At $19,500, Will This Restored 1972 Datsun 240Z V8 Restore Your Faith?

Nice Price Or Crack PipeIs this used car a good deal? You decide!

The exhaust on today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe S30 is a sight to behold. The turbo V8’s piping runs every which way but loose, but will its price also loosen your pursestrings?

If something’s too good to be true, then it probably isn’t. That old apophthegm seemed apt in considering yesterday’s too cool for the education complex 1991 VW Jetta with its VR6 mill and modest stance. At $2,500 it just seemed to be way too much car for the money, and hence gave the impression that the whole thing was a scam.


Apparently it wasn’t, as Detective Deckard found the seller’s Instagram page where lo and behold, the car proved to be the real deal. That assurance ensured a win and sure enough, the Jetta VR6’d its way to a 58-percent Nice Price triumph. Yay, honesty!

There are certain things that just go together. Whether it’s peas and carrots, coffee and Kahlúa, or premium cable and bare boobs, where you find one, you most often times find the other. You can add to that august list Datsun S30s and V8 engines as that’s a coupling that’s not only simple as a pimple, but also pretty glorious when thoughtfully paired.

Here we have a 1972 Datsun 240Z that has been just so imbued. Not only that, its GM LS engine has brought a friend to the party, that being a big-ass turbo nestled snuggly right behind the left sugar scoop.


We’ll get back to the engine in a sec, but first let’s talk about the rest of the car. Come on, stop staring at it.


This Z comes with a good bit of custom bodywork. The headlight buckets have been flowed into the fenders while below each the bumper groove has been banished to the history books. That means no turn signals in the front, but then, seeing as this Z is set up for the strip, corners were probably not high on the builder’s agenda.

Out back there’s even more custom work with a smoothed-over endcap punctuated by four round tail lamps. You’ll also note the lack of apparent exhaust outlets back here. We’ll puzzle a bit more about that when we get back to the mill. There are no side mirrors and all of the trim save for the door strips has been painted black. Overall it looks tidy and clean if a bit plain jane.


The interior spices things up a bit. The Z seats are reupholstered and a bit shaggy. Orange paint peeks out of air vents and highlights trim throughout while add-on gauges take the place of the factory units.And no, I don’t know what’s going on with that one hanging down above the loud pedal. A four-point roll bar with harness mount for the driver sits over a repositioned and somewhat awkward appearing battery.


Okay that’s enough of that, let’s get back to the V8. Back in the ‘70s a company out of the San Francisco Bay Area suburb of San Carlos sold a few hundred V8 Z car conversions. They called them Scarabs and they were amazing. The basic concept of a GM V8 in an S30 shell obviously then has a long provenance.


This car modernizes that concept with its fuel injected and computer managed LS, and goes it one step beyond by adding to the craziness with the aforementioned turbo. The piping for that aggression-feeding snail is madcap with headers facing forward and an exhaust that tucks under the intake and then sees itself out to dump out… where exactly I don’t know. I don’t see an outlet anywhere on the car so I’m assuming it’s routed into the cabin or something. The piping takes up so much room that the radiator has had to move next door, ahead of the forward gunwall.


The ad notes that the car is a stickshift and it does rock three pedals in its narrow footwell. That being said, the engine bay photos show a dipstick most often associated with an automatic, while the interior shots show a T-handle gear changer that suspiciously appears to be leading the PRNDL hit parade. Whatever.


The asking price on this custom Z is a cool $19,500 and if you’ve had any recent experience with regular Z car prices you’ll note that they’ve finally taken off after years and years of general malaise. As an S30 owner myself all I can say is—it’s about damn time!

The question however, is whether it’s this Z’s time. What do you think, could this orange rocket scare up that $19,500 asking? Or, is that a price that would put this Z at the end of anybody’s list.


You decide!


Los Angeles, CA Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.

H/T to edhelmsbakery for the hookup!

Help me out with NPOCP. Click here to send a me a fixed-price tip, and remember to include your Kinja handle.

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About the author

Rob Emslie

Rob Emslie is a contributing writer for Jalopnik. He has too many cars, and not enough time to work on them all.