Nissan Datsun 240z

1971 SERIES 1 | 2.4


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The decades-long Z Car legend starts with the original Datsun 240Z, which entered production in October 1969 as a 1970 model year vehicle. Produced as something of a response to Toyota’s 2000GT sports car, the Yamaha proposal for which was passed over by Nissan before it became a Toyota project, the 240Z would ultimately be far more successful, with more than 160,000 of the two-door, two-seat, rear-drive sports cars sold in just four years of production in the United States. With a 151-hp 2.4-liter straight-six engine paired with a four-speed transmission, fully independent suspension, the 240Z was seen as a performance bargain, with 0-to-60 mph times in the 8.0-second range and a 125-mph top speed.

The 240Z was sold in four unofficial series. Series 1 240Zs include the earliest cars built in late 1969 through mid-1971, identifiable by two ventilation grilles below the rear hatch and “240Z” badging on the C-pillar. These early cars are typically the most desirable to collectors, although the vents, removed from Series 2 cars, would allow exhaust fumes to enter the cabin when parked or at low speeds. Production of the 240Z ended in September 1973.