yeah i see this kind of thing all the time out here in NC. as much as i like going to the junk yard and having z cars available to get parts from, i hate seeing them just sitting there, wrecked, rusted, neglected or on their way to the crusher. i have also seen some pretty nice z's in the yard, with all of their parts. it's almost like, they just weren't wanted anymore so the owners just towed them to the salvage yard.
just a few weeks ago, i was allowed the opportunity to save a Z from getting crushed. I just wanted the radio out of it but is was next on the kill list and the owners said if i wanted it saved, i should mark it "save" so i went out there and did just that... with a big bright yellow marker. most junk yards don't give a **** about old z's or customers. i wish there was a way we could save more, you know like a Z foundation or something. **** if i had a big enough yard and a big old garage i would salvage as many old Z's as i could get my hands on.
my hats off to you Madison. I'm glad I am not the only one who feels sick when I see neglected Z cars. I also feel the same when I see other old cars as well...
I'm with you all the way, Bon!
Our #13 car was going to a NC crusher with minor damage when it was rescued from a salvage
yard by the gentleman I bought it from in 1976. It needed a new hood, grille, and front bumper.
If you can get a copy of NissanSportMag issue #13 from last winter, you can see the car and
what would have been wasted. At the time of the photo shoot the car had just come out of
storage after about 30 years, and all it had in preparation for the shoot was a quick wash and
vacuum. Most everything else you see is original: paint, glass, seats, etc. As I tell folks, she
even has the original door dings, the original pits in the L/R of the back bumper from the exhaust,
the original "bullseye" in the windshield, and the original 2" gouge in the paint on the roof.
BTW there are several reasons I know of why Z Cars ended up in the scrap yard so readily,
based on being a 40-year owner of Z Cars myself, as well as on having been with Bob Sharp
back in the 1970s.
First, Datsun was butting heads with Mr. K regarding whether the Z was going to be a success
or not. Consequently they were very miserly about "provisioning" (pre-positioning repair parts
with dealers and regional warehouses) until they could get a read on how the car would sell.
Second, sales of the 240Z took off like the proverbial rocket, and it was impossible for the man-
ufacturer to keep up with the parts needed to enable the production line to keep up with the
demand, much less to provision parts in the U.S.
Third, the list price of a 240Z was $3526 when new. As most of you know, if the estimated cost
of repairs due to a collision exceeds a certain percentage of the value of the car, the insurance
company basically says "the heck with it, trash the car and we'll pay off." At $3526 it wasn't too
hard to exceed that percentage.
Fourth, as great a car as the 240Z was (and is), there were a few of what I would call "design
defects." Without getting into too much detail, to hold down the cost of production so the intro-
ductory price of the car could also be minimized, rather light gauge sheet metal was used. This,
along with certain points on the car which unfortunately were engineered in such a way as to
encourage rust-through, caused the early demise of many a Z Car. Especially in those areas
where road salt and chemicals are widely used (north and northeast), or where there is high
salt content in the air blown in from the sea (Gulf states in particular).
And fifth, while stock 240Z performance today is pretty ordinary, the Z was a sort of factory hot
rod in its day, and could handle quickly as well. If an owner (driver) wasn't reasonably capable
at managing such a vehicle, it could get out of control faster than the driver could respond. I
regret to say that I know of several Z's that were destroyed in this way, some with fatal
ramifications in so doing.
All of which is background to say, that I haven't seen a 240 or 260Z in a wrecking yard since
I can't remember when. And other than one leaf green 1972 I saw on the parkway about 6
years ago, I haven't seen any for literally decades, other than at Z Car shows and events, or
at owners' homes.
FWIW,................All Z Best,..................Rick (and Kathy, of course)