Author Topic: Evie 1972 Datsun 240z  (Read 409 times)

Offline Gav240z

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Evie 1972 Datsun 240z
« on: Yesterday at 03:09:03 PM »
So I thought it was about time I started a build thread for my 72 240z. But it will have some detours, so here we go.

The obsession I think is the only thing I can call it started in 1998, I would have been 16 in high school at the time and looking for my first car. My brothers friend had a KE55 Corolla coupe which he had repainted and put an exhaust on it and I thought it was pretty cool at the time. Then there was a Datsun 510 owned by a builder who was doing renovations on my school at the time, but it was a rare 2 door and I recall thinking it looked pretty awesome. Another friend of mine had a car in his front yard under a cover which I had always assumed was an early RX-7 (SA22), but later discovered it was a 260z 2+2 - it was always under a car cover so I never really got a good look at it, then down the street from me was a 260z 2+2 with brown on brown colour scheme, but more importantly it was a P-plate car.

I was coming home from school 1 day and asked my mum what car it was, we stopped and looked and she said she thought it was a Datsun. "A Datsun" I said in somewhat a horrified voice, I thought they were rubbish cars like a guess a lot of other people at the time. Thoughts of the 120Y conjured into my mind. Oh no what would the kids at school think of me driving a Datsun I thought to myself. But being 1998 at the time I decided to look on the Internet and research these cars, what were they like, were they any good?

Well this was actually before Google, so I used search engines like Excite and Webcrawler and Altavista. I started to find pictures of Z-cars some mild, some wild and some original. Many were in the US and I started to discover there was a 240z, a 260z and a 280z, but the general consensus was that the 240z was the best of the best. Lighter and not bogged down by emission controls. I started to search the local trading post for a car, there was a lot of 260z 2+2's and 280zx's but a 240z, now that was rare to find (this was 16 odd years ago!).

I did find a wine red 240z and looked at it with my step dad (it's a shame I didn't save the photos now) but it was pretty rough - although probably good by today's standards and it had an L28 that made a lot of noise but didn't really do much for us in terms of performance. I do recall my first experience in the Z though and it is still something that excites me to this day. The low seating position, the cool looking dashboard, the raw feel of the car as it shakes and rattles and the really long bonnet.

We didn't buy it, it was listed at $3250 or something like that, a price you would never see now for a running 240z. What I do remember though is that there was actually several people looking at it at the same time. Even back then I think the demand for a good 240z was always strong.

I test drove quite a few other 260z's and waited a few months before seeing another 73 240z listed for sale. This time around $3,500 or so and I remember going out to see it for the first time. I had checked the floors for rust, it was ok. The doors had a little bit of rust, the rear hatch slam panel, a bubble on the roof and a few other places like front of the bonnet etc.. But when we took it for a test drive with it's original 240z L24 it really went well, better than any of the bigger engine cars L26 or L28 we had tested and it put a smile on my face and my step dad's and I recall a guy walking at the side of the road when we took it to 5,500rpm giving the thumbs up.

We made an offer and put a deposit down on the spot. My mum was kind enough to say that she would pay for half the car if I paid the other half. I had a part time job on school holidays working for my uncle who was a brick layer and although it was some of the hardest manual work I've done in my life. I actually look back and think about how I really enjoyed the experience and it made buying my first car a very rewarding experience. When you earn something like $5-$7 an  hour saving $1,500 is a lot of money and it still needed roadworthy etc.. which would cost extra.

These photos are not very good, but they are all we have. They were taken right after we put the deposit down on the car (which had the plates FDR-937). It was taken with a disposable camera the kind with film. Do you remember those? No digital cameras in 1998 - at least not the very affordable sort.

My step dad put the car headlights on it to try and give it more light, but it was getting dark at the time (it was a Friday night I recall) and you can just see me standing next to the car.





