In the late 1960s, the Japanese auto industry had a new sense of confidence as they finally found their stride with uniquely designed and meticulously engineered cars. Earlier in the decade, American buyers saw Japanese cars as novelties or oddballs, cars to be avoided especially for those who still had WWII fresh in their mind. The earliest Japanese sports cars borrowed heavily from their two-wheeled counterparts, particularly Honda with its bike-engined S600 coupe and roadsters. Nissan-Datsun took a slightly different approach in the middle of the 1960s, with their take on the traditional British sports car. The Datsun 1600 and 2000 Fairlady roadsters were aimed squarely at the MGB, Triumph TR4 and Sunbeam Alpine. Datsun held the upper hand thanks to its 5-speed gearbox and beautiful 135hp overhead-cam engine. The British cars felt positively agricultural in comparison. Combined with the mechanically similar 510 sedan, Datusn enjoyed moderate success in the US market, demonstrating the Japanese could build a very capable competitor to the best of the British roadsters. Enthusiasts and club racers knew the Datsun was the superior car, though Japanese cars still struggled against the attitudes in the US. When the Fairlady 2000 was due for replacement, Datsun decided to go all out and design a sports car specifically for the critical North American market. The basic formula for the new 240Z sports car drew inspiration from Jaguar’s E-Type. The elegant 2-seat coupe body was designed in-house by Yoshihiko Matsuo at the Nissan sports car studio. A 2.4 liter, overhead-cam inline-six was chosen along with four wheel independent suspension and front disc brakes. The 240Z was very pretty, could punch above its weight in terms of performance, and had a build quality unseen in its British rivals. Yutaka Katayama (known to loyal Z-car fans as “Mr. K”) was the driving force responsible for marketing the Z in the North American market. His effort to promote 240Z paid dividends for the Japanese industry as a whole, whole he developed a cult following for his sports car, Nissan, Toyota and Honda all benefitted from a newfound respect and admiration for the quality of Japanese cars. In 1997, with the 300ZX nearing the end of production and the 350Z still several years off, Nissan sought to cash in on the still-vibrant community of 240Z enthusiasts. They bought a handful of solid, original 1970 and 1971 240Zs and handed them over one of three carefully selected restoration shops to be fully restored from the ground up, using as many factory parts as possible. The restored cars were then sold “new” in select Nissan dealers around the country. It was a brilliant move for Nissan, as they reignited the passion for these wonderful cars and helped to boost the value and interest in all other 240Zs. Our featured 1971 Datsun 240Z is one of the finest examples we’ve ever encountered. This well-documented California car has covered just 200 miles since a four-year, obsessively detailed nut and bolt restoration by Les Cannaday’s Classic Datsun Motorsport, one of those select shops chosen by Nissan to restore their own cars. While this car is not one of Nissan’s dealer cars, it is no less spectacularly restored to exacting standards by a respected marque expert. Presented in its original color of Orange (code 918) over black interior, it is a stunning and thoroughly correct 240Z. The body fit and finish are superlative, all trim is correct and in as-new condition and the car rides on a set of classic slotted alloy wheels. The paint is beautifully laid down and it even wears a set of the seldom seen optional black stripes on the rockers, a wonderful period touch that is often overlooked in lesser restorations. The black interior is upholstered in factory correct materials and executed beautifully. Likewise, the engine bay and undercarriage are fully detailed with correct decals, tags, braided hoses, clamps and gold-cadmium plated hardware. Rarely do we see 240Zs restored to such a level of excellence and with such meticulous attention to detail. Even the owner’s manual is original to this car, down to the matching warranty card. The trunk is properly detailed as well with a full original tool kit including the original wheel chock. The beloved Mr. K, who passed away in 2015 at 105 years old, put his mark of approval on this restoration, in the form of his signature on the glovebox. This is a concours-quality car that also happens to be a fabulous thing to drive; we have tested it on some of our favorite local roads and are happy to report it is simply a joy. Clearly this was a cherished car from day one. As a basis for restoration, this was a very solid, very original and sound example with long-term California history, sold new by Varsity Datsun of Davis, CA. It was never rotted or crashed and the results of the restoration attest to that fact. For show or to drive, one would be hard pressed to find a better 240Z available today. .
