Pick of the Day: 1972 Datsun 240Z

You can eat off the engine bay!

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Japanese classics are getting more and more valuable every day. It is no doubt that the Datsun 240Z, despite its high production numbers, has risen in value like crazy. Conditions vary, but nice ones are now fetching mid-five figures.

The Pick of the Day is an exquisitely restored example, a 1972 Datsun 240Z offered by a dealer in Spokane, Washington, advertising the sports car on ClassicCars.com.

When one thinks 240Z, the mind trails back to 1970-71 as the flashy little sports coupe took back-to-back SCCA C-Production Championships with wheelman John Morton and BRE team owner Pete Brock. As an everyday street car, the beautiful lines and the normally aspirated 2.4-liter 150-horsepower straight-six with dual SU carbs made for a head-turning combination.

It was a game-changer! Affordable, quick, great handling – pure fun. The design departure from the roadsters by Datsun/Nissan changed the way enthusiasts viewed the company, too. Here was a car, in an age of large sedans and muscle cars, that were winning on the track and creating “smiles per mile” for their owners.

According to the dealer, “This ’72 240Z just went through a meticulous and well-documented restoration. I could write volumes over what has been done, but you’re really much better off simply seeing the car for yourself. The photos are good, the car is actually better. I didn’t bother crawling around for chassis shots…. trust me, it is just as well-finished as the rest of the car!”

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The dealer also mentions that the car was painstakingly restored with an emphasis on originality. However, there are some enhancements. It has been customized with an air dam, spoiler and alloy wheels. For the rest of the car, OEM original parts, down to every nut and bolt were used and restored, as much as possible. It should pass muster at any Concours. There are less than 100 break-in miles on the car since completion, the ad says.

The Orange on Black looks very racy as well. Clearly a turnkey Japanese classic, priced at $47,500, that should continue to appreciate as the collector car world continues to recognize the significance of the marque.

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.

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12 COMMENTS

  1. Hello.

    Seems pointless leaving the ‘Datsun’ and ‘240Z’ badges on the hatch, hidden by that non-stock rear spoiler apparently riveted to the hatch itself !!!
    And at that price, I would not expect to see tatty, thread-worn carpet in the drivers’ footwell – there are plenty of good-quality Z carpet options in the world – this smacks of laziness.

    • Hi Sean and Rodd, Thanks for reading. There are a number of other pics of the car in the listing — and the carpet looks brand new to me. Further, that doesn’t look like “tatty thread.” On closer inspection, the white line looks more like soundproofing liner. That said, perhaps the carpet got shifted before the photographer took the pictures. Human error. in the listing, the dealer says it was a “bolt by bolt” restoration, so clearly they would not be leaving or installing crappy carpet.

      Also, in period, wheels, spoilers and air dams were often added to those cars, so I really don’t see a problem with tastefully done aftermarket mods. Overall, I think its a terrific car — hence why I chose it for Pick of the Day. But once in a while we get straggler trolls who are bored of berating the cars on BaT who think their opinion is the only one that matters. But, hey, we welcome all you “armchair” experts to read and weigh in.

  2. Still have the Z I bought 47 years ago. Been in very dry storage since 1985 when my son could no longer sit on the rear shelf. It was near perfect then and has held up well. My son came home in the back at birth. The nurse thought we were putting him in the “trunk”. Was going to sell it in 76 when we bought the farm. Would have got $2k. My wife said no. Now look at what it is worth. I am 76 now, don”t know if it will ever come out. I now have two Morgans to keep on the road.

  3. For that asking price I prefer spending my money on a true American built muscle car & not some foreign straight six with a puny 150 H/P.

    • Amen, Yannis!…AMX, Corvette, even GTO at that price! They were poor man’s ‘Vettes when they first came out: Nice looking–No guts. For $@0,000 , maybe…

      • Yannis and David: Firstly, thanks for reading! As you know we cover the gamut of classic cars. We love muscle cars, but we also love sports cars. We love the NHRA -AND- the Trans-Am series. We all have different tastes, and I respect yours. Car guys are car guys no matter the discipline… well except for Prius…

  4. I love this article I myself have a fairlady and 1975 being restored as I speak I’ve been working on it now for about a year-and-a-half haven’t gotten very far because I live in a very rule area of Alaska so it’s difficult to get stuff here not only is it difficult to get stuff here it’s also very expensive it’s very hard to get somebody to do bodywork nobody does restorations themselves so I’ve had to take on my years of welding skills and learn how to weld this vehicle had set out on a piece of property for 30 years that was oceanfront I have been fully restoring this vehicle it still runs like a champ it only has 4200 miles on it amazing for a vehicle that’s made in 1975

    • Thanks for reading Leif. Word to the wise: if they use road salt in Alaska, don’t drive it in the winter. I had a 280Z that disintegrated in Chicago.

  5. Actually it was the ‘67.5 2000 Roadster, introduced two years earlier, that established Nissan racing “street cred” with Peter Brock and John Morton at BRE, not the Z. Same 150hp (in Solex form), but 500 lbs lighter, and with a 5-speed offered as standard (Z didn’t get one for years).

  6. …ok, and as far as this “Concours-ready” example. Bumpers are missing the overriders and rubber strips. Battery terminals are not original/incorrect. Worm clamps (eye roll) on incorrect, non-braided radiator hoses. Polished valve cover. Distributer cap wrong. Missing the air galley the rest of the air injection (smog) system. Missing the radiator shroud. Wipers are wrong/aftermarket, and somehow the hood receiving plate in the engine bay is missing… Nice car, nowhere close to being a Concours-ready though.

    • John: Thanks for being a reader! Without a doubt, the roadster was an important step — and if you read my story about the Datsun roadster a few weeks ago, you would certainly realize that I recognize that. But we are talking about a 240Z here. Brock and Morton had great success with this particular car: 2 CP championships. As for your picking apart this very nicely done period car, have you ever considered being a concours judge? If so, I have some connections for you.

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