Will this rare lightweight Datsun 240Z racer fetch AU$1 million at auction?

By: Alex Affat, Unique Cars magazine

Presented by

another million dollar Datsun front side another million dollar Datsun front side
another million dollar Datsun rear side another million dollar Datsun rear side
another million dollar Datsun interior another million dollar Datsun interior
another million dollar Datsun interior boot another million dollar Datsun interior boot
another million dollar Datsun interior odo another million dollar Datsun interior odo
another million dollar Datsun engine another million dollar Datsun engine

Back in January one of these Datsun factory racers broke the seven-figure ceiling. But can it happen again?

At their January Tokyo Terrada auction, the Japanese auction house BHauction dropped the gavel (and our collective jaws) when a rare lightweight 70s Datsun 240Z factory racer sold for an eye-watering AU$1.1 million dollars.

And now, there’s another one heading their Tokyo auction in March!

READ NEXT: 1970-1974 DATSUN 240Z - BUYER'S GUIDE

This is not your uncle’s standard Datsun 240Z however. It’s not even badged as a 240Z, but instead a Z432R.

another-million-dollar-Datsun-rear-side.jpg

It’s believed Datsun built between 30 and 50 of these lightweight endurance racers, with its nomenclature referring to the four-valve, triple Mikuni carburetted, and dual-overhead cam configuration of Datsun’s famous S20 inline-six engine.

READ NEXT: 50 Years of Z - A Timeline of Nissan's Breakout Sportscar

The S20 engine first appeared in a road-going car under the bonnet of the original Skyline GT-R, the PGC110 ‘Hakosuka’; whose engine in turn was famously lifted virtually straight out of Prince’s Grand Prix-winning R380 race car.

another-million-dollar-Datsun-engine.jpg

It’s not just the racing engine that makes this old Z-car special. Datsun built a further 420-units of the less (but still) race-y Z432.

The difference is the "R": which represents a bare-boned lightweight factory racer with body panels made 0.2mm thinner, acrylic glass, and an FRP bonnet. Inside the cabin, there’s no radio or air-conditioning either. Instead you get a bucket seat, and a 100-litre fuel tank – underlying the car’s endurance racing intentions.

another-million-dollar-Datsun-interior.jpg

Overall, the Z432R tipped the scales over 100kg lighter than a standard 240Z.

It was truly a watershed moment back in January when an identical Z432R broke the seven-figure ceiling. And now BHauction is surely hoping for a back-to-back result.

This particular car hasn’t yet received a public pre-auction estimate, but presents in outstanding condition and having received a full restoration from Nissan themselves. While the other million-dollar Datsun boasted an odometer reading of just 98,040kms – this one has just 61,190kms to its name.

another-million-dollar-Datsun-interior-odo.jpg

Its chassis number (PS30-00218) is a genuine and authentic "R", and with the chassis numbers re-stamped at the factory, it is believed to be the only example to have the Nissan logo above the numbers to prove its authenticity.

The original bucket seat is currently not fitted in the car in order to preserve its condition; however it will accompany the car upon sale.

Will this rare factory racer top its sister car that sold earlier this year? With about two-thirds of the mileage, a Nissan-stamped restoration; and the fact that a completely standard catalogue 240Z sold weeks ago for a whopping AU$463,000 – nothing would surprise us at this point.

Stay tuned, we could have another record Datsun on our hands.

 

Classic Australian Family Car Value Guide home page

Muscle Car Value Guide home page

Japanese Classic Car Value Guide home page

Recent auction results

Sell your car for free right here

 

Sign up to our free weekly newsletter for more unique car reviews and features plus see the latest unique and classic cars for sale.

Subscribe to Unique Cars magazine
- Print edition
- Digital edition