This was my third introduction to sports cars as a child. The first being a 1969 Mustang (awesome!), and the second being a 1977 Corvette (meh). Still not wanting to take anything away from the Mustang which was a fine ride, the Corvette seemed like everything had already been taken away from it probably thanks in part to emissions restrictions, and a rather feeble 350 CI power plant. Back on point, the 240Z was the one of the very first cars I can recall wanting, and it was so close to my grasp since my dad traded a cursed Oldsmobile to a friend at a local body shop familiar with the curse for this project car.
And the project car turned out to be a one of my first car loves. What made it special to me, take your pick whether it was the Universal blue paint and black interior combination, the long hood, the sound of the six cylinder or the feeling I got anytime I rode in it. This was my mother’s daily driver for a few years so anytime she had to chauffeur me about this was my chariot. And let me tell you, it was a sweet chariot. The Datsun 240Z was produced from 1969-1973. The Datsun 2 Z line was produced from 1969-1978, and the only model worth caring about (trust me on this) was the 240Z with production running from 1969-1973. Starting with the side draft carburetor, manual choke, 4 speed manual transmission, and cockpit like seating it was a rocket in blue and I was mesmerized by it. I learned to drive a manual transmission on it, that is until I cam a little too close to a ditch and my father decided to end the day’s lesson. Beyond that I enjoyed every aspect about that car, from the smell of the unleaded fuel as the choke was adjusted to the spirited sound the 146 CI straight six produced. My dad had opted for the mag wheels to customize it just a bit. She was a looker AND a runner.
And so it goes when you place something so very high on a pedestal, bad things can happen. That bad thing came in the form of a high school friend of my dad who ,unfortunately for him, was going through a divorce and needed a new set of wheels. My dad, being the wonderful person helped him out, sold him the car, and simultaneously robbed me of my automotive birthright. Ok, technically (air quotes) not a birthright, but everyone heard me call dibs the day it came to our home. Dad must not have heard me say it. No matter, the Z was gone. If only that was the worst of this cruel tale, but it’s not. I may be exaggerating, but not by much when I say not more than 2 weeks after my dad sold my dream car to his childhood friend this friend wrapped this perfect sports car around a tree. Boom. Total morale killer for me. And that directly coincided with my first and only episode of total and absolute depression which lasted only as long as it took to find another car to fall in love with which in case anyone’s curious was like a week before I spied another awesome sports car. Still the blue 240Z was one of my great automotive loves that I still think about to this day.