A Datsun!? Seriously?
The Datsun 240Z literally came out of nowhere. The Japanese automaker, at least in America, was typically known for building relatively small and fuel-efficient cars. It wasn't a bad reputation to have, but a certain someone at Datsun, which later became Nissan, had a better idea for America. His name was Yutaka Katayama, also known as "Mr. K". He not only convinced Datsun executives to set up shop in the US, but also to import the original Fairlady sports coupe, renamed the 240Z for the American market. This front-engined coupe became an instant hit. Mr. K clearly understood what Americans wanted, meaning a less expensive alternative to the likes of the Chevrolet Corvette.
The Z car is still alive and well today, sold as the Nissan 370Z. Word has it the next-generation Z car is not only happening but will feature retro-like styling and, perhaps, the 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 from the Infiniti Q50 and Q60. We remain hopeful.
But that's not the only bit of interesting Z car news. This perfectly kept 1971 Datsun 240Z has just sold on Bring A Trailer for an astounding $310,000. It has only 21,750 miles on the original 2.4-liter straight-six engine, which is good for 150 horsepower and 146 lb-ft of torque. Power is sent to the rear wheels through a four-speed manual transmission. Why the lack of miles for a car that's nearly 50 years old?
Its original owner was gifted the car by his father, an Indiana-based Datsun dealership owner, as a dental school graduation present. The son, who passed away last spring, barely drove it, instead preferring to store it in the dealership showroom and, later, at his home.
It was later purchased by a friend and fellow dentist a little over a year ago and performed some regular maintenance updates, such as adjusting the carburetors, an oil change, new tires, and detailing. Finished in Racing Green with white rocker stripes, there are also factory 14-inch steel wheels wearing new 175-series Vredestein Sprint Classic tires. The interior is covered in brown vinyl upholstery. There's even a diamond-pattern center console, aluminum sill plates, and Z-branded floor mats. Given it doesn't get any more original than this (aside from the distributor being converted to electronic ignition), it's not entirely surprising to see someone fork over Ferrari money.
In short, it's a museum-quality Datsun 240Z. Is it worth the money? Depends on the buyer. But what's for certain is that this is a time capsule going back half a century.