It's fair to say it was the most original 240z I've ever owned. Right down to the hub-caps which 1 had fallen off a week earlier and the owner took all off to prevent loosing them. He still had the 1 that fell off, but being young and naive and not really that interested in the hub-caps i told him to fit the 260z alloys he had on a 2+2 he was also selling. The reason it was so original is that a Nissan engineer had owned the car at 1 point and restored it to original condition, but he decided instead of Kalahari Tan he would paint it the 905 red. So the engine bay was still the orange colour but the rest of the car red. It also had the white interior.

A week later my step dad drove it home for me, I was only on my L-plates at the time. We stopped at a friends place to show off the 240z and my mum in the family car swapped with my step dad and I drove the 240z the rest of the way home. I immediately fell in love with the car.

I don't have many photos of the car, but this is the best photo of it complete.

Interior minus seats.



Here is a photo right before I started to strip it down for restoration.


Note: The pinstripe? I actually quite like it. Also the 240z door mirror.

I drove it on my L-plates for a few months and my mum drove it also. She told me she always wanted a 240z when she saw them new in the showroom when her parents were buying a car for the family business (a 180b). I still think about her driving the 240z and it was obvious she really enjoyed it. Being totally standard it was very easy to drive.

Perhaps my favorite memory was driving it down the Mornington Peninsula and we actually took it to the drive in they have down in Rye. I remember my cousin and a girl I liked at the time were in the passenger seat and I was in the drivers seat and we tuned in the radio (an 80s head unit) which didn't give good audio but it didn't matter. The girl was more interested in my cousin than me at the time, but hey who cares right? I still remember driving it back at night and looking at the 240z gauges and just thinking, this is such a cool car.

As much as I loved the car a few months later after reading some websites on 240z's a guy mentioned he found rot under the battery tray. Well I decided to check mine out, having been all over the car and done some detailing and buffing of the paint by hand etc.. I never checked the battery area...

well the photos do the talking.



She had actually passed a road worthy, I basically put my fist through the metal in this area. It crumbled right away.
1972 Datsun 240z

Offline Gav240z

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Re: Evie 1972 Datsun 240z
« Reply #1 on: Yesterday at 03:33:19 PM »
So what to do next? Well my uncle knew a guy who restored hot rods and we took it to him. He said it will need quite a bit of work and really need to remove the dashboard and engine. I can't recall what he quoted to fix it and I don't remember why I didn't get him to do it. But I also took it to Z-factory where Rob works and many will know. He said the car needed a total restoration, sand blast etc.. and repaint and that the suspension needing replacing etc.. I think he quoted something like $15k to do it right.

Well I didn't have the money for that, and I didn't have a garage at the time. My mum was building 1 at her place but it wasn't going to be finished for a while. Looking back the solution was obvious, remove the dash and engine myself and take care of the structural stuff and then worry about the minor rust later. But that's wisdom and hindsight for you. What I did next was actually quite daft, but that was buy a 260z 2+2, which compared to my 240z was an absolute junk heap.

I really bought it for a couple of reasons:

1. I was the first of my friends to get my license due to my birth date and they were all complaining I'd gone and got a 2 seater car. A 2+2 could carry mates around.
2. I was attracted to it for all the wrong reasons, the exhaust system, the L28 (with P90 head - which I didn't know at the time) and the aftermarket steering wheel, wheels, headlight covers, spoiler and horror of all horrors the sunroof!!!!!

By this time the Internet was starting to be the way to find cars. I found this 260z on a website that was big at the time (before carsales) and here is a photo of it.






I did almost everything with this car, and my mates loved it also because they got to go on car cruises and it was our first collective taste of freedom from the parents.






I did quite a bit of work with this car, rebuilt the gearbox (paid to have it done), repainted the bumpers white, replaced clutch throw out bearing (myself), replaced a water pump, alternator, it had been fitted with thermo fans which were a pain in the ass and would rain the battery flat.

I changed the interior colour from white to black.


I actually got myself into a lot of shiver with this car. I got suspended on the last day of school for doing a burnout. Right after they told us not to do anything silly on the last day. :)  :P


See the bottom left photo lol....The principal saw everything and there were some dire consequences for me. I had to sit my exams in a totally different school as punishment.

