The market hasn''t caught on yet, but many experts believe it''s only a matter of time before early Datsun Z-cars like this 1972 240Z become bona-fide collectables. Arguably the car that changed the image of Japan, Inc. for the better, these early Zs have a purity of design and a mechanical sweet spot that makes them a blast to own and drive. The bright orange paint is perfect for 1972, and it''s easy to see why these cars were game-changers when they were new. With styling that borrows from many but copies none, it has a fantastic cab-rearward look that makes for near-perfect proportions. Paint and bodywork were restored a few years ago, yet it still shines up well and looks great zipping around town with no need for any additional work save for a wash and wax on a lazy Saturday afternoon. The early Z-cars and their uncluttered look and 2-seat cockpit are the most prized of all, and this one takes no liberties with the original designers'' intentions. No stripes, no spoilers, and with the slender early bumpers, the car has a clean look that defies the years. It would be quite easy to mistake this for a much more expensive car. The original Z-car was made for two, and this one sports inviting black buckets inside a driver-oriented cockpit. In true Japanese fashion, they took what was already great about contemporary sports cars and enhanced it with user-friendly design and unimpeachable reliability. As a result, the cockpit talks directly to the driver with no interference from quirky ergonomics or heavy control actions. Instead, the gauges are set into twin round pods for speed and engine RPM, with a trio of auxiliary dials set up high on the dash, a spot they occupy to this day. A 3-spoke steering wheel obviously mimics the best that Europe had to offer at the time and the shifter is perfectly positioned so you always find the right gear. An AM/FM/cassette stereo fits neatly into the center stack and unlike many European sports cars of the period, the controls are logical and easy to figure out, even for a newcomer. Quilted side panels on the transmission tunnel recall the bespoke cars of the day and there''s a generous cargo bay with a float floor and black carpets that haven''t been faded by the sun. Datsun''s 2.4-liter inline-six loves to rev and does it with the most buttery-smooth baritone this side of a big Healey. Featuring a pair of hand-built side-draft carburetors, throttle response is instantaneous and while it doesn''t make muscle-car-like torque, it loves to be driven hard where it can work its magic at speed. The engine bay is neatly finished with a single air cleaner for the twin carbs and a matching valve cover for the single overhead camshaft. Plenty of recent maintenance items ensure that it still runs its best, including a fresh gas tank, fuel pump, and master cylinder. A 5-speed manual gearbox from a later 280Z has been fitted, and with an overdrive gear, this is a superlative high-speed cruiser that still feels vintage. The fully independent suspension offers lively handling and with powerful disc brakes, it is an accessible performance car that works quite well at, say, 9/10ths. A new exhaust system delivers the right soundtrack and factory alloy wheels are fitted with 195/70/14 Dunlop radials. A lot of car for the money, this wonderful Z is a reminder that few joys are as precious as a finely-honed machine going about its business. The future will most definitely recognize these as great cars, so call today! This vehicle is located in our Dallas/Fort Worth showroom. For more information, please call (817) 764-8000 or toll free (855) 877-2707.