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Arizona240z

1970 -71 cut off dates

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I'm in a research mode right now....... and have stumbled upon confussion (it's easy for me to do that). What was the cut off date for the 240Z going from 1970 to 1971? I was under the impression that the rear hatch vents were only on the 1970 model. The old man has a 240Z that has a manufacture date 0f 10/70 which, in the auto industry means 1971 (thats something else I don't get) but it has the vents. It is titled as a 1971 but seeing how he was the 3rd owner I could see the mix up.

Dwight:ermm: :ermm: :ermm:

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As far as we have figured out, the Series 1's with the hatch vents were produced into the 71 production run, somewhere between the 12/70 and 2/71 dates. If I remember right there may have been one member with a 3/71 with the hatch vents. Mine is an 11/70 series 1 titled as a 71 also. I'm not sure if there is any documentation on exactly which VIN number the changeover occured.

Most all the cars produced after August or September have usually been titled as the new model year. A lot depends on the manufacturer and what they put on the certificate of origin. Today some of the manufacturers will bring out their new models in June to get them approved for new emissions and safety standards.

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I've found some answers at www.zhome.com under the production changes 69-73 link. It defines the series I but it also says that they built the 71's starting in July but didn't stop the 70's until October. They have the vin numbers listed over there to differentiate the two. Now I just have to get the vin number from the old man (should be easier than getting the car from himeven though its been in storage forever). :stupid:

Dwight

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My understanding is that the acutall switch from Series I ('70 and early '71) to Series II (late '71) happened around January of 1971. Cars after early January could have been either, depending on parts availability. At some point all of the Series I bodies made it though the assembly line, and only Series II cars were produced afterwards.

Remember that car's don;t have to come off an assembly line in the order that they started. If something was wrong, parts were not available (just in time), or if there were panel alignment problems, a car can be pulled form the line. Therefore a Series I can might have started down the assembly line in December, but was pulled out and not completed until late January.

Also, production is a fluid. Specs can change at any time. I have a '71, and some parts (i.e. hoses, etc) seem to be more '70ish, while otheres seem to be more '72ish. I think car's made in January of '71 may have varried from those made in July of '71. It makes Z cars fun.

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I meant to address the title issues too.

Datsun produced cars based on the calendar year - i.e. in 1970 they produced 1970 cars, in 1971 they produced 1971 cars. Unfortunately the US sells cars starting in September or so as the next next model year. So from August to December, Datsun was making a 1970 car, but US dealers were selling it as a 1971. Ofter the '71 model year Datsun switched hit production to mirror the US cycle, instead of the calendar year.

Dealers could have registered the car as either a '70 or '71, and delaers did both. But the '70 early '71 are the same car.

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Laffeux makes some good points there..........

Its well known in Japan that most production changes on the S30-series Z production line were quite "fluid", and in fact there was almost no "cut-off" VIN number where a certain component or specification changed from "old" to "new".

A Japanese Z production-line worker I met out there told me that they would quite often "test" fit new spec. components on a few cars at certain times of the day - just to get a feel for how they were working and if there were going to be any problems with them. This even applied to sheetmetal sections of the bodyshell.

The truth is that there will be NO firm date or VIN number where one spec. or type becomes another. There was always a grey area of at least a few cars, and in some cases it was a little bit more than a few................

I'm sorry to say it once again ( OK - I know this is a mostly USA-subscribed site, and so is "Z-Home", even though I thought the home of the Z was in Japan.... ) but this fixation with "Series 1" and "Series 2" etc etc is entirely an American phenomenon. It must be a habit that you have fallen into just because you were trying to make sense of spec. changes and put a label on them.

The Japanese have never described any spec. changes or model changes in this way - except where owners have picked it up from American-based books / magazines / websites. They are much more pragmatic about the differences than this, and the more informed Japanese Z enthusiasts know that changeovers were gradual ( even though it might seem that they conform to a "plan" ). Whenever I discuss these cars with any Japanese Z enthusiasts, we never use any terms such as "Series 1" or whatever; all that matters is the Chassis Number / VIN, the model type, and the approximate date of manufacture. We then talk about the exact spec. - and this clears up what the features of the car actually are. Both sides appreciate that the early Z production line was fairly chaotic, and that there was not necessarily any hard and fast rule to anything.

I must say that the whole "Model Year" thing is just Dealer-Speak nonsense; its quite understandable that a dealer would want to convince a customer that the car he is trying to sell him is the latest type and hot off the line. Thats how this whole Model Year thing came about. The only thing that matters when discussing specs. and model types of S30-series Z cars is the date that they came off the production line. The American fixation with Model Year is a red herring.

Alan T.

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Hi all, my Z car is vin # 19856 and was manufactured 1/71. It has the vents on the hatch. Victoria British lists "early" and "late" models around vin #21000 when ordering parts. Good luck, Tom:stupid:

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Ah, Alan, you need to understand the American mind set. Having lived outside the US it is very easy to discern once you know what to look for.

IMO, most of the hub-bub regarding whether a vehicle is Series I or II, a 70 or 71, a "concours" or "modified", original or restored is due to the age-old "mine is better than yours is" mindset. Or put in different words, "My Dad can beat up your Dad!".

