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Parked for 30 Years: 1970 Datsun 240Z

The “ran when parked” description can be tiresome on cars that clearly had other issues before becoming stationary, but this 1970 Datsun 240Z appears to be a true survivor that hasn’t seen much action since the seller purchased the car from the original owner’s brother. Mileage is unconfirmed but rust is said to be minimal, and the slotted mag wheels are a great look for this vintage Z car. Find it here on eBay with bidding at $10,500 and just over a day left. 

The seller claims the fourth wheel is included, but that ugly steel rim doesn’t detract from this 240Z’s charm. Seemingly clean sheetmetal with minimal rust to contend with, great colors and the far prettier slim chrome bumpers all add up to one of the more desirable era’s of Nissan’s fabled sports car. Shut lines look tidy and glass all appears sound; it’s easy to see with this profile why it was sometimes considered the “Everyman’s E-Type.”

The wonderful cockpit looks as it did when it left the factory, with the thick wood-rimmed steering wheel, aircraft-like instrument binnacle and snick-snick manual transmission. The seller has been exceedingly light on the details (seriously, how do eBay sellers keep getting away with this?) so we’ll just have to imagine that the gearbox and dash lighting works as it should. At least the upholstery seems healthy despite all those years off the road.

Inline sixes are my favorite motors, both for the sounds they make and the reliability they provide. This era of Z-Car – also known as the Series 1 – are the most desirable and typically command the highest prices. The 240Z was the purest expression of Japan’s sweetheart of a sports car, before emissions controls and safety bumpers ruined the party. Though the seller’s lack of information is frustrating, these will always be solid buys in *mostly* rust-free condition like this car.

Comments

  1. Steve R

    Cool car. I’m not surprised to see slot mags on the front, it seemed like every 240z was wearing a set of those during the 1970’s.

    Steve R

    • Steve R

      Sold, $15,100.

      Steve R

  2. Tom Justice

    The bidding is at a very low price right now, could jump at the end. It would be a lot better and probably more money if the seller would spend some time and write a comprehensive ad. Might go for a lot, might not; if it doesn’t and the buyer has skills, this could turn out nice.

  3. Dolphin Member

    Another very early Z car comes out for sale. These got down to pretty low money years ago, but now in really nice original condition or properly restored they can bring up to $40K or more at the right venue.

    This one has a build date of Feb. 1970, so is very early. It looks like it retains almost all of the parts and features that were unique to the very early cars. The only thing that jumps out at me is the gas cap, which is from a later car. If everything on these early cars that were incorrect were as easy to fix as that, they would be very easy to restore….but they are not. Lots of the parts are plastic, and often in deteriorated condition, and not available from Nissan now. That has led people to do repro parts, which are usually very good quality, but not cheap.

    The floors on this car look really good. Most don’t, because these could really rust up a storm. Either this one was taken care of and kept out of the salt, or being in WA helped a lot, or both.

    It looks unmolested and even driveable if the drivetrain is good. But like Tom said, the seller hasn’t done much to sell the car….hasn’t started the engine, hasn’t shown underside photos, or the rockers or frame rails, which are a big deal on these cars if rusty.

    Bid to $10.5K with one day to go, and hasn’t met reserve. If I wasn’t already in the middle of restoring an early ’70 Z car I would be very tempted to bid.

  4. Derek F

    A nice resto candidate, but it looks clean enough to get cleaned up, tidy the mechanicals and drive it worry-free while it continues to appreciate. Win-win!

  5. On and On On and On Member

    When these came out I almost soiled myself with lust and total abandon. As I said in an earlier post my Dad was a WWII pacific war vet and anti-Japanese made merchandise. I bought a Fiat 124 coupe instead. Crashed that in a head on collision where a guy came down the off ramp by mistake. Yikes. I thought of these as the poor mans Ferrari. I was in love. Would this be reliving the past if I bought it? Maybe I should see a priest or at lease a witchdoctor. Or maybe I should just buy one to be buried in. Decisions, Decisions.

  6. Perry Dangerfield

    Oh my, seeing this stirs the blood, maybe I should start restoring the 1973 240Z in my back driveway, oh wait, the 1966 1600 roadster came first…should I start there?

  7. Gene Parmesan

    LERD I dig these early Zs, especially wearing slot-mags and great colors like this. Glad to see the hatch area and hatch itself not totally destroyed by rust. Looks like you could rebuild those round-top SUs and go through the brake and fuel systems and start partying! Way, way cool.

