Small Bumpers – 1974 Datsun 260Z

Datsun 240Zs are rising in price, so what’s the next step to get similar style for cheap? Well, taking a page from Porsche collectors who have turned from 356s and early 911s to 911SCs and (gasp!) 914s, let’s take a look at later versions of Datsun’s Z. And you don’t eeven have to go that much later – for 1974, Datsun introduced the 260Z. You still get the nice small bumpers, some of the classic lines, and the sound of that straight six. The trade-off is you have to settle for 2+2 styling and an engine the smog regulations choked to 140hp. You can find your budget Z in this 1974 Datsun 260Z for sale in Long Beach, CA for $3900.

1974 Datsun 260Z right front

Those slim bumpers, along with some new wheels and headlight covers, do a lot for the car many more of you may remember seeing in its 1974.5 iteration, or as an early 280Z, with big bumpers that throw the whole design off and make it look much heavier. If you’re not going for the common orange, this light blue metallic works pretty well at disguising the size of the car compared to its 2-seater siblings.

1974 Datsun 260Z left rear

The car looks pretty straight overall, although with metallic paint there’s definitely a stronger argument for a repaint, compared to an old plain-color body. The seller has done much work to the car over his nearly 2 years of ownership, including to the carburetors, cooling system, braking system, and suspension. The car is said to need a downpipe, which the seller was going to use as an excuse to install a header. Since this is a 1974 car, you can probably reverse some of the changes that were required to get it past smog checks before it was exempted.

1974 Datsun 260Z interior

But before you turn your attention to the exterior cosmetics, you might want to focus on the interior. While some 1970s interiors can be attractive if you regard them with a sense of irony, white vinyl interiors don’t really fall into that category. Could you find an interior kit from another car in black or dark red? Swapping out the seats and the old faded carpet, and pulling the wrap off the steering wheel would do a lot for the car’s appeal. And there you have it, another great driving project!


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