The affordable sports coupe of the 1970s sure is expensive now.

The Datsun 240Z is often described as one of the best Japanese sports cars ever made—high praise for something that has to compete with the arsenal of great cars that came out of the tuner capital of the world. The original Fairlady Z got everything right; it aimed to please with its lovely straight-six engine, Italian looks, impressive power-to-weight ratio, Japanese reliability, and above all: affordability. It certainly did please, taking the American market at which it was aimed at by storm. Despite being almost 50 years old, you could still pick one up for roughly $10,000 a couple of years ago. Now early Zs are selling like hotcakes and are going for more than three times that price. But why?

UK auction website ClassicCarAuctionResults recently noticed a rise in prices for Datsun 240Zs and is trying to figure out exactly why that’s the case. Prices stayed low and steadily rose through the 2010s, but in the past three years, they surged dramatically. Besides special edition Datsuns that sell for astronomical amounts, regular S30s are selling for upwards of $30,000 (converted from €25,000). That’s about what they go for now in the States, too, so don’t think we’re better off.

The classic car aficionados at Petrolicious think they’ve found some possible answers. An article from 2014—when this disturbing trend started—said that it’s due to the car’s demographic and looks. People who admired this car when it first came out are starting to get older and richer, and right now they have the money and desire to buy their dream car, so the 240Z is in high demand. The same trend skyrocketed prices on American muscle cars and is about do the same thing to ’80s sports cars. Petrolicious also cited the original Z’s design; although the 240Z spawned a successful line of Z-Cars, the Series-1 Z remains everyone’s favorite body style, famous for its Daytona-like looks.

Now is the time to pick up a mint Datsun 240Z before it suffers the Toyota Supra’s fate.

Article source: Chris Constantine – TheDrive

1 COMMENT

  1. People in the motoring world just took some time to recognize what S30 owners (and former owners) have known for nearly 50 years. The package that is the S30 has it all… decent power, good handling out-of-the box, and ohhhhh, the styling……. In a world full of cars that do their best to look the same from manufacturer to manufacturer, the early Z car is still a standout with it its sculpted good looks and dare I overuse the phrase, “timeless styling”.

    But besides all that, the cars selling for $30k+ are highly restored versions with attention to OE details; and that’s costly. I mean seriously, an OE headlight control stalk selling for $500+? (Ask me how I know…) It’s like any other car of this half-century vintage. Parts to do it “OE right” are priced at what the market will bear.

    I bought my most recent S30 at a decent cost and have already put 40% of my purchase price into just the mechanical resto and another 20% of my purchase price into parts not yet put into the car. And I easily see that much more anticipated cost to finish it.

    Based on this, I don’t see why the spiking prices should come as any surprise to a collector or enthusiast knowledgeable about any cars that have the provenance and a significant place in automotive history. The Z car IS historical.

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