LucarelliZ

Advice for buying

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    I’m looking to get a Z in the South Florida area! I’m in love with the original S30 and I have 3 parts cars in my home town 800mi away, but I am really wanting to get something going. I have found some local cars for sale that are various models and conditions. Is there anyway I could ask some advice on which one and on prices? I’m young and completely new to this. I am not in the financial position to get anything outstanding but I am dying to finally have one that I can drive. Please let me know if anyone can help me out? I have under 10k to work with. So any advice or even what you guys would consider reasonable offers on any of these would be appreciated.

     

    1st is a 71 240 shell

    Coil overs and a lot of work done to it. Appears to have almost no rust. But it has not engine or transmission. Asking 6k

    I would love to do this one, but I fear that I won’t have the money to actually get it running anytime soon.

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    2nd is a 74 260

    Swapped to a l28 with su carbs and headers

    5 spd. Runs, but has rust. I’m not sure if it’s too much rust to save. Asking 4.3k

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    3rd is a 78 280

    18k mi with service receipts. Runs well. Looks like there is minimal rust. He said there is some bubbling under gas cap. Asking $9999, and has been on market for about 6mo. Seems like possibly the best bet, but I am not sure. Also, I don’t quite have the asking price.

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    240s, 260s have carbs. 280 are efi. 

    That's a line you need to set. Carbs are best imho but an efi once it's working is trouble free mostly.

    I like the 280 out your 3 choices.

    Hold off another month and search everyday then decide. The bad ones will still be available but the good ones get gone quick.

     

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    I feel like the market in this area isn’t the best for selling. I’ve seen some beautiful Zs on Craigslist for over a year that just aren’t selling, but are essentially perfect. However they are asking 20k+. I feel they are reasonably priced for the condition, but I don’t know if the market is here.

    What do you think is a reasonable offer on the 280? Like i mentioned, he said there is bubbling under the gas cap and I saw some rust on the front as well. It seems minimal though. He said underneath is completely clean though. I could go see it, but it’s about an hour away.


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    3 most important things

    No rust

    No rust

    No rust

    Unless you are a good metal fab person anyway. Engine and trans are not that hard to come by. 1000$ would prob get you both with some shopping around.

    I like EFI but some folks don't, just depends on your level of understanding electrical stuff.

    280z is a heavier, car, better value since 240's tend to be much higher in prices for good ones. That being said I like the heavier 280z since I think they tend to be a bit more comfortable.

    South florida means AC is a must unless you like to sweat. In that case a 280z is much more desirable since its AC is more refined and just works better. 240's it was an after thought, 280's was designed for it.

    Less customized the better, unless you know the guy that did it, did it right. Stock will be better since you can use the FSM to trouble shoot.

    Manual is more generally more desirable, but if you had a nice auto rust free, that would be ok, if you want it manual it can be converted.

    on last thing, NO RUST (actually less rust, no such thing as no rust) see if you have a Z guy near you to look at the known trouble spots.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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    if they are truly perfect, the 10k would account for any rust removal that may have been done. You can find deals at your price range, you just have to keep looking and pounce on it when it comes up. And be prepared to drive, I drove 8 hrs (one way) to get mine. I had a LOT of pic of the underside before committing to it.

    Edited by Dave WM
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    3 most important things
    No rust
    No rust
    No rust
    Unless you are a good metal fab person anyway. Engine and trans are not that hard to come by. 1000$ would prob get you both with some shopping around.
    I like EFI but some folks don't, just depends on your level of understanding electrical stuff.
    280z is a heavier, car, better value since 240's tend to be much higher in prices for good ones. That being said I like the heavier 280z since I think they tend to be a bit more comfortable.
    South florida means AC is a must unless you like to sweat. In that case a 280z is much more desirable since its AC is more refined and just works better. 240's it was an after thought, 280's was designed for it.
    Less customized the better, unless you know the guy that did it, did it right. Stock will be better since you can use the FSM to trouble shoot.
    Manual is more generally more desirable, but if you had a nice auto rust free, that would be ok, if you want it manual it can be converted.
    on last thing, NO RUST (actually less rust, no such thing as no rust) see if you have a Z guy near you to look at the known trouble spots.
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

    The car is completely stock and is a manual. Just had tank cleaned and a full service and compression test.


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    if they are truly perfect, the 10k would account for any rust removal that may have been done. You can find deals at your price range, you just have to keep looking and pounce on it when it comes up. And be prepared to drive, I drove 8 hrs (one way) to get mine. I had a LOT of pic of the underside before committing to it.


    Would offering a few thousand less be unreasonable on the 280?


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    The 240 is the best deal IF its low rust, get an engine for it and do you thing.

    then the 280, IF low rust in the problem areas, gets you on the road pronto.

    forget the 260 unless you know how to do metal work, 260's are not very desirable.

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    2 minutes ago, LucarelliZ said:

     

     


    Would offering a few thousand less be unreasonable on the 280?


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    depends on the rust. You really have to know where to look. check under carpets for floor board rust, check frame rails, esp under the brake booster, check the rear hatch bottom corners, check the doglegs for filler (magnet), check under the battery, see if it leaks (get in it for a hard rain storm, look for leaks inside the firewall.

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    I would love to do the 240, but I have no trailer at the moment to move it. I also don’t know if I would have the funds to get Powertrain bought and installed. I don’t have the space, tools or knowhow to take it on myself sadly. That one would be most ideal for a dream setup though. I would want to do a similar brake and suspension setup that it already has...


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    that last pic with the open hatch looks like problems in the corners, known to rust there.

