When Datsun (the US branch of the Nissan Motor Corporation) launched the 240Z in North America in 1970, it signified a shift for the Japanese manufacturer. Gone were the days of competitively priced Japanese eco-boxes and instead stood a proper sportscar, capable of competing with the establishment.
Sales in North America were strong between 1969 and 1973, due to its simple but effective styling, influenced by a Count Albrecht Goertz concept developed for Datsun in the early 1960s. But by 1973, the 240Z was replaced – or updated, shall we say – with the 260Z. The styling alterations were minor – thankfully – but the range now included a more practical 2+2 model, which added an extra 12inches to the wheelbase of the two-seater model.
Under the hood (as Uncle Sam would say), the engine was uprated from a 2.4-litre to a 2.6-litre unit, which had 162bhp and could climb to 60mph in 10seconds flat, with a top speed of 115mph.
Values of 240Z and the later 260Zs have risen over time, mainly due to decreasing numbers as a result of rust – enemy number one for 1970s Japanese cars residing in damper climes such as the UK.
This particular model is a rare, low-mileage example of a two-seater 260Z that’s been in hiding for the past 21 years. Carrying 8285 miles on the clock, this original UK, right-hand drive model was first registered in March 1978, with only two owners since that time. Bought by its current owner in 1994, the car was used sparingly before being locked away in 1995 after a change in circumstances. With all that time under wraps, the is likely to need a little TLC when it comes to starting, so don’t expect to drive it off the auction block trouble-free, gents.
Guide Price: £18,000 – £22,000
This car will be offered as part of the CCA September 2016 Classic Car Sale by Classic Car Auctions on 24 September 2016. Click here for more details.