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The Datsun 240Z was introduced to the American market by Yutaka Katayama, president of Nissan Motors USA operations, widely known as Mr. K. The 1970 through the mid-1971 model year 240Z was referred to as the Series I. These early cars had many subtle but notable features differing from later cars. The most easily visible difference is that these early cars had a chrome “240Z” badge on the sail pillar, and two horizontal vents in the rear hatch below the glass molding providing flow through ventilation. In mid-1971, for the Series II 240Z cars, the sail pillar emblems were restyled with just the letter “Z” placed in a circular vented emblem, and the vents were eliminated from the hatch panel of the car. Design changes for the U.S. model 240Z occurred throughout production, including interior modifications for the 1972 model year, and a change in the location of the bumper over-riders, as well as the addition of some emission control devices and the adoption of a new style of emissions reducing (and performance compromising) carburetors for the 1973 model year.
The 1970 models were introduced in October 1969, received the L24 2.4-liter engine and a 4-speed manual. A less common 3-speed automatic transmission was optional from 1971 on, and had a “Nissan Full Automatic” badge.
In 1973, the 240Z, in the hands of Shekhar Mehta, won the 21st East African Safari Rally.
In 2004, Sports Car International named this car number two on the list of Top Sports Cars of the 1970s.
2,393 cc (146.0 cu in) L24 I-6
alloy head – two valves per cylinder
single overhead cam
Maximum recommended engine speed 7000 rpm.
Bore: 83.0 mm (3.27 in)
Stroke: 73.7 mm (2.90 in)
Mechanical fuel pump
twin Hitachi HJG 46W 1.75 in (44 mm) SU-type carburetors
151 hp (113 kW) at 5600 rpm (SAE gross)
146 lbf·ft (198 N·m) at 4400 rpm (SAE gross)
Four-speed manual, five-speed manual, or three-speed automatic (after September 1970)
Final drive ratios:
Four-speed manual transmission: 3.364:1 (37:11)
Five-speed manual transmission: 3.90:1 (39:10) (not available in US)
Three-speed automatic transmission: 3.545:1 (39:11).
Front: 10.7 in (270 mm) discs
Rear: 9.0 in (230 mm) x 1.6 in (41 mm) drums
Independent with MacPherson struts
lower transverse and drag links
Independent with Chapman struts
Rack and pinion, 2.7 turns lock to lock
4.5J-14 steel wheels with 175SR14 tires
90.7 in (2,300 mm)
162.8 in (4,140 mm)
64.1 in (1,630 mm)
2,355 lb (1,068 kg)
125 mph (201 km/h)
0 to 60 mph (97 km/h): 8.0 s
Typical fuel consumption: 21 mpg-US (11 L/100 km; 25 mpg-imp)