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Datsun 240Z (1969-74): purchase advice and driving report

50 years of Datsun 240Z
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The Datsun 240Z, a sports car from the truck company Nishon Sangyo, known as Nissan for short, made its debut in October 1969 on the Tokyo Motor Show the sensation. The Datsun 240 Z hit like a thunderstorm, especially the American motor journalists from Road & Track and Car and Driver were thunderstruck.

A sports car that is worth the wait

' An E-Type for the price of an MGB. It's worth waiting seven months for him, ”wrote Road & Track enthusiastically.

Okay, two years ago there was the Toyota 2000 GT. This classy car beauty, built by Yamaha in a homeopathic dose of only 357 copies, was an expensive sushi plate with six cylinders on two overhead camshafts. But it didn't fill you up because only an elite could afford it. The Datsun 240 Z, on the other hand, focused on profitable Large-scale production, targeting the world's largest sports car market, which he served as tailor-made. 'An E-Type for the price of an MGB. It's worth waiting seven months for it,' wrote Road & Track enthusiastically. The two-seater Datsun 240 Z cost only 3,526 dollars at the time without any extras - a sports car at a bargain price ..

The attractive Datsun Fairlady Z, as she was christened in Japan after the musical on the Far Eastern scene, however, did not shineahead. In addition to satisfying home-style cooking, portioned for the undemanding American taste, Nissan was already preparing a sporty, rustic roadster based on a spicy MGB recipe seven years before the Datsun 240-Z - the Datsun Sport 1500, available later than the 1600 and 2000.

Datsun corrected Goertz-Design

The main features of the 240Z's design are from German designer Goertz.

Another beauty on the way to Miss Japan 1969 was called Silvia. Albrecht Graf Goertz, the versatile industrial designer and creator of the BMW 507, tailored Silvia's tailored dress that flattered the delicate figure of the Japanese woman. Silvia's rendezvous with the noble body couturier from Germany began in 1965. The Japanese were enthusiastic about the magic of the beautiful exotic woman and called her Fairlady Coupé.

The Datsun 240Z - Miss Z -, their younger and older sister, shows similarly distinctive features. A long front section with a slight arrow, large wheel cutouts and delicate side windows in the low roof structure. No wonder, after all, the German Count took care of the mask and costume for the Datsun 240 Z. But the back decollete varied significantly - Silvia with a high-necked step, Miss Z in turn with a wide-cut fastback.

Count Goertz combined the in the prototype stage Datsun 240 Z cleverly styled elements of the split-window Corvette with those of the Jaguar E-Type. First the Datsun 240 Z should have pop-up headlights, but Goertz's contract with Nissan expired in 1965. The Japanese continued the project on their own, tightened the bulbous front fenders and created a more angular front with recessed round headlights.

Later on the debut of the Datsun 280 ZX, which Goertz heavily criticized, there should be a dispute between the Designers and Nissan come because of the copyrights on the Datsun 240 Z. Goertz disarmed the Japanese with the terse remark: 'You built the car, but I showed you how.'

Interior with synthetic leather and plastic

The only jewelry in the cockpit: imitation wood on the steering wheel.

The Datsun 240 Z shines in the luminous orange of the figure-hugging vinyl dress. Miss Z emigrated from Japan to the USA 21 years ago, now she wants to live in Germany. Where the Datsun 240Z was hardly known, at most the younger sister 260Z - a two-plus-two with the same perky hips, but on the whole not as well proportioned as the Datsun 240Z. Miss Z looks almost virginal, a surgeon with golden hands erased the traces of the years. The Datsun 240 Z has invited us to a rendezvous and we can spend two weeks with it. We would like to get to know him, the almost unknown exotic here in this country. The best thing is behind the deeply bowl-shaped steering wheel with the thin rim made of imitation wood.

Inside, the lady is not entirely sure of taste. The Datsun 240 Z-Mode is more from C&A than from Jil Sander. Plain, functional black predominates, but the plastic cockpit landscape with the poorly profiled synthetic leather seats looks like mass-produced items. The Datsun 240 Z's cloakroom could have come from a Ford Mustang, but the many round instruments at best bear witness to British sports car culture. Wood and leather: none. The chauffeur, on the other hand, sits superbly because the low position behind the steep Datsun 240 Z steering wheel fits like a glove.

Six-cylinder in-line with 130 hp

A pinch of choke, and the Datsun's sturdy six-cylinder in-line 240 Z, which the automaker Prince once brought as a dowry to their marriage to Nissan, barks with an aggressive tone. The gearshift is very British, the gearshift lever, decorated with a playful real leather bow, almost automatically finds its way through the narrow, short alleys of the gearbox, high precision can be felt. The Datsun 240 Z driver has the pleasant feeling of being part of the drive train for a brief moment while changing gears.

The structurally simple engine sounds very charismatic.

Miss Z loves the direct. She says what she wants bluntly and answers promptly - nothing remains in the dark. Not even when cornering quickly. She is boyish and friendly. The elegant dress of the Datsun 240 Z is deceptive; it drives as if it were wearing jeans and boots. It's not quiet, never, but neither is it vulgar in tone. It sounds cheerful and thrilling in all pitches of the rev range. The Datsun 240 Z six-cylinder, which always raises its voice, looks and is constructed like the Mercedes engine in the pagoda: an overhead camshaft, parallel valves, no cross-flow head, and inlet and outlet are on the same side. It's a farmer's engine, but it still has 130 hp and willingly revs up to 6,000 revs and over. Then he hisses threateningly, and when you take off the accelerator the exhaust grumbles.

This is how the Datsun 240Z

Your little speech defect is the gear singing, but that too seems British. It constantly resonates, as if the helical gearing had not yet been invented. Does thicker gear oil help? Miss Z can be guided wonderfully, the Datsun 240 Z rack and pinion steering reacts very directly and precisely. It doesn't need servo, it's slim (it weighs only 1,060 kilograms) and sporty. She likes corners, even fast ones, but never gets off balance. She got good genes, even a rear independent suspension with struts and wishbones, unusually complex for a Japanese woman of the late sixties.

Here too, the Datsun 240 Z emulates the Jaguar E-Type model. But the red pen killed the rear disc brakes, as I said: $ 3,526. The Datsun 240 Dest came to Germany in 1973, where it was more demanding. You could only become Miss Z's lover from 17,600 marks. It was love at mile 207. Then she had conquered me. And it didn't bother me anymore that she is a commoner. Sayonara Miss Z, it was nice - when will we see you again?


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