Two Plus Two Equals Fun: 1974 Datsun 260Z 2+2 33K Mile Survivor – SOLD!

Sep 2020 | Classifinds, Malaise Monday

September 19th Update – We’re not surprised to find the private seller of this low-mileage 260Z 2+2 deleted their listing just one week after first posting it.  Consequently, we’re now calling this Z “Sold!”

In this modern age of jellybean shaped, look-alike SUVs and CUVs, the term “2+2” is no longer a part of the vernacular of modern car designers.  However, back in the sixties and seventies, a 2+2 was the more practical alternative for a car enthusiast who longed for a sports car but who occasionally needed a back seat for others.  To answer the call, Datsun (now Nissan) offered both a two-seat 260Z sports car alongside a 2+2 version such as this 33K original mile example listed recently in North Dartmouth, Massachusetts with a rare white interior and an asking price of $8,500.   Comparing this price against the Hagerty Insurance Online Valuation Tool confirms this private seller has his 260Z priced between the #2 “Excellent” appraisal of $20,600 and the #3 “Good” estimate of $7,600.   As a second point of reference, on the Collector Car Market Review Online Tool, the asking price falls between that guide’s #4 appraisal of $5,925 and their 3# estimate of $14,100. 

Here is Hagerty Insurance’s Take on the 260Z they include in their valuation tool:

“Datsun’s 240Z, introduced in 1970, was brilliant, but emissions controls began to hamper the car’s performance by 1972. Changes were required in order for the Z car to meet federal mandates while still retaining an essence of its original purpose, so plans were made to switch from carburetion to fuel injection in the 280Z. In the interim, Datsun offered the 260Z in the U.S. for 1974 only.

The Datsun 260Z used a modified version of the 240Z’s 2.4-liter overhead-cam straight-six engine, now stroked to a displacement of 2.6 liters. The bigger motor was required to counteract a lower compression ratio, and the 260Z was slightly less powerful at 140 hp. The top speed for the 260 was a tick higher than the 240 at 127 mph, while the acceleration was not quite as spirited.

Other than the engine, mechanically the car was quite similar. Front disc and rear drum brakes provided stopping power. Independent suspension all around aided handling, though the 260Z had a thicker rear sway bar and a stiffer chassis to provide a more assured ride in some ways. Shifting could be handled with either a three-speed automatic or a four-speed manual.

The basic coupe retained most of the 240Z’s lovely styling, albeit behind bigger bumpers. A new, larger 2+2 coupe also debuted with the 260Z, and this car had a noticeably taller rear roofline to provide head clearance for all passengers. Datsun also provided the 260Z with a new interior design. In 1975, Datsun introduced the fuel-injected 280Z, which would provide a more long-lived emissions solution.

Like other Z cars, the 1974 Datsun 260Z is mechanically simple, quite reliable, and fun to drive. Rust-prone bodies are the biggest risk with these cars, and the one-year-only status (in the U.S., at least) means that buyers may have to hunt a bit to locate cars in great condition. Similarly, some parts can be a challenge. Still, plenty of rust-free examples are available and club support is fairly good for these models, all of which adds up to a car well-suited to be an entry-level collectible car.”

Hagerty Insurance also provides a buyer’s guide on their YouTube channel for the 240Z that also applies to the later 260 version featured here:

With prices of the low-mileage, two-seat versions now on the rise, a 2+2 version of the same car makes a compellingly affordable alternative, especially in a such a pretty color combination.  Good luck with the purchase!

Here’s the seller’s brief description:

“1974 Datsun 260z 2+2 rare one year only with white interior runs and drives very good with 33430 miles

Do you have a Datsun 260Z story you’d like to share?  Comment below and let us know!

1 Comment
  1. Analog Man

    The 2+2 is not as desirable as the Z coupe, and the 260 likewise probably the least sought after of the 240/260/280 first-generation body style, but the price certainly reflects that. If the mileage is real, $8500 for a 33k first-generation body Z with a manual transmission sounds like a great buy.

    I owned the twin to this car way back in the early 80’s. I was a poverty-stricken graduate student, and I couldn’t believe my luck at having ‘scored’ a clean (looking) 260Z. It was my first Japanese car. I felt so sophisticated driving it, picking up my girlfriend (now wife) in my hot ‘sports’ car, feeling like James Bond.

    These cars are severely rust-prone. After just 8 upstate New York winters, mine was already more bondo than metal in the body (though it looked reasonably nice from 20 feet, with shiny paint covering inches of filler). I don’t think mine had any metal left in it below about knee level. The frames and floors of these cars are also highly susceptible to rust. Mine was so far gone it wouldn’t come remotely close to passing NYS inspection. It took a massive intervention and extensive combination of some professional welding, my own homemade patching with various pieces of metal and extremely liberal application of gallons of rubberized undercoating, and a very sympathetic inspection mechanic, to finally get a sticker.

    The ’74 emissions control system left a lot to be desired as well. The OEM SU carburetors were primitive and didn’t like being constrained by emissions controls. Though it only had about 40k miles on it at the time I owned it, they needed constant tinkering. The car would run-on (diesel) indefinitely after turning off the ignition, the only way to shut it down was either to pull on the choke or stall it out in gear. The previous 240Z wasn’t saddled with much in the way of emissions controls, and the 280Z had fuel injection, leaving the 260Z with a Rube Goldberg setup typical of most 1974 cars.

    Nonetheless, it was fun to drive. Tooling along twisty upstate New York roads, with Rock the Casbah by The Clash or Billy Idol’s White Wedding playing on the cassette deck, I felt like the king of the world.

    I would check the body and frame very closely for rust to know what you’re getting into. The front seat upholstery also looks loose, I wonder if those are seat covers. But $8500 seems like a bargain, especially compared to the $310,000 (yes, three hundred, ten thousand dollars) a 1971 240Z with 21k miles sold for in January on BaT.

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