Okay, where to start ? It’s a long story…
My name is Bart, 28 years old and I am from a small place in the east of the Netherlands, very close to the German border.
I never heard of Datsun of the 240Z before, I was born in the late 80’s.. Offcourse I knew of Nissan..
It was until about 8 years back I started looking in Dad’s photo albums ( I added a picture ) and we where having a chat about cars he has had in his past. One of those cars was the Datsun 240Z, he told me how he restored one that had it’s entire front end cut off due collossion damage, with simple basic tools and not much of a warm garage in those days. He told me even then it was a pretty rare sight, because here in The Netherlands, there were not much Japanese cars, because the image back then about Japanese cars was…well you know it was crappy and rusty cheap stuff.. Later he had to sell his 240Z because like everyone else he and my Mom needed the money to buy stuff for their house.
But he said he always loved that car.
So I started digging into the history of the 240Z and soon wanted one of my own, this car was amazing !. But ofcourse I didn’t have enough refunds to actually get one.. besides the 2008 crisis was just starting to kick in. I went tos ome classic car dealerships here to actually see a 240Z in person, and fell in love instantly..
It wasn’t until 2010 after difficulties finding a decent job, I started my own company in scooter repair business, that I finally managed to save enough money to get me a 240Z. Bear in mind I was and stil am working 60 to 70 hours a week !
By chance I found a classic car dealer named Joop Stolze in De Lier, who actually had quite a lot of 240Z there for sale ! I went there with my dad, and offcourse still limited budget, I couldn’t get the best one, but I was able to buy an early 71 with work, but matching numbers engine that was imported from the US for 6k Euro, about 7.5 to 8k USD at the time.
Well the story after that is that in a period of 3 to 4 years I slowly restored to entire car to it’s former glory. It did cost me an additional 25k Euro to get there. Currently I still learn about the 240Z and it’s history everyday, and offcourse I love driving it ! Dad is loving the 240Z to…
I had many parts come in from all of the world to restore the 240Z, but kept everything original, only the wheels are from a later 280ZX, but they look good on the car. I do have the stock steel wheels with hubcaps in the garage.
The 240Z still has the rare early E31 high compression cylinder head with the small valves, mine could be one of the last, because by mid 71 they must have ran out of the E31’s and switched to the E88’s.
It doesn’t have the Euro and Japanese 5 speed gearbox, but the US 4 speed version, but I don’t mind that, I want to keep it original as it wass. I don’t intend on driving it that fast anyway.. hey it’s a classic :D
Also have some Datsun history on the wall: A signed 240Z 1971 poster by Yutaka Katayama in 2011 saying: “ 101 years old “ also known as Mr.K.. who died not so long ago sadly.
I also found back the original owner of the 240Z , from a name on a warranty card, who resides in Kansas, here’s a little story of him about the Datsun:
I was indeed the first owner of the car in question. It was one of the first in Kansas City and was purchased from Overland Park Datsun. I traded in my 1969 440 RT Dodge Charger for it. Car was never wrecked. We moved in the Spring after purchase to New Rochelle \., New York. There we had to have the 3rd gear synchro repaired under warranty. That was the only mechanical issue with the car. Rust along the rocker panels soon appeared, but we had it repaired and dar fully repainted after moving back to Kansas City in 1976 then sold the car to a dealer friend of mine in Leavenworth, Kansas ROUND 1978 - 79. Guess my friend drove it until 1987 or Mr. Campbell is not the second buyer.
In New York the car was maintained by Bob Sharp Datsun. Sharp was an amazing race car driver and won the C production class of SCCA in the Z cars for many years. Hos son is Scott Sharp that races the Patron car in the Rolex series.
Well I hope you liked my story here, there's still lot's missing here, but I tried to put it all in one story.