Matthewramstead

Is this 240z a good deal or should I just pass on it?

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https://offerup.com/item/detail/773520964/

This is the deal I have been looking at for the last few days.  I've been planning to take a look at it.  I have been chatting with the owner, he says the car has been sitting for quite some time.  It needs the passenger windows/trim, door handles/locks, and a few interior pieces.  We wouldn't be able to drive it home, and we wouldn't be able to give it a test drive because the gas tank is not installed on the car.  He says he would be able to hook up an external gas tank to see if the car would run.  The registration is backed up $400, but he said he would take care of it or take it off the price.  I am also concerned about the price to tow it back home.  I am not much a mechanically inclined person, but I would be willing to learn.  I have around 3k extra budget to spend after the purchase if it was to be purchased at 4.3K, so a budget of 7.3k total.  Would this be good for me or should I wait on another one?  Any responses would be greatly appreciated and considered in my decision making.  Thank you!

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Just my opinion, these cars don't rust as bad as you hear.  They rot from the inside out.  If that has been primied, I bet there are some serious problems lurking on this car based on the condition of the passenger door. I would look close at the wheel arches. If you don't see spot welds, they may have been bondo puttied to look presentable.   I would also look close at the frame rails and inside the front fenders.  These are rot areas along with the battery tray. Then there are the floors and rockers. Then the doglegs in the front of the rear tires.

If the car still has the original carbs as the owner states, most people would say that is a bad thing. '73 is the least desirable of the 240.  The bumpers are unique to the '73 and worse yet, the carbs are constant problems for many owners (I owned a '73 years ago and it never ran right). 

It is difficult if not impossible to know how good of condition the car is in from the pics.  I bought a '70 a couple years ago. It was rough but not repainted so nothing was hidden.  In my case, my car was sitting for a long time too.  I assumed the brakes, clutch, etc was non functional.  I have over $10k in the body work and its no where near ready to be driven.  As I said previously, it is difficult to say what the condition is based on a few pics but I suspect you will have well over $7.3 in this before you drive it.  You may want to hold out for one you can actually drive so you can do the math on the broken things. In this case, you have to assume all is non functional.

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$7,300 isn't going to get you a running car that you can drive but $4,300 is about as cheap as you will ever see for a Z these days.  I say buy it and think of it as a long term project, as money comes available do some work on it. It doesn't look too bad from the pics but he has not shown any of the problem possible problem areas.  The carbs are round top SU's so are pretty easy to work on.

At a minimum if you find that it is beyond your skills you can sell it and get your money back or even make some money on it.

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This does look like a good deal.  HOWEVER, be warned the condition of this car will likely chew through the rest of your budget and then some.  You will likely spend more like another $10k-15k if you include bodywork and paint.  Go into this project with a plan and you'll have a great time!

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I concur with Mike.  You’ll have at least $20k-$25k sunk into that Z to renovate it.  Maybe $10k-$15k sunk into it (including purchase price) just to make it a halfway reliable driver.

I bought a ‘75 Z about 1 1/2 years ago in NorCal for $6700.  No rust, except a little surface rust on the interior at the firewall and a bit on the underneath side of the car.  It had been sitting for 16 or so years.  Just to make it a reliable driver, it would’ve needed fuel lines replaced, gas tank cleaned, and new tires installed.  Of course, I jumped right away into a major renovation of the car instead of just making it reliably roadworthy.  😁  Let’s just say it hasn’t been cheap.  😱

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Edited by SoCalJim
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Like the others said, $4300 is a good price for that car if you're planning on spending 3x that to restore it or fix it up.

If you have $7300 to spend to get something that runs and can be enjoyed, you should probably look elsewhere. Truthfully, there doesn't seem to be as many Zs on Craigslist as there once were (I still have the same alert set up from when I got mine 4+ years ago), so you might need to be patient. This might be the best/only candidate in the LA area on CL right now:

https://losangeles.craigslist.org/sfv/cto/d/tujunga-1975-datsun-280z-280-clean/7015067719.html

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Matthew, I hate to say this on a Z car forum, but your budget would, for example, land you a pretty nice Miata vs. a clapped out Z car.  Food for thought, and best wishes on your search!  

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