Datsun Differences to Know and Recognize
The Datsun 240Z is regularly included on the lists of highly collectible cars. New collectors turn to the Datsun 240Z because the cars bring back great memories, are easy to work on, and are affordable – despite the collectibility. When you begin shopping for your first Datsun 240Z, there are a few things to look for so you do not end up with a lemon that requires more money and time to restore than the car is worth.
Welcome to the World 240Z
The first Datsun 240Z was designed in 1966, with the first models appearing on lots in 1969. While the US versions of the car were called the 240Z, in Asia, the car was called a Nissan Fairlady Z. The insiders at NIssan/Datsun called the car the S30. So, when you begin shopping for parts, it is important to know that the Fairlady Z, 240Z, and S30 are all the same car.
Fairlady Engine vs 240Z Engine
The American and Japanese markets had different engines and transmissions. In Japan, the 240Z had a 2.0 L inline-six and the American version had a 2.4 L six-cylinder. Japanese drivers got a 5-speed manual transmission, but the American drivers only got a 4-speed. Despite the differences is was common to see 150 horsepower that delivered 17.1 second quarter-mile performance. Both engines fit nicely and look great under the elongated hood that defined the sleek and sporty car.
1971 Model Differences
The car changed slightly in 1971, when it was given a few exterior and engine changes. On the exterior, vents were moved to they were on the C-pillars instead of the hatch. Datsun included the option of a 3-speed automatic, even though the manual was clearly drivers’ favorite option. The sticker price of a new 1971 240Z was less than the used-car price for a used 1970 model! Because the cars were so popular and so affordable, dealers usually sold new ones over sticker price.
Changes due to Shifting Federal Standards
When the 1972 and 1973 models were released, even more changes were made. Subtle details were changed on the 1972, but the 1973 models had larger bumpers due to federal safety standards. They also had changes made to fit federal emissions standards, which resulted in smaller carburetor settings with less compression. The new standards caused many cars suffer from vapor lock, and the 240Z was not immune to the problem. The horsepower dropped in 1974, from 150 in 1969 to 129. The last model year of the 240Z sold more models than every other previous year models, which makes them easier for collectors to find.