Time-warp Datsun 240Z with 34,000kms sells for AU$463,000

By: Alex Affat, Unique Cars magazine

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Datsun 240Z front side Datsun 240Z front side
Datsun 240Z rear side Datsun 240Z rear side
Datsun 240Z interior Datsun 240Z interior
Datsun 240Z interior rear Datsun 240Z interior rear
Datsun 240Z interior plastics Datsun 240Z interior plastics
Datsun 240Z engine bay Datsun 240Z engine bay
Datsun 240Z undercarriage Datsun 240Z undercarriage

A new record price for the humble Datsun sports car

Records were set just days ago, when a 1971 Datsun 240Z sold for an unprecedented AU$463,000 on the American online auction site, Bring-A-Trailer.

It’s not the usual high-mileage survivor either, but instead an immaculately preserved example with just 34,000kms covered since new; and is described by Hagerty as "the most original Datsun 240Z in existence".

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The car was delivered to Munson Datsuns of Marion, Indiana; ordered by the Dealership owner who gifted it to his son as a dental school graduation present.

Datsun-240Z-rear-side.jpg

The car was driven very infrequently and was either stored on display at the dealership or at the family home. Dr. Munson passed away in 2019 and the car – along with his practice – was purchased by a friend and fellow dentist.

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The car was purchased by the selling dealer in December who tuned the carburettors, changed the oil, and mounted new tyres. A rear defroster was optioned as new and remains in place, with the car coming to market with an extra set of optioned wheels and a recent paint detail – with extra care taken in preserving the car’s original paint depth.  Finished in an unusual Racing Green over brown vinyl interior, the car is completely original and exceedingly un-fettled throughout.

Datsun-240Z-interior.jpg

The car is completely immaculate and exceptionally original throughout – down to the smallest details including undercarriage paint marks from production, original (and seemingly unused) tool kit and jack, and protective plastic still found on various screws throughout the cabin.

It’s an exemplary price to pay for an otherwise pedestrian 70s Datsun catalogue model, but this specific car with complete collectible cache of history, documentation and - of course – its outstanding condition make it an otherwise exemplary example.

Datsun-240Z-undercarriage.jpg

We’ve observed these cars enjoy a massive increase in interest over the past 12 months, with Bring-A-Trailer CEO Randy Nonnenberg adding: "Early production examples, low miles survivors and unrestored cars all seem to really motivate bidders on our site".

He continued: "This one just had that special extra appeal for a handful of [bidders]. There were 5 bidders at (USD)$170k and higher, which is unusual for the model".

Datsun-240Z-engine-bay.jpg

The past 12 months have seen numerous ceiling-shattering prices fetched at auction for the humble Datsun 240Z sports car.

A once-affordable and accessible two-seater coupe for the masses, top-end examples have very rapidly reached stratospheric levels. The first watershed sale came in June of 2019, when an immaculately restored orange example with significant US Datsun history sold for a scarcely-believable AU$180,000.

Datsun-240Z-interior-plastics.jpg

Just a month later, a rare restored-by-Nissan example sold for an equally shocking AU$145,000; and at the start of 2020, a rare factory racer shocked the world when it sold for an eye-watering AU$1.1 million.

Is the latest headline sale simply the latest of more to come? It’s hard to imagine there’s a better car out there, but time will tell…

 

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