I bought an old one
First, my take on the new Z: I quite like it, I love the fact it’s got a manual, but I loathe the fact it won’t come to Europe.
More importantly, I bought another one of my “cars i want to own someday” list.
I’ve been looking for a S30 every now and then for a few years now, and while a few very interesting ones popped up from time to time, they usually sold very quickly. Having a few other project cars, I didn’t want one with too much work, but I also didn’t want to spend too much on it.
It didn’t help that for a few months now, a fellow Z car owner from the EurOppo Whatsapp group regularly sent me links for cars for sale. I at least had the excuse that a 2 seater didn’t fit the bill right now.
A few weeks ago, I got a message on a sunday morning: new ad, car in France with french paperwork, 2+2, reasonably priced, and not completely rotten away.
I sent the owner a message, he called back, sent some pictures, we discussed a price, I told him I’d check when I could come to check it out/pick it up (a 7 hour drive). He called back late in the afternoon to ask if I was seriously considering it, as apparently he got a few other inquiries that pushed him to see the car quickly. I am no smart man, so I bought it on the spot and organized shipment.
The car: It’s a 1974 Datsun 260Z 2+2 (I know a 2 seater looks better, but dad lyfe). Original everything, it’s been in France at least since 1994, and the last
Inspection was made in 2005. So the car hasn’t driven for at least 13 years.
The owner had it running from time to time so the engine won’t seize, and told me the carbs would probably need an adjustment. That’s probably an understatement.
The first issue I’ll have to fix is a broken clutch master cylinder, the part comes with the car. Once that’s fixed, the car will hopefully be able to move under it’s own power. I’ll then assess what needs to be done to put it back on the road.
The car obviously has rust issues, it’s a 46 year old Z car, after all. But surprisingly, most typical rust spots look OK. The paint looks ok, but It’s not the exact shade of orange I want, so a respray is in order.
The most visible rust spot is on the right rear quarter panel.
I’m hesitant to fix this properly or just make a clean cut, as it’s going to be flared anyway.
The driver’s side door will need some work too.
As well as the rear corners.
The spare wheel well is not perfect, but solid
The most critical rust spot is one of the frame rails. Again, I need to see it in person to see the real damage, but that’s going to be the first point I’ll focus on after the clutch.
The interior look rough, but I’ll have to see it in person before deciding what I’m going to do.
The dash is cracked, as always, but nice covers are available and not too expensive.
As for the seats, there are complete vinyl interior kits available, but I quite like the two tone. I might have it reupholstered this way.
I’ll do a compresion test on the engine before I decide what to do, all rubber parts will be replaced, as well as the ignition parts. It will probably end up with some Webers, electronic ignition, and a stainless manifold and exhaust, maybe a camshaft. But for now, Having it run properly will be fine.
It will need a radiator, too, but that’s an easy task.
I should have the car by wednesday to assess the damage, and see if my third sight unseen buy will be as disastrous as the first two.