It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Well, for family time anyway. As far as the roads are concerned all the fun cars, such as this beautiful Datsun Fairlady 2000 shot by AGuyInVancouver, are getting stowed away for a couple of months until we get fair weather and no salt on the roads again. It only seems fitting that it gets taken for one last run before getting stowed away in favor of more traditional transportation.
Introduced in 1967, the 2000 was but an evolution of the earlier 1600, now sporting a 2.0L engine producing anything between 130-150HP, depending on tune. Datsun was working really hard at getting their image up at the time and Yutaka Katayama, known to us as Mr.K, realized that an affordable two-seater sports car seemed like the ideal way to do it. Especially when they took it racing.
The BRE racing team is perhaps more famous for their success with the 2000’s successor, the 240Z. But the Roadster achieve racing success all by itself. Winning the Southern Pacific Divisional Championship in 1969 with Frank Monise behind the wheel and another divisional championship in 1970, this time with John McComb taking the helm. 1970 was also the last year of production for the 2000, as it was replaced by the 240Z. It was an altogether different concept to the 2000: No convertible option, straight-6 engine, and an optional automatic. I know I’m not going to make any friends with this statement, but the 240Z was to the Fairlady 2000 what the 280ZX 2+2 was to the 240. Bigger, comfier and smoother, although the 240Z didn’t sacrifice a lot in driving dynamics. That would have to wait a couple of years and some increases in engine size.
But let’s not concern ourselves with the Broughamification of the Z for now, let’s just take the time to appreciate this lovely roadster before it goes away for its hibernation and hope it comes back in the spring.
A high school friend had one just like this. It handled well, and was fast enough for a Japanese take on the MG-B . odd thing is it was a target. Nearly got broadsided once, and he , nearly twice. He sold it, bought a VW bug….Not the safest of exchanges. However, It fit his hippie persona better.
Cars as nice as this should be stored during the winter months. Any nice weather one gets isn’t much, and it’ll be raining again, or if you’re lucky, snowing, and unless you wash the car frequently, rust can really mess up a car’s appearance. Not to mention the car’s structural integrity.
I actually snapped that Fairlady in Honolulu, so its lucky owner doesn’t have to worry about winter. Hawai’i must have the world’s most perfect climate (though the sun and salt air must be hard on classics).
I find in funny that the ad still shows a RHD car even though the ad seems to be for America with prices in $’s.
It’s an Austrailian ad.
Indeed. I remember that one. $3495 was a lot of money then, about $1000 more than your average family six-cylinder.
In 1982 an entry level full size American luxury car with a decent list of options (Chevy Caprice) was USD $10,000.
I suppose the Hawaii climate is okay for cars if you don’t live on the windward side of your island. I saw many cars there that were rusted out in places I’ve never seen here on the mainland. In particular I remember seeing on a backroad on Kauai an early 1960’s Dodge pickup whose cab was rusted out clear across the front just above the windshield such that the cab roof rose a little, like a loose convertible top, allowing a breeze into the interior as the truck drove down the road.
The subject car is at least a ’68 judging by the tall windshield and the lack of side marker lights. The 2000 did not replace the 1600 after 1967 but was sold along side the 1600 until the end of production in 1970. The 2000 was introduced in late 1967 with only about 1000 of them produced in that year with the low windshield and a few other unique features not found on the earlier 1600 or the later cars that followed.
A late 67 1600 occupies my garage with the longroof 510. I am quickly running out of room for my growing parts hoard in the basement so it’s time I got that project underway.
Datsun never replaced the Fairlady with the 240z in Japan the kept on stamping them out as Fairladies the 280 included.
Yes, although the closed car was badged and advertised as “Fairlady Z” to distinguish it from the roadster, since both were (briefly) available concurrently.
Neighbor of mine in 1974 had one of these. In California, there were no worries about the Hated Northeastern Tin Worm and a well-kept convertible top was adequate…the whole car was well-kept.
