Package Deal: Trio of 1970s Z Cars

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Nissan followed up with the successful Datsun Fairlady roadster (or Sports in the USA) with the Fairlady Z, a small enclosed coupe that won the hearts of Western buyers. Better known in the States as the 240Z, 260Z, and 280Z, they helped cement Japanese footing on these shores. The seller has three of these once-hot little autos languishing in Paintsville, Kentucky and they may represent an assortment of parts cars as opposed to restoration candidates. The trio is offered as a package deal for $3,800 (trades considered) here on Facebook Marketplace. Thanks, JMB#7, for the tip on this small stash.

In the 1970s, Nissan products were sold as Datsun’s in the U.S. (which continued through 1986). The first generation of the Z’s (also known as S30s) was named for the successive displacements of the cars’ engines, 2.4-liters, 2.6-liters, and 2.8-liters. Iteration #1 arrived in late 1969 for the 1970 model year and remained in production through the end of calendar 1973. About 160,000 of the 240Zs were sold in the U.S., the car’s primary export market. Those little buggers had a top speed of 125 mpg and could be had for $3,500 new back in the day.

In 1974, the 260Z was born, and – while the engine was bigger – detuning for U.S. emissions standards decreased the horsepower rating. Overall the car looked quite similar but improved over its predecessor in terms of chassis design. It would prove to be a one-year wonder in the U.S. as the 280Z followed quickly behind. Between the 260Z and 280Z, Nissan sold another 360,000 copies globally. Here’s what we know about the seller’s three cars:

1972 Datsun 240Z (white)

While the machine has its numbers-matching engine (laying in front) and a 4-speed manual, the car overall is “pretty rotted” (according to the seller) and is the only one of the three to have a title.

1975 (?) Datsun 260Z (primer red)

Other than some salvageable parts and the interior, the seller shows little optimism for this car and its lack of a title.

1978 Datsun 280Z (blue)

The driver’s side door is missing, it comes with a louvered back window, and also has some decent parts and an interior to harvest.

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  1. angliagt angliagtMember

    As to the blue one,it says that the driver’s door is missing,
    but it’s there in the picture.The only one possibly restoreable.The
    others look like parts cars.

    Like 3
  2. Harvey HarveyMember

    Junkyard trifecta:-)

    Like 3
  3. AMCFAN (since 2011)

    For those living under a rock this deal offers more than meets the eye. These were cheap and could be had as recent as 5-6 years ago.

    Nice cars are bring record prices with what seems like no end in site. It’s young guys under 40 driving the interest. Dragging these out of the woods is a result. No different than junkyard Camaros and Mopars. When the nice ones peak so does everything else.

    It makes this offering very interesting as projects for wide body or modified drift bombs. The parts alone are very attractive. Because it isn’t your thing turn the page and go on. There are others in line

    Like 3
  4. Maggy

    The last one I worked on was in the late 80’s and had to replace the turbo on it.I forget what model year it was.Had an inline 6. Nice looking car with that long hood.

    Like 2
  5. Harvey HarveyMember

    Still see junk.

    Like 4
  6. Robby

    The 260Z was only available in 1974.

    Like 0
  7. Eric

    I’d be way more interested in the Chevy Monza sitting by the blue one

    Like 0
  8. Robby C

    The 260Z was only available in 1974.

    Like 0
    • Michael Freeman Michael T. FreemanMember

      If it had bumpers, which I don’t see it may be a 74 1/2 and he thinks it’s a 75. I had an early 74 and they had the original looking 70-73 style bumpers(the thin ones) but with those god-awful looking 5 mph bumper extensions/absorbers. Mid-year they got the 75’s bumpers and used those through 78. Has no title so he doesn’t know.

      Like 1
      • JMB#7

        VIN # would clear up these questions. I just glad he is willing to sell these before they get any worse.

        Like 1
  9. Emel

    These look worse than the 280ZX I bought for $900 way back in 1986 or 87.
    And that one came with 2 brand new fenders in boxes I just had to
    bolt on, after removing the rusty ones.

    I did have it eventually body shopped and repainted for like a Grand. And I bought the louvers like the blue one pic’d and it came with the whale’s tail
    spoiler. So was away on vacation for a week or so and came back and
    they had it all put together and repainted metallic Silver. Got lots
    of turned heads + compliments on that ZX.

    Luved that little car, unfortunately the undercarriage of it was really
    bad….but they gave me more for it, on the trade than I paid for it + the
    additional money I put into it. Was around 200k on the mileage and
    that straight 6 motor only required some lifter adjusting once.

    Like 1
  10. JMB#7

    My friend’s dad had several Z-cars. I was fascinated by the fuel injection system and wondered why so few other cars were fuel injected. His third & final Z was a 280ZX. We never felt it was as “pure” as the previous models, but it arrived when we were in highschool so no complaints! While in college it found it’s way into several road rallies, and won the non-computer class once. I believe that my friend finally disclosed this to his dad 35 years post-facto. I turned my attention to Triumphs, BMW, and later an RX7 (Mazda’s answer to the 280-Z). Good times, great memories.

    Like 1
    • Emel

      Was there really much difference with a 1978 280Z & a 1979 280ZX ?
      now maybe with the 240’s or 260’s…….but really with a 280 ?

      Like 1
      • JMB#7

        Yes, the ZX was a wider heavier car. Softer sprung, more prone to squat. In many respects a better daily driver, and a very refined sports car. Many of us just get a little funny when niceties like A/C, PS, PB, PW, cup holders etc get into the mix. Yet how many of us drive a Lotus 7 ?

        Like 1
      • Robby C

        The ZX also had sharper body lines, squared bodywork… boxier bodywork in general. Performance wise – idk

        Like 1

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