1972 DATSUN 240Z

Background

The Datsun 240Z caused quite a stir when it was introduced to the world at the 1969 Tokyo Motor Show. Cheaper than the established British sports cars of the day, and undercutting the Chevrolet Corvette, Americans went wild for the newbie.

Those cash rich Yanks were so enamoured that eager punters were soon paying well over list price to get behind the wheel.

In total some 150,000 240Zs were made to the end of 1973, with all but 4,000 or so heading to America.

In the UK, import taxes meant the car wasn’t quite the bargain here, with prices not a million miles away from Jaguar’s E-Type.

Despite their comparative rarity in our domestic market, Autocar magazine soon got behind the wheel and saw fit to compare the car with another automotive icon, the Austin-Healey 3000. They waxed lyrical:

“There is a tendency to describe the 240Z as the natural successor to the big Healey. Perhaps it is, but it is so much more comfortable, so much roomier, and so much better handling that comparisons are difficult. There is no denying, however, that the character is there.”

1973 saw the engine enlarged to 2565cc and thus the 260Z was born. Next came a longer wheelbase 2+2 and the 280Z, which was more of a cruiser than out and out sports car. Air conditioning, automatic gearboxes and the like suddenly took centre stage, no doubt to satisfy the US market and thus the original concept of a deft handling sports car was diluted. Shame!

Let us say that early ‘70s rust prevention on Japanese cars was not the best, so few original right-hand drive 240Zs which found there way to the UK now survive.

But fear not, as cars from the lovely dry state of California do make it to our shores and guess what, we have a prime example for sale here.

The Vehicle

This lovely left-hand drive 240Z, a 1972 model, was imported from America around 4 years ago. Bought by our seller, the car has spent most of its time in storage, seeing the light of day for a little light fettling here and there.

Subject to a restoration while still Stateside, we feel this was done to an excellent standard.

Beautifully presented in white, with contrasting moody black interior, this iconic sportscar is a real head turner. Reliable enough to use as everyday transport, after all why would you want to keep such a thing of beauty tucked away?

Our seller tells us that the car drives well, that 151hp 2.4-litre inline engine just begging to be revved. Tidy handling from the beautifully balanced rear-wheel drive chassis makes this a driver’s car par excellence.

On the Outside

We cannot tell you exactly when the 240Z was repainted, but we can tell you it was done to a high standard. We can find little to criticise and instead marvel at the lustrous finish.

Panel gaps and shut lines are worth noting, being neat and precise and look especially good if you compare with rival sports cars of the day.

Smart Konig alloy wheels look as new, and each is shod with an Avon ZT5 tyre. As we always like to point out, matching premium tyres are always a good sign of careful and considered classic car ownership.

Timeless, understated, this 240Z looks the part.

On the Inside

The black vinyl seats have clearly been recovered and look like new. They offer great support, ideal for when pressing on.

The rest of the interior is in excellent condition too and have clearly stood the ravages of time rather well. And let’s remember this 240Z will celebrate its 50th birthday next year.

Perhaps the biggest giveaway to the car’s age is the wooden steering wheel, which has a lovely patina which comes with use.

Instrumentation is comprehensive, each dial sitting proudly in its own hooded cowl.

Controls are light to the touch, the car being both rewarding and easy to drive.

Tunes come courtesy of a delightful push button radio, remember them?

The lift-up tailgate rises to reveal a surprisingly spacious luggage compartment, making the 240Z an ideal touring car. Under the boot floor sits a non alloy spare wheel and tyre.

Underneath

We always include a raft of photographs of a car’s underside for your delectation and that is the case here. The dry Californian climate has clearly helped to keep the dreaded rust at bay and all the signs are that this car has also been well protected too.

The quality stainless steel exhaust stands out and there are plenty of signs of updated components to such areas as the suspension.

Under that sculptured bonnet sits the beating heart of this 240Z. Powerful, refined and looking to be in excellent order, it is an impressive sight.

The engine bay itself is neat and tidy with no signs of any leaks, drips, or areas of concern. 

History Highlights

The 240Z comes with a raft of paperwork from its time in America and it shows that the car has been well looked after during its life.

We know the car has been subject to considerably more recent expense, readily apparent in its lovely overall condition. Sadly, there is no paperwork to confirm exactly what was done, by whom and when.

Our seller put the car through an MoT test in 2016, shortly after purchase, mainly to check that the car’s overall condition was sound. It passed with flying colours, with just an advisory for windscreen wipers. The car has covered next to no miles since.

The car was properly registered with the DVLA in 2019.

What We Think

We challenge you to find a better 240Z for sale in the UK at the moment. We think this is likely to be one of the best.

Beautifully presented and wanting for nothing as far as we can tell, we anticipate demand will be high for this iconic Japanese sports car.

To be in with a chance to own this car, we would suggest you put in a bid without delay. We estimate the car will sell for between £22,000 and £32,000.

Viewing is always encouraged, within government guidelines of course. The car is located at our Abingdon headquarters; we are open Mon-Fri 9am-5pm and to arrange an appointment please use the ‘Contact Seller’ button at the top of the listing to make an appointment. Feel free to ask any questions or make observations in the comments section below or try our ‘Frequently Asked Questions’

If needed, Footman James classic car insurance and Classic Concierge offer storage options plus we have a list of contacts who can help with transport and shipping.  

BORING, but IMPORTANT: Please note that whilst we at The Market always aim to offer the most descriptive and transparent auction listings available, we cannot claim they are perfect analyses of any of the vehicles for sale. We offer far greater opportunity for bidders to view, or arrange inspections for each vehicle thoroughly prior to bidding than traditional auctions, and we never stop encouraging bidders to take advantage of this. We do take a good look at those vehicles which are delivered to our premises for sale, but this only results in our unbiased personal observations, not those of a qualified inspector or other professional, or the result of a long test drive.

Also, localised paint repairs are common with collectable and classic cars and if they have been professionally carried out then they may be impossible to detect, even if we see the car in person. So, unless we state otherwise, please assume that any vehicle could have had remedial bodywork at some point in its life.

Additionally, please note that most of the videos on our site have been recorded using simple cameras which often result in 'average' sound quality; in particular, engines and exhausts notes can sound a little different to how they are in reality.

Please note that this is sold as seen and that, as is normal for used goods bought at auction, return policy does not apply. See our FAQs for more info, and feel free to inspect any vehicle as much as you wish.

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Seller

stewart1811

  • Location: The Market HQ, Abingdon, United Kingdom
  • Seller Type: Private
  • Odometer Reading: 32509
  • Chassis Number: HLS3062529
  • Engine: 2393
  • Gearbox: Manual
  • Steering position: LHD
  • Colour: White
  • Interior: Black/Ambla
  • Estimated Price: £22,000 - £32,000

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