I was even in the paper, but not because of anything I did, see the school kids on the back of the train?


It was Ormond station, funny thing is i don't remember seeing the kids on the train. I must have missed it. But I was regularly driving around this area and dropping friends home after school.

A rare photo of both my babies together in the garage my mum had built. I took over lol..


The thing is, with the costs of running the 260z and it always having issues due to lack of proper care by previous owners I just wasn't getting around to doing anything with the 240z. I tried to sell the 260z a couple of times and had some people come around test drive it etc.. but no commitment to buying it. In the end it met it's demise while I was doing Pizza Delivery in Prahran. It was the only job I could get at the time.

The best thing that could of happened did, it was written off by a Subaru WRX that pulled in front of me.


The tow truck driver kept on ranting on about the WRX and what a shame it was, I could care less about it I thought. He dropped it out the front of my house.



L28 with P90 head, it was later stolen by a mechanic I trusted at the time.


and because why not???




and what are friends for, if not for photoshop?


I salvaged many parts from it, some I still have and took the motor out and kept the L28 for the 240z I had planned to restore now.

1972 Datsun 240z

Offline Gav240z

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Re: Evie 1972 Datsun 240z
« Reply #2 on: Yesterday at 03:47:59 PM »
I decided that I needed something fuel efficient and cheap to run while I was going to restore the 240z. I found this Toyota Corolla at a good price and got myself a job at Video Busters in Caulfield. I drove past the other day and couldn't believe they were still in business. I've decided they must be a front for drug dealing because I don't see how they make money.

I couldn't help myself and put a stupid cannon exhaust on it. But if I had never done that perhaps I wouldn't have ever found my 72 240z...







My friends put the Fast and Furious sticker on it. I never liked the series myself. This was a bit of a joke, but it's a funny photo none the less. I'm in the middle.


Out of all the cars I've owned it's been the most sensible to date. All my other cars have been S30Z's and the FD RX-7. It was a good little car, but I left it in South Land shopping center 1 night while we went to Wild Bills night club.

It's now TGIF by the way :).


and while we were in there, the car was broken into and vandalised and they bent the door frame, the door, bonnet, front guard etc.. I was gutted. Since it was only 3rd party fire and theft I could afford. So all the money I had saved to date for the 240z restoration was going to go on fixing this up...

Well this is where the exhaust system comes back into it, a few weeks earlier I had been in TruFit exhaust off Warrigal Road and there was an add for a 240z. I actually still have the ad believe it or not? I will try and scan it in...when I get a chance. It read 72 240z, L28, big valve head, mild cam, twin exhaust. Looks good, goes hard. $8,500.

I went to see it with a mate and fell in love with it, after the Corolla was damaged I decided I'd sell my 73 240z and the Corolla (how it was) - I replaced the damaged panels but left it unpainted. Along with the money I'd saved I was going to get this 72 240z.

1972 Datsun 240z

Offline Gav240z

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Re: Evie 1972 Datsun 240z
« Reply #3 on: Yesterday at 03:51:42 PM »
So the ad for the 240z in the paper intrigued me, although based on previous experiencing looking for a 240z or 260z I often found they were in need of serious work and not worth the effort. So when I went to look at this car with a friend I didn't expect much other than disappointment.

My friend came along with me and before we got there he said, "If it's in good condition just act cool and don't get excited". I said good idea, so I prepared to put on my poker face. After meeting the owner at the door he guided us to the garage and lifted it open. My friend immediately burst out with a "oh my gosh" type expression when he saw how good it looked and I thought well there goes the poker face and any sort of bargaining power I had.  ;D

I immediately saw the red paint's condition the Superlite wheels and the dual exhaust. I said to the owner I love the dual exhaust set up on it, it's like the old Works Rally Cars. He said that is exactly where he got the idea from and then proceeded to tell me that guys had come to look at the 240z and not even known what it was. We immediately had a connection from that point on and I think after all the work he put into it, wanted it to go to an enthusiast.

We looked around the car and noticed some small rust bubbles coming through in places, and a couple of panel gaps that could have been better. The engine bay looked really clean and it was obvious that a lot of work had gone into it.

