My Car Quest

August 4, 2020

A Record Price For A Datsun 240Z

by Mike Gulett –

Recently a 1971 Datsun 240Z Series I sold on the Bring a Trailer (BaT) on-line auction site for $310,000. Yes, you read that right I did not misplace the decimal point – three hundred and ten thousand dollars! Plus the auction buyers premium of $5,000 for a grand total of $315,000.

Maybe I should withdraw the Datsun 240Z as one of my picks for an Interesting Collector Cars For Less Than $50k? No, not yet the vast majority of Datsun 240Z cars are still available for less than $50,000.

Datsun 240Z

You Datsun 240Z owners with dollar signs in your eyes remember that one data point does not make a trend. This sale is a singularity and in my opinion is not likely to be repeated anytime soon.

As far as I can tell there were only two bidders over the $200,000 level and there were several more below $200,000. There were 1,560 comments the last time I checked, including bids and the BaT fans went crazy.

The Bring a Trailer auction web site is famous (or notorious) for the reader comments; some intelligent, some not so much, some helpful to potential bidders and many are for the amusement of the commentators and not meant to be helpful to anyone.

Special Datsun 240Z

This is a special Datsun 240Z: the desirable Series 1, all original, three documented owners (two from the same family through 2019), 21,750 miles, original engine and transmission and an attractive color combination.

Buying too soon and paying too much?

Can a bargain be had when one pays a high price? Like the world record price for a Datsun 240Z?

Maybe a bargain can be had when one buys a special, certain car that is deeply desired by the buyer but is very rare and not available anywhere else. The price may seem high but not to the buyer; some collector car experts call this “buying too soon” – not too high but merely ahead of the market. The market eventually catches up with the price paid and in the meantime the buyer gets a special car to enjoy for many years that otherwise would not have been available.

Datsun 240Z

This may indeed be a case of paying too much but if the buyer is not cash flow constrained (meaning rich) and really wants a 240Z just like this one then this 240Z is the one because another like it, for sale, could take years to come by. If the buyer is an owner who will keep it for a few years then it may work out.

Impact on the Datsun 240Z market

Other Datsun 240Z owners should not be planning a major restoration with the hopes of making a killing because a restored 240Z will not bring this type of money, at least not for some time.

Only one with a similar provenance as this one has a chance and then only if there are at least two determined buyers with deep pockets in the room.

Let us know what you think in the Comments.

You can read about this Datsun 240Z at Bring a Trailer here.

Datsun Logo

Summary
A Record Price For A Datsun 240Z
Article Name
A Record Price For A Datsun 240Z
Description
You Datsun 240Z owners with dollar signs in your eyes remember that one data point does not make a trend. This sale is a singularity and in my opinion and is not likely to be repeated anytime soon.
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Comments

  1. David Keene says

    Have to agree with the insight I gleaned from the article. I respect that there are those who ‘put their best foot forward’ and pay the dollars and seek to force those less adequate to recognise, and similarly remember, that car styling, and the rest of the material connotations included wherein, is a tangible reminder of the subjective creative abilities of human-kind more generally. DK

  2. David Dolter says

    My wife had a 280Z 2+2, with, get this, an after-market electric sun roof. Why oh why did we ever sell that thing?

  3. David Keene says

    My parents accountant Barry had a 280Z 2+2 from new and I thought the styling was garish. I was barely old enough to even know what a car was back then but still cluey enough to know the light metallic blue paint was it’s best feature. I NEVER heard a favorable exhaust note from our accountants car when he left. It was apparently recognised as a mid-life crisis even back then… DK

  4. imwithstoopid says

    Worth it, well at least to this buyer and the pusher that tailed him/her.
    I remember when a co-worker and I walked down to downtown Evanston Dealer during our lunch. T see the newly introduced Datson, It was a steal back then especially when compared to a new Corvette. Worth more than the listed price. Was and remains a very nice and desirable car,
    The purchaser, (bless his little pea pickin’ heart) got a nice car, but who’s to say how much is too much.
    A short time ago another car, can’t remember the make, also went for an outlandish price due to two bidders chasing each other.. Will have to look it up.
    I the end, buyers happy, sellers ecstatic, so all’s well in Mudville tonight.

    • imwithstoopid says

      Gotta do better editing.

      The car I spoke of above going for a super high chase was a.
      1961 Fiat Jolly 600
      Sold for $142,000 on 2/3/20

  5. The sale is important and the hype around it is also fun to watch. However, a key element in the future of these values is the realization that there are many other low mile Series 1 cars out there that will equal the condition of this car. The problem is that most of them are not being sold – though this number could change that.

    What remains to be seen is if there is more than two people who want a perfect original car and if the supply is going to exceed demand. Datsun made thousands of these cars, just like Porsche. But Porsche value escalation was gradual and part of a different period of time.

    I’m convinced this was a great sale in many ways, but with literally hundreds of good examples out there and buyers being picky with their purchase, I don’t see a string of $200-250k purchases following along.

    And for those of you thinking you should have bought a Z back in 1971. The same money in a properly performing portfolio of stable investments would have yielded anywhere between $150-500k depending on your choices.

  6. Rob Krantz says

    I have to say that I was shocked by the amount that this Z car sold for. I love the 240Z’s and have always desired one ever since I was a 14 year old and saw a brand new one outside a restaurant back in Westport Connecticut in a light yellow color…..I was blown away at its beauty. However, I would never dream of purchasing one at this price point and believe that this sum may not be repeatable in the near future or perhaps ever. I could see if it was a super crazy low mileage example (less than 1,000 original miles) perhaps bringing this sort of money. A 800 mile example of a Mercedes 560 SL sold not long ago on BAT for $134,000 and that sum was a LOT for such a car, but then again, how will one ever find another 560SL with such extremely low mileage…basically a brand new 34 year old car! However, any object, from an original art masterpiece to a very special automobile is worth what one is willing to part with to acquire such a gem. I wish the buyer the best with their purchase and enjoyment of this 240Z and hope that at such time that they wish to part with it that they make back their investment.

  7. Ed Echols says

    O2BNAZ.

    Purchased in 1980. No cup holders, no power windows, no power seats and it kinda smells inside. Still perfect. Driven often. Turned down a street offer for $16K. Its just not for sale. $310K…. uh, ok.

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