Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Clutch Player: 1973 Datsun 240Z V8

The first generation Nissan Z car was a pretty inline-6 powered 2-seater sold in the USA under the Datsun marque and 240Z nameplate.  It was unlike anything seen from a Japanese manufacturer and sold like hot cakes with 148,000 units released onto the black tops of America.  The resulting glut of S30 Z-cars on the used market meant they were cheap for years and many got converted into V8 hot rods by folks unfamiliar with overhead camshafts...which is good or bad depending on how you like your classic Zs.  Find this 1973 Datsun 240Z V8 5-speed offered for $6,000 in Eureka, CA via craigslist. Tip from FuelTruck.

The seller only provides two pictures and the advertisement is a few days old...but believe me when I say this is a good deal and it's probably already sold.  The combination of V8, manual gearbox, and lack of cowl induction hood scoop (or Yosemite Sam mudflaps...etc) makes this a steal of $6,000 if you ask me. 

 See another fast and cool classic for cheap?


  1. Oh wow that is a good deal. Rust hole under the battery tray is common. Would check floors and rear hatch area but at $6k for this AND a 95% complete '72 240z parts car... SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY.

    Exhaust scrape over speed bumps happens on mine (twice pipes, lowered 1.5"). Not a deal breaker.

    Good looking car, GREAT PRICE.

  2. "Seats don't match but they're close"

    Well, they ARE both black vinyl.

  3. Okay here is something I have been wondering. I know that there is no smog check needed in California if it is kept in California. Since it came with smog stuff it is supposed to have it on. Anybody ever have a problem registering a post '64 car engine swapped car in Cali?

    1. Not sure I completely follow your question, but... If the car is a 1975 or earlier model year, it is not subjected to biannual emissions testing. Anything 1976 and later does have to go through the testing. That's where engine swapping and modifications to intake and exhaust will become tricky. They can be done, but to pass a smog inspection the 100% legal way, they must first be inspected and approved (and tagged) by the BAR (Bureau of Automotive Repair). Sounds easy, but if you do some research on forums/etc., you'll find that the inspection process can be subjective and can vary among referee stations. It sounds like you could take the same car to various inspectors and have some pass and some fail the car.

      Here's a link to the BAR page that talks about engine changes. Doesn't seem to be very thorough.

      BAR engine change guidelines

      I would say that no other group of car enthusiasts performs more engine swaps than the JDM/tuner crowd. Here's an interesting article posted by Super Street magazine (primarily a Japanese tuner car mag) a few years ago. This magazine is based in California if I recall and they have firsthand experience with the process.

      Super Street "Playing By The Rules"

  4. Is it just me, or does that engine look a little small to be a 400ci small block? I know the engine bay is long because of the straight 6 that is meant to be there, but that new motor seems small and looks more like a V6. I think there are 4 plug wires on the visible side, but it's hard to see. Maybe it just has a large alternator and it's an optical illusion. Either way, I'd want to know more about the motor before purchase. The price is good, but you also get saddled with a parts car (hopefully there's some money in it).

    1. you probably know this already but a 400 sbc is the same size as any other sbc.
      But yes surprising amount of space in there.

  5. The ad includes my favourite turn of phrase: "Lock cylinders need installed". To be, or not to be, that is the question...

    1. Amen. One of my bigger pet peeves, along with "SCAMMERS WILL BE REPORTED!!!!1!1!one!!1" as if the bot that scans the page for phone numbers / email addresses will suddenly see that phrase and say "oh, well I guess I won't try to scam this guy, it sounds like he knows what he's doing."


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