During the 1960s, Nissan produced a range of open two-seaters to include the Fairlady 1500, 1600 Sport and 2000 Roadster. These were a commercial success, particularly in the USA, where they were seen as inexpensive rivals to the likes of MG, Triumph, Fiat and Alfa Romeo.
In late 1966, work began on a more upmarket Gran Turismo that would further enhance Nissan’s image. Launched at the Tokyo Motor Show in October 1969, the new car was sold in the Japanese Domestic Market (JDM) as the Nissan Fairlady Z and elsewhere as the Datsun 240Z.
Because of punitive taxes levied on vehicles sold in Japan with a capacity greater than two litres, the Fairlady Z was equipped with a 1998cc motor while the engine in the 240Z displaced 2393cc. Otherwise, the two variants were practically identical.
Built around a pressed steel monocoque, the Z came with fully independent suspension. Braking was courtesy of discs up front and drums at the rear. In the engine bay was Nissan’s single overhead camshaft straight six. A five-speed gearbox was usually fitted, although 240Zs destined for North America came with a four-speed unit instead. Styling-wise, the Z was unapologetically inspired by the Jaguar E-type, a car that Enzo Ferrari had famously described as the most beautiful in the world.
The Z’s handsome looks, modern engineering, relatively low price and impressive performance saw it become an international best seller that did wonders for Nissan’s image. In terms of the export model, around 168,000 240Zs were produced between 1969 and 1973 however only about 4,200 of these were produced in right-hand drive.
Metallic Blue paintwork, Black leatherette upholstery, 5-speed manual transmission, Front and rear spoilers, BC Racing BR coilover suspension, 15-inch Rota alloy wheels in matte black, Wood-rimmed steering wheel, Wooden gear knob, Upgraded cylinder head, Triple Weber carbs, Original maintenance book.
Having previously been treated to a comprehensive bare metal restoration at Nissan this original UK example presents to an exceptional standard throughout. Unlike many older restos that start to show their age after a few years this one still appears factory fresh, the car having been carefully stored and only occasionally driven since the work was completed. Accordingly, the paintwork maintains a beautiful deep shine with barely an imperfection in sight. Looking closer, the panel gaps are spot-on and the chrome is immaculate all round with only a little light patina to the rear light cluster trims. The underside is also amazingly fresh with absolutely no corrosion, underseal, or signs of previous poor repair.
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Inside, you’re greeted with a fantastic 70s interior. The seats are still really supportive with little evidence of use, even to commonly worn areas such as the driver’s bolster, and the door cards are without any scratches or scuffs. The dashboard appears like new and the instruments are also excellent with only minor patina visible across some of the switchgear. In the footwells the carpets are spotless and even the boot area is pristine, discreetly housing the original spare wheel beneath the mat.
ENGINE & TRANSMISSION
Lift the bonnet and you’re treated to an impeccably clean engine bay, perfectly in line with the outstanding condition of the rest of the car. When the car was restored by Nissan a few years ago it was fully rebuilt back to factory specification (using new original parts) except for the key additions of an upgraded cylinder head and exhaust system, and triple Weber carbs – needless to say, it sounds fantastic and drives beautifully. The last service was carried out by Glyn Hopkin Nissan in June 2022, and since arriving with us the car has benefited from a minor tune-up prior to sale.
WHEELS, TYRES & BRAKES
Filling the arches are newly fitted 15-inch Rota alloy wheels, all in perfect unmarked condition with a striking matte black finish. They are shod in brand new Yokohama Advan tyres with absolutely no wear at all. The brakes have all been checked and remain in fine operational condition, bringing the car to a halt quickly and in a straight line.
This surely unrepeatable UK example was supplied to its first and only registered keeper in May 1973. It was originally sold by Fulton Motors Ltd, London, and has now driven just 73k miles from new. The original service book still accompanies the car with five early service stamps from the supplying dealer. There is also a file including some old MOTs, all the invoices from the restoration at Nissan plus lots more covering work over recent years.
1973 Datsun 240Z is listed for sale on ClassicDigest in Hampshire by 4Star Classics for Not priced.
Car type : CarMake : DatsunModel : 240ZEngine size : 2.4Model Year : 1973Sub type : Pick upLocation : HampshireVehicle Registration : Undefined