1974 Datsun 260Z Project – Sold?
April 18, 2021 Update – We just confirmed the listing for this “Classifind” expired, so with no replacement found we’re assuming this ride “Sold?” While this one got away, please reach out either by email or call Rudy directly if you’d like to be informed when we come across something similar.
Many Craigslist “Classifinds” suck you in with a great feature picture only to have the balance of the photographs provided quickly sober you into realizing what you might be getting yourself into. Our latest example is this 1974 Datsun 260Z project originally listed in March 2021 in Jamaica, Queens (New York) reportedly a barn find in 2016 that’s now offered for $12,000 or best offer. Comparing this price against the Hagerty Insurance Online Valuation Tool confirms this private seller has their 260Z priced between the #3 “Good” estimate of $11,100 and the #2 “Excellent” estimate of $30,000. In a slightly different analysis, the Collector Car Market Review indicates the current asking price falls between this guide’s #4 “Fair” estimate of $5,925 and its #3 “Good” appraisal of $14,100. The obvious need for a repaint and some rust repair despite being a very solid car overall combined with the seller tipping their hand over the need to sell have us recommending you negotiate hard with cash in hand to become the next project manager for this Datsun.
Here’s the Hagerty Insurance Synopsis of the Datsun 260Z:
“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 the 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. 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 roof line 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.”
We came across this vintage 1974 Datsun 260Z commercial on YouTube:
In addition to needing to hire a flatbed to pick up your new Datsun project, you’ll need to decide whether you want to restore or modify to your tastes. While prices of these vintage Japanese sports cars are on the rise, we’re quick to point out the highest values are being realized for extremely low mileage, unrestored original examples rather than restored examples.
Here’s the seller’s description:
“Yes, it’s still available..
-1974 Datsun 260z ( early 260z)
-Barn find in 2016 in Pennsylvania
-84,562 original miles
-matching engine and 4-speed trans (L26)
-everything original except the carbs, radiator and fan. Carbs was updated with brand new SU carbs. Radiator has been updated with shroud and dual electric fan.
– ￼has lowing votgland springs with kyb shocks but there is some play in the springs. I found out that they company was sold the company and started having issues with Their ￼parts.
-exhaust part of the gasket is blown so it ￼ idles a bit high.
-still needs work to be what road worthy. ( break lines need to change and the rear diff gasket needs to change.) I have all the break likes and gasket for the differential.
-Everything original I have in storage.
Selling because I no longer have garage storage access￼ and having some financial issues. This is my dream car. But I need to get other things in order right now.
Restore or Modify: What would you do with this Datsun 260Z project? Comment below and let us know!