Idaho's state bird is the Mountain Bluebird. Datsun's 240Z is a derivation of the Bluebird sedan. Today, Nice Price or Crack Pipe has a Ford-powered Z from the potato state that might just flip your blues the bird.
When it was first introduced, the Datsun 240Z was praised for being the poor man's E-Type. And while its overhead cam straight six, dual side-draught carbs and four-wheel independent suspension - wrapped in a slinky long-nose hatchback body style - looked as though it may have been birthed in Coventry, its single cam head, modest horsepower, and everyman price, proved otherwise.
Another way that the 240Z is unlike the Jag E-Type is in its modest enduring valuation. While the most desirable series one or one-and-a-half E-Type coupe, in decent shape, will bring fifty grand or more, a 240Z will be lucky to break a fifth of that. Because of that perceived lack of value, many Zs have seen meddling, some good, some bad.
This 1972 240Z has benefitted from its mods, with a heart transplant from a Mustang, or other mid-size Ford, being the most prominent. Its freshly rebuilt 302 V8 more than doubles the size of the original 151-bhp straight six, while still managing to squeeze into the same size dress. The seller doesn't quote any horsepower numbers for the 4bbl-equipped Ford, but seeing as he can't spell Datsun correctly, why would we trust his numbers even if he did?
Mated to the small block is Ford's tried and true C4 automatic. He says the 3-speed "shifts super hard" and it's tough to discern if he means the shifts themselves are neck-snapping, or if the tranny has a hard time making it from gear to gear. As he later says it's a fun car to drive, we'll give him the benefit of the doubt.
The rest of the Z looks fairly complete, with the exception of the Datsun badge on the hatch having gone missing, possibly being the reason for the owner's inability to spell the car's name correctly, as he had no reference. There looks to be some surface rust on the rocker, but it's hard to tell from the crappy Craigslist pictures. The bonnet has been traded for a fiberglass unit with a back-facing scoop to both prevent rust and so you can keep tabs on your air cleaner's health. And the wheels look like the kind of crap you find dumpster diving at Manny, Moe and Jack's. With the V8 putting out probably twice the titty-twisting power of Datsun's original six - and the quote of the super-hard shifts - it's a wonder the pumpkin hasn't gone all jack-o-lantern on this car, but a T-bird turbo coupe diff can be fit in there should the Z piece blow ring and pinion everywhere when you're trying to light up the tires.
While the seller is willing to entertain a trade of a ‘70s F-too-heavy Ford truck for the Z, the rest of us would just have to bring money. He's asking $3,000 for this running V8-powered sleeper, in lieu of said truck. Three grand is a lot of potatoes, and while you could easily get sick of eating that much of the starchy spuds, it's less likely that you'd quickly tire from driving this spud-state Z.
What do you think about this V8-powered Z for $3,000? Is that a price that's spudtacular? Or for that much, is this a car that should be avoided like a picnic potato salad that's been sitting too long in the sun?
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