Collectable, Classic, and Special Interest Z Cars

A Buyers Guide

by: Carl Beck, IZCC #260
As of: 1 Sept. 2014

While opinions differ somewhat as to the present and future values of the Collectable, Classic and Special Interest Z Cars. Most Z Car followers agree that the following cars listed below, fall into the categories of Collectable, Classic, and/or Special Interest.

First, lets define some terms for use in this discussion:


An Automobile is considered collectable for any number of reasons, however there are a few that seem to most often apply:
  1. It was produced in limited quantities,
  2. often for a special occasion, purpose or market,
  3. it is broadly agreed among automotive authorities that at some point in the future it could attain "Milestone" or "Classic" status.
  4. it is already a Classic or Special Interest car.
Classic: Sadly today, the term "Classic Automobile" as commonly and broadly used, has as many different definitions as there are letters in the term. Many Government bodies define the term as; "any car older than 25 years". Auto journalists and hobbyists apply the term loosely to almost any old car they personally favor.

At one time, an attempt to compile and release an "Official" list of "Classic Cars" was started. The Milestone Car Society was formed to define a list of cars that represented milestones along the path of automotive design and engineering over time. From that list the truly "Classic" cars would be selected. Sadly that effort resulted in a failed attempt. So today we have no "Official List" of truly Classic Cars (as would be defined by the dictionary definition of the word; "of ageless appearance and lasting beauty".)

Here we well use the word "Classic" as it would be applied and as it is defined in most dictionaries: ie...."of ageless appearance and lasting beauty". In effect, if you had never seen the car before, and you saw it for the first time today, it would strike you as a beautiful design.

I believe that the truth is, most automotive enthusiasts hold the above definition in their mind anyway. They know that all cars over twenty-five years of age are simply old cars...certainly not "Classic Cars". Classic cars to them represent the pinnacle of automobile styling and design, and are of ageless and lasting beauty.

Special Interest: Automobiles that fall into this category are supported by a large group of people that gather around the specific model for some special interest in it. This can range from a special interest in competition, to a special interest in the company or person that designed or built the car. (special interest cars are collectable, usually however by a more limited group of people) Valuations
The Value of any of these Collectible, Classic or Special Interest Automobiles is actually determined when a knowledgeable buyer reaches agreement with a knowledgeable seller, and a sale is completed. In effect - any of these automobiles is worth what someone is willing to pay for it, at any given point in time.

There are several "Value Guides" available from various sources that provide at least a broad framework for establishing current market bounds related to the values of many of these automobiles. These however are not definitive values by any means. They are simply "Guides" to be considered along with many other factors, prior to a sale taking place.

These Value Guides are published for example; by the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA), Kelly Blue Book and Kruse Old Cars Price Guide. All of them provide some definitions of the various Quality Levels or physical condition of the cars. Click here to see the Kruse Old Cars Price Guide's definitions of six Quality Levels which they use to establish price ranges based on condition of the vehicle.

These cars are currently considered "collectable" by most knowledgeable Z Car followers: (Note the following is related to the North American market - for the most part these are HLS30 or Left Hand Drive models)

The First 530 left hand drive Datsun 240Z's that were produced in Oct. Nov. and Dec. of 1969. Due to limited quantities and "Classic" status these are considered by many to be the most collectable regular production Z Cars.
Datsun 240Z (considered a true Classic by most automotive authorities).
ZZZap Z - 1977. Special Zapp Package - Bright Yellow.
Black Pearl Edition - 1978. First Black Z offered, and very limited production.
The 1979 ZXR is very rare and tied to the racing history of the Z Car (1000 produced)
The 1980 Tenth Anniversary Edition (3000 produced)
The 1984 300ZX 50th Anniversary Edition (5000 produced)
The 1988 300ZXt Shiro Special Edition(1000 produced)
1970 - 72
Nissan Vintage Z Program Cars. - The only Classic Cars Repurchased, Restored and Resold By Its Original Manufacturer. Aprox. 38 Datsun 240-Z's were completed under this Nissan Factory Backed Program.
The "Special Interest Cars" Listed In the Special Interest Section Below
Classic: There is, at present, only one model of the Z Car that has attained "Classic" status. That is the 1970 DATSUN 240Z. In the general "Collector" car market however, it is generally accepted that the designation of "Classic" to the first year of of a series, applies to all Model Years of that Series.... ie. 1970 through 1973 Datsun 240-Z's.

This "Title" applies to only pure stock cars, as they were delivered from the factory. This is important to keep in mind - modified cars are not considered "Classics" for purposes of "Valuation" or "Show Car Judging". i.e.: any 1970/73 240Z could attain "Classic Automobile" status, if it has been maintained or restored to "as new" condition.

Of course the 240Z's produced in 1969 mentioned above in the Collectibles category, are considered as 1970 Model Year Cars, thus they are part of the Classic Car group.

Special Interest: National or International Championship Cars and Factory Sponsored Competition Cars:

Any of the Factory Sponsored Race Team Z Cars of Brock Racing Enterprises (BRE) or Bob Sharp Racing (BSR).

Any of the Factory Sponsored Pro Rally and Off Road Racing Cars: [for example]

Vintage Racing:
A 240Z with a documented racing history in either SCCA or some Professional Series Events. These are eligible for Vintage/Historic Racing Series and therefore collectable and special interest.

After Market Conversions:
The SCARAB - an after market V8 Conversion done by Scarab of California
Pace Car Specials:

Carl Beck