Friday, March 27, 2015

5k: 20 Year Slumber: 1972 Datsun 240Z

 You won't find many "barn finds" on this site, because barns are stinky places filled with chickens, horses, and spiders -- but that doesn't mean we don't enjoy a good cheap project that just needs a fluid change and good bath.  However, it better have a decent manual gearbox and be free from the dirty mitts of customizers -- like this 1972 Datsun 240Z offered for $8,000 in Smithton, IL via craigslist.

The Datsun 240Z offered an unmatched combination of nimble chassis, communicative steering, ass-on-the-ground seating, and cool styling from a Japanese (or any manufacturer for the price point) when it was released in 1970.  The Z ushered in the era of the Japanese sports car and while it wasn't as maniac as the later Skylines, Evolutions, 300Z TTs, it was the first mass market car from the Land of the Rising Sun to get everything right.

The 240Z is powered by the L24, a 2.4 liter cast-iron SOHC inline-6 putting out a respectable 151 horsepower and 146 ft-lbs of torque.  The result was sprightly performance for 1970, 0-60mph in less than 8 seconds, but more importantly the Z had excellent weight distribution and an athletic demeanor. 

The Z has an excellent aftermarket support structure and you will be able to buy all manner of reproduction and NOS (new old stock) items from numerous online sources.

How much of a project could this really be to get into running/driving condition?


  1. Cool car. If the paint is as nice as the photos indicate, this could be a great find.

  2. "These things are going up in value..." - Every S30 for sale on Craigslist. It would also be nice if he/she included a picture of the rust prone areas, or at least included a better description of it other than that it hasn't been started for 20 years. I'd would offer no more than $3000 for this thing.

  3. I hate spiders...

  4. I had those exact wheels on mine. No idea where they came from or who makes them.

    Also re: barn finds - people don't typically put a good running and driving car away in a barn... so this one might need a bit more than a fluid change.

    Not sure if it's just my eyes, but the inner fender well looks yellow/green-ish. Methinks a respray happened at some point?

    1. They were one of the '70s US mag companies - American, Appliance, one of those.

      I used to love the old Z-car, but as time's gone by it's fallen behind a bunch of other cars of that vintage, now the first page has things like Corvairs and '69 Camaros and C3 Vettes and 510s and Alfa Giulias and even that Capri in the current top post, and the old Z is somewhere on the second or third page.

  5. Western turbines. They're not worth much and they fit a bunch of different cars.


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