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What to do? Series 1 240Z too far gone?


What should I do with the car?  

32 members have voted

  1. 1. What should I do with the car?

    • Scrap it
    • Sell it to private buyer
    • Sell it to a local shop, if they will take it?
    • Part it out and then scrap

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Hey all,

Here is my 1971 240z it is a series 1 with a build date of November 1970 has the vented rear hatch, emblems, ash tray, etc that go along with a series one. This was the first Z car that I purchased and I learnt a lot from the minor things I did on it. Unfortunately it did not turn out to be the dream car I hoped it would be, sadly all too often the story for many a new Z owner. After suspicions from looking over and working on the car I had it checked out by a local Z shop some of you might know Z Car Garage, San Jose, CA. It turns out there is a twist in the chassis from what appears to be a bad front-end repair. After looking closer it seems the car was hit in the front end at some point as some of the photos show.

What to do? I would hate to see this car crushed and the parts go to waste, but do not have the time or space available to part out the vehicle. There are two options I can see selling it to a local Z / Datsun shop if they will take it or selling it outright to someone. With the right skills, time and money someone could restore this car but I have very little of all three to spare on this as a project. Otherwise it would make a very nice parts car to help complete a series 1 restoration or resto-mod. This brings me to the questions of what is it worth? I know I can get $1000 if I scrap it but really do not want to see that happen to this beautiful car.

Before answering this question here are a few details on the car:

  • Most body panels appear good but there is surface rust and/or bubbling in the common areas (dog legs, roof window seal, battery tray area). Have a look at the pictures;
  • Lots of series 1 parts available on the car;
  • 1972 L24 motor with round top SU carbs, pertronix ignition and fireblaster coil;
  • Car runs but needs shocks I have driven this car to LA and back no worries, prior to the shocks getting progressively worse;
  • Lots of other stuff look at pictures and ask away.

You can also check the photos in My Garage for more photos.

I have removed the MSA style strut braces as I was going to sell them separately. I also have a bunch of other parts I was going to sell off. I had originally purchased them for a resto-mod on the car but after hearing the bad chassis news I lost a lot of enthusiasm for working on the car especially as I have another 240z to work on.

So looking for opinions, comments and advice











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Hmm, even with the damage history and the poor repairs, that car is worth a lot more then $1,000 - especially here on the east coast.

The car looks ok to me. Let me ask you a few questions:

1. Does the twist render the car undrivable? Does it have spooky handling?

2. Are all of the body panels aligned well?

3. Is this a daily driver for you?

The reason I ask these questions; if the car can be driven, and you don't have to rely on it - then why not drive (enjoy) it until the right offer finds you. Somebody, some where, wants your car. They'd love to restore it.

These cars are rare, don't hack it up because its not your dream car.

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I would store it and fix it later on down the road. I have a friend that had a challenger when he was a teenager. He is now over forty and just got done with a complete resto-mod of the car. He had it in storage for over 2o years. He can now afford to put the money in the car, that it deserves. Good luck with whatever you decide.

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Take it to a reputable frame alignment shop in your area and get an estimate. Putting a couple hundred into it might gain you a few thousand if you do decide to sell it. A properly repaired car is worth a lot more than a junker. It looks salvageable to me.

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Proper repair to this car will require, at the minimum, removal of the front sheetmetal and cooling system. You will more than likely need a replacement core support and at least one frame rail. While early Z's are rare it comes down to the economics and your desire for the car. As suggested earlier find a knowledgeable and expierienced structural repair person and have them evaluate this damage.

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Take it to a reputable frame alignment shop in your area and get an estimate. Putting a couple hundred into it might gain you a few thousand if you do decide to sell it. A properly repaired car is worth a lot more than a junker. It looks salvageable to me.

Talk to Rich Pera at Daland Body Shop 650 588-1764 890 El Camino Real S. SF big time Datsun guy with the best frame alignment equipment in the Bay Area. tel him RJ or Russ said to give him a call


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Thanks everyone for the great input, I really do appreciate the advice. The car actually is quite tidy and has been used as a daily driver in the past. If I had both the time & space I would probably fix the problems with the car. It would be a great project as most of it is there and tidy just needs TLC and refresh. The panels all line up (except the front and probably one of the frame rails), light surface rust, floors appear good (except the usual idiot jack dent), spare wheel well and battery areas are actually better than my other 240z.

At the moment I am currently daily driving a 2010 Mazdaspeed 3 and also have a 1972 240z as a fun car that has almost everything done but the paint job.

The series 1 240z drives fine but needs shocks, probably a bushing replacement, and a new steering rack boot on drivers side, which I have. Apart from that it can be driven around and I have done so in the past. It mostly sits there and then I take it for a light drive every few months, to keep fluids going, check on it, etc. There are lots of little things that add up (timewise) and I would love to do but no time. As a project start this would be a great car.

Unfortunately it looks like I might be moving in the next few months and rather than carting 3 cars with me I am probably limited to 2.

Some of you mentioned it is worth more than $1k, any ideas of what I should ask for if I decide to sell?

In the meantime I think I should go check out Daland body shop and see what they say for an estimate to fix before handing the car off to someone else. Keep the advice and suggestions coming, it is very much appreciated.

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