Date Published: 2024/04/11

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Classic Car of the Month: 1969 Datsun 240Z

A dark grey 1970 Nissan Datsun 240Z at a car show with the hood up.

If you’re a fan of the Nissan Z car lineup, it’s time to pay homage to the legend that started it all—the Datsun 240Z. Introduced in 1969 for the 1970 model year, this car was a game changer with its seductive curves, eager inline-six engine, and affordable price. It opened the doors for all the awesome Z cars that came after it, showing everyone that you could have a cool sports car without spending a fortune. Let’s dive into how this collector car set the stage for the iconic series that continues to capture people’s hearts.

A Sports Car with Stunningly Good Looks

The Datsun 240Z was a marvel of automotive design, featuring a long hood paired with a fastback rear. Its design was inspired by fancy European sports cars but added its own unique flair.

With its low-slung body and sleek lines from nose to tail, it managed to look both aggressive and elegant at the same time. The shiny chrome bumpers and distinctive round headlights added to its unique aesthetic, ensuring it stood out everywhere it went.

The 1969 model was the first of a series of four unofficial redesigns. Only minor tweaks separate each series. For this Series 1 car, the main differences were 240Z badging on the C pillar and two ventilation grilles located directly underneath the rear hatch.

Inline Six Symphony Under the Hood

Under the hood of the Datsun 240Z lay the heart of its performance—a 2.4-liter inline-six engine. This powerhouse churned out 151 horsepower, putting the power to the ground through its four-speed gearbox.

As a result, it was quick on its feet, featuring a 0 to 60 time of just about eight seconds. On the track, drivers could easily reach its top speed of over 200 KPH (125 MPH) without missing a beat. This was relatively quick for its time, providing an exhilarating driving experience.

Upon slipping behind the wheel, drivers could instantly tell that Datsun built this Z car for the pure joy of driving. Its smooth, responsive control enabled them to truly connect with the car and the road.

Corner Carving Excellence, Budget Price

The Datsun 240Z redefined what it meant to have a car that could handle like a dream without costing a small fortune. Its nimble handling was a standout feature, allowing it to navigate tight corners and winding roads with precision.

The top-notch handling was thanks to its rear-wheel drive setup, four-wheel independent suspension, and evenly balanced construction. With its modest 2,305 mm wheelbase, this car had a near 50/50 weight distribution. This meant that the 240Z could glide through turns and easily maintain stability at high speeds.

Despite its exceptional performance, Datsun priced the 240Z with the budget-conscious driver in mind. You could pick one up for around $5,100 CAD ($3,200 USD) with all the bells and whistles. This would be about $33,000 CAD ($25,000 USD), far below what you might pay for a new Z car in 2024.

Swanky Cabin Fit for the Fast Lane

The interior of the Datsun 240Z was just as impressive as its stylish design and performance. Upon sliding into the driver’s seat, you were greeted with a cockpit that balanced sportiness with luxury.

Attractive woodgrain accents and a sporty three-spoke steering wheel showed the designer’s attention to detail. Beyond that, snug and supportive seats kept you planted through the curves. And the thoughtfully designed dashboard offered at-a-glance updates mile after mile.

Even though the car looked small from the outside, the inside was roomy enough for two. It quickly proved that you could have a fast and fun car without giving up comfort.

Still Turning Heads 50 Years Later

Even after 50 years, the Datsun 240Z hasn’t lost its charm. Now reaching antique status, this car will forever be known for its design, performance, and affordability. Whether parked at car shows or cruising around, it never fails to turn heads and get people talking. Admirers aren’t shy about zooming in to check it out and ask what owning a true collector car is like.

If you know this 240Z ownership experience well, it’s essential to protect your investment with collector car insurance. This specialized insurance gives you coverage for its true worth to you as a collector. So, don’t let your piece of automotive history go unprotected. Call an Orbit insurance broker at 844-929-4768 to get a quote and keep your Z car turning heads for many more years to come.