Datsun 240Z | Buyer’s Guide

Datsun 240Z | Buyer’s Guide

(ambient music) – [Voiceover] In Japan,it's known as the Fairlady.

The rest of the worldknows it as the Samurai.

But one thing's for certain,whatever you call it, the 240 Z is a fantastic package.

150 brake horsepower, naughtto 60 in eight seconds, the 2393CC Straight Six is one of the sweetest you'll everfind, and here's the thing.

This is a reliable super car.

It's a car you can use every single day.

And that's why the 240Zis absolutely brilliant.

So obviously you want tobuy one, and who wouldn't? In the last ten years, valueshave gone through the roof.

And that's why we're here today, at Bicester Heritage in England.

There's good news and there's bad news.

The good news is, because Datsun made 150,000 of them and more, there's plenty of spare partsaround, plenty of specialists, there's second hand parts as well.

All the mechanical bits are sorted, there are even panels as well.

Unfortunately, the bad news is like any Japanese car of thisera, the 240Z rusts.

So let's start with the bodywork.

So like any car builtin Japan at this time, rust is the big enemy.

You need to do somespecific checks on the 240Z.

Along the front lip of the bonnet, that's a water trap, rust collects there.

Check inside the bumper, because they rust from the inside out.

Follow yourself around the wheel arches, do all the normal checksthat you would normally do on any car of this age.

The sills, get down and low and feel.

If you've got a magnet withyou, that could be quite useful.

Slip it in a sock, putit against the body work and run it along, you might be able to find some fillerthere, be wary of that.

All the way along tothe dog leg of the back, the dog leg is a notorious rust spot.

Check carefully for patch repairs here and also carefully for any patch repairs, it's extremely difficultto replace anything here.

With any great skill, it's very expensive and these cars, 15 yearsago they were worth nothing, so you've got to check for budges because back in the day,that's what would've happened; they'd have been patchedup and thrown together.

So look carefully forpatches, look carefully for thick under seal or new under seal that might be hiding some kind of horror.

Because if there is something wrong here, you'll have to redo it, it'llbe a restoration project and that will cost you money.

Okay, now's the time to go inside.

If you can, lift the carpetsand what's underneath them because that's where youshould find some more rust if it hasn't been looked after properly.

If there's anything thatleaks in this vehicle, the water will go down,it won't escape, it'll just sit there until itstarts rusting through.

Check out where thefloorpans meet the seals, check out where thefloorpan meets the bulkhead and also behind the driverand passenger seats as well.

Gonna go under the bonnet now.

Opens in the middle, a bit like a Jag.

Now, you might notice this isa bit of a modified engine.

But we'll come on to that later.

Very, very important.

When you're inside the enginebay to check the inner wings, strut tops is really, really,a notorious rust point.

Check them from underneath if you can, but you might need to takethe wheels off for that.

The biggest killer of 240Z's is where the chassis rails meet the bulkhead.

Check very carefullythere for rust obviously, and also for botched patch repairs.

If there is under seal, maybe even dig into it to have a look.

But with the seller'spermission, obviously.

When you're buying, it's worth having a really good scout around the engine bay.

Like you would with anycar, check for obvious signs of leakages, check forfrayed electrics and wiring, check for all sorts,those all sorts of things that you normally would.

So let's have a lookunderneath the oil cap.

What you're lookingfor here is mayonnaise, where oil and water has mixed to congeal, that's a sign of a head gasket failure.

Do the same with the radiator cap, check inside there to see if there's any oil in the water, similar things, all of these things couldbe negotiating points.

Remember, if there is some mayonnaise underneath the oil cap, itdoesn't necessarily mean there's been a head gasket failure, it might just be that thecar's been left for a while and there's condensationunderneath rocker cover.

The 240Z has got some fantasticlittle tricks up its sleeve.

These lovely inspectionhatchets, they're just gorgeous.

There's one on the otherside there so you can inspect underneath thebattery tray as well.

In all though, it's agreat looking engine bay.

Everything you can get at as well, so it's really easy to service at home.

And servicing at homeis made even easier by the nifty little torch, this one works.

If the one that you're buying works, it's obviously the sign of a car that's been well looked after.

It's a great little toy.

Okay, the interior of a 240Z is a vision in black, vinyl and plastic.

It's like the definition of the 1970's.

Deep dials, you've got thesefantastic vents in the seats, beautiful sculpted steering wheel.

But, it's not particularly strong as well.

You've got to be careful to look for splits in the dashboard,that's a classic sign of a car that's beenkeep in a hot, dry state.

You've got to look as well to see if the dashboard has been replaced.

A good way of doing that is to check in the speedo here.

If it starts at 20 miles per hour, then that's an original speedometer.

If the oil pressure gauge goes up to 140 pounds per square inch, then you know you've got anoriginal pressure gauge.

It's not necessarily aproblem but it could be something you want to negotiate on.

Everywhere look for wear and tear, and if there is wear and tear, don't worry because it can all be remade and there are plenty of second hand parts around.

But they're good negotiating points.

There's always anotherthing to look at as well.

If you check round theback of the seats here, lift up the carpets just here, both sides, and on one side you should find an original jack in this hatch.

On the other side, the original toolkit.

Now if they're boththere, that's really nice because it means thecar's been looked after and you won't have to goand find them yourself.

Also, check things like the original luggage straps are there,again, lovely touch.

Means it's a well-presented car.

Now, (whispers) let's start the engine.

The first thing you noticewhen you sit in the 240 is how brilliantly spacious it is.

You will be fine if you're a six-footer.

You'll also be fine in terms of the amount of space that you have for your luggage, for yourself,everything falls to hand nicely.

It's been well thought out,it's a great car for that.

But once you're in ofcourse, you gotta do the duty and that is to turn the engine on.

Now before I start thisengine, I'm gonna tell you, this is a hot engine, okay? It's gonna sound reallycammy and really loud.

A normal 240Z will be alot quieter than this, but I'm gonna do it anyway.

(engine revving loudly) That's a fantastic noise, now while the engine isspooling up and warming up, you can do a lot of instrument checks.

You can make sure that yougo through all the lights, go through the indicators, makesure that everything works, all the dials work, theclock works, the radio works.

Do all your checks as theengine begins to warm up.

And of course, when you start the engine, check for blue smoke at the back.

It might even be worthopening the rear hatch, okay? Every time you blip the throttle just keep an eye out for the smoke.

There could be a little bit of smoke on start up, it's not a problem.

If it continues or ifit's any other colour, investigate a bit further.

Now the thing about the 240Z is that it should feel modernenough to be effortless, and classic enough tobe really interesting.

One of the problems withdoing test drives with a car like the 240Z is thatthey are such competent vehicles in their own right that actually even a bad one drives well.

So it's worth taking it for areasonably lengthy test drive.

Remember it's got a five speed box.

On the road, anything thatfeels vague in the steering, anything that feelsvague in the suspension, check it out when you get back, because like any otherclassic car a 240Z might well suffer from worn bushes,worn dampers and springs.

It's all replaceable,that's the good news.

One of the most importantthings to check on a 240Z when you're out on the road if you've got some space is the brakes.

It should put up in a straight line.

If it doesn't, you might have a bit of seized caliper problem.

But in general, the biggestproblem about taking a 240Z for a test drive, and this is the real crux of the thing, is that actually, youwon't want to give it back.

(ambient music).

Source: Youtube