Thursday, April 4, 2013

Topanga Street Sighting - 1972 Datsun 240Z

For a long time now, I've wanted to write something about the Datsun 240Z. They're still plentiful in California and have a strong following as one of the greatest Japanese sports cars of the 1970s. In recent years these cars have enjoyed a bit of a resurgence with the import tuning crowd. I think the anime series Wangan Midnight has helped do for the 240Z what Initial D did for the Toyota Corolla AE86.

The 240Z began life as the Nissan S30, marketed as the Fairlady Z in its home market. It came to the U.S. in 1970 and was a big hit with buyers looking for an affordable 2-seat sports car. The 240 was sold here until 1973, and in 1974 was replaced by the 260Z which came with a larger 2.6 liter inline six and larger federal bumpers, and also offered a 2+2 version with a completely butchered roofline to allow for a small rear seat. In 1975 the 280Z came out, and in 1979 the first-generation Z was retired in favor of an all new car dubbed 280ZX.

This Z looks to be an early Series II 240Z, likely built in 1972. It has been customized quite a lot, with deep-dish Watanabe/Konig Rewind/Rota RB wheels and bolt-on fender flares. This seems to be a popular look for these cars. The bumpers and front marker lights are shaved and four hood pins keep everything shut tight. An aggressive front air dam and a black ducktail spoiler keep the car planted. Inside, there's a full roll bar and Recaro racing seats. One small sport mirror on the driver side minimizes drag. I can't even begin to guess what's under the hood, but judging by the wide, sticky rubber, sport exhaust and NISMO license frame, this beast means business. I bet it's a hoot on the track and on the street.


  1. hi can u tell the rims spec. full spec

    1. I believe the wheels are 17-inch deep-dish Rota RB-Xs, either 9 or 9.5 inch width. Tires are Falken Azenis RT-615, size 255/40R17 94W.

  2. I want to do a Datsun 240z build how can I get a front bumper like that?

  3. Nissan’s sports vehicles always been successful on the Japan market and not just. So may be the Nissan Fairlady Z (name used in Japan) starting the first 12 months of introduction in 1970 till our times. The Fairlady Z was sold around the US marketplace as Datsuns until 1984. The 1st model from your Z-Cars series was the 240Z. Next Machine presented the 260Z, 280Z, 280ZX, 300ZX and previous one is 350Z. The Datsuns 240Z was unveiled in 1969 and the US industry was introduced 1970 simply by Yutaka Katayama, president of Nissan Engines USA procedures. The “Z” letter through the name identifies the shift of the engine: the initial model -- the 240Z used a 2 . 4l engine; 350Z uses a a few. 5 liters engine.