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240Z V 260Z 2 Seater

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Having watched Zs climb to all time high prices, one things seems to really puzzle me.

 

We all know that early 260zs in 2 seat config are few and far between, a search on classified over the last 10 years I believe I've seen maybe 8 or so....... and I am yet to see them start reflecting their rarity..... it seems to be totally ignored that they a  lot rarer than the rest....i'm going out on a real limb here and saying perhaps more so than series 1 240s....... i have no stats to back this up......purely going by what ive seen sold...... yes i appreciate 240s are the OG but im really waiting for the 260s to get the kick in the bum they deserve:) I have seen reasonable 260 2st sit unsold for months at 20-25k and i am speechless...... 

 

Anyone have clear data on how many early 260s actually exist? as I know Gav keeps tabs on 240s only......

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I think it doesn't help that a lot of people think 2+2 when hearing 260Z, and all of the confusing US content about 260Zs.

 

Despite owning an early RS30, I don't personally think the rarity is very special - early girls are special because they are rare AND the first S30s. An early RS30 is just somewhere between a 73 240Z (common) and later 260Z 2 seater (also common, relatively).
But i've also never understood why the US market (for example) is so obsessed over the rarity of certain obscure configurations of cars, so maybe one day the rarity will be recognised.

 

It would be cool to know around what VIN number RS30s stopped being "early" though.

Edited by brent012

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I posted something on this like 9 years ago. Gav put a link to it within a discussion 6 months ago. The Aust figures where based on the famous "coffee table" books.

From memory 1977 2 seat account for like less than 80 cars . Meeeeh, Nobody knows really.

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I've got early 2-seat #115 (ex NZ, where quite a few of the early RHD numbers were sold). The body shell is virtually the same as the last 240, except for the two-strut rear hatch, and slightly different brackets and fixing points to suit the different taillights, dash, console and door trims. The suspension looks identical to a 240 with the exception of an R200 diff instead of R180.

So when I buy parts I have to be careful to select the correct ones. I've noticed a number of aftermarket suppliers here in Australia think that all 260Zs are the 2+2.

The American 260s are quite different in detail (not just LHD) having different impact type bumpers for starters.

IMO the S30s got better and structurally stronger as time went on. They also got heavier, and the detuned engines didn't help matters. But if one is not going racing yet planning on installing a strong fresh motor then I'd advise a later 2-seater over an earlier model. Not everyone will agree with that stance nor will it suit them but it's horses for courses and worth considering, especially if 260 2-seat prices lag well behind 240 prices.

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The 240Z dash and taillights look better?

not sure I agree on the dash but definitley the lights.........i hate 260 lights....they look like a shitty kit car set up :) if prices didnt climb I had the full rear 240z ready to put in....perhaps i should of as mines still worth sfa:)

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The 260Z two seater did not remain the same throughout its production - Service Bulletins detailed the changes made at intervals to the RS30 and these changes continued to be made right to the near end of production e.g. the vented bonnet was only found in the later years.

Throughout the production of the RS30, changes were made to body, exhaust, suspension, seat mounts, wider alloy wheels, lights, tow hooks were introduced and so on.  I agree with Gilltech that the car became more refined, heavier, stronger, and probably improved in many areas. However, the silhouette was largely unchanged.

It was during the production of the 260Z that the newly legislated anti pollution features were added to the 260Z and the introduction of the square topped carbies was generally unpopular - today many later S30's reverted to the original round top carbies or changed to fuel injection or triple carburettors  e.g. weber, dellorto, mikuni. The North American market almost bypassed the 260Z (only two years?) and went to the L28 fuel injected motor with 280Z.

FWIW

Dave

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From my research, they have been listed at pretty equal values lately. 

 

Look at this car, it's one of two on car sales at the moment. This car isn't finished to a high level and they want $50k for it.

https://www.carsales.com.au/private/details/Datsun-260Z-1974/SSE-AD-5106445/?Cr=1

 

Those two 260Zs are priced right smack in in the middle point of the 240Zs for sale. 

 

Boyblunda, did you cut and paste that spiel from somewhere? I'm pretty sure we are all up on the differences...

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not sure I agree on the dash but definitley the lights.........i hate 260 lights....

 

+1 for this. I think I actually prefer the 260z dash. Don't like the tail lights however.

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I like the early dashboard. The later 1 was better in terms of airflow and accommodating air con but it also looks more 70s and less 1960s and I prefer the early style.

 

Tail lamps for me is a no brainer, early ones were the best. I like a lot of the early car details but have no problem admitting the later cars were structurally better.

 

I also think late 2+2s were wider and there was more space between passengers. I know driving down in Peter's 260z Sydney to Melbourne was quite comfortable and spacious in the 2+2.