    Sucks that my dream of finding one of these on the cheap is dead though…

    • Lucille

      Aaaahh!! Gene!!

      • Gene Parmesan

        Lucille Bluth?

  8. Dave Millard

    WOW! I bought a brand new 240Z in 1972. It had every option available: mags, air conditioning, bumper guards, four speed. It was $4690. out the door. I drove it for 5 years and sold it for $3,000. It was chocolate brown. Wish I had it now!

  9. Rube Goldberg Member

    I think it’s pretty safe to say, this the car that made the British sports car world sweat, and probably helped it’s demise. For the 1st time, you could have everything a British sports car offered, except, the lights worked, it didn’t leak oil, less expensive ( these cost $3526 new) and was just an all around better car. I had my MGB when these came out. Remember, British sports cars were king at the time. They seemed slow in sales at 1st, but I bet plenty of Datsun dealers had used British sports cars on the lot. These early ones, I agree, are the ones to have, before the engine compartment got jammed with hoses in later cars. Another one of those “iconic” ( there’s that word again) cars, that changed everything. I’d love to have this one. Like most Asian cars of the time,they were terrible rusters, so can’t be many left.

    • angliagt angliagt Member

      * $3526 – + additional dealer markup.There was a waiting list
      at most Datsun dealers then.

  10. Gus Marquez

    I have one of these sitting out front of my shop. It looks really good and as far as i can see no rust but the interior is not too nice bcz one of the windows has been opened for years and water has gotten in. I would really like to get some input from someone that knows about these 240s I’m not sure what to do with it. The exterior is in really nice shape. Will atach pics tomorrow when i get back to my shop.

  11. Frank

    A possibly rust free/rust lite 70′ 240…Holy Cats! These are very soulful cars. That might sound cheesy but it’s true. Not down with the mags though. Looks way better on the steelies! I had 76′ 280 manual, a 77′ 280 auto and an 83′ ZX auto. Still want a 240 after all these years.

  12. Oddimotive Cason Oddimotive Cason Member

    That could go higher, as it’s a first year S30 and it seems like an honest find. Note that the ugly steel wheels is possibly the only original wheel shown! Slotted mags were put on by a lot of dealers, though.

  13. Reid Hall

    My Parents had one of these back in the day.Although there’s had camel interior, and l believe maybe a factory steel wheel,and or possibly a factory mag wheel of some sort. Although here’s the bad part what they use to call the Datsun Motor Company , became the Nissan Motor Company, which meant that they were going through changes at the factories. So what this means is that certain models, and or years of cars don’t have a good reputation for being able to find affordable aftermarket replacement parts. For example don’t lose the gas cap that’s actually original, because it cannot be replaced .So based on that if this is a true one owner, and or two owner, l would say at auction this should bring $1500.00- $3500.00 tops ,maybe, 10-20k way to high.

    • 2drted

      $1500 to $3500 tops? What rock did you pull those numbers out from under.

  14. Rex Rice

    I got a gig in the Summer of 1973 selling Datsuns. There was a waiting list for the 240Z as they piled up at the dock since they failed to pass emission tests. We just took deposits for a waiting list. A 1970 trade in was used for a demo but when the ’73s arrived the owners were disappointed as they didn’t perform as well as the ’70.

  15. ROTAG999

    So is tach stuck or was motor running when picture was taken ?
    There is a local dealer that has a 72 a real rust bucket and there asking over 13K for it no way in hell…….lol

  16. chad

    “…Remember, British sports cars were king at the time…”
    i enjoy/enjoyed the Italian so much more.
    Good & G R E A T Brits but so much more frm Italy.

  17. newfieldscarnut

    I had a 70 240Z in the late 70’s . It was a very fast and fun car .

  18. Tara Member

    If I were looking to buy this car, I’d check the front frame rails!!! These cars were noted to have front frame rail rust, as some cars were sold with frame barely holding up the engine! I should know, as I’ve owned two of them!!!

  19. Sandy Mitchell

    My Father showed up in 1969 with one of the first production run. The serial number is 367. It sits in a dry storage/workshop today. I tease my brother that talking about going through the car isn’t going to get it rolling again. Rust free makes it worth doing, but “the work ain’t going to do itself”.

  20. Robt Mitchell

    What 35 years of dust looks like. At least it’s in a dry area. Number 367 off the first production run.

    Like 1

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