The US culture is something to admire, wonder at, and also shake your head at. Where else would you have a Classic Car Show and have awards for having restored, maintained or whatever you want to call it, your car to ULTRA-AUTHENTIC standards. The attention that each and every hose clamp, screw, decal, spark plug and battery receives would make beauty contestants schizophrenic and anti-social. In fact (sadly) some of these cars are actually over-restored, and therefore in error, but that's another discussion.

At those contests there will be discussion as to whether or not a given part was available at the time the car was produced. Want to drive a concours Series I owner into an epileptic frothing fit? Tell him that the defrost tubes on his car were from late 71 and not early 71 or 70 (and YES, there is a way to tell).

A concours owner will spend weeks and big $ finding the original wire clamps used for hoses. The rest of us will head down to your local auto parts store and buy the standard sheet metal worm screw variety.

Is it wrong? Not in any meaning of the word. Obsessive?? Well, that depends on your viewpoint. If you are a concours contestant, not in the slightest. If you have a car that cannot compete in concours competition because you've (shudder) replaced the battery with a Sears Gold Die-Hard and have used non-braided hoses for your radiator, then it's not only obsessive, it's down and outright SICK!

And this constant recurring theme, which VIN# is the absolute FIRST Series II or the for sure, no one can deny LAST Series I, is more of the same. But here there is probably a healthy dose of bragging rights involved. After all, it's important to be able to claim "Well that may be, but mine is the FIRST (or LAST)!"

America, where else can you get two guys with pristine and perfect automobiles comparing notes, discover that their cars are consecutive VIN #'s, practically TWINS, both maintained with standards that the Smithsonian Institute would document for further reference, and after discovering that they're both perfectly matched, point for point, have one guy declare himself the winner because the air in his tires is the original air from the factory!

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Ah Enrique - a voice of reason in the wilderness...........

We have the "Concours" competitions over here in the UK too ( makes me laugh when they call them "Concourse" ) and its quite apparent it gets like a sickness with them.

As you pointed out, many of the cars become OVER restored - as the owners aim seems to change from total originality to just getting points in the competition. Don't get me wrong; I think its well worth trying to get a resto-job as original as possible - as long as the data, knowledge and parts are out there.That's probably possible for a Porsche 356 or Hemi Coronet, as the data is out there and its pretty much accepted as correct. My gripe with this kind of thing in relation to the S30-series Z is that in many cases the knowledge is NOT out there, and many of the parts are not out there either. Anybody who thinks they can tell you with 100% certainty what a particular model of Z should look like is really kidding themselves. There will certainly be people who remember what the cars looked like when they arrived off the boat ( especially the people who sold and maintained them when new ) but I don't trust 33 year old memories either.

I think I have a fairly good knowledge of the particular area of the S30-series Z car that I happen to be enthusiastic about - mainly the Factory Race and Rally cars and the Japanese "Home" market models - but there are ENORMOUS gaps in this knowledge, and I might as well be studying the artifacts of an ancient civilisation when I try to delve into the history of it all. Talking to people in Japan who were "there" on the Factory floor, or working with the race teams at the time, has just made it clearer to me that it is probably now much too late for Nissan / Datsun or anybody else to get the full story and all the facts down for posterity. In comparison, restoring a 1940's Delahaye / Bentley Continental "R" / Maserati Birdcage / Porsche 911R or any other exotic you care to mention is a BREEZE compared to getting it "right" for an early S30-series Z. There is also more literature and first-hand knowledge out there for them too. Its ironic to think that some of the most successful mass-produced Twentieth Century icons have less accurately-researched and complete history than the famously unsuccessful "one-offs" of the same period............... I also think its now becoming clear that the "unitary construction" cars of the late sixties onwards were built once, and taking them apart kills many of the original parts - stopping them from being re-used accurately. You can't re-furb and fabricate on these cars like you can on earlier stuff.

Over the last few years I have been actively seeking out more and more genuine NOS and good-condition original parts to keep and trade with. I am also a long-term fan of "patina", and I really do not like to see those "100 Point" resto. jobs that get everything much cheesier than it ever was when it left the factory. My car has stone-chips, tarnished plated parts ( they were tarnished when the factory bolted them on! ) and chipped windows. It also has a life, and I let it live it when I get the opportunity; it does a fair few miles on the track every year ( I'm still fiddling with it and learning how to drive it fast ). If that causes "patina" then I'm happy with it.

I was asked to join a "Concours" competition whilst at a Japanese-car show here in the UK a few months ago. I declined the offer, not because I thought I would not win ( I'd lose points for the flysquash! ) but because I did not want to be "judged" by people who know next to nothing about my car. I'm not trying to be elitist or snobby - but how would they be able to judge the originality or otherwise of something that they have no knowledge of? Half of them think my car should have an L20 in it..............

Alan T.

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Yer... it's like me when i go into a mechanic.. and he asks.. what kind of engine you got in there. And i say.. a U20 mate...

and he's like.. Oh u mean an L20.. and im like.. um.. no.. a u20.

and he's like.. There's no such thing.

sigh :ermm:

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