Before Datsun’s stylish and affordable 240Z fastback coupe arrived on the scene, Americans were stubbornly skeptical of Japanese automobiles. Despite Datsun’s dominant presence in SCCA racing with the 510 sedan and 1600/2000 roadsters, it still took something special to win over American buyers’ famously fickle hearts. Designed specifically for this market, the 240Z offered four-wheel independent suspension, an overhead-cam inline-six, and superior reliability, all at a highly competitive price compared to its competition. The beautiful and exciting Datsun 240Z captured the hearts of buyers from the moment it arrived and transformed not only Datsun’s reputation but also nearly all of the Japanese motor industry as they made inroads in the all-important American market. The 240Z remains one of the most widely-beloved Japanese cars of all time, and in recent years, it has made the jump from cult-classic to a serious collector car.
The 1972 240Z featured here is an outstanding example of Datsun’s groundbreaking sports car. Over the past three decades, this numbers-matching 240Z has been in the hands of a series of dedicated Z car enthusiasts who have lavished it with expert care. In the early 1990s, it was selected to feature on the cover of Ben Millspaugh’s seminal reference book, “Z Car: A Legend in its Own Time” (included in the sale). Around 2002, it was sold to Mr. R. Shelton, who commissioned the marque specialists at Awesome Z in Houston, TX, to perform a comprehensive, ground-up restoration. Thanks to a gentle life in Texas, the car was reportedly quite solid, necessitating only minor repairs to the structure. The restored shell was then sprayed in a striking shade of red (Toyota “Absolutely Red”) and fitted with new chrome bumpers, new weatherstripping, and new old stock taillights. Fit and finish are superb, and the car displays crisp lines and excellent panel gaps. Within the past 6,000 miles, the new owner added new Minilite-style alloy wheels made by Koenig and shod with high-performance Falken radials.
The interior is restored to the same high standard and has been maintained in superb order. Highlights of the spec include black leather seat upholstery, a rare original Nissan wood shift knob, restored original wood steering wheel, and factory OE replacement dash. A high-quality Alpine AM/FM/CD audio system provides a pleasing alternative to the gutsy six-cylinder soundtrack under the bonnet, and for the purist, the original radio accompanies the sale. The leather seats are in excellent order, showing minor creasing and character consistent with the car’s use. Door panels are covered in the correct materials and present in good order, and the same goes for the carpets and upholstered cargo area. Beneath the boot floor is an original spare wheel and Bridgestone tire, along with a full set of restored tools, jack, and wheel chocks.
Nissan’s 2.4-liter inline-six is one of the all-time great classic engines. It’s prodigious torque and marvelous six-cylinder growl make it the perfect pairing for the 240Z’s superb chassis. This car’s original, number-matching engine was completely rebuilt during the initial restoration, and it has been maintained in superb condition since. The presentation is gorgeous, with its chrome Nissan “2400 OHC” cam cover, chrome individual air cleaners, polished accessories, and excellent engine bay paintwork. Features include correct SU carburetors restored by specialists Z Therapy of Salem Oregon, a ceramic coated header feeding a sports exhaust, and a discreetly integrated R-134 air conditioning system. The underside also very well-detailed, with sport suspension, quality finish work, and pleasing details, including a very rare factory splash pan.
In 2006, this car debuted at the 19th International Z Car Convention held in Dallas, Texas. It was judged by a panel of experts and awarded 290 points and the prestigious Gold Cup, and the trophy remains with the car. At that time, it was only the seventh car in nineteen years to earn the award. Since then, it has been meticulously maintained at the hands of marque specialists, and it remains a truly outstanding example of the iconic, game-changing 240Z.
Offers welcome and trades considered