Datsun 240Z Review from UK and Ireland

1973 Datsun 240Z 2.4L Naturally aspirated

Year of manufacture1973
First year of ownership2001
Most recent year of ownership2003
Engine and transmission 2.4L Naturally aspirated Manual
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.0 / 10
Distance when acquired128000 miles
Most recent distance146000 miles
Previous carFord American Granada

Summary:

A sexy beast that is fun to drive and cheap to insure

Faults:

Faulty radiator - minor leaks due to crooked fan that collided with radiator when engine was given excess revs. Caused minor leaks in radiator -easily fixed.

The car was susceptible to overheating in hot weather in heavy traffic, this was cured by going to the local scrap yard and installing an electric fan from a Mazda 323 and adding a temperature sensor.

Overheating though managed to cause damage to the head after a long journey and due to loss of some fluids, combination caused head gasket to go and therefore to be redone.

Eventually I got the radiator recored and this managed to get rid of the heating issues once and for all, I could travel down the M25 and sit there for hours after thrashing down the M4 and the car would purr away at running temp.

Electrics were a bit faulty initially, when I say it was faulty, it always ran, although sometimes power was inconsistent.

This took a long time to get right, first I replaced the leads, followed by the spark plugs. It began to get better, next I replaced the coil and power was visibly more consistent. Next I went through the wiring with a friend of mine and we managed to iron out the majority of the rest of the electrical niggles.

This process was well worth it and took little time in comparison with reward. Power output was noticeably quicker. The car could reach 127mph again.

General Comments:

The Datsun is a good looking sexy car, the lines are beautiful and I am more than happy to say that since this car, Datsun or Nissan have not come to close to something that looked this good. The 350Z just doesn't quite have the prowess of the 240Z.

The cars wheelbase is short combined with the naturally aspirated 2.4L engine gives a twitchy, fun car to drive. The engine roars rather than growls and sounds fantastic.

In addition it's rear wheel drive and that can always bring a smile to one's face. Sideways can be fun in this car, although the short wheelbase can lead to some nervous moments if you're not quick.

Check the brake balancing as this can be a little off and lead to some interesting heavy braking where the car turns sideways.

Look for rusted sills, rusted floor-pans under the passenger side carpet, oil leaks from the side of the head. Also check for general running, if you can floor it and it accelerates cleanly without stuttering up to 6000 then it's good to go.

For a 70's car, it has all the mod-cons, combined with great reliability. There are only so many classics that you can drive every day and don't break down on you. Find a good one and you will be rewarded with a car you will never want to sell.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 20th April, 2004

14th Oct 2005, 02:15

Hi there, I was just reading your comment and was very intrigued. Although yours being a 73 I still took every point you mentioned into consideration. I'm trying to restore a 72z and as you described the rust issue can be quite tricky to pick up on. Although, Rather than the stocker engine I elect to go with the chevy small block 350 with some fine tuning done. The biggest problem I find with the performance is the 4 speed gear box. This causes more rpm, which leads to more fuel consumption and higher engine wear. But anyways back to the point, thank you for writing such an in-depth description of your car and the way it operates.

Average review marks: 8.0 / 10, based on 1 review