Pristine 21k-mile 1971 Datsun 240Z pulls in $310,000

Byron Hurd
Autoblog



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A little over a week ago, we told you to check out this spectacular, 21,000-mile 1971 Datsun 240Z on Bring a Trailer. Your chance has come and gone, but the good news is you probably couldn't have afforded it anyways. This gorgeous green coupe now appears to have earned the title of the most expensive example of a first-generation Z ever sold on the premium auction site, fetching a winning bid of $310,000. 

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When we first laid eyes on this immaculate Z car, we said it would be hard to imagine it not setting a record price. It appears we were right. With the winning bid, this Z nearly tripled the sale price of the previous record holder, a 1970 model that sold in June of 2019 for $124,240. It should come as no surprise that prices for clean, first-generation Z cars have climbed in recent years, but the good news is that aside from this and a few other particularly noteworthy and clean examples, most sale prices have been hovering around the $20,000 mark.

In fact, only three have fetched six figures; even a minty 1973 race car topped out at just over $77,000 in back in late 2017. This Z cleared the $30,000 mark in just the first day of bidding. 

This rare Racing Green over brown was given to the son of an Indiana Datsun dealer as a dental-school graduation present. It was alternately stored at home and the dealership, and was rarely driven. A dealer mechanic maintained the car for the owner until their passing in 2019. Thanks to this arrangement, the Z still shows fewer than 22,000 miles on its odometer, and none of it in foul weather, so the listing claimed. 

This unrestored, almost mint condition Z shows its originality well. While there are some signs here and there of its age, it's in remarkable overall shape. BaT commenters nerded out over details like the original (green) distributor, original radiator cap, and original hoses. The only obviously non-original parts appear to be the wheel covers; some of the interior parts are still covered in protective shipping plastic. 

If you missed out on this one, fear not. There's a very reasonable 1971 with a 5-speed swap still for sale on the auction site, along with a 1973 rocking a full-on L28 from the hotter 280Z, and those are just the two available at the time of publication. Z cars are fairly common on BaT, so more will come along soon enough. 

Note: At publication time, the 240Z's winning bid was listed as $310,000; due to issues with the Bring a Trailer web site, this figure may not be accurate. We will update this story if necessary.

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