1972 Datsun 240Z
It would surprise most classic car anoraks, but the Datsun name dates back to the early 1930’s. Datson (as it was originally known) was purchased by Nissan in 1934 and the name was changed to Datsun to closer associate the brand with its country of manufacture, being Japan. The sun is an important symbol within Japanese culture. The red circle on the Japanese flag represents the sun.
Datsun built cars, trucks and other commercial vehicles, however, it wasn’t until the late 1950’s that the car manufacturer started to become internationally recognised. Things got better for Datsun and their family cars were popular and sold well. In 1961 Datsun introduced the Fairlady (SPL213) sports car at the Tokyo Motor Show where the car caused somewhat of a sensation. Interestingly, this car predated the launch of the MGB, though it wasn’t until October 1962 that the Fairlady (SP31) was introduced. This car was a real pioneer for Japanese sports car manufacturing. Others soon followed with Honda introducing their S600 and Toyota their Sports 800 shortly thereafter.
The best was yet to come and in late 1969 Datsun introduced their S30 which was sold as a 240Z. Datsun’s new car was powered by either a 2.0 litre or 2.4 litre straight six engine with between 130bhp and 150bhp depending on the specification. Either way the 240Z was a great driver’s car and its sleek fastback lines drew comparisons with Jaguar’s iconic E-Type. The 240Z evolved into the 260Z, 260Z 2+2 and the 280Z. The second generation of Z cars – being the 280ZX and then the third and fourth generation 300ZX were great sellers but it was the first series of Z cars that is today seen as the ‘best of the breed’.
Oldtimer Australia is delighted to offer for sale a 1972 Datsun 240Z.
This particular car was sold new into North America and it had one long term California owner for most of its life. This really is ‘one of those stories’ and the car belonged to one lady owner for forty years! The car was acquired by a well known classic car collector and broker in southern California in circa 2013. This Datsun 240Z was incredibly original and very well kept. The paint had faded but the interior remained in amazingly well preserved condition and the car was mechanically in good shape. It had only 78,000 miles on the clock. The plan was that this 240Z would make a great first car ‘light restoration / recommission’ project for the owner’s son, however, this never eventuated and the car was sold to a Sydney based enthusiast. The car was purchased in September 2017 and there is an Import Approval on file dated 27th September 2017. Since arriving in Australia the car has been repainted, some badges were replaced, the shock absorbers were replaced (with Tokico shocks), some suspension bushes replaced and the car serviced. A set of Watanabe wheels have been fitted, though the original wheels and hub caps are with the car. New carpets have also been fitted.
What a time capsule . . . this 240Z is a cracker! The car still wears its original paint sticker, which reads “904 White” and confirms that the car is finished in its original colour. There’s no doubt that the white exterior coupled with the red interior is an absolutely perfect colour combination for a 240Z.
As you would expect given a recent repaint, the paint on this car is fresh and vibrant. There are no obvious defects and the only blemish we have noted is some slight overspray here and there. The external trim and chrome is all in good condition, all of the badges are new or as new and the glass is also good with few scratches. Inside the cabin of this car is ‘just fabulous’! Everything is just so well preserved and it really says something for Japanese build quality. All of the upholstery is in excellent condition, including the seats, door cards, the centre console and boot area. The steering wheel, instruments and controls have also aged exceptionally well. The dash and centre console are in very good condition, though there are two small cracks in the dash. There are also a few ‘faded patches’ on the dash, probably caused by the California sunshine. These are hard to notice, but they are there.
Under the bonnet, the engine bay is very original. It is clean and tidy.
Once you’re behind the wheel you quickly appreciate what this car is all about. The cabin has a sporty feel to it. The steering wheel is a feature and behind that, you have a binnacle housing a speedo which reads to 160 mph and a tacho that reads to 8,000rpm! The driving position is really good and you instinctively move your hand from the steering wheel right to where the gear lever should be and is.
The starting procedure requires the choke then a few pumps on the accelerator. The engine bursts into life at the turn of the key. The exhaust note is quieter than you might expect but when you rev the engine all the good noises come together. Hmmm . . . this will be fun!
After driving for a few miles you realise that a 240Z is a really easy car to live with. It does everything efficiently and with purpose. Drive it a bit harder and its sports car promise is there in spades . . . we love it!
Out on the open road, this 240Z is all that was expected and probably more. The engine pulls willingly and strongly. The car is equally at home in traffic or out on a winding country road. The gearbox is firm and tight and the ride is fantastic. It’s firm but smooth and there are no rattles or squeaks from the body or suspension. We noticed the odd squeak from the brakes at slow speed initially but this soon disappeared.
The car retains its original ID tag which confirms that the chassis and engine numbers match. The odometer reads 78,613 miles.
There is a spare wheel in the boot and also a jack, tool kit and wheel chocks which are stored in a compartment behind the seats. We suspect that until recently that this hatch has NEVER been opened as the jack, tool kit and wheel chocks are brand new and have never been used! There is an original owner’s manual that will accompany the car.
Japanese sports cars are really good news and gaining popularity exponentially. There have been some wonderful displays of Japanese sports cars in recent years at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles and at some of the world’s premier car shows including The Quail and Motorclassica. The Datsun 240Z is right up there with the best!
If this car was an Australian delivered, factory right hand drive example it would surely fetch $70,000. At $X this 240Z has to be a great buy!
- Datsun 240Z
- 78613 Miles