When the car was fired up it was just pure joy to listen to it's L28 with mild cam, big valves and throaty exhaust idle away. Spluttering with an angry note to it. The Triple Dellorto's were removed and the twin SU's had been put back on it. I recall going for a drive, as we reversed out of the driveway a Fastback mustang came rolling down the street. The owner said to me that's another nice looking car, then he proceeded to tell me how under-rated the Z was. It's something that stands out in my mind a lot. I still agree with him, although the last few years has seen definitely more interest in these cars and more well deserved recognition.

The drive went well and the sound of it was awesome, people were starring at this old Z as she went down the road and I didn't know how at the time, but I knew I was somehow going to buy this Z. This was before the Corolla was broken into, so I told the owner I was going to list the Corolla for sale and my other 240z and I'd be in touch. Well that's when the Corolla was subsequently broken into and I ended up phoning up the owner of the Z and asking if it was still for sale. A month or so had gone by and it wasn't in the paper anymore.  I sold off the Corolla unpainted and only with cosmetic issues and the 73 240z went to Marc, to side step a minute, Marc is a member on here and was at the Christmas BBQ.last year in a 70 model Z (the Black pearl looking 1 with the L28 turbo in it).

I had met Marc 1 night down in Port Melbourne he drove past me in the 260z in his black 2+2 and I chased him down. Here's some photos of Marc's car back then.




Marc put a turbo carby set up on his Z, and I recall being at Swinburne University going for a drive in it with him and man that thing hauled ass. It was scary quick.



Unfortunately Marc's car was written off when a van pulled out in front of him.




So anyway after calling the owner of the 72 240z, he told me there was too many time wasters so he didn't bother to list the ad again but was still prepared to sell it to me. We negotiated on price and I ended up offering $7,500 for it. He agreed and the next week I came down to drive it myself.

You can see me on the left in the bottom photo and the owner on the right. This is right before I took it for the first drive.


I discovered when I bought the car that I was technically the 3rd owner from new. The first owner bought it new in 72 and the second owner was the current owners father. George was his name and Tony was his son. They never bothered to change it into Tony's name because then they would have had to pay stamp duty etc.. So they just left it in George's name and I became it's third owner. A funny story is that when i wrote up the cheque to buy it I said to the teller at Westpac that it was to be made in the name of Tony Barber and she looked at me and said "The Tony Barber?" to which I replied sorry not him. (She thought I meant the game show host from Sale of the Century).

So when I bought the car it was signed over by George making me it's official 3rd owner. To say I was happy with the car was an understatement. I loved it. The attention it got, the reflection of it in shop windows, the sound of it, the way it drove it was very magical.

It wasn't all smooth sailing though, to get a road worthy, I had to change the exhaust or fit a rear bumper. I changed the exhaust. It had some rust in the rear chassis rails and rear dogleg sections. Rob at Z-Factory took care of that for me. The drivers floor was also a little beaten up and he also did some work to fix that up at the same time. A few other things like bushings needed work and the front indicator lights were a bit old and needed replacement with some other minor stuff also.

Some photos taken not long after I got her.


My friend Cameron (the 1 who let me down poker face wise) and my little sister - who is now a full grown woman. (This was photo was taken 10 years ago or more now)






Cameron sitting in the drivers seat.





So what's been done to it over the years?

- Installed a lightened flywheel and heavy duty clutch.
- rebuilt the electronic distributor
- replaced the valve stem seals
- Installed tokico shocks
- replaced bushings front and rear
- Balls joins, tie rod ends were also replaced
- The seats were replaced with Recaro's although I'll probably change them to something more 'period' when I can.
- Sourced original door cards.
- Sourced an original door mirror (not installed yet)
- I re-chromed the front bumper (but not happy with it)
- I installed a 260z fluted bonnet - again not happy with it. This was done because someone reversed into my original bonnet and drove off (no note left :( ),
- I got a good un-cracked console from the US of A.
- The dashboard was reskinned professionally.
- New carpets were bought and installed
- Replaced the map light hood (as these crack), got the choke knob etc..
- Rebuilt (just replaced gaskets) and retuned the S.U carbs.

