In case you haven’t noticed, the Datsun S30 has skyrocketed to the top of the charts, value-wise. Today’s Nice Price or No Dice 240Z isn’t crazy expensive, but that’s because it’s a project car. Let’s see if it’s worth charting a course for its restoration.
Have you ever become reacquainted with someone you once knew only to find them now totally different and surprisingly accomplished? Maybe a goofy frat bro or ditzy sorority sis who is now an accomplished medical researcher or child development counselor? It’s disorienting, isn’t it?
The same thing can be said about Saab. We all know it as the company that once made quirky cars like the 1988 Saab 900 turbo we looked at yesterday. That Saab is long gone, however, leaving today just the Saab that builds airplanes and armaments. Apparently, we all still like the quirky car-builder Saab of old, especially when the reminder is something along the lines of yesterday’s $3,500 900 droptop, a car, and a price, which together earned a solid 64 percent Nice Price win.
Saab isn’t the only company to have moved on in life. Nissan once called itself Datsun here in the States and it produced some of its most memorable products — cars like the 510, called the poor man’s BMW, and the sporting Z cars — all under that appellative. Unlike Saab, though, which exited the car market, the Japanese company morphed Datsun into its home brand of Nissan and never looked back. Well, outside of India, that is.
So venerable were those early models under the Datsun name, that today cars like the 510 and Z are commanding outrageous sums. Getting in on the ground floor with one means a high likelihood that some amount of work will be afoot. This 1973 Datsun 240Z obviously evidences that likelihood in spades.
The car is presented sitting in a tow yard and the seller claims that that particular chunk of dusty Texas dirt is no longer a fiscally responsible spot for storing it. That means the project needs to go to a new owner with enough space and, well... probably some welding skills.
Yep, there’s rust in them-thar sills. Per the pictures, the rot is also in the doors, the fenders, and the hatch frame. It’s a lot, but to allay any thoughts of just crumpling the car up and tossing it over a shoulder, it should be noted that almost all of these Emmental-emulating panels are readily available in the aftermarket and pretty much all of the issues can be addressed by a competent bodywork shop — or a capable home restorer.
Other issues needing attention include an interior that looks to be a Hantavirus breeding ground. There are also some strange white-faced gauges in the re-capped dash and a steering wheel that looks to be from a ’90s 240SX.
On the plus side, the engine appears intact and the seller claims it started and ran once a new battery was installed. The car rolls on later ZX wheels which are of a different time but do keep it in the family. Those seem to wear serviceable tires too. Remarkably, the title is clean and the car carries Texas plates. Mileage is unknown since the odometer seems to have broken or to have rolled over.
The price for this project requires a bit of math as there are multiple components involved. The asking price for the car itself is $1,750. The towing yard where the Datsun now calls home requires payment of a storage fee to the tune of $510 for its release. That adds up to a $2,260 total and so that’s what we’re going with today. It seems that the storage fee will grow every month so both seller and any prospective buyer may both be over a barrel to make a deal ASAP.
What’s your take on that present deal and the car as a whole (or holes as it were)? Is $2,260 a fair price to get this S30 out of car jail? Or, is the rust just too daunting and the car just too lacking to ask even that little?
H/T to MaximillianMeen for the hookup!
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