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Z car differences


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Hello everybody,

I have finally found a car that both myself and my partner agree is worth owning from an aesthetic point of view. She is very fussy!

What Im asking however, what are the main differences between the body shells of the 240's and the 280's. I hope this isnt an obvious and dumb question, but from what i can figure from the searches on the internet they are very similar in body, just lights and bumper diferences. We like the 240z coupe shape what other models had this chassis and body. Also the 2+2 configuration of the 240, does that have a differing rear 1/4 window shape to the coupe.

Where do they mainly rust?

Im sure there are many other questions, so if you have some advice please pass it on, we arent in a rush to find one just yet but are trying to gain as much information about the zed's as we can to make the right decision when we do purchase.

Thanks in advance for your help

Justin P

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Gidday Justin,

Good choice about thinking about getting a Zed. Even better choice asking about them before you start looking to get one. My advice is to use the search function on this website to find what you are looking for. Spend A LOT of time doing your research before you buy.....these cars are old and as you will find out suffer from the ugly rust monster if not looked after. There are many Aussie members here so you shouldn't be without help for to long.

A very basic and brief speal below.

First there was the series 1 240Z. It is the lightest and was the quickest until the turbo 280ZX was introduced. The lightness was due to the small gauge of the sheetmetal and as a result, these early cars tend to rust out in places like the frame rails, floor pans, rear deck, doglegs and sills. I have a S1 and it is amazing where rust can sleep. Most Zed's rust in the same places.

The series 2 240Z has introduced and had very minor changes really. It gained about 220lbs in weight. The 240Z never came out as a 2+2.

New laws in the US dealt the 240Z a early death in 74 with the requirement for more crash protection. The 260Z got heavier again and that is why the engine gained more displacement. They introduced a 260Z 2+2.

The 280Z was introduced and got heavier again hence more HP needed and hence the L28 engine.

Amazingly enough all 3 models look very similar in profile with only bumpers changing the shape.

The best advice I can give you is to buy a car that has the least amount of rust in it. Rust is very expensive to remove and starting with a good base will make your experiance more fun.

But find one and go for a drive.......then you will be hooked for good.

Good luck and remember..............

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Thanks for your reply 240znz.

What I am gathering is that all 240z 260z and 280z models are the same in the body shell save for a few minor variances to accommodate bumpers etc. this body shape seems to have started around 1969 and lasted until about 1980. Is this correct. If it is then any of these models may be suitable to get the traditional 240z look irrespective of under the skin variances?

I have had plenty of experience with rust owning many an english car, and needing to repair rust in the oddest of places, usually upside down and somehow greatly contorted.

Also restored a Lancia beta coupe! Say no more about rust.


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Gidday Justin,

I've got a mate restoring a Fiat 130 at the moment and I thought I had some rust, There's always someone worse off some where.

Buy the best shell/car you can afford to start on. I'm sure that's advise you don't need after restoring a Lancia Beta.

You do realise that once you've driven a Z there is no going back.

Good luck,

Alan P.

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Welcome to the club.

One point. 280z's didnt come out in Australia, only the US.

You know the other differences right? The engine size. 240z had 2.4liters 260z had 2.6liters etc.

Do you want a 2 seater or 4(2+2)

Good idea to search around.



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The 240-260-280Z went from the 70 model year to the 78 model year. We sometimes call the earliest 240Z a 1969 although it's really a 1970 as far as the model year is concerned. The breakdown is as follows. 240Z(1970-1973), 260Z(1974), and 280Z(1975-1978). There were two versions of the 260Z. The early version had the 73 type bumpers and the late version had the larger 75 type bumpers. They were carbureated until 1975 when they added electronic fuel injection. They were two seaters until 74 when the 2+2 became available. They were four speeds until 75 when the five speed became an option. I believe the automatic trans became and option in 1971. (someone check me on that one) What I have stated here is for US spec cars. There were some differences in the other markets.

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Datsun also made a L20 FI model. I've seen a few in NZ, so you might also find a few in Aussie. They look just like a 240Z. Not too sure how they came about but I'm guessing that they were a Japanese domestic market model only.

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