 

I actually think 280z's with fuel injection are good buying in North America and still cheap. 260z's are even cheaper but often neglected the worst over there as they are a 1 year car with difficult to find parts and were not worth much for a long time.

 

Things are changing at a glacial pace but they are moving. I reckon the best comparison is to look at E-type Jaguars. Series 1 roadsters are cream of the crop, then series 2 and 3 and then 2+2.

 

I guess it comes down to what you want? Do you want a car as an investment and for collectibility reasons? Or do you want a more practical classic that you can modify without the concern for destroying value?

 

I'd like a later S31 Fairlady Z with the ZG conversion on Triple carbs like was on Yahoo! Auctions the other day. It sold for $46k AUD, where as a genuine HS30-H is probably 3x that now or more.

 

I also think Mazda Mx5s are similar again, the original NA is the most pure all the way up to the ND etc.. each has its pros and cons and each will appeal to different people.

 

I think 280zx's will start to become desired again soon with all their luxuries etc.. the 2 seater on Trade me in NZ right now is already asking $25k and looks quite good.

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I think I need to start this post by apologizing for not clearly linking my “spiel” to the subject and content of the topic. My brevity did not transfer to clarity and I certainly did not intend to lecture a knowledgeable Forum on the nuts and bolts of a topic that many members (but less so guests) are well aware of.

 

d3cOy, the “spiel” was not a cut and post but was a paraphrase of posts I have made on AusZcar and ClassicZ over several years. The history of my posts will bear this out and I think that if your former salutation was 44014, we shared in contributing to the thread Topic  “How Many Z’s”  http://www.viczcar.com/forum/topic/12603-how-many-zs/  which discussed a lot of the issues touched on in this current thread.

 

The two service bulletins quoted in the above topic were by :

·      AndBir advised that he had purchased Service Bulletin Vol.197 Modification Of Datsun 260Z Model S30 Series 1973 off eBay.

·      myself with reference to Service Bulletin Vol.215 Modification Of Datsun 260Z Model S30 Series 1974 applied to new models starting with RS30 005001.

 

This topic “How any Z’s” refers to possibly only 600 RS30 vehicles being sold in Australia. 

 

As to the question of why it might seem to be less desirable than the 260Z despite the improvements made over time, it might also have something to do with the fact that the 240Z was a comparative revolution that exploded on to the market.

 

It was helped by an East African Safari victory and a Monte Carlo third place plus considerable success on the racing scene in Asia and North America. By the time the 260Z was released, despite Stewart McLeod and Ross Dunkertons achievements on the Australian Rally Champonship from 1974 to 1977, factory support was waning for the S30 and the Violet and later the Stanza were becoming the more favoured vehicles from a Datsun perspective.

 

The last two paragraphs are purely subjective as are the comments I made earlier about the reactions to the mechanical differences.

 

FWIW

Dave

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I’d like to know too as to why the 2 seater 260Z’s are not even higher then the 240’s and yes the only thing I hear is that the 240’s were the first...... the first of everything always gets improved upon......

 

From what I could find with some digging around on numbers of cars that came to Australia i found the following:

 

240Z's : 2358

260Z's : 1123

 

These are 2 seater versions of the 260Z's

 

Not sure how accurate it’s all I could find, I'm sure others might have some better numbers.

 

So this asks the most obvious question...... WHY?......... Why are they cheaper when less then half the number of the 240’s were imported....... now I’m not too good at maths but this would suggest that they are just a tad more rare.

 

Cheers,

Justin

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I think it's just personal preference...

 

The reason I went the 240z path rather than the 260z path simply comes down to what I wanted to do with the car - a "as close as I can get to factory spec" restoration. This meant that I had to look at which of the 3 (240z, 260z, 280z) appealed to me the most if I were to buy it new.

 

  • 280z was immediately out, RHD conversions don't tickle my pickle.
  • 260z 2+2 didn't feel right in the nuggets because of the roof line.
  • 260z 2 seaters taillights and fender badges were a turn off, and what I took at the time as a general hate towards the flat tops.  
  • Early 240z's were out of my price range, although I really liked the few aesthetic differences with the later 240z's (hatch vents, qtr badges, no tool boxes...)
  • 71 onwards - mhmmm, just right. dat booty got me drooling.

 

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d3cOy, the “spiel” was not a cut and post but was a paraphrase of posts I have made on AusZcar and ClassicZ over several years. The history of my posts will bear this out and I think that if your former salutation was 44014, we shared in contributing to the thread Topic  “How Many Z’s”  http://www.viczcar.com/forum/topic/12603-how-many-zs/  which discussed a lot of the issues touched on in this current thread.

 

We are different people and 44014 is a dirty 260Z owner and I've got a 240Z.

