1971 Datsun 240Z finished in Sunshine Yellow with Black interior. This stunning example is the product of a restoration of such outstanding quality that it guided Nissan executives in their own Vintage Z program, which offered as-new 240Zs to American enthusiasts in the late 1990s. With the new 350Z still years away, and the 300ZX ending production, Nissan had decided that the best way to keep the sports-car flame burning in its showrooms would be to acquire, restore and sell to the public examples of the legendary 240Z. Seeking a shop that could produce as many as 200 fully restored cars, the executives located Pierre Perrot, the proprietor of Pierre Z Car Center in Hawthorne, California. Perrot showed them the photos of the car offered here, and was hired for the job. He would eventually turn out 37 examples for Nissan.
This Series 1 240Z, identifiable by the vents located in the hatchback, was acquired by an enthusiast in December 1991. He had become acquainted with Pierre Z Car Center when he acquired a 1974 Datsun 260Z some years earlier, and brought the car to Perrot in January 1992 for his expert evaluation. Perrot confirmed that the 240Z was an excellent candidate for restoration, with a straight body that indicated it had been in no accidents.
During the fully documented, nut-and-bolt restoration, the car was refinished in a single-stage urethane, for an authentic factory appearance. A new interior was installed, with matching black cloth inserts in the bucket seats in place of the original vinyl for the owner’s comfort. The 240Z’s original engine had been replaced at some point with an engine from a later 280Z, but Perrot was able to supply a correct engine from his considerable inventory. The iron-block six was completely rebuilt, with new pistons, bearings and valves.
After several years of enjoying the car, the owner had the car refinished by Perrot in 2007, and had the original, discolored exhaust header replaced with one with a thermal coating developed by the aerospace industry. More recently, the engine has been fitted with an electronic distributor and upgraded fuse block from a Datsun 280Z, the SU carburetors have been cleaned, the radiator has been recored, and a reproduction rear muffler and mandrel-bent, stainless steel exhaust have been installed. The gas tank was removed for inspection, and reinstalled with new grommets and several new vent hoses. The engine produced a healthy 138.9hp at the rear wheels in a recent dynamometer test.
The car was featured in the February 1997 edition of Road & Track magazine, and its restoration was the subject of a six-page feature in Hemmings Sports & Exotic Carmagazine in December 2007.