Thanks everyone for the kind words and the welcome. Sorry about the wall of text introductory post, mostly just putting everything in one place so that the advice can be tailored accordingly. I will agree that a good quality body is top priority. Like I said before I have access to cars in Arizona, as well as things along the northern east coast. I'm not against flying somewhere for the right car, but being a noob to these cars i would be concerned about assessing the quality via pictures. I am sure you guys could be helpful in that regard, but I know you have to act quickly in many cases and surely I wouldn't be the only one here with interest. I am hopeful that a quality shell will come out of Arizona. Sure the interior might be scorched, but I can replace that over time and get it where I want it to be. A running car hopefully. I have no idea what this should cost though. I also don't know which of the body issues are the more troublesome ones, and which are more straightforward. Assuming for the moment that the car I acquire has very minimal rust and no major damage/bends... what body work will I be looking at to future proof it for rust? I don't plan to drive in anything but dry spring/summer weather... and will avoid rain unless its unexpected. I also have my heart set on a very nice paint job. Doesn't have to be for another 5-10 years if other things go well, but I want it done right. But admittedly I have no idea how much that should cost. I would assume a few thousand.
Hello all. First off, let me say I had a lengthy post typed out a few weeks ago, but the website didn't have me logged in and of course during the process of logging in it cleared all my text. Lame. Trying this again now... I am 30 y/o enthusiast who has been wrenching and learning on my 2005 WRX STi for the past ~9 years. Mechanical engineer by trade, and very capable of doing most mechanical repairs and troubleshooting. Zero experience with body work and welding, although I plan to learn. I have connections to get parts fabricated if need be (sheet metal and machined parts if necc.) I will be attempting to do all work myself with the exception of painting (i plan to do prep work), carb rebuilding and engine modification. (at least that is the current plan) I am looking to get a car to wrench on as a hobby for the next stage of my life. (house, kids, mid life expenses) I have focused in on the 240z as a classic, straightforward and spirited weekend car. I like the streamlined mechanics, history and seemingly great community that surrounds them. My requirements for the initial purchase are pretty minimal, simply because I have a desire to restore most everything myself over time. Best case would be a car that's running currently (240z), and has no major rust issues. I live on the east coast (Baltimore at the moment, Connecticut in the near future), but have family in AZ that is experienced with these cars and restoring them. I figure that's the better bet for minimal rust, and he is excited to help me find a starting point. First few years would probably be learning about the car and scouring these forums to develop a plan while combing through the different issues my car may have. It will be a weekend toy, possibly some Auto X. Mostly me admiring it and hoon'ing it up a bit around town. Ultimate plans for the car would include: -Full body/paint restoration -Rebuild engine if required. --Maybe years down the road modify engine for more power (professinally done. boring, cams, pistons etc. kept as NA, probably remain carbed) ---(Is there a major reason to go either L24/26/28 when it comes to modifying it later?) -Swap to 5 speed transmission for more comfortable cruising -Possibly upgrade suspension -Maybe brake upgrades simply for aesthetic reasons (I know its far from required for my purposes) I should also say that my ideal time for purchase would be from early/mid 2015 onward. We plan to move back to Connecticut and begin house hunting... so anything before that would require storage and additional hassle. If bought in AZ my family could store the car for me though, until my move had finished. Bottom line is that I have plenty of time to wait for the right car. I am less interested in a "great deal" and more interested in the "right deal". I have allotted between $5k and $10k to acquire a car. It would seem that 10k would be overkill though, as it will have a lot of the work already done that I would like to do myself. Of course I say that, but I'm sure most here will agree that every $1 spent at the start is equal to many more spent in the long run. I have to find the right balance. I have read a lot of the threads about spotting rust and most places I should be asking about to see if there are hidden issues. I won't be anywhere near as effective as you guys, and without experience doing the actual repairs it is hard to judge how much time/effort repairing certain things will cost. (floorpans, frame rails, rear hatch, etc) I also don't have any experience with carbs, or how to effectively inspect the motor. I suppose compression tests would be important, but without knowing how they should sound... I will be mostly in the dark in this area. Ditto for the carb, although I will most likely have it rebuilt to future proof myself while I learn. I don't really know where I am going with this post, other than I am excited to acquire one in the future, and want to make the most of my time leading up to that point really understanding what the proper starting point should be. I have also never sat in one or driven one, and while everything I have read has led me to believe I will love these cars surely I must do that before I fully commit to this path. I am hoping to find some generous enthusiasts who can help in this area, or some especially nice people at car shows willing to go out of their way. Glad to become a member of the community, and I look forward to picking everyone's brains in the future as I learn the Datsun ropes. Dave