This Datsun 'Z' started its racing career in the stable of Bob Sharp Racing competing as a Datsun 240Z in the C Production championship in this chassis and the IMSA GTU title in another chassis. In April 1976, the first IMSA GTU Z car was destroyed in a high speed crash at Road Atlanta. This 1975 C Production championship car was hastily converted to IMSA trim in time for the next two rounds in California. After another incident at Lime Rock, Bob Sharp turned the driving over to Elliot Forbes-Robinson for the remainder of the season. For the 1977-78 season Sam Posy was hired to race in IMSA for Bob Sharp Racing. Sam set lap records at many venues including Lime Rock, Mid America, Pocono, Sears Point, Daytona, Mid Ohio, Road Atlanta and Talladega. The battles for the GTU wins between Walt Mass and Sam Posey became known as the 'Walt and Sam' show. Mechanical failures denied Sam the GTU titles both years by a narrow margin. Posey later raced this chassis HLS30-05835 for National Treaty Services in IMSA for the 1979-80 season along with Fred Stiff. Other drivers of note include Paul Newman.
In 1970, there were quite a few choices when it came to small and sporty import cars. The Jaguar XKE, easily the most recognized, would see competition from several countries, including the United States with the Corvette, and Japan's new offering, the Datsun 240Z.
Designed with a distinctive long hood and sweeping rear hatchback, the Datsun 240Z was first introduced in October of 1969. The 1970 and 1971 models, considered Series 1, are to this day among the most popular sports cars ever produced. Based on the Fairlady Z, the 240Z is powered by a 2393cc six cylinder engine that produces 153 horsepower, providing plenty of power and impressive performance. A choice of a 4 or 5-speed manual, or a 3-speed automatic transmission, was offered. With full independent suspension, these cars are enviable performers both on and off the track.
The Datsun Zs have been popular performers in the Sports Car Club of America racing series. Many remember the team of Bob Sharp Racing with Elliott Forbes-Robinson, and later actor Paul Newman, as successful team drivers. Their red, white and blue Zs are instantly recognized and often copied to this day.
This is a fine example of a factory stock first generation Datsun 240Z.
In 1974, Brad Frisselle made the decision to compete professionally. He formed Transcendental Racing who designed, constructed, and tested a Datsun 240Z prototype for the IMSA Camel GT Series. In 1975, Brad had his first three professional victories and was awarded IMSA's Most Improved Driver award, becoming the only man to win these coveted awards in both IMSA and the SCCA.
Frisselle went on to win the IMSA GTU championship in 1976, scoring eight victories out of the eleven races. Brad and Transcendental Racing had soundly defeated the factory Datsun team as privateers.
This 240Z is the 1976 IMSA GT/U Championship winner. The car's beginnings certainly had no aspirations to win at the race track; this 240Z was Datsun's North American show car, and the first 240Z imported to the United States in 1970. Frisselle and his team saved the car from the crusher and turned it into a potent racecar. Mac Tilton designed the suspension. The chassis, roll cage and body were all constructed by Dave Kent with assistance from Yoshi Suzuka. Yoshi was also responsible for the design of the aerodynamics. John Knepp of Electramotive built the engine. After the car was finished Trevor Harris developed the chassis and suspension. In 1976 this car was the most advanced and fastest GTU car racing in IMSA.
Transcendental Racing's preparation of their cars was always at the highest level, more like that of a top Indy Car team than a GTU team. The restoration was done in the same mindset. Joe Cavaglieri, the team's original crew chief, was chosen for the task. The car was stripped to bare metal and totally rebuilt from the group up to exact 1976 specifications.
High bid of $24,500 at 2016 Mecum. (did not sell) The Nissan Motor Company was formed in 1933 and marketed most of its exported products as Datsun's until the latter name was dropped in 1983. Datsun introduced their 240Z to the press in October of 1969 and made its public appearance a few days later at the Tokyo Motor Show. This was the first Japanese-made sports car to achieve worldwide recognition. The 240Z was designed at Nissan by a team headed by Yoshiko Matsuo, with input from consultant Count Albrecht Goertz, stylist of the BMW 503 and 507.
Power was from a 2.4-liter overhead-camshaft six-cylinder engine backed by a five-speed manual (or optional three-speed automatic). It had an independent suspension, a top speed of 125 mph, and a zero-to-sixty time of eight seconds.
Along with commercial success, the Datsun 240Z enjoyed a successful career in motorsports, particularly in club racing in the United States and on the world rally stage. The 240Z won outright at the Safari Rally in 1971, 1972, and 1973. Leading drivers included Edgar Hermann, Rauno Aaltonen, Harry Kallstrom, Shekhar Mehta and Tony Fall.
This early production series 1 example has a Code 907 Racing Green exterior with a Mustard colored interior. Power is from an L24 inline 6-cyllinder engine fitted with twin 50 carburetors. It has been upgraded to a 5-speed transmission. The car has been in the same ownership since 1988. By Daniel Vaughan | Nov 2016
The BRE Team, owned by Peter Brock along with driver John Morton, won the C Production Championship in 1970 and 1971 at the runoffs at Road Atlanta. The original body shell was scrapped in 1977 after a crash and most of the parts survived. This racer was resurrected over the past three years and has the 1971 championship winning motor, transmission, triple Mikuni carburetors, heat shield, catch can, radiator overflow, gauges, roll bar and many other original parts. Peter Brock and John Morton assisted in the build.
The 240Z was not a new idea. Sturdy engineering, excellent performance, low price, attractive styling, and average interior had been achieved by many manufacturers prior to the Z-car. The reason the 240Z car was so great was because it capitalized on all these criteria and perfected the concept of a low-cost, reliable, sports car. Mr. Yutaka Katayama is considered the 'Father of the Z Car' and is responsible for the design and creation of this legendary vehicle. As recognition of his contributions to the automotive world, in 1998 he was inducted into the Automobile Hall of Fame.
