Sitting for 20 Years: 1972 Datsun 240Z

What does it mean when a seller says that a car is “ALMOST A BARN FIND“? Is that anything like being almost pregnant? Or mostly original? Anyway, the current seller of this car was the son-in-law to the owner and is now offering it to someone who has the gumption or guts to get this “barn found” back on the road. Find this 1972 Datsun 240Z bidding for $10,500 in Rocklin, CA with 3 days to go via ebay.

From the seller:

Item specifics
Seller Notes:
“ALMOST A BARN FIND. This car has been stored inside the owners garage over 99% of its life. I have confirmed with loan documents that were found that the owner purchased this car on Oct. 30, 1979. This vehicle will require a major maintenance service performed as well as a thorough carb/fuel system clean. Hopefully that will be enough make it run and be road worthy again. See the description details for more information.”
VIN (Vehicle Identification Number):
Interior Color:
Body Type:
Vehicle does NOT have an existing warranty
Number of Cylinders:
Drive Type:
Fuel Type:
For Sale By:
Private Seller
Drive Side:
Left-hand drive
Exterior Color:
Power Options:
Air Conditioning
Disability Equipped:
Vehicle Title:


his car is part of an estate liquidation sale. The vehicle belonged to my father-in-law, presumably the second legal owner, and it spent nearly all of its life stored inside the garage at his home. The documented purchase date for this car that we found was Oct. 30, 1979. The California DMV registration has been maintained in current status and is currently valid until August 12, 2023. The title was transferred to the trustee’s name on 2-27-2023 to simplify the sale process and there are only 3 forms to complete to finish the final sale process for required DMV paperwork.

I took pictures last Sunday right after the car was pushed out of the garage to capture the amount of dust and dirt that had built up on the car as proof of long-term storage. This was the first time this car had been out of the garage and sunlight touched it in 2+ decades. The main picture shows the car as it is being loaded for transport to my home 20 miles away. Now that I’ve searched for any and all parts related to this car in my father-in-laws garage, and the DMV transfer and related paperwork has been completed to sell the car, it is now time to list the car so it can move on to its next home.

History of the car that I know first-hand: Around 1988 I installed a good running 280Z motor to replace the tired original motor. The carburetors and exhaust manifold were a direct fit and the carbs sync’d up fine. During the motor swap the original 4 speed transmission was rebuilt (freshened up) and a completely new clutch assembly was installed. A local shop rebuilt the differential, I installed all new u-joints, brakes, new tires, some retro wheels, some suspension bushings, and a local shop put the new paint job on the car changing the color to gray. The tire wear and under hood cleanliness state tells me he might have driven the car 1,000 to 2,000 miles since all this work was done. He worked a lot of hours and used his pickup truck as his primary transportation to drive to work. 

Current condition: There was no battery installed when I lifted the hood and I made no attempt to start the engine because of the old gas and the old but visible traces of an old fuel leak in the tank area near the rubber fuel line connection. The left door panel was found removed. It looks like a left door speaker replacement was started with the left door panel found lying the back of the car. There is a new Datsun door panel and grab handle in original packaging in the car. The spare tire area is clean and the only slightly visible rust I found was in the typical area on the body where the deck lid locks down. You can find that location in the pictures, look for the white and red teflon tape container sitting by the spots in the rear body pics with the deck lid up. I didn’t see any rust at all on the decklid. All side window felts, window seals, and door seals will need to be replaced. The driver’s door window is stuck in place, partially open, due to a disintegrating window track felt/rubber blocking the window channel.

The new set of tires and wheels shown in the listing pictures were purchased new for the Z within the last 2 to 2 1/2 years based on the tire manufacture date. The tires are new, have never been installed on a car or driven on the road. They are all new Kumho Solus TA31 tires, size 195/65-R15’s and they aren’t quite 3 years old. The wheels are new, never bolted to a car, Konig 15×7’s. I found a set of new lug nuts in the car I will assume are for these new wheels, no guarantees but they should be.

Overall this car could be put back on the road with the items I found and described corrected. There also could be some unexpected work as well but it didn’t jump out at me when I was searching for items that needed to be put in this listing. If long term storage hasn’t harmed the engine a lot of fun road miles are left in this car. If I recall correctly the 280Z engine had a compression of @ 150-155 with oil pressure around 45-50 when I purchased it. Before I purchased the engine the shop tested the compression in my presence and checked the oil pressure when it was test fired for half a minute in the car. It was decided the engine was in great condition and it did work out well after it was installed in the car and the carbs were synchronized.

Pretty much make your assessments from the pictures but if you need additional pictures or have any related vehicle condition questions feel free to send me a message.

This is an estate sale and it will finish the 10 day listing process. Please do not email me with attempts to persuade me to sell it early, those messages will be ignored.

This vehicle is being sold AS-IS, with no promises or guarantees, written or implied. It is the bidder’s responsibility to fully inspect the vehicle shown in the photos provided before placing a bid.

The vehicle can be viewed during the bidding process with an appointment but not until the last 3 days of the bidding process. Message me if you wish to schedule an appointment, and only serious bidders considered, bidders that plan on staying in the bidding to the end. Rocklin is 20 minutes north of Sacramento, CA.

The vehicle mileage in the listing heading is not accurate. The odometer reading is currently 56375 miles. A true mileage is unattainable because the actual mileage exceeds the limitations of the OEM odometer. 

On Mar-02-23 at 06:14:12 PST, seller added the following information:

The exterior paint condition shows signs of wear and aging. It does have some knicks and chips from normal use plus the occasional contact and exposure to humans moving around it in a small garage.

See a better way to rock some louvers?