A typical Datson 240Z

The 140 CID (2.4L) I-6 in the 240Z was quite sophisticated and had its roots in Datsun’s passenger cars and in the success with the Datsun 2000 in racing.

The 240 Z interior was patterned after the most expensive European GT cars – albeit with less expensive maerials. It hit the mark.

The arrows show the early 240Z rear vents that were removed when customers complained that exhaust fumed entered the cabin when in use.

The 1970-1973 Datsun 240Z

Yutaka Katayama, president of Nissan Motors USA operations, was responsible for the introduction of the 240Z to  the American market.He had a good idea what Americans wanted in a sports car and worked to see to it that it was badged and advertised in a way those in the U.S. would want.

The new coupe would be “Datsun’s answer to the high-performance personal car market,” developed with the guidance of considerable market research. Designed as a world class car from the start, it was not one more Japanese model to be altered for export. “We think Datsun has a real winner,” said Ron Wakefield of Road & Track. That magazine further predicted that “Datsun will establish a market of its own, one which will force other makers to come up with entirely new models to gain a share in it.”

The early cars from 1969 to mid-1971 had some subtle differences when compared to later 1971 to 1973 cars. The early cars had a chrome “240Z” badge on the sail pillar, and two horizontal vents in the rear hatch below the glass molding providing flow through ventilation.

The original 1970 sail pillar logo.

There were production changes in mid-1971 as well, exterior and interior colors were added, the sail pillar emblems were restyled with just the letter “Z” in a circular vented emblem, and the vents were eliminated from the hatch panel of the car because there were complains of exhaust fumes being circulated into the car. There were small design changes for the US model 240Z that occurred throughout production but were not always reflected in the Japanese market Fairlady if they were specific to US federal regulations. Some notable design changes were interior modifications for the 1972 model year and a change in the location of the bumper over-riders. In 1973 additional emission control devices were added as well as adding new emissions reducing carburetors.

At the introduction in October 1969,the 240 was notable for its L24 I-6 engine. “240” stood for the 2.4-liter engine paired with this car. It had a manual choke and a four-speed transmission as it’s only drive train. A less common option was the three-speed automatic transmission, available from 1971 forward.  Car soe equipped had a “Nissan full automatic” badge. Most export markets other than the U.S. received the car as the “240Z”, with slightly differing specifications depending on the various market requirements.

Successor – Datsun 260Z


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