A resto-mod 1972 Datsun 240Z that sold this past weekend for $82,500 ($86,625 with buyer’s premium) caught my attention.

Nine 240Zs have sold for over $100,000 on BaT. However, most of these were either perfectly restored or low-miles originals. This one, while stock in appearance, had a bored-out 3.2 liter “Rebello” engine and triple Webers. Judging by the photos and videos, the car had been thoughtfully prepared and beautifully presented.

The auction received more than 35,000 views, with some 2,350 watching; this activity produced over 175 comments and 72 bids. One of the great assets of active commenting and bidding on an auction is that as a potential bidder, you can learn an enormous amount about a car. You can also gauge how much interest there is in it from the tally.

These numbers represent an “instant community” of people who had at least a passing interest in this car. Any one of them could have placed a higher bid before the end of the auction. That alone gives the new owner reassurance that they weren’t the only ones who saw value in this car.

While $86k may seem like a lot of money for a Z, compared to the prices of new cars, it’s not enough to raise an eyebrow. Further, as a “done” car, the cost of ownership here is likely to be low. Also, should the owner decided they want to move the car on after a year or two, “alumni sales” on BaT have tended to be close to the original price. There is certainly no risk of major depreciation.

So while the buyer may have paid “full price” here, they were not bidding in a vacuum.

If you had the choice, for this kind of money would you rather have a well-done, tastefully modified Z like this, or a low-miles original car?


  1. Personally I would rather have a lower mileage restored original car. I drive my cars so an ultra low mileage example is also not my thing. A great quality restoration would be paramount, possibly a former’1’ condition would be preferred. Happy motoring!

  2. The problem with buying a Low Mileage car is that you pay (often dearly) for that aspect and then you ruin it if you drive the car. If I can’t take my Barbie out of the box and play with it, why do I have it?

  3. Gotta go with the well done, tastefully modified car. I’m in the midst of carrying out such a restoration on a ‘74 260Z, creating a modernized car that looks better, is safer, more comfortable and far outperforms the original!

  4. I really like these modified. I think when people do it right it brings out the spirit of them in a way that the factor originals never really did. I don’t feel this way about too many cars, but I definitely prefer a modified Z

  5. anatoly arutunoff

    glad it’s not my $$$!

  6. DEFINITELY low miles original – that way you know what you have.

    With a restoration…who knows? Pictures only show so much.