The Datsun 240Z was introduced in 1969 as a 1970 model. The engine was a derivation of the Datsun 1600. The Datsun 1600 engine was a copy of the 1960's six-cylinder Mercedes-Benz 220 engine, but with two less cylinders. By adding two extra cylinders in the 240Z the cylinder count was back to six. With 151 horsepower and 146 pound-feet of torque the vehicle could propel from zero-to-sixty in eight seconds. The independent suspension and the rack-and-pinion steering added to its quick response, performance, and handling. The front disc brakes brought the car to a stop from high speeds in just seconds. With a price tag of just over $3,500, it cost much less than anything else on the market. Due to demand, a year later Kelly Blue Book rated the value of a used 240Z at $4,000.
The 240Z dominated the SCCA (Sports Car Club of America) C-class production category for 10 years ranging from 1970 through 1979. In 1970 and 1971 John Morton, driving for Brock Racing Enterprises, was the first to claim victory in SCCA C-Class production racing using a 240Z. Bob Sharp claimed his first win in that category in 1972 and again in 1973 and 1975. Walt Maas continued the streak in 1974. The Z-car competed in the IMSA (International Motor Sports Association) where it captured many victories, including the IMSA GTU title. In 1982, Devendorf and his Electromotive racing team win Datsun's first ever IMSA GTO championship.
In 1985, Paul Newman set 10 track records in a 280ZX Turbo.
In 1994, a race-modified Z car won the 24 Hors of Daytona and the 12 Hours at Sebring. It also captured the GTS Class at the 24 Hours of LeMans, making it the only car ever to accomplish such a record within the same year.
In 1974, the engine displacement was increased to 2.6 liters and the vehicle was dubbed the 260Z. This brought an end to the 240Z series which had sold 116,712 examples during its life-span. The United States emissions regulations were increasing every year. Thus, the 260Z had less horsepower than its predecessor and was rated at 139.
The 260Z was available in 2+2 configuration. With the fold-down rear seats, the 260Z offered a higher level of practicality over the 240Z. During its first and only model year, 63,963 examples were produced giving it the all-time Z-car sales record to date.
In 1975 the displacement was increased to 2.8 liters and the vehicle dubbed the 280Z. A Bosch L-Jetronic fuel injection system was included which helped bring increase the horsepower to 149.
In 1977, the horsepower rating was 170. A five-speed overdrive transmission was now offered, giving the vehicle better performance and fuel economy. The sales of the Z car once again hit a record high, with 67,331 units sold.
In 1979, the second generation of the Z-car was introduced as the 280ZX. It was more refined and luxurious than the previous Z's. The formula was correct and it was named Motor Trends 'Import Car of the Year'. A new all-time sales record was achieved with 86,007 units being sold.
In 1980, over 500,000 cumulative American Z-cars had been sold. It had reached the half-million sales mark faster than any other sport car. A new T-bar roof option was now being offered.
To add to the appeal and performance of the 280ZX, a turbocharged engine became available in 1981. Sales continued to remain strong through 1983.
In 1984 the third generation of the Z-car was introduced and was dubbed the 300ZX. It featured distinct styling and a new 3.0 liter V6 engine. The normal-aspirated engine produced 160 horsepower, while the turbocharged version offers 200 horsepower.
In 1989, the American automotive economy was continuing to evolve. Minivan's and sport utility vehicles were gaining in popularity. In response, Nissan introduced the fourth-generation Z-car in 1990. The new 300ZX featured improvements both mechanically and aesthetically. Under the hood sat an all-new DOHC 3.0-liter engine with a horsepower rating of 222. A twin-turbocharged version of the engine was available and brought the total horsepower output to 300. The body of the vehicle had been improved giving it a more aggressive stance.
Motor Trend awarded the Z00ZXTT 'Import Car of the Year' and 'One of the Top Ten Performance Cars'. Automobile Magazine honored the car with 'Design of the Year' and was added to its 'All Stars' list. Not to be outdone, Road & Track named the car 'One of the Ten Best Cars in the World'. Car and driver named it 'One of the Ten Best Cars'.
During the 1990 model year the one-million sales mark was achieved making it the all-time best selling sports car. The car continued to receive great reviews and awards by Magazines and publications. The year 1995 marked the 25th Anniversary of the Z-car. To commemorate this occasion, a limited edition was produced with the help of Steve Millen Sport Cars.
In 1996, the production of the Z-car ceased in North America. Decreasing Sales figures, and increased smog regulations and production costs were to blame. The price of the twin-turbo 300ZX was priced at $45,000, a cost that was to expensive for most consumers. Production of the Z-car continued in Japan until 1999, although it had undergone a major redesign in 1998.
In August of 2002, Nissan introduced the 350Z. This six-gear, two-seater was the fifth generation of the Z-car. Offered in five trim packages that included Base, Enthusiast, Performance, Touring, and Track Editions, the vehicle was an instant success. Base price was around $26,000 with the fully-loaded Track option costing over $34,000. Aesthetic and performance upgrades were available through Nismo, Nissan's motorsport and performance division.
In 2004, a roadster option was offered. The roadster was available in two trim packages which included the Enthusiast and Touring editions.
A special 35th Anniversary model was released in 2005 featuring twice the output of the original 1969 model.
Sales figures, race results, and satisfied customers have proven this to be one of the best sports vehicles ever produced. By Daniel Vaughan | Jan 2007
In 2017 the Amelia Island Concours dElegances traditional Friday and Saturday seminars offer backstage passes to the world of Japanese racing and high performance cars. On Saturday, the racers who helped...