 

The improvements are very subjective. They made them progressively heavier and slower and that for the enthusiasts less desirable, opposed to new buyers who want all the latest mod-cons. No one was trying to put 500hp RBs in them back in those days, or even L28s for that matter so the stiffer body probably didn't come into it and that preference has been carried along through time.

 

I think the raft of minor points listed in this thread culminate to just generally making 260Zs less desirable. Just because something is rarer doesn't necessarily correlate to it being more desirable or make up for all the small points. 

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In order of desirability for me personally and not including some of the special Rally Cars etc.. (which I'd love to own).

 

  1. Fairlady Z432-R
  2. Fairlady Z432
  3. Fairlady 240ZG (Homologation Special)
  4. Low Vin # 240z's (export markets) and Low Vin # Fairlady Z's (69-71) etc..
    1. Bonus points for rare colour combinations (interior / exterior etc..) - Early colours like Safari Gold etc..
    2. Love 903 Blue/ Blue or 904 White with Blue or 904 White with Red etc..
  5. 260z 2 seaters (74+ S30Z's)
  6. 280z 2 seaters (Or S31's 76/77/78) - with fuel injection
  7. 260z / 280z 2+2's or Fairlady Z 2/2's - Good if you have small children :)
  8. 280zx 2 seater turbo :D

I should point out that I've driven both early and late cars and 2+2's etc.. and they are all fun in the same way. I would have no complaints about owning a later 280z imported from North America, I would get rid of the horrid bumpers though, even if I like originality, those things just ruin the lines of a great car.

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The main reason for value increases in values of sports cars comprise a few main elements (all of which equate to strong demand, which is the simplest answer)...

 

  • motorsport history (and success)
  • enjoyable or engaging driving experience
  • popularity - either at the time or later on
  • nostalgia
  • provenance

I've probably missed a few, but all things combined usually mean high value. The 260z lacks the provenance (it was the successor not the original), didn't have as much racing success, and wasn't as popular at the time, or now. They provide the same enjoyability and nostalgia, but those things aren't affected by an improved diff or a slightly stiffer shell. If we wanted "better" cars we'd just buy a new common-dore which is faster and more efficient, with more luggage capacity, than both zeds.

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@Gav I would put the 280ZX 2 seater above all 2+2s.

 

I like the 2+2's, having owned 1 in the past. I think they are good cars and the real challenge is finding a good 1 these days. But remember it's just my personal preference. ;)

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Not worth arguing over actually. Just find the right one for you that you can afford, and if necessary and practicable tweak it to the way you want it.

Personally if I were to lose my early '74 2-seat and wanted to replace it I'd be looking for a late 260Z, I wouldn't go the other way to a 240Z for a host of reasons.

 

With prices typically all over the place it's probably a bit academic but I think the 2+2 is the model that's most under-valued.

And I think the 280ZX whether 2+2 or 2-seat is almost an entirely different car so don't understand why it's even part of this discussion.  ::)

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It's not an argument, it's a discussion and without threads like this, the forum would be full of questions about tuning SUs and what part goes where threads which are pretty boring. You can pretty much quash any discussion thread by saying "do what you want".

 

Arguably the 2+2 is a different car to the 2 seater as well by that measure, it has a completely different floor pan. The '76 onward 260Z 2 seaters could be said to not share a commonality with the 240Z too. Come to think of it, I wonder besides the front panels how much of the componentry actually would be interchangeable between the two without some modification. Like obviously the drive line, because even my 240Z has Z31, Skyline and Navara bits in it but all the interior, doors, hatch, fuel systems etc were all quite updated by that stage.

 

My first car was a '78 2+2 too, but I i think basically all 2 seaters are > 2+2s in the looks and street car performance departments.

 

 

Gav I don't think we should have to clarify if it's personal preference, surely all posts on a forum are taken from that angle. Or are people so sensitive we have to coddle their feelings? hahah.

Edited by d3c0y

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Arguably the 2+2 is a different car to the 2 seater as well by that measure, it has a completely different floor pan.

I understand your point but I can't agree, clearly the front portion of the car is still very much the same. One could take half of a 240Z and the complementary half of a 260Z and join them together. (And I know that's been done).

Whereas IMO the 280ZX models that came later were a fresh design with little commonality to their predecessors.

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The reason I threw the ZX in there is that it still has an L-series engine and is the successor to the early cars and many components can be switched between the cars. There is also a resurgence in interest in them in the last few years due to the earlier car prices going up!

 

This 280zx 2 seater just sold for $23,000 USD.

https://bringatrailer.com/listing/1981-datsun-280zx-6/

 

That was unthinkable only a few years ago.

 

I've also gone a bit soft in my old age and started to like them, especially the 2 seaters and I reckon a turbo L28 is pretty cool also :D

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