Then the plan was to build a 3.1 ltr stroker and I got an LD28 crank, Triple Mikuni's and Schneider camshaft, L14 rods etc..I was going to put flares on it and bigger wheels / fender mirrors etc..

Some may recall seeing these photos.




Then I did this photoshop mock.


But I decided before I'd do all that I'd travel a bit.. for a variety of reasons but I had to spend 4 days in hospital after a lung operation - which was good time to reflect on life and what i wanted and I decided I wanted to see the world and the other was that I had a bad experience with a mechanic who let me and my partner down, along with a friend. So I put car building on hold.

Over the past few years she's sat in the garage at my mum's place and I've taken it out here and there when I've been back visiting. Here are some recent photos.














Current plans are to get the diamond vinyl happening again in the interior, install the original door mirror and get her on CH plates so she can be driven around again. Once I'm more confident with bodywork and painting I'll probably patch up some of the minor rust bubbles taking care of 1 panel at a time, but I won't do a full bare metal job - since I want to have it on the road and enjoy it. I've got the Safari Gold car as something more long term build wise.
« Last Edit: Yesterday at 10:35:47 PM by Gav240z »
1972 Datsun 240z

Offline Gareth. J.

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Re: Evie 1972 Datsun 240z
« Reply #4 on: Yesterday at 05:17:56 PM »
Yay, more build threads :) I can't get enough of all the different stories people have about their Z's. You can never have enough photo's, If I have one regret it's not taking enough pics in the early years of ownership.

Hehehe, Wild Bills! Some good memories, some not so good! Molly Meldrum in the 'Teepee' on the decks  ;D

Offline CroS13

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Re: Evie 1972 Datsun 240z
« Reply #5 on: Yesterday at 09:14:39 PM »
I'm laughing at your hair in the picture with your 2 mates, mainly because i had a god awful haircut like that too!

Great read so far man! Ah the angled cannon exhaust, its the obligatory mod for instant 100kw when your on your P plates, i remember my first S13 Silvia when i got my license, when i drove into the exhaust shop to get a cannon, i remember the guy saying "straight or angled? wait... do i even need to ask?"

waiting for updates!!!!

Rudolf.
S13, S13, S13... current daily driver S15: 250kw... now with added Datsun 260z!

Offline Gav240z

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Re: Evie 1972 Datsun 240z
« Reply #6 on: Yesterday at 10:46:39 PM »
Yay, more build threads :) I can't get enough of all the different stories people have about their Z's. You can never have enough photo's, If I have one regret it's not taking enough pics in the early years of ownership.

Hehehe, Wild Bills! Some good memories, some not so good! Molly Meldrum in the 'Teepee' on the decks  ;D

The good thing is, Cameron mentioned above was like a junior Spielberg and he used to film everything with this Camera he had borrowed from his high school. So he actually has footage of my first 73 240z and me driving it around. It's extremely embarrassing because I look like the sherminator from American Pie with my spiked hair and I'm only 17 so I'm mucking around with the car like I know what I'm doing, but he put a soundtrack to it which was by a band/song called "Blessid Union of Souls - Hey Leonardo". Which has the line "she don't care about my car" as an opener, it's quite hilarious and I keep asking him to give me a copy so I can post it on Youtube for you all to see. As I say it's very embarrassing for me but it will give the story more colour and so I'm willing to post it for that reason. I actually was holding off on posting my story until I had the footage but I decided I'd just do it now.

He also has footage of me driving the 260z on a dirt path down in Loch Sport and I'm doing circles in it, like any 18-20 year old does in his cars. Flicking dirt everywhere, quite funny, but like I say I used to get myself into quite a bit of trouble with that car. Nothing bad bad, but just silly stuff.

Wild Bills was definitely a messy night club, I think the funniest quote I heard was from Cameron's brother 1 night as we approached it in a cab he said "Ahh Wild Bills, the 8th wonder of the world!"