First appearing in 1969, the original Datsun 240Z revolutionized the sports car much in the way its inspiration, the Jaguar E-Type, had in 1961. In a way, the Datsun did to Jaguar what Jaguar did to Ferrari and Aston Martin; offering a great looking sports car with performance that punched well above its price point. The six-cylinder 240Z was a great success and it went on to inspire several generations of Z-cars as well as other great Japanese sports cars such as the Celica, Supra, and RX-7. Much like the E-type, the 240Z offered tremendous value thanks to its brawny six-cylinder engine and four-wheel independent suspension. The Z-car earned a cult following thanks to its affordable nature and reputation for performance, reliability and sophistication that set it apart from its British competitors at Triumph and MG. Through the 1970s the original 240Z evolved into the 260Z, then the 280Z in 1975 which added a 2.8 liter engine with smooth and reliable Bosch fuel injection to help keep performance up in the face of ever-stricter US emissions standards. For 1978, an all-new Z-Car debuted with revised styling and improved performance and handling. Rechristened the 280ZX and known internally as the S130, the new car was larger and slightly heavier, giving the ZX more of a grand touring car nature but still packing plenty of sports car fun into the equation. The strut front and semi-trailing arm rear suspension returned good handling and ride comfort. De Rigueur was a set of removable T-tops and a color matched interior with loads of velour. The 280ZX proved very popular and sold well, spawning a turbo model and eventually evolving into the V6 powered 300ZX of the late 80s. Even through today’s 370Z, the Z-car has always maintained a cult following, and as Japanese cars begin to take ever greater favor with collectors, exceptional examples will be in high demand. Few S130 Z-cars are as exceptional as this 1981 280ZX. It is an original “Blue Plate” California car that has been amazingly well preserved in time-warp condition, having covered a mere 5,370 miles from new. Its appearance is quite simply remarkable and it presents as a virtually showroom fresh example. The original window sticker shows it was equipped with the desirable 5-speed manual gearbox, a t-top roof, air conditioning, six-way seats and alloy wheels. Nearly every bit of paperwork that came with the car from day one is still present. Original key, original books, warranty pamphlet, and original registration documents are present. The factory blue paint and exterior trim are absolutely fresh and virtually unmarked. The alloy wheels show no flaws and have a fresh set of tires installed, with the original tires included as spares. Though not suitable for road use, the original rubber would be very suitable for show purposes. The cabin is awash in classic 1980s blue velour upholstery and in outstanding condition with no wear or sun damage to be found, as this car has been carefully stored in a climate controlled garage since the day it was delivered. Of course it drives as one would expect of such a low-mile example, tight and free of squeaks and rattles and with smooth performance from the 2.8 liter inline six up front. One fact about affordable sports cars is that many of them were used and used hard so the attrition rate can be very high. That holds true for many a 280ZX as it was an affordable and fun driver’s car with a great deal of them racking up high mileage and taking loads of abuse. To find an S130 Z-car in such extraordinary, factory fresh condition is an extremely rare opportunity, surely one that will not be repeated.
