Is this a good deal on a 240z?

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Hello everyone, I'm looking into 240z's right now, and I came across this one:

http://www.autoextra.com/vehicledetail/adid-8865481/1973/datsun/240z/auburn /ca/do-basic

Looks alright. The only thing I don't like about it is the color, but I can live with it. Says its low mileage and on a new engine. I'd have to find out what engine it is, if its still the one that comes with the 240z just newer (less miles) or a different one. Also dunno if its auto or manual, I'd probably only get it if it was stick shift.

What do you guys think?

posted by  Vlad

This is what you should do, first go and look at the car and test drive it to see if there is some kind of flaw you can feel in the engine, tires, suspension, etc.... Then go to www.carfax.com to see if has been in any major accidents. Then check the spedometer to see how many miles are on the chassis. Also look for uneven tire wear too. The last thing you should do is see if they will lower the price

posted by  99integra

^^ I agree. Also, beware of the "minor interior work". That could mean a lot more than that phrase would seem to indicate. "Minor" is a relative word.

posted by  hondaman

Yea, I'd definatly want to look at it and test drive it before I buy it. I'm not too worried about interior that much. I was gonna do stuff to it anyways, like put racing seats in it, so if the seats are messed up it doesnt matter.

Also would it be possible to put in a radio/CD player (i'm assuming it doesn't have one). How much would that cost? Probably doesn't have AC, but even though I live in california I don't really care, I rarely use it. I prefer to have the windows open.

How many miles should be max on the chassis to make it worth buying? I want this car to last me maybe a year or so, we'll see how it goes. I am in an auto class as of next fall, so I want a car I will be able to work on.

Does uneven tire wear indicate something messed up with the suspension/chassis?

One more question. I've never been in a 240z, so I don't know about the leg room. I'm a little over 6 feet tall, and have long legs. Would I be comfortable in it with the seat all the way back? If not, say I took out the seat and put in a racing seat, would it be possible to put it in farther back than the old seat was to create more leg room?

Edit: What year do cars not have to pass smog? I heard 73, does that include 73 or just before it? Would this car have to pass smog?

posted by  Vlad

Could be the dash or the door panels too. I don't know much about finding parts for a 70s Z, but it could be difficult.

posted by  hondaman

Yeah, I'm not sure on the parts. But a while ago I started a thread on a 280zx I was looking at, this one was going for $600, and someone said parts would be easy to find. But someone bougth the 280zx, I know who it is too lol. I saw it on my friends street after it was gone from the impound place.

Do you know what kind of gas mileage the 240z gets? I drive a lot, it's kind of an issue, but if its not too bad I can deal with it.

posted by  Vlad

Horrible gas mileage seeing that it was almost 40 years ago so you would be seeing around 15 city/19 highway.

posted by  99integra

Uh oh. Thats REALLY not good...

Thing is, I really like this car, and I think its one of the better ones I get for this price, but don't think I can afford that gas.

Are you sure though? Other people have told me low to mid 20s city...

On another classified for a 280zx (not the same car, but similar), the seller said over 30 mpg. Was he bsing?

posted by  Vlad

Carfax won't work on a car that old. Period. Can't handle older style VINs.

In good shape, the 240 will get 20-25 mpg with carbs and a 5 speed, less if modded or with a 4 speed. The later injected cars (like that 280Z) can get upwards of 30 mpg highway on a good day. But they have less power and aren't as fun in stock form (though you can get good power from them).

It's easy to get Z car parts, thanks to the internet and Z car clubs worldwide.

Funny how it's easy to afford gas in a 30 mpg car that costs $4000-up but hard to afford gas in a 20 mpg car that costs $2000....

Sorry, but for $2k, that's agood deal, period. If it's originally a cali car, there's probably very little rust. That same car in that same condition would be a $6000 car here on the east coast.

There WILL be little things wrong with it, most of which you can live with without doing anything about. You just have to balance your desire to have everything be brand new feeling with the reality of only spending $2k on the car.

posted by  ChrisV

I realize it wont be perfect, and I'm willing to live with it. I'm only 16 and don't have tons of money to spend on a car, and 2,000 is affordable for me. How long do you think it will last? I will only need it to last me through high school (2 more years) max, I will probably get another car in one year, if this one dies or I can afford it. I am also in an auto class starting next fall, and every friday is free day to work on your own car, so little things wrong with it would be good to fix and learn on.