I forgot Molly Meldrum was there 1 night, another night my same friend Cameron saw him in Mercury Bar at Crown Casino and started to chew his ear off about interviews he'd done with various artists. Molly fobbed him off, or at lest wasn't interested in discussing it, but he did so in a nice way. He wasn't a jerk about it.

I'm laughing at your hair in the picture with your 2 mates, mainly because i had a god awful haircut like that too!

Great read so far man! Ah the angled cannon exhaust, its the obligatory mod for instant 100kw when your on your P plates, i remember my first S13 Silvia when i got my license, when i drove into the exhaust shop to get a cannon, i remember the guy saying "straight or angled? wait... do i even need to ask?"

waiting for updates!!!!

Rudolf.

Oh don't worry I know the haircut is bad, my aunt has a photo of Cameron and I and we look like we just failed an audition for N'Sync. I'd post it, but it's off topic LOL...

When I was getting the Canon exhaust put on the Corolla I said to the guy at the shop it's a billy silly isn't it? He laughed and said "nah, it's ok" but some of the stuff guy's want... well...and he left it at that. I think the best part of that car was that it was meant to be just a run about, but it was quicker than my friends 1989 Celica. Used to really upset him because he spent a fortune rebuilding the motor after it blew a head gasket. If you ask me, they just put a new gasket on it and charged him a rebuild LOL...

Ahh being young and naive...I'd do it all again in a heart beat.
1972 Datsun 240z

Offline Gav240z

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Re: Evie 1972 Datsun 240z
« Reply #7 on: Yesterday at 10:48:23 PM »
Oh I just realised I didn't explain the name of the 72 240z is Evie. Named after the Stevie Wright song Evie.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=In1VeSjsBT8

Why? I don't even remember now, but that's her name.
1972 Datsun 240z

Offline Gav240z

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Re: Evie 1972 Datsun 240z
« Reply #8 on: Yesterday at 10:52:36 PM »
I also forgot to mention that I didn't pick up the original L24 engine block until several months later when I saw the owner selling it off on eBay. I asked if it was the original L24 for my car and he said yes. So I made sure I bought the engine block on eBay and picked it up a week later from the owner with a couple of other things like crank, pistons, camshaft etc.. So I have the matching L24 that goes with this car. It now sits in my garage.

L24-078080
1972 Datsun 240z

Offline Minestrone

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Re: Evie 1972 Datsun 240z
« Reply #9 on: Today at 03:16:44 AM »
That was a pretty interesting read and awesome history.

It also looks as though you are parked in front of my sisters old place in Wheelers Hill in the pic with the green VR/VS Commodore in the driveway.
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Offline PB260Z

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Re: Evie 1972 Datsun 240z
« Reply #10 on: Today at 06:33:59 AM »
Good read Gav,

I always find amusing that we makes changes (improvements) to cars in our P plate years only to realise later on that we didn't really improve anything. These days my father and I laugh about the improvements my mates and I were making to our cars.

It is so good to see that despite travelling and all the other things life throws at us, you have managed to keep the same car for 10+ years.

Cheers

Peter
1981 280ZX T/Top Manual

Offline Zedman240

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Re: Evie 1972 Datsun 240z
« Reply #11 on: Today at 07:50:26 AM »
Thoroughly enjoyed the read Gavin...
Memories came flooding back when you showed the pic of Marc's zed; still remember when we were on the way to the Zed nats? I think it was in 2001 to Shepparton and Marc's zed snapped a cam shaft on the freeway luckily while we were still in Melbourne. Its a bit hard to fix that on the side of the road so in the style of Top Gear drives, we just left him and continued on..
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Offline sydney mike

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Re: Evie 1972 Datsun 240z
« Reply #12 on: Today at 10:18:58 AM »
Great read Gav,

much prefer this sort of journal than a pure build thread. Have to pull my finger out and start my own one, got my Zed back a couple of days ago.

cheers. Mike.
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Re: Evie 1972 Datsun 240z
« Reply #12 on: Today at 10:18:58 AM »