Series 1 Project: 1971 Datsun 240Z

This 1971 Datsun 240Z is a desirable Series 1 car, produced within the window of time when the earliest models were rolling off the assembly line. Though not one of the first 500, Series 1 models in general are sought after by collectors. This example is equipped with an automatic transmission and one bad repaint, according to the seller, and it has been sitting in a barn for 25 years. Find the Datsun here on eBay with a Buy-It-Now of $11,500 and a suggested opening bid of $8,500.

No one has stepped up to the plate yet to cast the first bid, but given how popular these old Z-cars have gotten, I wouldn’t be surprised to see it sell for the opening bid amount. The automatic transmission will limit interest for sure, but the seller’s claim that it is rust free may pique some buyers’ curiosity. The interior is tired but not past the point of salvation, although the cracked dash is a bummer.

The seller has not attempted to start the car, instead focusing on whether it can roll and steer. New tires have been installed, but no other maintenance has been performed. I’m assuming the top photo is of the long-time owner who has kept it in a presumably dry barn for the last 25 years, which has helped it from becoming a total basketcase. It’s hard to tell if blue was the original color or if the bay was painted.

Given how extensive the blue color is and the fact that it’s not smeared over the ID plate, I’m guessing the poor repaint was at least in the original shade. Series 1 cars can be distinguished not only by their production date, but also by the “240Z” script on the rear sail panels and vents on the decklid. The hatch was unfortunately replaced, but the badges are there. Is this slushbox-equipped Series 1 Z worth restoring?


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  1. Ike Onick

    If you really want to sell your car is it a good idea to have an old guy leaning on your car in the lead photo?

    Like 8
    • CanuckCarGuy

      Old dude is provenance…comes with the car.

      Like 13
  2. grant

    Look at the corrosion on that valve cover and tell me if you really believe this car is “rust free.”

    Like 3
  3. Michael Leyshon Member

    The old guy is just a draw to convey the image of a one owner car (? haha). At least he isn’t wearing a bikini… This is a car I would over pay for if I could. Late 40’s fox body guy who always loved the Z series. All of these were getting crusty after 4 years here in Ohio and are rarely seen nowadays. Part of my earliest car memories because of the unique look. Would be cool if Nissan would bring out a new one in the same spirit of Camaro,Challenger, Mustang. There is a market…

    Like 7
  4. Classic Steel

    This car doesn’t have the millennial anti theft device installed.

    Could be nice if it all checked out for tin worms 🐛.

    It would probably not be to tough for a rear end , shifter and tran swap.

    Like 6
  5. Classic Steel

    This car doesn’t have the millennial anti theft device installed.

    Could be nice if it all checked out for tin worms 🐛.

    It would probably not be to tough for a rear end , shifter and tran swap.

    Like 1
    • Michael Leyshon Member

      My 21 year old daughter has the most popular car on the theft list. 2008 V6 Accord, six speed standard. We laugh about the prospect of some thug getting in and looking grabbing the shifter thinking it’s some new technology !!!

      Like 8
  6. Michael Leyshon Member

    She’s a good girl and doesn’t say a word about her Honda vs. dads 89 Mustang LX 5.0

    Like 4
  7. Steve R

    It’s a California car for sale in Florida, with an opening bid of $8,500 and a buy it now of $11,500 I’d make sure the sellers name is on the title before I handed over payment.

    Steve R

    Like 5
  8. brianashe

    Early Z’s are doing well, but an automatic, in this condition, that the owner hasn’t even tried to start? No way, not at this price.

    I dig those seats, though.

    Like 5
  9. Howard A. Member

    0 bids, there’s a “Haw Haw” moment, sorry, that wasn’t nice, Nelson Muntz was not a nice kid, but maybe it signals the beginning of the end for this stuff. I feel the over inflated Z cars are one of the flash in the pan classics, like the VW bus or 1st gen Broncos, or AH 3000, if we sit back and let it burn itself out, we can get this stuff for $500 bucks again. Too bad most of us by then, the people that would probably buy this, will be pushing daisies.

    Like 6
    • Steve R

      That’s never going to happen. The market may have cooled somewhat but the days of these cars selling for $500 is long past.

      Steve R

      Like 2
  10. Mark in WNC

    Only the ’70 Z had vents in the hatch.

    • Jake

      Series 1 Zs were not by year but by serial number.

  11. Eric_13cars Eric_13cars Member

    Insane price. You can buy a driver for that. Looks rust-free from the pix, but otherwise very rough. No word on whether the engine turns over either. Otherwise looks to be intact. $2500 would be a reasonable starting bid and pay up to $3500 (assuming engine is not frozen). More than that would put you underwater quickly even for just a decent driver. The tranny would have to be replaced for sure (and the diff). Seller is asking stupid money, i.e. no bids.

    Like 4
  12. Little_Cars

    The critical 1970 mfg tag is there, and one of the badges on the drivers side sail panel. But the hatch being changed to the non-vent kind and missing the badge on the passenger side just isn’t doing this specimen any favors. Did the hatch rust out prematurely? Perhaps the old guy comes with the deal and will help with loading this rusty piece of fool’s gold onto your trailer? PASS

    Like 1
  13. TimM

    Nice car but an automatic in a sports car is like a screen door in a submarine!!!!

    Like 1

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