Is that 20 city 25 highway, or 20 to 25 city, depending on condition driving style etc...

One more question. This has to deal with insurance. People have told me its very expensive because its a 6 cyclinder and 2 seater. But I was thinking that since its pretty old and cheap, it shouldn't be that bad.

I've also been looking at 70s and 80s Porsche 924's, and found a few in good condition for 2000-3000, but all far away from me.

Here's a few:
http://www.autoextra.com/vehicledetail/adid-8068962/1977/porsche/924/tustin /ca/do-basic

http://www.autoextra.com/vehicledetail/adid-15049956/1982/porsche/924/simps onville/sc/do-basic

How would those be on gas? 4 cyclinder, so should be alright. Anyone know the specs? I havn't been able to find any. What about for finding parts and insurance costs?

posted by  Vlad

Insurance will probably be a little high considering it is 2 door/seater but it shouldnt be THAT bad. I think he meant 20-25 City, just a guess though. It would not need emissions testing cause anything 20 years or older is exempt (unless its different there). I think it's a good deal and a nice car, and if you want something you can do some work here and there on, and still be able to drive it at the same time then it would be good. I'm pretty sure it would last the 2 years at the least, it also depends on how you treat it while you have it. If your hard on it then it may not be so forgiving. The Porsches sound kinda cool but i dont know much about them so i'll leave that for others to answer about. I personally think the 240Z is the better deal though. Good luck on your choice and i'll try to find specs on the porches for you, unless someone does it first.

posted by  car_crazy89

About your 924s, if you're going to get one, get the second one. The first one, at 166000 miles, is going to start smoking before too long more than likely. Also, insurance rates on those will be higher than that of a 240Z.

posted by  hondaman

They only come in 4 speed, which might influence you but they look really cool and are suppsed to be really good cars. I dont know about the US but over here in Aus 240/260 Zs are really rare and you can get some pretty good money for a restored one so you could probably get your money back if you wanted to do it up nice...

posted by  flamingheads

Yeah I wasn't sure if 166k miles was too much or not on a porsche.

I love that second one, but its all the way across the country. Probably means no test drive. anyone know if they do shipping or whatever, and how much it costs? Or do I have to drive all the way there to get it?

Those are not the only two porsches I've found, that site has lots more for under $3k, and I havn't even checke ebay yet.

I'm gonna have to ask my parents what's the distance limit on a car so I know what to look at.

Edit: I found some specs for the porsches:

http://www.connact.com/~kgross/FAQ/944faq02.html

They are not that fast. I know as a teen I shouldn't be driving a really fast car, but I want something with at least decent acceleration. Anyone know the 0-60 times?

The 1977 only has 100hp, weighs 2344 pounds

The 82 has 125 and weighs 2486 pounds.

At least with the low hp they are also fairly light.

Here's an 88,

http://www.autoextra.com/vehicledetail/adid-15911775/1988/porsche/924/cotta ge-grove/or/do-basic

160 horses and 2734 pounds.

So far, out of the ones I've posted, what do you think is the best buy? The 240z or one of the porsches?

posted by  Vlad

But you forget that this is an old car, meaning it won't be as safe as the newer cars thus leading to high insurance. :2cents:

posted by  99integra

At this point, it's really just a matter of personal preference. Both cars probably have similar performance, but the only difference is the Porsche will have more of a recognition factor (people will say "Hey dude, look, its a Porsche")

posted by  hondaman

Stick with the 240. the 924s used a bunch of VW Bug parts, so can be cheap, but they are prone to problems that you wone't find in the Z. Yeah, the Z's an old car, but if it's here now, after 25 years, it'll be here for many years to come if it's not abused. Insurance might not be too bad, as the comprehensive portion and replacement cost part will be cheap due to relatively low value.

