Throwback Thursday: 1970 Datson 240Z


 

With the introduction of the 240Z, Datsun changed the sports-car world by introducing a serious, good-looking true sports car with Japanese reliability and practicality. Sold in Japan as the Nissan Fairlady, the 240Z was an instant hit in the US, with a 2.4 liter single-overhead-cam inline 6 that put out 151 horsepower. Equipped with a four-speed manual transmission, the 240Z could sprint to 60 mph in 8.0 seconds and top out at 125 mph, while getting 21 mpg on the highway.

The two-seater 240Z was fairly sophisticated mechanically, with MacPherson struts in front and 4-wheel independent suspension and twin Hitachi side-draft carburetors. It also undercut the prices of its competitors from Jaguar, Porsche and BMW, making it a popular seller in the US, and was a solid performer on the rally and racing circuit.

The 240Z, while it only had a three-year production run, kicked off Nissan’s Z line and continued with other iterations such as the 260Z and 280Z; its sleek lines, solid performance and enduring popularity prompted Sports Car International to place it at #2 on their list of top sports cars of the 1970s.