My son spotted a 1974 Datsun 260Z in the paper for $300 and started busting my chops about a parts car. Don’t get me wrong, we’d agreed for a while that a parts car was going to save us a ton of money in parts and grief. Start buying used parts piece-meal and you’ll soon discover just how much money a parts car can save. If you can even get 2 good fenders off a car you paid $300 for, you’ve already saved $100 or more.
The problem I saw was this car wasn’t the right year and looked like a complete heap in the pictures in our local classifieds. I kept blowing my son off on the idea but after the car was still in the paper after 2 weeks, we decided to go take a look. As it turns out, the guy who had it in the paper had been out of town for 2 weeks and it just so happened I was the first call when he got back. This was feeling a little too serendipitous so we made the trek.
After looking at the car for 5 minutes I decided we didn’t want it. The quarters were rusted out, it had the world’s ugliest 70’s vintage aftermarket sunroof and the glass wasn’t all that great. The good news was that the car was being sold by a former SCCA racer by the name of Bill Breedlove. It turns out Bill has won many a race in a Datsun 240Z, previously owned a Datsun repair shop, and had many cool Z stories to share.
After yacking for an hour about Z-cars, we headed for home with both my wife and my son telling me what an idiot I was for not buying the 260Z. It had 2 good fenders, a decent windshield, mirrors and even an original deck louver. These parts alone would be worth over $500! Coming to my senses half way home, I called Bill and told him we’d buy the car. He even offered to trailer it to our house for an extra 50 bucks. What a steal!
Besides towing the car to our house, Bill also met us at his storage units where he has one of the world’s largest collection of Z-car and other Datsun parts. Something tells me we’ll be calling Bill many more times before we’re done.
Long story short, we’re now the proud owners of a Datsun 260Z parts car! We have patted ourselves on the back over this wise purchase at least 100 times so far! We ended up using both fenders off the 260Z, which are better than ours. We were able to salvage the sheet metal where the hood mounts to replace ours, which was rusted out. We plan to refurbish the bumpers, wheels, glass and louver off the 260Z for our car also. On top of all this, we’ve been able to sell around $300 worth of parts off the car so far, providing much-needed cash for our restoration.