Out of the Woods: 1972 Datsun 240Z

1972 Datsun 240Z

The seller of this Datsun claims that he used to be one of us – he used to like 240s. Now he wants to give this bucket of bolts one last chance before hauling it off to the scrap heap. Well, apparently there are some people out there who love Z-cars enough to want to drag this automatic-equipped money pit home. Bidding is currently over $800 with less than a day left here on eBay. I’m guessing it will donate some parts to keep another 240 on the road, but maybe someone will want to restore it? Either way, it’s nice to know that this poor Datsun is out of the woods…


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  1. Alan (Michigan)

    Shaggy Moss seat cover.

    Started life as a green car, and Mother Nature is attempting to return it to that color?

  2. grenade

    I would like to spend a few hours taking pictures of it. It looks awesome in that state.
    If it could only talk. What would it say? Would it tell us about the girls that drove it and the crazy nights of rocking out to 70’s music? Sometimes I wish cars could give us their history. If you look closely enough, sometimes they can. This is a cool thing.

  3. hhaleblian

    If a doctor told me I had one day to live it would be in Rome Ga because it would seem like a year. Badda bing swish.

  4. Paul

    Perfect Parts car! The bumpers, slotted alloy wheels and the wood steering wheel are worth the money all day long not to mention the carburetors ……id buy it if it were closer!

    • JamestownMike

      I must of missed something……..did you see or hear something mentioned about carbs? As it sits, the head and valve cover are in the back hatch.

  5. RoughDiamond

    “I used to be one of you.” Emphasis on “used to be”.

    • JamestownMike

      Wish the seller would explain the “I used to be one of you” comment! Why the change of heart?

  6. JamestownMike

    I love it when a seller threatens taking a car to scrap at current scrap prices of $4 per 100 pounds!?! An automatic car weights 2,401 pounds, which comes to a whopping $96.04. This car is worth A LOT more than $100! It actually looks like a pretty solid and straight car to me!…….but I’d definitely ditch the automatic! It’s refreshing to see a REAL auction with a low $200 starting bid with NO RESERVE! I’d gladly pay the current bid of $810 for this car. I may have to place a bid on this one! I’m in NC, it’s in GA……..not too far.

  7. JamestownMike

    Wonder why Jesse is calling this a money pit??…….especially with the low price. Have you seen current prices on early 240Z’s? Click on the “Related Finds” at the bottom of this page to see what I’m talking about.

    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Staff

      I called it a money pit because it would cost more to restore than it will be worth. That doesn’t mean someone shouldn’t do it, but they should know what they are getting into.

  8. Dolphin Member

    Jesse is right. A money pit….and a time and energy pit too.

    These early Z cars car can rust something fierce. I think there is a reason why the ad doesn’t show anything that would tell you how bad this car really is—no engine bay, no interior other than what you can see through the open window, no hatch area floor, and certainly no underside. Those places are almost certainly all rusty, likely with perforation. The low price and the organic debris on the car tells you it won’t be good in there.

    It’s true that good early Z cars have appreciated and continue to appreciate but that’s really only for good or excellent cars. So have the prices of good original or excellent repro parts. There are much better cars than this for sale now at OK prices to take on as a project.

    • JamestownMike

      All very good points, thanks for chiming in. As much as I’d like an early 240, I guess I’ll pass on this one. However, I don’t think a person could get hurt at a final sale price of $820 (plus transport costs).

  9. grant

    This just makes me sad.

  10. Steven C

    Would dealers put slot mags on these when they were new? It seems like most of these I see have them.

    • Dolphin Member

      The 240Z was so exciting, and cheap (about $3500), and in demand that dealers loaded them up with options, in many cases before the car was even sold, because that increased their profit—-and because they could.

      Sometimes dealers put aluminium wheels on the cars, sometimes customers asked for them as an option because the stock “D” hubcaps on the stock wheels looked too plain, but a lot of early Z cars were delivered to customers with alumimium (“mag”) wheels. I have owned two 1970 240Zs that were delivered to their first owners with mag wheels.

      • Alan (Michigan)

        The slotted mag wheels were so ubiquitous that very few cars were delivered without them. I am imagining a stack of the steelies behind every Datsun dealership. I suppose that a few savvy buyers were aware enough to ask for them as part of the transaction.

        Those mags became the centerpiece of a preparation level protest which raged across several years of the SCCA Solo Nationals in the 80’s. A driver was a front runner in a stock class with a 240, and the wheels were installed on his car. After so much wrangling and protest filing, it was determined that the aluminum wheels were indeed a “Dealer Installed Option”, with dimensions (bead width and offset) that were not within tolerance for a stock class legal accessory. Ahh yes; 30 years ago, and I remember it well.

  11. Danno

    This is what happens, when a 240Z “leaves” the road.

  12. rangeroger

    Well, the auction has ended, so this may be a moot point. In the description the seller says it is “an inline 6 DOHC hauler”. The picture of the valve cover shows as a SOHC, and, as far as I know, they were never DOHC.

    • The Walrus

      Probably a remnant of misunderstanding from someone who is too young to know that OHC was, itself, something unusual, and assumes that OHC and DOHC are synonyms…

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