Perfect Preservation! 1972 Datsun 240Z

It’s an S30! Well, most don’t know this car as an S30, they know it by its more common moniker of Datsun 240Z. And in the early ’70s, the 240Z was everywhere; it was the mass-produced go-to two-seat sports car. Found in Englewood, Colorado and available here on eBay is a fantastic example from 1972. Current bidding is at $16,200, reserve not yet met.

When I was in college, a good friend and a fellow student had a ’69 Datsun 2000; it was the first car that I can recall with a five-speed manual transmission. It was a small and a rough-rider, to say the least, but it was fast and a very tight handler. Those are the qualities that I remember most about it. For the ’70 model year, Nissan moved forward with its sportscar in the form of the S30, known then as the Datsun 240Z. It was quite a refinement over the old 2000 and a big leap forward in terms of sophistication and road manners. This 1972 example, which is considered the second generation, is pretty much a follow-on to the introductory first-generation ’70 model.

The seller states that this 240Z has received one repaint in its original color and is free of rust. There are certainly no identifiable issues with the body. Many images are included with the listing and this 69K mile Z car appears as new. Being a ’72, this is the last year for manufacture with svelte 2.5 MPH bumpers. U.S. regulations for the ’73 model year required 5 MPH battering rams for the front end and all manufacturers had to comply. While a larger car could absorb what looked like a park-bench grafted on to the front end of its structure, smaller, lighter, stylish cars like this Z were just overwhelmed by the imposition.  Of note is the presence of the Panasport aluminum wheels which the seller indicates were a dealer-installed option. They are sharp-looking indeed, similar to Minilite wheels which frequently graced sportscars of all ilks back in the ’70s. The original steel wheels are included in the sale.

Under the hood, is Nissan’s 2.4 liter, in-line, six-cylinder engine, delivering 151 HP and that’s where this Z gets its go. These engines produce a nice torque band to get moving but provide plenty enough power to keep the forward motivation fun. Regarding the engine, the seller claims, “The inline six-cylinder engine starts right up very easily every time. The twin carburetors operate beautifully and are currently jetted and adjusted for around sea level, but their excellent design allows them to operate quite well all the way up at 5000 feet where the car is currently located.” That’s an interesting consideration as I had not given thought to altitude adjustments that could be encountered in a locale like Colorado. Gear changing is conducted via a four-speed manual transmission which I find to be a curious inclusion considering that the three-year-old (at this ’72 point) Datsun 2000 referenced earlier was sporting a five-speed. One nice option is the inclusion of A/C which is supposedly rare for this model.

The interior looks just as I remember, a high-quality, pleasant environment that lends itself perfectly to some spirited driving. The seller indicates that there is some seat foam degradation occurring but beyond that, the black vinyl-clad upholstery and dash pad are as originally intended. Note the brass colored vents in the seatbacks, I haven’t seen that feature in a long time on any car seat. No word regarding instrumentation but I would assume, based on this car’s overall condition, that everything works. The seller adds that it is obvious that this car has been stored indoors its whole life and I would agree and add that it has been stored well too.

There are seven bids tendered so far for this Z car, I couldn’t hazard a guess on its reserve but with five days to go still, I’d expect some northward action. When it comes to consideration for classic cars, Japanese models are frequently left out of the discussion. An example like this 240 Z, however, will place them squarely back in the discussion going forward, don’t you think?



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  1. Skorzeny

    This is a fine example, but what is going on with that rear bumper? That’s not factory, is it?

    Like 1
    • Rx-7 TurboII

      That’s an Amco bumper overrider. Very popular accessory.

      Like 7
  2. i blow up toyotas

    another roakill car.

    Like 1
    • jaymon1962

      What does “another roadkill car” mean?

      Like 3
      • Mike H. Mike H.

        I think he actually said “roakill”, though I don’t know what that is, either.

        Like 5
      • Davr Mazz

        “Roadkill” was a car-themed web series produced by Motor Trend. Perhaps IBUT means that this was a car that should have been featured on the Roadkill series…..Or maybe he’s run out of Toyotas to blow up, and is moving on to Datsuns…
        :-) :-)

        Like 2
  3. Steve R

    Very nice car. It deserves the attention and bids it’s getting.

    Steve R

    Like 2
  4. JRHaelig

    I loved my ’73 – which still had the small bumpers. But talk about rust! I just couldn’t keep up with the repairs. I bought it “repaired” (= sanded and painted) then kept at it until it was finally wrecked for me.

    Wonderful balance/power/response. And much, much lower than I recall! A good one would be great to have!

    Note the hand-choke lever to the lower left of the shift lever. I thought it was the last car with a hand-choke, but then I remembered my 1980 RX-7 had one, too.

    Like 2
    • RR

      I believe it was 1974 1/2 that saw the 5mph bumpers and not the ’73 year?

      • Jim ODonnell


        The NHTSA Federal bumper legislation went into effect for the ’73 model year (front) and ’74 for the rear.

        What Datsun/Nissan did with the Z is added a larger reinforced, chrome-plated steel bumper to the ’73 front end (nothing needed on the rear) which I guess passed regulatory muster. It’s larger and more obvious than the ’72 but not as obvious as the monstrosities that inhabited the’74s. Thx.

  5. Tom

    Had one. It’s only drawback was it was an automatic.
    That’s one heck of a drawback. They should have never made them with automatics – never!

    Like 3
  6. Spridget

    “When it comes to consideration for classic cars, Japanese models are frequently left out of the discussion. An example like this 240 Z, however, will place them squarely back in the discussion going forward, don’t you think?”

    I think these are already in classic car territory; look at this nice example which sold for $310,000 on Bring A Trailer.

    • PairsNPaint

      $310,000 for a Datsun Z car? Rocker panels must be filled with coke!

      Like 4
    • Brian Scott

      You beat me to it Spridget. I was wondering how many people saw that. In my entire lifetime of monitoring car auctions I do not recall a vehicle that had me say louder “WHAT THE %*$&# just happened,” than that green ’71 on BaT. No offense to the guy, but I’d have tapped out at ten grand, if even that, but a market just needs two contrasting bidders.

      Like 2
  7. Mike

    This one seems to be in pretty good shape. Most of these were rust buckets….bring a magnet

    Like 1

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