I still don't believe in a bazillion airbags and an ultra-safe new car for a driver like you. I think the knowledge that you aren't as protected will make you think about what you're doing, and that will make you and the car safer than if you thought the car would protect you from anything. Sometimes I think we'd all drive a little safer and pay more attention to the road around us if there was a 6" steel spike sticking ut of the steering wheel aimed at us... :mrgreen:

The Z is a better investment than the 924, as well.

posted by  ChrisV

^^I agree to that. My car's ABS failed a while back, and it made me a safer driver than I ever was. Knowing that if I didn't plan ahead and watch carefully, it was possible that I could lose control, made me much more cautious and contributes to the fact that I have never, ever hit another car, even in a driveway or a parking lot. I have lost control at times when the brakes locked up, but this taught me my car's limits and how to prevent that from happening. A car like that will be even better to a new driver.

posted by  hondaman

I agree with the last 2 posts. I'd stick with the 240Z. Considering its also closer to you, you'd probably have the better chance of getting it. IMO the 240Z is better looking anyway.

posted by  car_crazy89

I've been leaning towards the Z, and seems like you guys agree with me. The only thing right now going for the Porsche is the recognition factor Hondaman was talking about.

I've noticed it already. Today at school I had the printouts of a bunch of cars (all Z's, and 924's) and was looking at them with my friends, and someone would come over look at the car and say (Whoah dude, you're getting a porsche, awesome!). But then no one knew what the 240z was, and I kind of like the idea of having that kind of car that a lot of average people don't know much about. Another reason I am still considering the porsche is because it has a back seat.

ChirsV, what kind of problems are we talking about in the 924?

One more thing on the 240, if I need regular maintenance parts, like oil, filters, brakes, etc, would a regular parts store have them? Does it take the same kind of oil as newer cars?

posted by  Vlad

Woah...she looks like shes about ready to fall apart lol Anyway, I dont know. $2,000 is a little more than I would be willing to pay for a 73 240Z. You can usually find them around here for about $800-$1,200 running and in decent condition.

posted by  FordFromHell351

Where is "around here?"

Do you have any sites from where you are at that have a Z for 800-1200, running and in good condition? Depending where you are, I might even be able to travel a bit to save $1000.

posted by  Vlad

I was looking at an 80' something Datsun (180Z or something) around here a while back for about $800, but everyone said there must be something wrong with it so i didnt find out any more on it. If you like the car and think its worth it, then go for it, it doesnt really matter what the rest of us think, we can only give suggestions based on what we might do. All i can say is good luck on your decision, and hope its the right one for you.

posted by  car_crazy89

yeah I was looking into a '82 280zx going for 600 bucks, because it had 218k miles on it, but someone bought it before me.

posted by  Vlad

^^With that many miles, it may not have been as good as you think. You may have been looking at an engine overhaul before too long.

posted by  hondaman

On teh 240Z, $2k for a non-rusty one is a good deal. these are classics that are appreciating in value. Just because there are a few '80s 280Zs and ZXs available cheap doesn't make the 240 a car that can be had cheaply in good shape.

The original 2.4 liter I6 is a very strong SOHC engine, and capable of lasting a few hundered thousand miles. The cars themselves are very simple, and all parts are available. Regular maintenance parts are easily avaialble at parts stores nationwide, even Pep Boys.

Yeah, people reading the word Porsche will oooh and ahhh, bbut seeing the car won't cause that sort of commotion.

http://personal.inet.fi/surf/porschenet/specs/924/924.jpg

http://alteredz.com/image/firstdrive/firstdrive_RFv.jpg

If that 240 is even in reasonable running shape and not rusty, that price is good. AND it will be an appreciating classic that can be upgraded without losing it's value.

posted by  ChrisV

Ok, I called the dude about the 240z. He was asleep, and I talked to his wife. She says there is 32k miles on the new engine, it needs new tires and a paint job, and the only body damage is a small dent on the driver's side front fender. On the interior, the dash and seats are cracked. For the seats I think I will just get covers untill I can get some racing seats put in, and maybe I can fix the dash somehow.

I think I'm gonna go ahead and get it. To get the 2k they want for it I need to sell either our escort or our van, my parents were gonna get rid of them anyways so it doesn't matter, just gotta sell em and get the cash before someone else buys the car. They said they'll go down to $1800 on it, maybe lower so I'm going to try to get it down to $1500.

posted by  Vlad

That sounds like a great plan. And it sounds like its in pretty good condition other the the cracks in the seats/dash. The needing paint thing is no surprise considering its age. So now all we can really do is keep our fingers crossed that you get to it first. Good luck, sounds like a good deal. :thumbs:

posted by  car_crazy89

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