Nissan’s Homologation Hero A rare opportunity to buy a Nissan Fairlady 240ZG – but could you overlook its flaws to own it?
Japan-only Fairlady 240ZG to be offered by RM in Monterey
‘They’re the things you might expect on a car bought from auction in Japan and being sold on in the USA as a quick flip’
Something of a mystical beast because they were only officially sold in Japan (though we believe three now live in the UK), the Nissan Fairlady 240ZG was created to homologate aerodynamic parts for GT and Group 4 racing. They are rarely seen on the world market so we asked Datsun Z-car expert Alan Thomas for his take on the no reserve offering from RM Sotheby’s at Monterey on August 24, during the Pebble Beach week. ‘Nissan initially built 500 240ZGS to satisfy the homologation, but they sold so well that more than 1000 were eventually made. Good, genuine and original HS30-H model 240ZGS command a premium in Japan and they are currently changing hands privately for well over £60k [I know of a lovely example that sold for over £71,000 last year] but they must be genuine. The main proof for this is in the documentation for the car – the original Japanese papers state the extra length and width, as well as the different internal factory coding – but good provenance is also important because there are occasional fakes. The body style itself is easily replicated, and there are many tribute cars on Japanese roads.
‘Furthermore, it’s important to note that Japanese market models never had the word ‘Datsun’ anywhere on them when they left the factory. They were, proudly, Nissan product through
and through. There’s no such thing as a ‘Datsun 240ZG’ – despite Tamiya’s 1∕12th scale model of that name.
‘This particular example does not appear to be top level, with the bonnet extension panel suffering from sagging – the sun and heat in Japan will do this – and misalignment. That’s fairly easily fixed, so I don’t know why it hasn’t been done. Or rather I probably do. They’re the things you might expect on a car bought from auction in Japan and being sold on in the USA as a quick flip after a bit of hype. From what I see in the photos it’s also not very original – non-original but period-style wheels and rear strut brace among other things. I’d say that it would be a £35k-ish car in Japan.’
In the glossy press photos this appears to be a tempting opportunity to acquire one of the most sought-after Z-cars – but there are a few factors that raise one expert’s eyebrows