Datsun 260Z 1978


The Z would never have made production without the enthusiastic backing of Nissan USA's President Yutaka Katayama. A small team headed by Yoshihiko Matsuo developed the car, and whilst a smash hit Stateside, sales were hampered in Britain by a high purchase price and residual anti-Japanese sentiment. Debuting in 1969, the 240Z represented a significant evolution in affordable sportscar design yet its character reminded many of the recently departed Austin-Healey 3000. The Datsun's SOHC 2393cc straight-six (L24) motor was a revelation in drivability, and would scream to its high-for-the-day 6500rpm redline. Hitachi copies of SU side-draught carburettors were utilised, but modified to improve fuel delivery and power. A five-speed gearbox was a standard fitting, and the rugged all-round independent McPherson strut suspension allowed for hooligan driving in a league beyond that of its natural competitor, the 3-litre Capri. And so it should, although reputedly capable of 0-60mph in 8.3 seconds and 125mph, the 240Z cost almost fifty percent more. Arriving during 1973, the 260Z had a more grownup, GT-esque feel about it; a point accentuated the following March when a stretched wheelbase 2+2 seater version became available. Powered by an enlarged 2565cc unit (hence the '260' nomenclature), the newcomer further benefited from a strengthened floorpan / chassis rails and the adoption of a rear anti-roll bar. More luxuriously trimmed than its predecessor, the 260Z remained in production until 1978.

H&H are indebted to the vendor for the following description: "This particular 2+2 example is a classic hatchback with surprisingly useful performance and yet reasonable economy because of the 5th gear which gives relaxed motorway cruising. The car had a pair of new front wings and a full repaint sometime ago and is still in very good condition. The bumpers were renewed at the same time. The previous lady owner used the car regularly but sparingly during the summers for nearly ten years and it was fully maintained by her family who had previously owned a Datsun dealership. A towbar is fitted for your classic boat or trailer".

Image and description kindly supplied by H&H Classic Auctions

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