KIDNEY, ANYONE? How to sell a Datsun 240Z

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This 1973 Datsun 240Z has dings, hasn’t been driven in 15 years, and the dash has more cracks than a plumber’s convention. It’s not even a desirable 1970-72 model. Why, then, with just a little over one day on eBay, it’s been bid 30 times up to over $18,000? Because this is how you sell a car. 

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The typical ad for an old Japanese car on craigslist reads something like this listing, the first ad that came up when we searched for Toyota Cressida:

Selling my cressy only because I need to focus on work so no more time for play.
The car runs, drives and slides
Car is mechanically good to go!
If you wanna paint it that’s up to you it’s not stripped full interior
Has the original 5m with a 62mm turbo
Car is boosting 5 pounds no prob and it’s really all it needs
Has a welded diff
Yes it’s been converted to a 5 speed out of a supra

I’m looking to get 3,000 or possible trades like a truck or somthing cool it can be a project if it’s cool enough!

Frankly, we’re surprised that proper spelling and some semblance of punctuation was even used.

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This 240Z, on the other hand, has loads of documentation, has been owned by someone who loved it, and has not been hacked up and discarded like the dead girl in a Law & Order cold open. People — those with actual money — will pay for those things, even as they run screaming from that Cressida as if its exhaust was spewing ebola.

Here’s a brief list of things from the auction that will pique a serious buyer’s interest:

Paperwork. The original sticker, the bill of sale, the warranty booklet, it’s all there. He probably never looked at those again since 1973, but it shows that he cared about the car.

Numbers Matching. The VIN and the engine number are both stamped into the ID plate. The motor has never been swapped, and more importantly, there is a photo of the engine number stamped right there into the Nissan blue block.

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Mods. Yes, the carbs have been replaced and the aircon deleted, but the owner kept all those things, because they were the proper items that came with the car, and they are included in the sale.

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Original paint. It’s not just the fact that it’s the original color (though that is a major plus). It’s the fact that it’s the original layer of orange molecules sprayed onto bare sheetmetal in Yokohama. Take this 22,000-mile Civic hatchback, for example. It’s been painted the original gray, but raises more questions than it answers. Why did it get resprayed at 22,000 miles? Is it hiding body damage? Was there rust? Bondo? What’s the quality of the materials used? Inquiring minds want to know.

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Even with all that, there are still some unknowns. For example, if the Z was purchased in Woodland Hills, California and lived in-state its whole life, why does it have the white California license plate when it should have the blue one?

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Overall, though, when presented with the evidence and the fact that the sellers look like your kindly old grandparents, it’s apparently enough to convince 30 bidders to ratchet the price up to $18 large. See the auction on eBay here.

Full Disclosure: JNC is now an eBay affiliate; when you click on an eBay link from JNC, the site gets a cut of the proceeds from whatever you buy.

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16 Responses to KIDNEY, ANYONE? How to sell a Datsun 240Z

  1. Jordan said:

    Want to help me write a winning ad for my RT115? Its not quite as minty fresh but original paint and (very minor) rust give it all kinds of character. Don’t forget the dealer option pin striping it received before it left the lot though, that’s pure 70s gold. What kind of sneaky buzz words would I have to include to even get the car to appear in front of potential buyers? I mean production was so low (for the US) that I would have to convince people it actually existed first.

  2. Dandy said:

    These people will keep the DNA alive and well after every other JNC has been modded or slammed. I’m not saying that I don’t like those things, but it’s only original once! And with the scarcity of parts, I don’t see the appeal of busting out big holes in vintage Nippon sheet metal.

  3. JHMBB2 said:

    This is nice car, I like everything about it. The photo with the owners is a nice touch as well.

  4. cesariojpn said:

    “For example, if the Z was purchased in Woodland Hills, California and lived in-state its whole life, why does it have the white California license plate when it should have the blue one?”

    Maybe the white plates were a replacement? The old ones got lost/stolen at some point, so they paid for replacements to keep it legit?

  5. Bob said:

    Question on the ebay affiliate- will you guys get a cut on ANYTHING I buy after I click a link, or only if I buy the thing you linked me to? Or if I click the link, shut it out, and go back to ebay later, will it count?

    Just wondering. I buy things on eBay and if I can help give JNC a cut of that, I’d like to.

    • salia-nwonk said:

      Thats a good question! I ebay a lot as well, If I use JNC as my portal to get too Ebay does that help you guys? Even if I just buy other stuff not related……?

    • Ben Hsu said:

      If you use any link on the site to go to eBay, then buy something during the same session, JNC gets a small percentage of the sale items.

      Thanks for inquiring and thinking of us.

  6. lol4choppa said:

    Hey, why is the 70-72 desirable? and not the 73? what makes them so different?

  7. Cfg240z said:

    Hmmm…the original owners are not the sellers here…it’s a flipper. I certainly hope the seller/flipper got permission to use the original owners’ photo in the listing. Doesn’t it make y’all feel funny that there’s a pic of the original owner signing over the pink slip?

    Regardless, this is impressive money for a ’73 with a cracked dash.

  8. Serg said:

    I really hope the original owner got a good price for it, or is being cut in on the eBay sale – if there’s one thing I can’t stand it’s people who flip a car for profit because the original seller didn’t know better. We just had a guy locally buy a TA22 for $900 and advertise it the next week for $4200 – I mean when you’ve put time and effort into a car you can ask a price that you feel is fair to you, but that sort of mark-up without the effort is just plain racketeering.

    That said, stuff is only worth the value you place on it…

  9. Andre said:

    Thanks for including my link to that 22k-miles Civic…yeah, what were they thinking touching the areas not supposed to be painted like front bumper grille and rear wing mount bolts (on the inside of the tailgate) among other issues you’ve listed, BUT it was low-mileage enough I just had to share. By the way when is the issue #5 coming out?

  10. Bart said:

    Yup, still thinking of letting the Impulse go. I don’t want to. I really don’t, but stuff like this gets me more tempted. I am so torn between heart and logic.

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