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#1 Mr Camouflage

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Posted 29 November 2009 - 09:15 PM

Just noticed an error in the article:

http://www.viczcar.c...970-datsun-240z

The early 1970 Datsun 240z is the lightest of the Zcar series. Its low weight makes it a sort after and desirable model for racing enthusiasts.


Correct term is "sought-after". As in desirable,"to seek", not "sort after" as in to rearrange later. Although most early Zeds do need some rearranging to get them back to good condition. ;D



#2 HS30-H

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Posted 30 November 2009 - 08:47 PM

Whilst we are on the subject, mind if I do a little nitpicking too?  :)

I've never understood why so many people quote the "1970 240Z" as being the lightest of the early Z range. EG, from the above article:

"The early 1970 Datsun 240Z is the lightest of the Zcar series."

What model ( market? ) of 240Z is being measured anyway?

How about the following:
*1969 'S30-S' Fairlady Z ( 975kg dry weight )
*1969 'S30' Fairlady Z-L ( 995kg dry weight )
*1969 'PS30-SB' Fairlady Z432-R ( 960kg dry weight )


Alan T.




#3 Zedman240®

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Posted 30 November 2009 - 09:09 PM

Alan, it could be just because the early chassis was made from the thinner gauge metal compared to the 260Z. Not the lightest of all early 240Z's but compared to the 260Z and later models.

#4 gav240z

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Posted 30 November 2009 - 11:45 PM

Just noticed an error in the article:

http://www.viczcar.c...970-datsun-240z

Correct term is "sought-after". As in desirable,"to seek", not "sort after" as in to rearrange later. Although most early Zeds do need some rearranging to get them back to good condition. ;D



Thanks for picking that up. I made the correction.

Whilst we are on the subject, mind if I do a little nitpicking too?  :)

I've never understood why so many people quote the "1970 240Z" as being the lightest of the early Z range. EG, from the above article:

"The early 1970 Datsun 240Z is the lightest of the Zcar series."

What model ( market? ) of 240Z is being measured anyway?

How about the following:
*1969 'S30-S' Fairlady Z ( 975kg dry weight )
*1969 'S30' Fairlady Z-L ( 995kg dry weight )
*1969 'PS30-SB' Fairlady Z432-R ( 960kg dry weight )


Alan T.




Very valid points Alan and thank for bringing it to my attention.

On the topic did the S20 weigh significantly more than the L-series engine?


On the topic of featured rides, I've been working to automate the process. Previously it used to take me ages to put the articles together and lots of typo's and other errors crept in (I'm sure plenty still exist), however I'm hoping that the new system to uploading them will be alot quicker and therefore I can spend a bit longer proof reading them.

#5 Mr Camouflage

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Posted 01 December 2009 - 07:06 PM

I almost commented on the Lightness issue, but thought I'd leave that can of worms alone.

But since you mention it Alan....

There is a common conception/mis-conception that the 1970 240z's (sometimes they specify a number being the cars under 0500 chassis number, ie the first 500 cars made) were made of thinner gauge metal than later 240Z's.

I think it comes from the US where there is a common conception/mis-conception that the first 500 HLS (1969) cars made were of a lighter gauge metal than cars made later.  And since we didn't get any cars delivered in 1969, it has been applied to the 1970 delivered cars.

Where the USA got that Idea from, ..... maybe from the Z432-R, and the rally cars, which did use lighter gauge metal in some areas, (and heavier in others -  is that correct Alan?). Also since some of the 1969 cars were used as race cars in The USA, maybe there may have been a general thought that you would start off with a lighter "sports version" of the car (like the Z432-R) instead of a run of the assembly line standard car that would have otherwise been sold to the public.

I still hear that the first 500 cars were lighter at club meetings, and I sigh internally. I think its another of those myths that just get perpetuated (especially by those that own sub 500 chassis number cars), but I have no proof to offer one way or another, so mostly don't try to correct the person making the comment.

I had thought about starting a Z Myth Busting thread on Classic Z Cars, but you would end up 40 years of "chinese whispers" or hearsay about the Z being reported as fact.

Like the related Australian "Myth" (lets open another can of worms) about the first 500 HS30 1969 made cars that were bound for the UK, but were diverted to Australia, and sat on the docks for months before finally being offered for sale in late 1970 - as some means to explain why the sub 500 chassis cars which were "apparently" made in 1969, didn't make it to the Australian market until late 1970/early '71. Again the 500 made in 1969 most likely referrers to the HLS30 cars which were delivered to the USA, but has been mutated to apply to the HS30 cars delivered to Australia.