I never saw him drive it hard. He was a California Highway Patrolman, so he might have, or not. He was among thise who encouraged me to go into law enforcement but I never saw him or his Datsun after I was hired and moved to the next town.
I had an Argentinian colleague who raced 240Zs in SCCA events. When asked, he said he preferred it to later models on account of weight.
I believe that it was originally intended to call the 240Z the Fairlady (or at least Fairlady 240Z) in America? And that somebody managed to explain to management just how well that would go over in America?
Someone in the Richmond area has a JDM ’71 Fairlady – it’s kinda jarring to see the badging on the car. And there’s a white 2000 sitting in an auto repair shop’s lot on US250 just east of Oilville, VA.
I’m sure Aaron from AUWM will chime in on the ‘Fairlady’ Z for US story. There was a JDM Fairlady Z, but I think it was the domestic-only 2 litre version of the fastback.
If you trawl the cohort you’ll find a 280 Fairlady I shot locally plenty have arrived here ex JDM.
There was briefly a JDM Fairlady 240Z, introduced about two years after the original Z and offered only for a couple of years. The 2.6- and 2.8-liter engines weren’t offered on the Japanese-market S30/S31, although I think there are a couple that have been privately imported.
Well, Katayama had been saying for years that the JDM model names didn’t play in the U.S., so I’m inclined to file the stories about his pulling Fairlady badges off early U.S. 240-Zs in the same realm of unnecessary dramatic license as the stories about Bunkie Knudsen doing the same thing with the ’57 Pontiac’s “Silver Streaks.” Also, by that point, it was pretty customary for export Datsuns to just use the chassis code or nominal engine displacement instead of the Japanese model name, so to the extent there was any pushback from Nissan senior management, it was probably some years before the Z debuted.
Unfortunately I saw one of these crashed at the historic races at Sandown Park last weekend. Pretty extensive panel damage, perhaps a suspension tweak but it should be repairable at least.
I agree that is a 68 . I had a 67.5 with the low windshield dual solex and a 5 spd all stock but restored it in the 80s . Mine was the same red but had a roll bar and a luggage rack . I’ve had a Sunbeam Alpine modified , many 60s muscle cars and still do but that 2000 was one of the funnest cars I’ve ever owned and driven.Hugged the road and lots of power After I had the engine rebuilt , I took it on a trip from Vancouver to Mexico and back to break her in . Somewhere in Northern California on a secondary highway with no one around I thought I’d see what she could do . My buddy and I tightened up our 5 point seatbelts and I opened her up, I was doing 110 mph in 4th gear and about 10 sec. after I popped it into 5th , just like in the movies, my buddy sees the trooper pull out from behind the sign ……glanced down at the speedo and saw 130 mph …oh #$%@ its a night in the pocky for me ! Trooper walks up to the car not saying a word but walks once around and then asks for my license and walks back to car . He comes back and the first thing he said was do you know how fast you were going son ? I said yes sir 130 mph . He said whats your hurry ? I said fresh rebuild sir and I wanted to see what she could do . He said I clocked you at 135 mph so you better get that speedo checked . I said yes sir ! he said now that you know what she can do I trust you won’t be trying that again around here right ?He handed me a ticket for $150 and said nice car son. Fond memory of my 2000.
I shoulda bought one of these when they were cheap a decade or so ago .
Winter may well be here in Cali ~ I had to run the heater last night and only opened my driver’s side window 1/2 way this morning @ 0-Dark:30 when I drove to work in 50° F temps .
Luckily no salt , ever so I can drive/ride year ’round .
There are a pair of these a few miles from my house that I spotted just about the time they appeared on Craigslist. They were advertised as being a project and a parts car package deal but both looked too rusty to be parts cars. They looked so bad that I imagined moving them would cause them to disintegrate. A shame, really, as a bit more care when “retiring” them from the road would have made a huge difference.