5k: High School Sweatheart: 1972 Datsun 240Z

Every gearhead has a unique relationship with his first car — usually a high school car, sometimes college if he was a late bloomer.  Some of them have even managed to hang onto those cars for decades and if you can find one, it can be a fantastic deal.  The kid who first owned that car did silly stuff to/with it, but as he aged, the updates, repairs and fixes to the car became better and by the third rebuild of component X — it will be done correctly.  Additionally, there is a level of satisfaction from a loved long term owner car that you won’t get from buying a rusted barn find or freshly fried and flipped fish.  Find this 1972 Datsun 240Z offered for $5,300 in Pasadena, CA via craigslist.

The vision of some high school kid fixing your soon to be classic isn’t exactly what you might want to hear…but what if that high school kid held onto this car for the next 30 years.  Now, you’ve got a 50 year old dude who has poured his blood, sweat, tears, beer, and his kid’s college fund into some kind of relic from his glory days.

The Datsun 240Z was powered by a 2.4 liter inline-6 fed by twin SU-carburettors and rated at 150 horsepower.  The Z is a light car and combined with a butt-on-the-pavement seating position, it offers a surprising amount of fun to the dollar.  This one is unfortunately equipped with an automatic transmission, but a 5-speed swap should be a straightforward bolt-in affair with easily available parts.

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