Despite lacking the slick production values popular with online classic car videos these days, Australia’s Shannons Club TV is our favorite series on the web. That’s because they have real, well-researched, and informative content that doesn’t simply parrot conventional wisdom. Watch this video on the Datsun 240Z and you’ll see what we mean.
Right off the bat, hosts John Wright and Mark Oastler skip the bromides about the Z being a “poor man’s [insert more expensive European sports car here],” instead calling it “a true original” and “nothing less than the reinvention of the sports car.”
Most US outlets seem unable to give proper credit to Nissan for designing a proper performance car, but the Aussies don’t demur. “From it’s inception the Z was radical, a dedicated new sports coupe not based on any existing vehicle, unlike the Ford Mustang and our own Holden Monaro,” Wright states.
And, whereas most Americans know the Z only as a road racer, Oastler takes a global view and recognizes the Z’s tremendous rallying successes. Citing two wins and a 1-2 upset of the Porsche 911, he even calls it the “ultimate car for the Safari [Rally].”
There’s also an informative lesson on the Z’s little known (to us Yanks, at least) Australian rallying history, a heartwarming segment with an owner who restored a 1972 240Z, and a market watch that suggests Z prices have doubled in Australia since 2012.
The Z has probably had more words written about it than any Japanese car in history, so it’s not often you see a refreshing take. That alone makes this video worth watching. For more videos on cars Japanese or otherwise, check out the Shannons Insurance YouTube channel.
The asking prices for Z’s in Australia have reputedly gone through the roof; although it is hard to to get a feel for the prices actually achieved in private sales. There are many dreamers asking truly silly money for pretty average cars, but as a frequent observer of the market, most of them seem to hang around unsold for a very long time. That said, a decent car will certainly cost much more today than even in the comparatively recent past.
I remember the Datsun Z cars. My parents had a 280Z, I had a sister-in law who drove a 240Z, and I had a friend who drove a 260Z. I also liked the 280ZX.
Did Australia not get the 280z? They only mention 260z and the 280ZX
No, we didn’t get the 280Z. Only the 240Z, 260Z and 280ZX.
At the rate 240z’s are being ruined by people with poor taste, the original ones will be rare and valuable. 9 out of 10 Z’s have fender flares and sagging front air dams longer than the rocker panel. Some lowered so low that the undercarriage is destroyed more than 40 years of rust could ever do.
The picture at 9:20 looks exactly like the 1975 280Z I owned 25 years ago. Unfortunately I had to sell it when it started leaking coolant into the crankcase. I had no money to fix it, no place to work on it, and no place to store it.
I always thought of it’s look like a mini Sting Ray, Ferrari 365 GTB/4, or mid 60s Ferrari 250.
Only two things kept me from regretting the sale of Z, the later AE86s and S13s I had, drove better and used less fuel.
The Z’s engine was NOT based upon the 1600 which was conceived AFTER the L20, later bored to become the L24. The confusion arises because the L20 evolved into the L20A with the improvements incorporated from the improved head used on the L16.
If the 240Z was designed for the USA market, why is the handbrake on the rhside of the trans tunnel and wouldn’t Nissan have exported the Z432 as well ? Except that a LHD configuration is not conducive to the S20 engine !
The 240Z wasn’t really suited as a circuit car ? This is bollocks – it was a better track car than rally as rallying moved into FWD and also lighter cars….it became outclassed. On the track though, it continues to shine even today !