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.
'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........