West Coast Survivor: 1972 Datsun 240Z

There’s no denying that the early Z-cars capture the essence of Nissan’s halo sports car in the purest form. The slim chrome bumpers and tidier proportions play into one why demand for 240Zs remains higher than the later cars, which also suffered from more restrictive emissions equipment. This car here on eBay is a rust-free California survivor that the seller is letting go of instead of continuing with his plans to modify it as a “JDM hot rod.”

We’re all grateful the seller isn’t carrying out his plans, as survivor 240s like this are not easy to find. The burnt bronze paint looks great (but isn’t original) with the trademark blacked-out rear taillight panel, although the vanity license plate likely belongs on a different Z-car. The period alloy wheels and low stance still look killer all these years later.

Inside, there’s a bit of good and a bit of bad. The good news is the interior is largely stock without major signs of damage; the bad news is, it’s far from perfect, with seat covers hiding some split seams and door panels that have been cut for speakers, presumably. The dash is cracked, and replacing that is a costly affair – if you can find an un-cracked one, that is.

The engine is non-matching, although the original powerplant is included. This engine has been freshened up with a 5-speed manual conversion and an R200 rear end with positraction, according to the seller. Some crude bodywork is noted in both doglegs, and the factory color should be yellow – the next owner will have to decide if it’s worth going back to OEM correct spec.

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Comments

  1. RickyG

    That dash can be restored by Just Dashes I’ve used them before on a Porsche 924S great job.

    http://www.justdashes.com/?s=datsun+240+z

    1
  2. Butchb

    Is this a real auction? Or a Z collector (read Z flipper) with his buddies driving the bids on this car?
    A very very nice example of one of these sold on Ebay last week for $15k. And this one is at $12,400?
    I’m skeptical.

    3
    • SeaKnight

      Most likely not worth the effort, go for a better car and you will be miles ahead!

      2
    • Dave

      Flipper. He only sells datsun and thinks they all worth way more than the actually are.

  3. oliver

    not worth it bad floor.sill s …..

  4. 86_Vette_Convertible

    Back in the day I looked at a 240Z new. I liked the car but the dealer thought they had a gold mine on their hands so didn’t buy it, instead bought a Cutlass.
    Thing was, within a couple of Midwest winters, most I saw had significant rust to deal with. Sounds like this one avoided those issues, but still overpriced IMO for what you’re getting but that’s a personal thing.

  5. sluggo

    The driving experience between a Cutlass and a nice Z is apples and refrigerators. Not even in the same context. I had many friends with these and I have a rough 260Z sitting here as a donor for my Kit car project. (Fiberfab Caribee/banshee) Finding a STOCK unmolested one today is like finding a factory stock Harley. Almost no one leaves them stock, plus Datsun/nissan had a tremendous marketing advantage offering all kinds of performance and upgrade parts as well as exceptionally strong aftermarket vendor support. What I love about Datsuns is they are the Chevrolet/GM of the Asian car world. Stuff interchanges! My 510s same deal,, You can upgrade off later models and the stuff bolts on. The 5 speed and R200 are game changers and sensible upgrades not visible externally. They add value IMHO. Now… Im not crazy about the color but Yellow is not popular either but I like Yellow.
    This car brings back nostalgia and picturing bell bottom jeans and farrah fawcett hair, and my teen years growing up.

    3
    • 86_Vette_Convertible

      Never said the 2 cars were the same. Looked at both, one was way overpriced while the other wasn’t. Ultimately it ended up being the better choice for a family with little kids than a Z would have been.

  6. TimM

    Another clean looking car that seems to be taken care of with some upgrades that don’t detract from the look of the car but adds in the performance department!! I like muscle cars more than imports but I wouldn’t mind owing this ride!!!

    1
  7. Rube Goldberg

    Well, it’s gone. Somebody shelled out $12,400 for what I would consider a California beater. It’s still really nice, and the attraction is, of course, they rotted away everywhere else. Goes to show, due to the lack of new offerings, people will still pay 5 figures for a 1972 car. If these moron car makers would build something like this today, it would be a hit,,again.

    1

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