1970 Datsun 240z sells for AU$180,000 in the USA

By: Alex Affat, Unique Cars magazine

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Datsun 240z record price Datsun 240z record price
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Datsun 240z record price history Datsun 240z record price history

A new benchmark for the once-affordable and accessible Z-car.

Is the Japanese sports car sector a bubble soon to burst?

We’ve long been of the opinion that there’s a wealth of interesting and fantastic-driving Japanese sports cars available to collectors that, until now, have been available for a relative pittance with plenty of headroom for gain.

But perhaps we’re in the eye of the storm as we’ve recently seen multiple ceiling-shattering sales overseas, where otherwise catalogue offerings of yesteryear have been fetching eye-watering prices.

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Records have been set, and re-set again in regards to Toyota’s Mk IV Supra; and the world market for Skyline GT-Rs has exploded in reaction to the USA’s newly legal imports.

On local soil, we’ve seen strong numbers asked for Datsun’s once affordable and accessible 240z; including this 55,000 mile original Australian-delivered example that was recently on the market for $79,000.

Well a recent sale on the American online auction site Bring-A-Trailer is one of the highest results we’ve seen yet for an original-spec Z-car.

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The restored 1970 Datsun 240Z showing just 33,000 miles on the odometer, sold for an eye-watering AU$180,000 (US$124,240).

The orange-over black car is fitted with the 2.4lt L-series straight-six and mated to a four-speed manual gearbox.

While a restored Datsun 240z isn’t exactly unique these days, this car’s ultimate sale price is bolstered by its history as the exact car modelled for a Franklin Mint die-cast model car. It was also in attendance at Nissan’s USA HQ for Yutaka Katayama’s induction into the Automotive Hall of Fame.

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Katayama was a powerful advocate for Nissan to enter the US market, and is lauded by many Nissan faithfuls as the father of the Z-car. A signed photo of him with this 240z was included in the sale.

The Datsun 240z was also previously displayed at the Whitney Museum of Modern Art in New York, and is a former Gold Medallion Award winner at the Nation Z-Car Convention.

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The humble Z has been enjoying significant collector interest in recent years, and while this is the highest price paid we’ve seen for an otherwise standard 240z, the ultimate 240z sales record goes to a Japanese-spec Fairlady Z 432, one of 420 built for the Japanese Domestic Market featuring the four-valve triple carburetted S20 engine from the original Hakosuka Skyline GT-R. It was sold by RM Sothebys in 2017 for AU$245,000.

Hagerty has reported surging year-on-year search volume with values jumping significantly since 2015 for Datsun’s layman sports coupe. Time will tell if this landmark sale sees a trickle-down effect on the already bolstering 240z market.

 

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