The world's most pristine Datsun? Japanese classic sells for nearly $200k
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It's no secret that mint, stock-as-a-rock examples of old Japanese sports cars are all the rage right now. And, thanks to stacks of global recognition, few examples from the '70s embody the movement better than the Datsun Z-car line-up.
But, you'd be hard pressed to find one in better condition than this recently sold 1970 Series 1 240Z.
Listed on US auction site Bring A Trailer by a seller from Oklahoma, this orange 240Z was always set to sell for something big.
"[It] is a Series I example which was restored by Bill Reagan of Texas in the early 1990s, subsequently receiving a Gold Medallion award from the National Z-Car Convention as well as being displayed at the Whitney Museum of Modern Art in New York," explains the listing.
"The car was also featured during the induction of former Nissan Motor Corporation USA president Yutaka Katayama into the Automotive Hall of Fame in 1998, and was further used as the basis for a Franklin Mint model wearing the same chassis number."
In short, it's a car loaded with interesting history. It's an award winner, it's a car that was recognised enough to be used as part of Nissan's own factory promotional processes, and a model car company even used it as a guide to reproducing a 1:24-scale diecast.
Add to that, too, that it was in exceptional condition. The rotisserie restoration (which "included sheet metal repair and other work followed by a repaint) still looks amazing today — its bright orange exterior juxtaposed by a more reserved black leather interior with wooden highlights.
The 2.4-litre straight six (paired with a 4-speed manual) looks utterly immaculate, but carries with it a slight cloud. The Datsun's odometer shows 33,000 miles (53,000km), but could not be verified for the listing.
But, that didn't stop the vintage 240Z for selling late last week for US$124,240 — or, NZ$188,895.
Where does that fit in context? Well, a typical seasoned 240Z will sell in America for around US$20,000, while on Kiwi soil 240Z pricing starts at around $40,000.
But, there aren't many Datsuns that can boast the same rich history that this one has. And that's reflected in the other neat trinkets and extras that come with it.
Naturally, one of the Franklin Mint diecast models of the 240Z is included in the listing (depicted in the same colour combination, naturally). Perhaps just as meaningful though is a photo of former Nissan Motor Corporation USA president Yutaka Katayama, posted with the very same Datsun back in 1998 during his induction into the Automotive Hall of Fame in Dearborn, Michigan. The model, the photo, and the Datsun promotional plates are all signed by Katayama.
What a gem.