Z-Car Survivor: 1973 Datsun 240Z

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Back in the early 1970s the Datsun 240Z was the hot ticket for buyers who wanted an affordable, well-equipped GT car. If you missed the opportunity to buy one back then, you might want to consider this remarkably well preserved 240Z with 77,500 miles, which looks like it just came from the dealer yesterday. Find it here on craigslist in Seattle for $14,995.

This 240Z looks to be in excellent condition throughout, and the seller claims that it still carries its original paint and that there is no bubbling anywhere on the body. There are a few nicks and scratches visible in the photos, but nothing major. The car is described as having been garaged for the last 30 years, unregistered for the last 13 years, and needing a few tweeks and a tune-up before being put back on the road.

The interior is one of the best original 240Z interiors we have seen, and is said to need nothing more than attention to a small rip in the drivers seat. The dash is excellent and free of cracks and abrasions, and all of the controls and the steering wheel seem to be in fine condition – a rarity in a Z car this old. A photo in the listing shows that the floor under the carpets is rust-free and looks as new as the rest of the interior.

The vinyl, carpets, and tie-down straps appear to be unworn originals, suggesting that this Z car lived a pampered life. The cargo space behind the seats has always been a very useful feature of these Z cars providing plenty of cargo room. This car looks so good that the survivor claims are hard to believe so we would probably ask for more documentation to back them up.

Everything on the car is described as being “stock and original”, but that’s not quite true. The original carburetors have been replaced by aftermarket downdraft carbs on short manifolds that adapt them to the original intake manifold. Due to more stringent emissions standards of 1973, the 1973 Z cars didn’t run as well as earlier Z cars, which was the main reason why owners sometimes installed this downdraft setup. These non-original carbs might actually be welcomed addition for someone who values driveability above strict originality.

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  1. Foxxy

    I was in Okinawa in ’72, and rode in one of these, it was called Fairlady over there and it would fly, but the island left no room to really stretch it’s legs

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  2. Jeff

    These cars were fun, had a 82′ 280ZX in my 20’s in Florida, very reliable even at 115mph down 95 with a statie behind me, caught me at a exit toll booth, how embarrasing. Just a warning out of it, those were the days lol ;)

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  3. Bear

    Nice lookin’ “Rice Rocket”!!
    I agree that the interior on this one is more attractive than most!
    I used to have a white ’72 with red interior. LOVED that car!!
    The dual SU carbs can be problematic, but worked well when they worked.
    I believe the ’73s had a slightly different set of dual SUs, and some additional smog (which is why the ’72s were slightly more popular).
    The carb swap on this one was a pretty common upgrade back in the day.
    U-joints and struts are an area to check, as these were not the best quality from the factory. (…but fortunately BETTER quality replacements are readily available!)
    Parts are CHEAP for these, so maintenance costs are typically low.
    Check that the gaps around all of the doors, hood, and rear hatch are fairly even and consistent. (Large gap differences are a sure sign that the unibody has been twisted in an accident.)
    Also check the rockers, floors and around the wheel wells for rust (these are the usual suspect areas on these cars).
    Swap the tail-lights for the Euro styled lights (w amber turn-signal lenses), add the clear headlight covers that extend the body lines to the front of the car, upgrade the exhaust to tuned kit and you’d have quite the cruiser!!
    IF this is as clean & rust-free as it appears it will be a fun toy for someone!!
    All the new owner would need is a Members Only jacket, a pair of 501 Levi’s jeans, and it is the late 70’s all over again!! :-)

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  4. 71/72tomzzz

    that thing looks like a steal at that price….crap carbs, but a cherry body/int will cost you $$$ to redo a “doner” for a resto. tons out there…few really solid ones w/great interiors. mechanicals are easy.

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  5. David E Roche

    Very nice! Best of Luck with the sale. You should not have any problems finding a buyer. I love the interior color.

    Have a 72 undergoing a ground up AAA restoration and a 72 driver.

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  6. Bill

    I have an all original 1974 260Z which I bought new in 1974. Window sticker was $5450.00 (no discounts). Been repainted twice in 38 years keeping the original emerald green color. Still fun to drive. Usually attracts comments like : I had one like it” or ” I always wanted one” and finally “what is it? ” ( those are the folks under 40) I’ve gotten my monies worth from that vehicle and eventually it will get passed on to my daughter. She can’t wait, but I can!!

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  7. david

    Wasn’t this car a Japanese copy of a 365 Ferrari? Thought I read that some where.
    One of the all time favorite cars I’ve owned was my dark green ’71. Loved that thing. An aftermarket front spoiler made a big difference in handling at speed. While I don’t really believe in altering the body of a car, as much time as I spent at race tracks with my 510, I love the looks of a flaired out 240 with no bumpers, duck tail rear spoiler, front air dam and headlight covers……

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  8. ovlov

    It is a respray. The passenger door fit is a little scary, but overall this is a good find. The original “SU ” style carbs were bad when the polution stuff got breathing difficult, and got vapor lock too. This set up is very desirable for the year.

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