As someone perpetuating the myth states:

The reason for the confusion is simple. Approximately 500 right hand drive (pre production line) cars had been hand built as a limited promotional run. 427 RHD cars survived factory crash/destruction testing. Because of space shortages at Nissans factories the majority were put on a ship destined for Europe. A 240Z had been on display at Earls Court motor show in 1970 but it was overpriced and received poor press. Only 2 orders were taken. Australian design standards were the same as Europe and the public where influenced by American trends, so the ship was diverted here and the cars were held in storage until compliance & ADR requirements were passed. With no consideration for build numbers a hand full of cars had compliance plates fitted and were registered in Victoria in 1970. They were made available to the Press and Nissan dealers as demo's. The remaining cars where sold in 1971. The industry standard is to quote the compliance date as the year of manufacture therefore confusion reigns as to actual true manufacture dates. Cars where built and on the road in Japan from October 1969. In his book, 'Datsun Z super profile', James Morris states that the 240Z was unvieled at the Tokyo motor show in November 1969, having been announced on October 22nd.

Source: http://www.zshop.net.au/240tech.htm

Alan, have you heard that one before, or know of any evidence that it actually happened? Would be nice if we could confirm or Bust that myth permanently.

Personally I believe it to be false based on that it simply sounds unlikely, and on correspondences with an Australian Datsun Dealership owner from the 70's

An email I received from Dick Willis when I questioned him on the subject. (I hope he doesn't mind me reprinting what he wrote here.)

Dick writes:

I was the dealer principal of the Datsun/Nissan dealership in Coffs
Harbour, NSW, from 1970 to 1988

My recollections are that we received our first cars, 230 and 345  early in
Jan, 1971, they were both registered on 25/1/71 so they probably would have
had late 1970 compliance plates. All NSW  cars, except for Northern NSW and
Albury came direct from Japan to Capitol Motors, the NSW distributors. I
think there were about 70 dealers through Capitols at that time so if you
assume they got one each plus some for Capitols own retail outlets you would
think there wouldn't have been more than 100 in the initial batch. We only
got two after a lot of cajoling and probably taking a couple of 240C's as
well as they were hard to sell. A lot of the small country dealers were very
small and wouldn't have got one while some of the bigger Sydney dealers
would have got more than one but as I remember it, they certainly wouldn't
have received double figures from the first batch.

I never heard at the time that the cars were anything other than hot off the
press at the factory and I seriously doubt the there were any production
cars released in 1969. The car you referred to, 004, as in the Wheels mag
story, June 71 and Sports Car World, Dec 70, regd no  KNL 127 was obviously
the car Nissan HQ in Victoria let out for road testers, given the lead time
for the mags it in unlikely that the SCW test was done any later than Oct 70
which all seems to confirm the ' not for release before Sept 27, 1970 " as
in your press kit.

Perhaps some of the US cars may have been released for sale earlier but they
have a different chassis number prefix so they can't be compared directly to
ours. To summarise, I doubt that the general run on Z's for sale here would
have been landed much before the end of 1970.

If I think of any more on this I will let you know,

Regards, Dick.






#6 NZeder

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Posted 01 December 2009 - 07:48 PM

On the topic did the S20 weigh significantly more than the L-series engine?

Ok I think I will have a go at answering this one. Not really. I have a book in Japanese (so I think this is what I can make out) that shows the L6 as in L24 coming in at around 170kg (not sure if this is loaded or just the engine/head without manifolds etc) and the S20 at 199KG so that is 29KG heavier.

So I think that is not a lot given all that extra metal in the DOHC S20 engines top end.

#7 Zedman240®

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Posted 01 December 2009 - 08:49 PM

Where I get my information, from Rob at the Z Factory who has restored a  few zeds in his time and after removing a fair bit of metal for rust repair from various years of 240Z and 260Z and one thing that was noted was the differences in metal thickness among different models. Especially in the chassis rails near and under the firewall. I'm sure there would be more but I won't go into too much detail. If that is a myth, then I'll keep my mouth shut!

#8 Mr Camouflage

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Posted 01 December 2009 - 09:57 PM

The 260Z is quite a bit different, so it wouldn't surprise me if the 260Z was heavier (chassis that is). The USA 260Z (whole car) is even heavier than the Aus ones, due to the bumper requirements the USA has. 

I know the guy that owns HS30 #501. I wouldn't really expect it should have weighed any different to #500 when they both rolled off the production line. Should have got him to weigh the bodyshell when it was a stripped chassis, though it may have been lighter if it was rusty  ;D

Another question. What does "Dry Weight" mean exactly. Is that just no fuel? or no fuel, oil, coolant, empty washer bottle, etc?





#9 HS30-H

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Posted 02 December 2009 - 11:08 PM

There is a common conception/mis-conception that the 1970 240z's (sometimes they specify a number being the cars under 0500 chassis number, ie the first 500 cars made) were made of thinner gauge metal than later 240Z's.

I think it comes from the US where there is a common conception/mis-conception that the first 500 HLS (1969) cars made were of a lighter gauge metal than cars made later.  And since we didn't get any cars delivered in 1969, it has been applied to the 1970 delivered cars.