This is a rare opportunity to buy a 1974 Datsun 260Z Super Samuri. Manufactured in Japan in 1973 this is an original UK RHD car first registered in August 1974 and is one of just a handful of surviving cars converted to Samuri specification. This particular car was actually owned and converted early in its life by Kevin Irons himself, a former partner of Spike Anderson at Samuri Conversions at Silverstone. The car is finished in the correct colours of Nissan 110 red and Rootes Tango bronze metallic and has recently had the front and rear ‘Samuri’ script and white pin striping re-painted professionally by hand to ensure the vehicle retains the perfect period look. Of course the vehicle has the usual Samuri additions which include a modified engine with a gas flowed cylinder head ,up-rated stage 2 fast road camshaft, triple Weber 40 DCOE carburetors, sports manifold and exhaust system Also upgrades such as four piston Wilwood Superlite front brakes and coil over suspension, along with a Mishimoto alloy radiator and S14a gearbox conversion make this car drive and handle superbly, more than capable of keeping up with modern traffic and surprising many with its performance. The body work is in excellent order with some slight patina adding to the cars fantastic authenticity and the car’s fuel tank was replaced in 2014. All clocks and gauges are in perfect working order and whilst it cannot be guaranteed to be correct, the speedometer reads just over 27,000 miles with MOT’s back to the early 90’s showing each annual mileage. The interior is in excellent original condition with the correct period Hitachi radio fitted and the addition of an extremely rare genuine Nissan Nismo 10th anniversary steering wheel sourced directly from Japan which complements the sporty handling of the car with its slightly reduced diameter. Also fitted are rare painted and polished JDM Enkei 15 x 8 Alloy wheels adding to the period feel of the vehicle. Tyre’s are as new. The car has been owned and improved by myself over several years, including a full engine overhaul 2 years ago by a professional specialist in historic road and rally cars to keep the car in peak condition. When completed this was rolling road tested showing over 200bhp so it goes as well as it sounds! Currently with an agreed insurance value of £55,000 today the car comes with much recent history and as a 1973 build is eligible for historic road fund licence. The car has just completed a trip to the Le Mans Classic and covered over 1,000 miles without a hitch. I would ask that genuinely interested buyers contact me to arrange a mutually convenient time to view the car.
This 1972 Datsun 240Z is a beautifully restored example and a one owner car with only 85k original miles. Yellow with black interior. A very desirable early Z-car with promising collector status and appeal. Extremely clean and mechanically very strong. A great buy at just $14,950.
(SOLD) This Datsun Fairlady is a very original and complete classic, which makes it rare & collectable. The previous owner recently installed a brand new top and windshield, and has serviced and maintained the vehicle regularly. This Fairlady runs and drives well, and is a great candidate to improve the cosmetics as you go. The car is acceptable as a Driver “as is”; if you want to take it to a higher level, we recommend taking out the small dents that are easy to remove, repainting the car, and re-chroming the brite work. Some new carpeting and panel replacement would make the car really shine. This Datsun would make a great car if you are just starting a collection, or adding to your existing. It is economical to drive, and will continue to appreciate in value over time. *Classic Showcase has not performed any maintenance or any other automotive service to this vehicle.
(SOLD) This beautiful, unmolested vehicle is in excellent, original condition and would be a great addition to any Datsun enthusiast collection. It was well maintained, garage kept and is a solid, California car with only 2 owners. The paint and interior is all original and in very good condition. The brakes and suspension have been gone through and included new shocks, springs, sway bars and strut tower braces. The car received a major tune up and service, the carburetors were rebuilt and the cooling system has been serviced. The engine is in excellent condition and would serve well as a daily driver.
The Datsun 240Z was one of the landmark sportscars of the early 1970s, as it represented Japan's first mass produced GT. Priced to compete with the MGB GT, the 240Z offered far greater performance and arguably more modern looks. It also became a very successful rally car, from international down to club level. Unfortunately the 240Z did suffer greatly from corrosion issues, however, and very few examples remain in top condition today. This stunning example has recently benefitted from extensive renovation and improvement, including a freshly built Dave Jarman engine to Samuri fast road spec. Producing approximately 180 bhp, the engine runs on triple Webers and has a gas flowed head, sports cam, lightweight flywheel and clutch and a Janspeed manifold and stainless exhaust. Complete with a detailed history file including photographs showing the restoration work carried out. Currently fitted with recent 7.0 x 15 Minilite replicas, with a spare set of 6.0 x 14 Enkei wheels. In superb condition throughout and likely to prove a great investment for the future.
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