Lot 40: Datsun 240Z
The iconic Datsun 240Z - or Fairlady Z as it was known in Japan - would not have made it into production without the enthusiastic support of Yutaka Katayama (the then president of Nissan USA). A small team headed by Yoshihiko Matsuo created the car, and whilst a hugely popular in America, sales were hampered on the other side of The Pond by a high purchase price and residual anti-Japanese sentiment. But any Z represents a huge leap forward for the sportscar over established `classics' such as the MGB and TR6, and in truth, the Datsun is the spiritual successor to the Austin-Healey 3000, which went out of production a year before the Datsun came onto the market in 1969. The design team even went so far as to think about how long-distance transportation to North America would affect the cars' cosmetic condition, and rust-proofed accordingly; by contrast imported British sportscars sometimes arrived on the dockside with visible corrosion. The Mercedes-Benz-inspired single overhead-cam 2393cc straight-six (L24) motor was a revelation in drivability, and would scream to its high-for-the-day 6,500rpm redline. Hitachi copies of SU side-draught carburettors were utilised, but modified to improve fuel delivery and power. A five-speed gearbox was a standard fitting, and the rugged all-round McPherson struts and `live' rear axle allowed for hooligan driving in a league beyond that of its natural competitor, the 3-litre Capri. And so it should, although reputedly capable of 0-60mph in 8.3 seconds and 125mph, the 240Z cost almost fifty percent more than the Ford.
Finished in red with black upholstery, this particular left-hand drive example is described by the vendor as being in "very good" condition with regard to its engine, automatic transmission, electrical equipment, interior trim, bodywork and paintwork. Riding on smart eight-spoke alloy wheels, this striking Datsun 240Z is offered for sale with MOT certificate valid until July 2011 and historic class (free) road tax.
Auction of Cars|
H&H Sales Limited, Haynes International Motor Museum, Sparkford, Somerset
|Hammer Price (inc premium)||£9350|
|Engine capacity (cc)||2400|
|Engine - cylinders|
|Number of doors||2|