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Better Than Butter - 240z Daily Driver

This is my test platform/ personal favorite car in my personal corral. It was posted on Facebook Marketplace for months before I decided to do anything about it. It was listed as a 240z with a 280z engine and I did not value a 240z swapped with an unmarked 280z engine. After a few months of seeing it still with its shag carpet and 80s interior upgrade, I said "to heck with it" and asked the guy who posted it (a young kid) what the details were. He reached back out to me to tell me that this was not his car and in fact, it was his mom's 87-year-old neighbor who he was helping post because he did not know the internet too well.

Datsun series 1 240z parts and restoration

After getting back to me with a video of the paperwork which included all original documents since pre-ordered in December of 1969, I knew I had to rush over and snag this one up. I called and reserved the chance to buy it with the kid. I drove as safe and quickly as possible from Massachusetts to New Jersey. After seeing it in person I was glad I came to rescue it. It was in fact a California car that never drove in the northeast. The owner trailered it here after he retired from Boeing in 2001 and it sat in various storage sheds and garages since then.

Datsun series 1 240z parts and restoration

The price was fair for an early series 240Z so I did not haggle with the seller. The owner was glad such an enthusiast would be getting his old car. He said, "It's time someone else enjoys it as much as I have." After getting it home I went through all the paperwork and service history. There must have been at least $100,000 in receipts and maintenance over the last 50 years. I found one service record from 1990 from Nissan where the owner took in the car to have the engine repaired after it froze up. Nissan decided the original numbers engine was beyond repair so they took the only long block they had in 1990 and assembled the 240z components onto the L-28 long block. It was a spectacular thing to find as even though the engine was not original it was a NOS long block from Nissan themselves.

classic old 240z Datsun, early model, series 1

Coming from California the car was very solid and so once I got some free time from my customers' cars I put in the time to make it a driver.

engine bay of Datsun 240z series one

New England dans 240z series 1

240z Datsun restoration in New England

rust damage repair 240z Datsun series one

I yanked the tired L-28 for a future refresh and threw my race-prepped L-24 in to have immediate fun.

nissan engine in 240z 1970 datsun series 1 early model

Every mechanical component came off the car and was replaced or refurbished besides paintwork. I kind of liked the non-Datsun color choice. The color was a Mercedes cream color for which the first owner had the complete Mercedes color swatch and receipt for the paintwork from the 80s.

datsun 240z 1970 series one New England

restored parts for 240z datsun series one 1970

new parts for 240z Datsun 1970 series one

repairs on datsun 240z 1970 early series one

I chose to keep everything as reversible as possible and upgrade where Datsun lacked. In the end, I produced a fast-paced early series 240z that is a blast to drive both on and off the track.


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