate has left this Datusn rust-free. The trim is in acceptable condition for a driver-grade restoration, and there are no visible glass issues.

This Datsun’s interior is begging for love but is serviceable in its current form. New Sight Orange paint brought Black vinyl trim as a default, although White was available for a limited time in 1972. The seats are in good order, as is the desirable “quilted” vinyl that is often prone to physical damage. The wheel and door trims show deterioration, and the seller confirms the cover hides the typical collection of pad cracks. Addressing this defect could be one of the most expensive single items, depending on the new owner’s desire for originality. Reproduction pads retail for around $800, but a restored genuine replacement will lighten the new owner’s wallet by an eye-watering $2,000! The remaining plastic has survived remarkably well, and the carpet is new.

I have always considered Datsun’s L-Series engine range to be one of the unsung heroes of the motoring world. These OHC powerplants feature double valve springs and dual-row timing chains as standard, with many also scoring steel crankshafts. I have seen these engines clock over 300,000 miles with little more than routine maintenance. Their only weaknesses are valve stem seals that can become hard over time, and the timing chain can stretch and rattle with age. However, addressing those problems, should they occur, is easy and inexpensive. The L-Series in this car is the 2,393cc six that sends 151hp and 146 ft/lbs of torque to the rear wheels via a four-speed manual transmission. The company developed the 240Z as a genuine sports car with four-wheel independent suspension and highly effective power front disc brakes. The ¼-mile ET of 16.5 seconds isn’t spectacular, but these cars spring to life and offer a rewarding driving experience when pointed at a twisting ribbon of tarmac. The seller states that they recently replaced the master cylinders for the brakes and clutch and that this gem is in excellent mechanical health. It runs and drives perfectly, with no issues or vices.

This 1971 Datsun 240Z Series 1 won’t appeal to everyone, but no classic car does. However, it is ideal for enthusiasts seeking a vehicle that perfectly combines good looks with driving fun. The fact it is an early example enhances its desirability, which is confirmed by the thirty-six bids submitted at the time of writing. It is almost set to find a new home, but would you like to make it yours?


  1. Tony Orcutt

    If I could I would , Real nice car even with the aluminum slots ,
    And the interior not blue LOL

    Like 1
    • Steve R

      There were so many 240z’s with slot mags when they were new they looked natural. You rarely saw one without. They don’t diminish from their lines at all.

      Steve R

      Like 12
      • bobhess bobhess Member

        The slotted mags, along with the libres were everywhere. Both even wound up on our race car when it was built in ’73. One set for dry track, one set for rain.

        Like 6

    I love the 240z/260z from the early to mid 70’s, they’re beautiful cars with the driving experience to back it up. I honestly don’t think I’d change the paint back to orange, the green this one is wearing looks fantastic. But I’d definitely repair or replace the worn out interior and cracked dash, I can’t stand looking at sagging door cards and a dashboard that looks like dried mud. And since I’m a power monger I’d see if I could get another 50 horsepower out of that glorious straight six with lumpier cams, bigger valves and a free flowing exhaust. And then I’d drive it everywhere and show it off as often as possible.

    Like 11
    • Fred

      Replace the dual carbs with three twin throat webers too.

      Like 0
      • GIJOOOE

        Oh man, can you imagine how fantastic that straight six would sound with triple Webers and a high performance exhaust?

        Like 0
  3. Tony C

    As Tony Orcutt stated, I would if I could. I have a soft spot for these cars–probably the only Oriental cars I do have a soft spot for–mainly because my mother had one of this year for 2-1/2 decades before selling it. And I even like the color, however non-original. It would go well with Frankenstein, I think.

    Like 2
  4. Eric_13cars Eric_13cars Member

    $12,700 now and with 14 hours left, the typical eBay ‘wait to the last minute’ bids are likely to push this close to $30K.

    Like 2
    • Steve R

      Closing bid was $16,500. The seller left money on the table by ending the auction at 11:00pm PST on a Wednesday night, in January no less. The best time, from a sellers perspective, is to end an auction on a non-holiday Sunday between 6:00-7:00pm PST. This is a nice car for the money, someone got a good deal.

      Steve R

      Like 1
      • BobW

        Most serious bidders on eBay use a sniping service, rendering end times irrelevant

        Like 0
  5. jim

    A guy in town had a 1968 roadrunner built to the hilt and slicks I ran him in the quarter mile with my 1967 GTX 440 4-speed and beat him by a car length He wanted to run again and I beat him again Following year he bought a new 71 240Z and totaled it a week later No more racing for him

    Like 0
  6. Lukin R.

    The Most Beautiful Sports Car Ever. (IMO :) )

    Like 0

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