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1971 Datsun 240Z

A superb 240Z, matching numbers and right hand drive, that has covered just 55,000 miles in the hands of few owners from new. A complete inspection and sympathetic restoration has recently been completed by the highly respected Z experts Fourways Engineering and they now regard MCY 218J as probably the most original and immaculate 240Z in the UK today.

The car was supplied new to the Australian market and was purchased by a prominent Sydney doctor who mainly used the 240Z to take his secretary away for weekends in the Hunter Valley. He owned the car for six years and on his death left it to the aforementioned secretary. She could not drive and subsequently the car was left in her garage unused for fifteen years. She went into a nursing home in 1991 and the 240Z was sold to an enthusiast who commissioned a repaint in the original colour as the paint had gone flat over the years. Due to illness he sold the car in 1992 to a Mr Roger Buck of Lithgow, New South Wales, at this point the 240Z had covered 33,000 miles from new.

In 2015 Mr Buck sold the car at 54,870 miles to a Mr Bill Apostolopoulos of Victoria and towards the end of that year it was offered for sale by the well regarded Classic Throttle Shop in Sydney. Their sales description is on file and describes the Z as being in very original great order in all respects and still showing original factory suspension markings and factory struts.

The car attracted the attention of the current British owner who had been looking for a fine original 240Z in a good colour for some time. Subsequently he purchased the car and exported it to the UK at which point it was sent straight to foremost Z specialists, Fourways Engineering, for a full appraisal. What they found did not disappoint and the exceptional originality meant that a sympathetic restoration was by far the best option retaining as many original parts as possible.

Work began with a full bare metal strip using soda blasting in order to ascertain the quality of the shell and identify accident damage or corrosion prior to painting. Once the body had been stripped it became evident that the metalwork was highly original with no corrosion or accident damage. The only exception being the two chassis rails beneath the car which were rusty and hence refabricated. Following this the car was primed and painted on a rotisserie jig, the top was painted in base and clear and the underside and engine bay two pack paint finish.

All of the mechanical items were restored. The gearbox was stripped and needed new bushes and bearings, the engine required only cosmetic enhancement as it had fantastic compression and was 'running like a sewing machine', to quote Fourways.

Suspension, brakes, differential and drive train were all restored. All components underneath the car and in the engine bay were powder coated or zinc plated. A new electric aerial was fitted, the original working radio was retained and a new wiring loom fabricated for the front of the car. All the electrical items were restored or replaced. The lovely unmarked interior was left giving the car a wonderful original ambience inside.

The Z has seen minimal use since completion of this work and hence remains in the most marvellous order in all respects, the delicate balance between restoration and originality has been perfectly managed, a rare achievement. The car comes with original tools, keys, tailored car cover and an extensive history file documenting the life of the car and comprehensively detailing the restoration. The original wheels, fully refurbished with new tyres are with the car.

The car will be featured in the forthcoming issue of Classic and Sportscar Magazine.