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DougN

Check out this "71 240Z"

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Came upon the below auction, and since it is not too far away, looked a little closer. Something seemed a bit odd about the car, what do you think?

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=300275847579&ssPageName=ADME:X:RTQ:MOTORS:1123

Listed as a '71 240Z with HLS30 29519, yet something seems a bit odd. I emailed the seller and asked about the discrepancies and was basically told to F-off:

(photos provided for posterity):

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Not sure I see the "discrepencies" that you are seeing. It looks as though the car is complete and the production tag does not appear to have been tampered with. The current price is in my opinion not a bad purchase as well... $2100.00 will not buy you much more car than that these days. I think he's probably being honest with what he has and could make for a good Z to a new home.

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The pics are fuzzy, but doesn't it have a whole lot of 280Z parts on it? The dash, console, door panels, hood, hatch, tail light panel, etc. are from a 280. I can't see the front turn signals in any of the pics, but they might be from a 280 as well. Also, unless the camera is playing tricks, there is something going on with the stripes. They look very crooked from the back.

The engine bay VIN and inspection lamps are located in 240Z position, but it looks like there are 280 parts there as well. Did the '71 have a vacuum canister there? What about the radiator support to fender ducts? Are they on the '71s?

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Looks like a 260Z with the door tag from a '71 240Z to me. I'd want to see the other VIN locations prior to bidding. Could be a nightmare to title or register outside of Georgia. In Oregon, for example, to title a car from out of state, the car must be inspected by the DMV in person and all known VIN locations must match. I suspect other states may be similar.

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Look where the door closure is, the type, It look like mine and I have a 280. Also the dash looks like a 280. Looks like 2 pictures are not from the same time period, the car in the garage from 11/01/2007 and the Vin tag from 11/24/08 all the others are from 11/22/08. Why the different picture times.

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Looks like someone bought this '71 280Z ;) I thought the same thing, and either a) someone took the VIN tags from a '71 240Z and stuck them on this 280Z, or B) someone stuck a whole bunch of 280Z parts on this '71 240Z shell. Most likely (a) in my opinion. I did ask the seller for a photo of the etched serial number on the firewall (I believe 280Z's have this as well?) to see if it matched the VIN tags. He ignored the request.

I'm not an attorney, nor did I stay at a Holiday Inn last night, but it would seem that selling the car if it is (a) is illegal?

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I agree that car looks like a 260z, but im not an expert. Those bumpers and the tail lights just look more like those from a 260z. Could it be a later year 240 like a 73?

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After doing a little surfing on Cardomain, I agree with Arne. The '71 240Z is actually an early '74 260Z. Everything I originally thought looked like 280Z parts are really 260Z parts. The inspection lamp, VIN tag, vacuum reservoir, radiator, dash, door panels, tail lights, etc. all fit 260Z designs. I would say that there was some VIN swapping going on. I wonder what he did about the stamped firewall VIN? :finger:

Here is a random 260Z I found on cardomain. Look at the picks and compare them to the "240Z on Ebay" http://www.cardomain.com/ride/1932829

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Those bumpers and the tail lights just look more like those from a 260z. Could it be a later year 240 like a 73?

Only if the tail lights were swapped from a later car. All 240z's have the integrated white backup lights. All US 260 and 280z's have the separate white backup light closer to the license plate. Swapping out the rear panel is a whole lot more work than swapping the VIN tag which is what I suspect happened here.

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Problem is that someone will buy it not knowing much about Z's only to later find out that the previous owner was creative and happened to own a rivet gun.

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I emailed the seller, last week, right after the auction was first posted -- and told him that I thought that the car was a 260Z. I asked him if the VIN that's stamped on the firewall matched the door plate, and was told that the seller was 'not an expert' and that he apparently wasn't interested in identifying it further.

My guess....it's an early 260Z with VIN plates from a 240Z.

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I know for a fact here in GA you don't need a tile for a car this old nor do you need it inspected, all you need is a bill of sale and you can register the car.

When I bought my 76 280Z I took the title to change it over and was told its an antique and did not need all of that.

The great news about this, you might ask.

I got a great antique tag for the Z free of charge.

So any type of Vin change would be very easy in GA..

Also looking at the plate, it looks like he has the antique tag on it.

From GA DMV Website.

Antique Plates

To qualify for these tags, your vehicle must be over 25 years old. Or, your vehicle must be designed and manufactured to replicate an antique vehicle.

So he made the 260 look somewhat like a 240 and told the DMV it was a 240.

The registration fee is $20, and there isn't a special tag fee. You may transfer the tags to another antique vehicle in your possession.

If you wish to display the Georgia plate coinciding with the vehicle's model year, you'll have to complete an affidavit, and the vehicle must be from 1970 or earlier. Take the form to a county tag agent office, where a visual inspection on the vehicle must be completed.

Remember to keep the current tags in the vehicle at all times, along with the affidavit.

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Edited by 280~Master

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Problem is that someone will buy it not knowing much about Z's only to later find out that the previous owner was creative and happened to own a rivet gun.

