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87mj

What determines the year of the car

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A couple of years ago, I bought a '71 off craigslist.   I already owned a couple of '71 cars so I thought I knew what I was going to see.

Long story short, when I arrived and started looking the car over, I popped the hood and saw the 2400 valve cover.  Then I looked at the vin on the door jam. Its vin was hls30-05305 with a manufacture date of 6/70.

I am curious why such an early car is a '71 and not a '70?

A friend of mine said back then, the cars were titled based the year they left the dealership.  Not when they were manufactured. Also, since the price went up each year, there was a compelling financial reason to title the car later in the year.

Does anyone agree or disagree? 

Thanks

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That is the case for these cars in Washington State. Plus I have been told that in those days not all manufactures produced what we referred to as MSO, the manufacturer’s statement of origin.

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3 hours ago, 87mj said:

A friend of mine said back then, the cars were titled based the year they left the dealership.  Not when they were manufactured. Also, since the price went up each year, there was a compelling financial reason to title the car later in the year

I pretty much agree with all of that.

To us aficionados of collecting and accurately restoring, the build date is everything. It is what determines the correctness of parts associated with our efforts

For the tax man and DMV it's the year of first title issue, and is usually the only paper document kept that goes with the car year after year.

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As the others said, its all about the build date when you are on the search for parts.  Technically your car is a '70 model in that regard.  When looking at the parts catalog, you'll find most (but not all) changes / supersedes occur beginning with month 07.  With a late model year build like yours, the car probably arrived at the original selling dealer about month 08, possibly 09 in 1970 so it was likely sold and titled as a '71 model.

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On 5/27/2019 at 8:58 AM, 7tooZ said:

That is the case for these cars in Washington State. Plus I have been told that in those days not all manufactures produced what we referred to as MSO, the manufacturer’s statement of origin.

What you have beed told is completely wrong - - All automobile manufacturers issue an MSO, it is the document which is used to transfer ownership from the Manufacturer to the Distributor or Dealer. The Dealers must have the MSO in order to get financing for the cost of their inventory, plus any property insurance.  Then it is used as the necessary documentation for any/all States to issue a Ownership Title to the first Retail Customer. This process goes way back to the 50's. 

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Sounds like a bonus situation to me. Even if the DOL / DMV says it is a 71, it is still a mid 1970. 

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I was taught at the Datsun factory service schools I attended in the 70s to refer to Datsun products by the production date found on the door jamb ID plate. The series 1, series 2 stuff thrown around today is an invention of the internet, NOT Datsun. However, speaking in general terms the model year for Datsuns changed in the 9th month of production. The exception is the 73 240. That model year started in the 7th month of 72. However, as my customers have pointed out to me over the years, there are anomalies (I love them, they help make the Z car hobby so interesting) that occurred  mostly in 6/72. Some 72 parts/some 73 parts.   Cheers

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Don’t forget the famous model change in August 76! Mid year changeover.

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On 6/14/2019 at 10:21 PM, zspert said:

I was taught at the Datsun factory service schools I attended in the 70s to refer to Datsun products by the production date found on the door jamb ID plate. The series 1, series 2 stuff thrown around today is an invention of the internet, NOT Datsun. However, speaking in general terms the model year for Datsuns changed in the 9th month of production. The exception is the 73 240. That model year started in the 7th month of 72. However, as my customers have pointed out to me over the years, there are anomalies (I love them, they help make the Z car hobby so interesting) that occurred  mostly in 6/72. Some 72 parts/some 73 parts.   Cheers

 

If you are searching for replacement parts - using the date of manufacture is a great starting point.

Regular Model Change Over: (sold in the USA as Model Years)
1. 10 / 1969 to 02 / 1971 VIN’s Starting at HLS30 00013 (1969/1970/1971 Model Years) 16 months.

2. 02 /1971 into 09 /1971 VIN’s Starting at HLS30 21001(1971 Model Year) 8 months.
3. 09 /1971 into 08 / 1972 VIN’s Starting at HLS30 46001(1972 Model Year) 12 months
4 09 /1972 into 08 / 1973  VIN’s Starting at HLS30 120001 (1973 Model Year) 12 months.
 
Production of the 1973 Datsun 240Z started in the 9th month of 1972. 
FWIW,
Carl B.
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Thanks for everyone's input.  Personally, I thought it was a little unusual that a 5300 vin car with a mfg date of 6/70 would have been titled as a '71 and not a '70.  When I buy parts for it, I definitely say it is a '70. 

It was sort of funny looking back.  I think if it were advertised as a '70, I dont think I could have bought it.  The poor thing was on craigslist and advertised as a '71 for about 2-3 weeks and none of the "series 1" features/cues were included in any photos.  Plus it was white and looked more rusted than it was.  I popped the hood for the first time and saw the valve cover then looked at the door and inspected the vin & build date.  I did a good job of keeping my composure.  It was well worth the money in parts alone.  Most of the original parts where still there including a fully in tact and functional hand throttle.

But the bad news is the restore isn't going as smooth as I would have liked.

And yes, I have one of those mid year '71 cars.  Buying parts for that car be a little more subjective.

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