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    that last pic with the open hatch looks like problems in the corners, known to rust there.

    I agree. I already asked about the spare compartment and tray, which he said seemed to be good. I also think I can see some on the door sills, but I’m not sure.


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    7 minutes ago, LucarelliZ said:


    I agree. I already asked about the spare compartment and tray, which he said seemed to be good. I also think I can see some on the door sills, but I’m not sure.


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    well that's the deal. Rust will eat $$$$ in no time, you really have to get a good look and keep that in mind. you could spend 10k in no time at all getting body and paint if rust is a problem. I would not buy a Z unless I could get it on a lift and really inspect it up close.

    If you are a skilled body man, ok, but if you have to pay for it look out. What's the deal on the 240, just another stalled out project car? Too bad. Don't get all hyped up about changing suspension until you have driven in stock form. Save money for body and paint, maint, etc... generally stock setups just need now carts, cheap, stock brakes are very good, the whole darn thing is very good, better to save for maintenance since you are on a tight budget.

    Edited by Dave WM

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     I'd go with #1, even though you don't have a lot of experience. Desire will carry you thru. If all that is missing is the engine and transmission, you could easily get it on the road and use part of your budget for tools. Engines and transmission are cheap and easy to install. The earlier wiring harnesses are relatively simple. SU carbs are easier to deal with than EFI. But as stated above rust is the issue. You could easily eat up your whole budget dealing with rust. Last but not least, a clean 240 will always be more valuable than 260s or 280s.

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    The 240 has apparently been the guys project for about 10 years. I think the rust is minimal, but I think it is a complete shell. I know that you can find the stock engine and Tranny for cheap, but I honestly don’t know if I will want that in the long run anyway. The problem is I have no way of moving it and I have nowhere to store it until it is running. Also, I can’t do the work myself currently so I’ll have to be paying for it, which I can’t begin to even imagine the cost of.
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    wonder if it was stored in a garage, that  is huge in Florida due to all the rain.

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    if you are going to pay to have the work done, you need to adjust your expectations of cost, be prepared for 15-18k and by the best 280z you can find. with that you should find an example that requires little to no work. It will be more that double that if you get a project that needs work to complete and pay someone to do it.

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    wonder if it was stored in a garage, that  is huge in Florida due to all the rain.

    Both the 240 and 280 were reportedly garage kept. The 280 said it was garage kept its whole life until recently. But yes, I know long run I am going to be spending much more. I plan on spending 15-30k more on top of whatever I am spending now in the long run. My current budget as of TODAY is only 10k. I just REALLY want a Z. The S30 has been one of my dream car since I was little. I am truly in love with them. I am only in my 20s, so Since I can’t get a Ferrari or a 964 911, the Z is my top choice.


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    z is better than those anyway when you consider cost of maintenance insurance and overall value.

    If you are in a hurry and just cant wait to be driving you could try nego the 280z down to about 8k that will give you some wiggle room to fix known rust (I really would look hard at the tail hatch area, battery and esp if there is ANY rust on the inside of the passenger side fire wall. That would indicate a leak at the air chimney, so when it rains you get water coming inside the passenger side. Not and easy fix at all. Old mustangs had the same problem but it was on the driver side. I also would insist on getting it on a lift, with a good strong flashlight. Don't want to see another project car due to body work out there. Again I can not understate the problem of rust, frame rails, strut mounts, floor boards, it all adds up to major money.

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    The floor isn’t a huge deal though right? You can get pans for like $100-200 can’t you?


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    best to let someone else respond to that one. I don't thing good welding comes cheap.

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    best to let someone else respond to that one. I don't thing good welding comes cheap.

    I do have some friends that could potentially make it more reasonable on welding. But assuming I find anymore rust on the 280 would it make it reasonable to offer even less than 8, or would it make it a no-go all together. It has a little over 18k miles and is supposed to be in great running condition. 2 owner car. Receipts for everything. It seems like it could be a better than decent starting point, but as we’ve been over, I don’t know the full story on any rust. I have 3 cars in Georgia still, but I think they have too much rust to bother with. 72 240 (pretty damn rusty) and 76 and 78 280s. They aren’t nearly as rusty, but still more so than this one down here.


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    prob 118k or 218k unless there is documentation to support 18k, the odometer only went to 99,999 before restarting. The thing about rust is what you don't see, so if you see any there is prob a lot more hiding. These cars did not have good rust prevention when new, lots of layers of spot welded sheets. This is why is so important to get up close and personal tapping around listening for dull thuds (not good). Never know how someone will react in a nego situation. Some may take offense to a low offer and just tell you to get lost. So you really have to be able to explain that its you taking the gamble, hence the need for a low amount, unless you can get a really really good evaluation to minimize the risk. IF it truly is a low to no rust car then the asking price may be ok. The market will determine that (you said it has not sold for 6 months, if the price has not changed, the market has spoken).

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    Although you asked the Group for advice, it seems that you may have already eliminated all three of the choices based on your budget (280), lack of storage space (240 shell) , and current mechanical skills (240 shell & rusting 260),  Keep in mind that these aren't the last three Zs on the planet.  As others mentioned, expand your search area.  Find a local club or ask around at local mechanic shops to find unadvertised cars.  Most of us didn't have the pleasure of buying a Z new off the showroom floor.  So, for most, it became a hunting adventure.  Take your time, the right car is out there.  

    You mentioned that you have three parts cars 800 miles away.  Condition?  What can you salvage if needed for the Z you eventually find?  Enjoy the search and count on this Group to help.

    Dennis

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