Well, that someone paid $3,550.00 for a 240Z 'Clone' and a very poor attempt of one at that. This is outright fraud and I feel for the uninformed buyer. You see this happen with the old Pontiac LeMans and Tempest cars from time to time that are passed off as GTOs. Or the base Chevelles that are passed of as Chevelle SS's. Now granted, most of the owners of these cars will come out and say that it's a clone and it will still have the original LeMans ID tags, etc. But this guy did such a bad job, I'm surprised it went for $3,550.00.

Edited by lonetreesteve

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The problem is that there is no real benefit to cloning a 240Z using a 260Z. My guess is that the 260Z was a stolen car and a junkyard 240Z VIN was used to launder it.

Turning a Tempest or LeMans into a GTO makes sense in some ways, but dialing a Z back three years is a bit more sinister sounding to me. He only swapped the VIN, he didn't try to clone anything. I am not accusing the Ebay seller of anything, but SOMEBODY broke the law.

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Well, with any luck, the seller will get bent when the buyer tries to register it-or has it worked on. Possibly the buyer will join the club, find the thread and head right back to the seller with the law-since several of us let the seller know he had a major VIN issue that could and most likely would bite him in the butt.

I would say the seller bit, found the vin problem and is selling before getting stuck with the issue-hoping it won't come back to him-if it was my 3550-you can bet I'd be bringing the police back to his door.. thrashershop...I just hope the buyer knows to get good documentation, and pays with something requiring ID to cash.

Will

ps just for later searching

Ebay auction # 300275847579

Seller trashershop

1971 DATSUN 240 Z. COLOR IS RED WITH BLACK INTERIOR. RUNS GOOD BUT NEEDS CARB WORK. I ORIGINALLY PURCHASED THE CAR TO RESTORE BUT NOW HAVE DECIDED TO GO IN A DIFFERENT DIRECTION. TRUTH BE TOLD I THINK A BIT OFF MORE THAN I CAN CHEW. LOOKING TO SELL THIS CAR TO PUT TOWARD THE PURCHASE OF ANOTHER CAR OR WOULD CONSIDER A TRADE FOR A JEEP WRANGLER IN EQUAL STATE OF REPAIR.

Edited by hls30.com

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The problem is that there is no real benefit to cloning a 240Z using a 260Z.
I can think of several possible reasons. Smog exemptions for the older car, or qualifying for the Antique registration which is generally very low-cost in most states. So it might not be as "sinister" as it first looks. The 260Z donor may not be stolen, maybe the real 240Z was rusted, and got scrapped as a "260Z".

Doesn't make it right, though. I too feel for the buyer, it's bound to come up at some point.

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Is there any way to find the buyer or notify Ebay? We KNOW this isn't a '71 240Z, so whether the seller knows it or not, he sold a car that was not as advertised.

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I can think of several possible reasons. Smog exemptions for the older car, or qualifying for the Antique registration which is generally very low-cost in most states.

Really? Even the 260Z is now 35 years old. Is there a difference between 35 and 39 years old? I thought most states consider a car an antique after 25 years.

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I can think of several possible reasons. Smog exemptions for the older car, or qualifying for the Antique registration which is generally very low-cost in most states.

Here in Georgia the car has to be 25 years old to get an antique plate so next year even a 1984 300ZX will qualify. The specialty plate costs an extra $20. Emissions testing is only required in 13 counties surrounding the Atlanta metro area and once again cars older than 25 years are exempt.

If this fraud was perpetrated for either of the above reasons it wasn't done recently because a 1974 260Z would have met both requirements in 1999.

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Really? Even the 260Z is now 35 years old. Is there a difference between 35 and 39 years old? I thought most states consider a car an antique after 25 years.
Depends on the state. Here in Oregon, 25 years qualifies as "Special Interest", and "Antique" requires more, I think 50 years. But it varies wildly from state to state.

Same with smog testing - I think the cutoff in California for that is 1975 model year. Other states may be considerably different.

Not saying any of this may have been the motivation for the deception, but it is possible. It's also possible that the seller MIGHT not have known that it was a 260Z either. The VIN-swapper may be farther removed than that.

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I'm purely speculating here, but the seller might have bought the car and once he tried to buy parts for it, figured out that he had been duped. At that point, he put it on Ebay and claimed that he "bit off more than he could chew". When asked by members here about the VIN, he got defensive and blew them off. I think he KNEW the car wasn't legit, but he was just trying to erase his own mistake by screwing someone else.

If this is the case, it doesn't matter if he did it himself or bought it that way. It was his responsibility to keep the car from going back into the system.

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Some states designate Vintage, Antique or Classic tags by year of manufacture and not it's age.

There are many plausible innocent scenarios that can happen and fit all the evidence presented.

That said, the pictures presented elicit questions and require explanation in order to safely consider or condone the sale. But pictures can also lie. I've seen pictures of "rust-free" cars ... that weren't. Conversely, I've seen cars that didn't look so good turn out to be gems.

2¢

E

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It would be quite difficult to try and title/register this particular vehicle in many other states. Whoever paid their $3550 is probably uninformed of any of these factors.

Not all states are so lax with their smog laws. I lived in Arizona for a while, up until earlier this year, and went through the registration process there with my Z. Anything built after 1966 and registered in Maricopa and Pima counties must be smogged. Historic vehicle plates are given to any who carry collector vehicle insurance on the car, and are thus exempt to emissions testing as well.

Edited by blue 72

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