Orange Peeled: 1971 Datsun 240Z
Time has been kind to the original Datsun Z-car. A few years ago the Z was well depreciated and you could pick them up for pennies, but the list of
affordable Japanese 2-seat sports cars from the early ’70s is very limited and now nice ones demand a premium. But we get a respite today, because this one is cheap. Find this 1971 Datsun 240Z offered for $6,500 in Ojai, CA via craigslist. Tip from Sean.
The S30 generation Z styling was lead by Yoshihiko Matsuo and it set such a high bar for the competition, that it never really had 2-seat competition from Japan during its production life. You could probably argue that the competition came from cars around the globe, but the Z offered a great combination of driving experience, quality, and entry price.
This one was an engine from a later 260Z, which means it has a 2.6 liter L26 inline-6, which when fed via twin Hitachi HMB 44 mm SU-type carburetors is rated at 162 horsepower and 157 ft-lbs of torque. If the rust (as mentioned) isn’t too bad, this could be a nice driver for the money.
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Though it came w/the Hitachi flat top carbs, it should be noted that (from the pics) this particular example mercifully retained the "round top" SU carbs from the early 240z.
Other than that, the blue plates look good, appears to be the original color. I'd pay attention to the normal places for rust – cowls, floors, "frame" rails, rear decklid area and under the battery blah blah blah.
Dash looks pretty good for a '71 w/no cover. Door seals need some lovin'. Door card on p-side looks good. I'd totally buy this for $5500. $6000+ is too rich for my blood.
Just found this last night for those of us on the East coast:
Wow, nice find! Looks much nicer than the CA car. That just might be a great deal at that price.
I am always surprised by the prices of these. It is a great classic with a beautiful straight six. With everything else skyrocketing these still are totally reasonable.