One Year Only: 1974 Datsun 260Z 62K Survivor – Sold?

by | May 2024 | Craigslist ClassiFINDS, Malaise Monday

(To stop the slideshow and expand the pictures, click on the current photograph below)

June 17, 2024, Update – While this “ClassiFIND” expired recently, given the seller’s history, we suspect it may not actually be sold yet.  For now, we’re labeling this ride “Sold?” However, we will keep an eye out for an updated listing. In the interim, please reach out either by email or call Rudy directly if you’d like to be informed when we come across something similar.

May 14, 2024 Update – After sitting out the month of April following the expiration of their last Craigslist ad, the seller of this ’74 Datsun 260Z we first spotted posted a fresh ad in January. The currently asking price of $28,500 represents a substantial drop from the original $39,000 ask at the beginning of the year.

March 18, 2024, Update – We confirmed the listing for this “ClassiFIND” expired, so with no replacement found, we’re assuming this ride is “Sold?” until we come across a replacement listing.

February 16, 2024 Update—The seller posted a fresh Craigslist ad one week after deleting their original listing. That could be a sign that a potential deal for the car fell through. Either way, the seller’s description, pictures, and asking price of $36,500 on their 62K original mile 260Z all carry over from the last Craigslist ad. The seller notes they are open to offers.

February 5, 2024, Update – We confirmed the seller of this “Classifind” deleted their listing, so we’re now able to call this one “SOLD!” unless we come across a replacement listing.

January 16, 2024 Update – The seller lowered their asking price from $39,000 to $36,500 in their soon-to-expire Craigslist ad.

Tightening Federal emissions and safety regulations throughout the 1970s often meant foreign automakers offered U.S.-only models, if they offered a “Federalized” model at all. One such example is the 1974 Datsun 260Z. While all markets received a larger 2.6 Liter inline six, U.S. models gave their drivers thirty less horsepower. While it ended up being a one-year-only U.S. model, the Datsun 260Z remained in production for the rest of the world until 1978.  From 1975 through 1978, Datsun offered the US-only 280Z as the even larger displacement helped offset the power lost by lower a lower compression ratio and other emissions equipment.

Further confusing the US market 1974 Datsun 260Z is that “early” production versions are equipped with smaller bumpers, while mid-model-year 1974.5 versions featured horrible-looking U.S. units designed to meet the new five-mile-per-hour standard.  Thankfully, this Leaf Green 1974 Datsun 260Z For Sale, last spotted on Craigslist in Indianola, Iowa (Des Moines) in January 2024, appears to be an early model year example. The seller reports their 1974 Datsun 260Z for sale is a family-owned 62,468 original mile survivor that has never been in an accident.  The only modifications the seller notes is the addition of better-performing twin Weber 32/36 DFV carburetors and wire wheels, which was a popular “Day 2” upgrade on these cars when new. It’s quite refreshing to find a one-year-only Datsun 260Z for sale that is not rusted or has been heavily modified over the years.

Last offered for $28,500 (the original ask was $39,000), Classic.com, the analytics and search engine for the collector car market, confirms the ask is well above this guide’s six-month results for just 1974 Datsun 260Z’s.  By clicking on the green dots in the graph below, you can get a sense of what comparable examples sold for recently:

As a second data point, the  Collector Car Market Review Online Tool reveals the seller’s ask falls between this guide’s #2 Very Good” estimate of $21,600 and its #1 “Excellent” appraisal of $41,200 without any equipment adjustments needed for this example. To their credit, the seller indicates they are open to entertaining reasonable offers.

Datsun’s Fairlady Z offered continual improvements through the 1970s as safety and emissions regulations increased, particularly in the U.S. During this period, Datsun would update the model designation to correspond with the car’s engine displacement. While the rest of the world received the 260Z version from 1974 through 1978, it was a one year only model for US bound versions. All versions of the 260Z benefitted from an enlarged, longer-stroke 2.6 Liter inline-six. While power increased to 160 horsepower for other markets, US models featured a lower 139 horsepower version equipped with a different camshaft, timing, and lower compression ratio all designed to meet tightening Federal emission regulations.

The exterior design of the 260Z reflected the sleek and aerodynamic trends of the 1970s. With its distinctive long hood and fastback profile, the 260Z exuded a sense of speed and agility. The front end featured the iconic Datsun grille and single set-back headlights, contributing to its overall sporty aesthetic. The 260Z also retained the signature Z-car design elements, such as the prominent roofline and the hatchback rear, providing a perfect blend of style and functionality.

Inside the cabin, the 1974 Datsun 260Z offered a comfortable and driver-centric environment. The interior design showcased a balance between simplicity and functionality. Bucket seats provided excellent support during spirited driving, and the driver-oriented cockpit layout emphasized a focus on the driving experience. While luxury features were not the primary focus, the 260Z included amenities like air conditioning, a rarity in sports cars of its time, enhancing overall comfort.

The chassis of the 260Z played a crucial role in delivering a responsive and engaging driving experience. The independent suspension system, with MacPherson struts in the front and Chapman struts in the rear, contributed to precise handling and a smooth ride. The lightweight construction of the chassis further improved the car’s agility, making it a joy to navigate through twists and turns.

In the context of the U.S. market in 1974, the Datsun 260Z made a significant impact. It appealed to enthusiasts seeking a balance between performance, style, and affordability. The competitive pricing of the 260Z compared to other sports cars of its time positioned it as an attractive option for buyers looking for a thrilling driving experience without breaking the bank. Its success contributed to the rise of Japanese sports cars in the American market, challenging the dominance of European counterparts.

The 1974 Datsun 260Z remains a sought-after classic today. Its historical significance, coupled with its distinctive design and enjoyable driving dynamics, has earned it a place among collectors and automotive enthusiasts. Well-maintained examples of the 260Z are considered valuable, and the car continues to be appreciated for its role in shaping the sports car landscape in the 1970s.

The 1974 Datsun 260Z stands as a testament to Datsun’s commitment to delivering accessible and enjoyable sports cars. With its potent engine, stylish design, and engaging driving characteristics, the 260Z left an indelible mark on the automotive industry, influencing the trajectory of sports cars in the U.S. market during the 1970s.

The Xenon ZCar YouTube Channel features this 1974 Datsun 260Z commercial:

 

Finding a survivor quality, unmodified, 1970s Datsun Z Car is a very tough proposition.  While this survivor-quality 1974 Datsun 260Z for sale features better aftermarket Weber carburetors, no one will fault the seller for making this upgrade as it likely improves both cold start and overall performance.  The period correct “Day 2” wire wheel upgrade is an easy change should the next caretaker so decide.

If you are serious about buying this 260Z, you can start the conversation by using the contact information provided by the seller in their Craigslist ad.  When you connect, please mention that you saw their Datsun Fairlady Z featured here on GuysWithRides.com. Good luck with the purchase!

Here’s the seller’s description:

“1974 Datsun 260Z
All original except wheels and carburetors.
This car has never been in an accident or restored. (Paint is original)
The original SU carburetors were replaced with better performing and more reliable Weber 32/36 DGVs.
Family owned, never driven in winter, garage kept. Regularly maintained.
The 260Z was only made for the US for one year.
Beautiful fun car!
I have some videos and more pictures here: Flickr photos/40743675@N03
I can text a link.

Show or go: What would you do with this 1974 Datsun 260Z survivor for sale? Please comment below and let us know!

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