Where the USA got that Idea from, ..... maybe from the Z432-R, and the rally cars, which did use lighter gauge metal in some areas, (and heavier in others -  is that correct Alan?). Also since some of the 1969 cars were used as race cars in The USA, maybe there may have been a general thought that you would start off with a lighter "sports version" of the car (like the Z432-R) instead of a run of the assembly line standard car that would have otherwise been sold to the public.


Hi Craig,
'Can Of Worms' - for sure.....  :)

There's definitely a lot of misinformation out there, and it's been left to take root so long that its really difficult to see past it. Much of the bad data seems to have been seeded ( stop me if you've heard this one before! ) in the USA, and then repeated for other markets that it should not apply to. Hence that "first 500" thing we see so often, which seems to completely ignore the fact that "the first 500" weren't even all north American market cars anyway. However, for most of the people talking about the USA market cars, any other model or market seem to be of little concern  ::)

As far as I am aware, the cars that Nissan Shatai built in 1969 ( and which of course includes nearly a thousand S30-S, S30 and PS30 Fairlady Zs ) all used the same gauges of steel as the cars that they built in 1970 - so there should not be any great difference between basic 1969 and 1970 bodyshell weights. The exceptions to this were some of the Factory race cars ( both circuit and rally cars ) and the PS30-SB Fairlady Z432-Rs, which were built using many body / chassis pressings that were made from thinner gauge steel in some sections, and thicker gauge steel in others. Obviously there were not many of these, but they did exist, and the 432-Rs were available to buy and register on the road, so I think they should be in contention for the title of lightest production model S30-series Z.     

Like the related Australian "Myth" (lets open another can of worms) about the first 500 HS30 1969 made cars that were bound for the UK, but were diverted to Australia, and sat on the docks for months before finally being offered for sale in late 1970 - as some means to explain why the sub 500 chassis cars which were "apparently" made in 1969, didn't make it to the Australian market until late 1970/early '71. Again the 500 made in 1969 most likely referrers to the HLS30 cars which were delivered to the USA, but has been mutated to apply to the HS30 cars delivered to Australia.

Alan, have you heard that one before, or know of any evidence that it actually happened? Would be nice if we could confirm or Bust that myth permanently.


It sounds like several myths sometimes get combined into one bigger one, or that details from one story get mixed up with others.....

I think one of the root stories about the UK & Australian market cars is based on fact, but it gets twisted in the telling and re-telling. I think there was a 'diversion' of some cars that were originally allocated to the UK market, and they were sent to Australia instead. However, there's no way that a boat carrying cars would be 'diverted' from one half of the planet to the other! I believe what actually happened is that Datsun UK ( a franchise holder, rather than a Nissan-owned subsidiary ) weren't really all that positive about the HS30 at first - hence the fairly half-hearted UK 'debut' - but also that Nissan fell foul of some new lighting regulations for the UK and had to make modifications to the spec of UK market HS30s ( different headlights and wiring, and relocation of the running lights / front indicators with consequent sheetmetal changes ) and that this delayed the first bulk imports. I have been told by several people in Japan that some of the first HS30s that were originally allocated to the UK market were held back at Hommoku Wharf ( because they would have been technically illegal in the UK ) and were eventually sent to Australia instead. In practice, I think it would be likely that this simply meant that Australia got at least one consignment of cars more than it was originally going to. Back at the factory they were working day and night to make enough cars for the north American market and the Japanese market ( which a lot of people seem to forget ), so I think it is plain that RHD exports were pretty much in short supply for most of 1970....

It's hard to say anything about nice about that www.zshop.net.au quote ( so I'll just say  ??? ::) ) but the Dick Willis quote rings true all the way through.



About 'Kerb Weight' and 'Dry Weight' etc: I quoted 'Dry Weight' because that's what the factory docs all seem to use ( at least in 1969 and 1970 ) in Japan. It means the total weight without what they refer to as "consumables" ( including fuel, engine oil, coolant, even washer fluid ) and to be honest I think it might be a more accurate illustration of the actual weight of the car. If you measure 'Kerb Weight', you have to take into account the amount of oil etc in the car, and of course the amount of fuel - which is difficult to trust. True measure of 'Kerb Weight I think includes a FULL fuel tank, and in the case of the 432-R ( with its 100 litre tank ) that would skew the figures somewhat.

Anyway, my point is that the north American market cars ( even if they are 1969-built examples ) would have a hard time matching the weight of the 432-R or even the base-level no frills S30-S model Fairlady Z.

The question about the weight difference between the S20 engine and the L20A/L24 is tricky. I think it depends on exactly what is being weighed. From experience I can tell you that a bare S20 block is several Kg lighter than a bare L20A or L24 block and the S20 block is nowhere near as tall as the L-series. But if you bolt all the ancillaries onto the S20 it is bound to end up heavier than the twin-carbed L6. The S20 certainly makes your wallet a fair bit lighter........  ;)

Alan T.           







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