Could you save this classic, manual, Datsun 240Z 'barn find'?
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For a badge that was pretty much discontinued in the '80s, the 'Datsun' name still gets plenty of usage in 2018.
Not because Datsun returned to the market a few years ago as a budget sub-brand, but because plenty of their classics from the '70s and early '80s have started to skyrocket in value and interest. And this is most true for their 'Z' cars.
Yes, while the current-day Nissan 370Z sits on the sidelines struggling to get any kind of significant update, its forefathers are one by one becoming more sought after. Although it's hard to tell whether this particular 240Z is going to follow that same glimmering pathway.
As the discoloured panels, dirty surfaces, and rusty hole-filled floor indicate, this 1972 Datsun 240Z is a barn find. Not one of those dream barn finds either — one that's sat incubated under cover — but one that's sat for over 25 years. Many of those years appear to have been spent out in the open.
It looks white, but when it was new this 240Z was Lime Yellow. Someone, somewhere in California bought the car new from Ken Keegan Imports in Los Gatos in 1972. Google tells me the car dealership is long gone; replaced by a luxury-car dealership called Silicon Valley Auto Group. That's since closed too, apparently.
But this Datsun survives, just barely. It's for sale on eBay in the US.
Although it doesn't look particularly flash, the Datsun's seller says that the frame, rockers, driver's side floor, engine bay, and rear hatch are in "solid shape". Most of the rust they say is merely surface rust.
If that's true, then this 240Z is probably a bit of a bargain at its current bidded price of US$2600 with four days remaining.
"A great candidate for a winter restoration project or fix up into a "driver" to take to your local Cars 'n Coffee with the best patina in town!" says the seller, perhaps with a hint of optimism.
Of particular interest to Datsun anoraks will be the manual shifter leaping from the centre console. It's a four-on-the-floor stick, paired to the traditional 2.4-litre inline six-cylinder with a familiar engine note that these cars are known for.
Sadly the car no longer runs. According to the seller it ran when parked (haunting words for many a restorer), so perhaps fresh fluids and plenty of time are all it needs to spring back into action.
Should that happen, the owner will possess a fine example of the breed. Its numbers are all matching, and it comes with a matching original warranty card, plus the original spare wheel and manuals.