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how to sell original series I 240z?

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To my surprise, my dad has decided to sell his baby, a series 1 240z. I know the value of these is pretty high and need your advice on how to sell it.


He is the only owner, and it has under 90k miles, which he has documentation for. It is all original except: radiator (oem replacement), brake pads, oil filter, headlights (generic), spark plug wires and plugs (generic), distributor rotor and points (generic), engine hoses (oem replacement), some hose clamps (non oem replacements), aftermarket shocks and struts, wheels (mom bought him a set of mags for Christmas 1970 - he kept the covers but not the steel wheels), tires, hatch strut, battery, and antenna (oem replacement). He says he may have changed the pedal pads but can't remember. It runs great. All original rubber trim still looks good.


Known flaws: rear bumper was rechromed around 1980 due to a ding, radio (AM only) does not work, exhaust is rusty, tachometer does not work, heater does not work, antenna does not extend, several door dings (some of which show surface rust) and a few shallow door dents from parking, paint is peeling a bit on the inside of the hood (about 7 square inches of metal are exposed, no rust yet), a few spots of surface rust.  Inside of the hood, where the fan is, has 2 square feet of surface rust looking paint - not sure what's going on there, but dad thinks the fan splashed water there when it was wet. Paint is all original but oxidized and faded.  The chrome bits show some surface oxidation, not pitted and I think can be polished out. Clock doesn’t work. The spare well is perfect, but the flat area under the hatch carpet has cracked paint - don’t see rust there either.

I have done extensive reading on this and other forums. I checked all the common rust spots and they're great. I have not yet gotten it on a lift to check the underside but what I can see looks fine, including inside the wheel wells.



1. where should we sell it? Bring a trailer, conventional auctions, private/forum sale?


2. what should we fix? I can try to find a set of 1970 wheels, and mount those instead of the mags (the mags don’t even have any curb rash but the center caps are rusty). I can try to find original wires and plugs, headlights, etc. The dash has never been out, so he didn’t replace the tach; we don’t think we have the skill to do so without damaging something. I can have the dents pushed out, and the rust spots cleaned and put on touch up paint (impossible to match maybe?). I will definitely have it deep detailed to restore the luster of the paint. Or should I do it myself? Been reading about it, the paint is so thin I am worried about a detailer using the wrong products on it and damaging it. I’m happy to put in the time to waterless wash and buff it by hand.


3. any recommendations on detailers in SoCal? We're in Orange County but can drive/trailer it anywhere from LA to SD.


4. If you think we should have the non OEM parts and broken parts and paint problems professionally replaced, which shops do you recommend? I’m willing to pay to ship it somewhere if the right shop is not in the LA area.

Thanks for any advice!

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“Bring a trailer”. The highest values I have seen cars sell for Online, but you see the most success with original, low milage, and rare cars. Keep in mind, the bidders I see ask some savvy questions and the high bidders seem quite sophisticated. I’m not too sure “detailing” alone will get you where you want to be.



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As @Neverdone, hard to give advice without pics.  One of the best things you can do is start reading through the listings for 240z's on BaT, make note of the quality of the cars, the way they are presented, which ones sold and didn't sell.

From your description it kind of sounds like your car in it's present condition is a project, a car that needs many small things and a couple of big things looked after first before it is a reliable road car.

If you spend as little as possible and just tart it up for a quick sale the guys on BaT will spot it immediately and they will eat you alive in the comments section.  All the people bidding will also be reading those comments as many of the bidders rely on the "experts" to decide if it is a worth while car to purchase.


What ever you do to get the car ready for sale make sure it is done well and be transparent about what you did and why,

  many Z's are sold just as projects and there is nothing wrong with that, lots of guys prefer a project so they can do the work themselves.

It is also really easy to spend a lot of money on fixing it up and not see an increase in the money it sells for, lots of pitfalls to avoid so do your research.

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OK here are the main problems. The passenger door is the worst panel thanks to a hyper and kind of spastic kid who would occasionally pop his door open and jump out no matter how many times he was told to be careful 😅


But there are little rock chips or dings here and there on other panels. Some of which also show surface rust.


Both bumpers and some of the other chrome (but not all) looks like this pic. All four fenders/wheel wells look like this - mostly intact but small areas where the paint wore off.


The entire flat part under the hatch is cracked up. Not sure how that could happen, it always had the pad and carpet in it. The spare well is fine, no cracks or rust.


The hood has more damage than I thought, several rock chips that have surface rust, and a big scratched area. Then the inside has the big bad paint area, some wear points that the paint rubbed off and show surface rust, and the peeling areas. 




hood outside.jpg





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Thanks for your help everyone, here are the new pics I was able to get. I didn't know the driver seat had damage, I've never seen it without a cover on.


I talked it over with my dad and I don't think he's willing to do any work on it. He did remember how to work the radio and it works. I'm willing to handle this for him and my current thought is to do external work + repaint hood completely + fix driver's seat. The rest of the interior looks good to my novice eyes other than fading in the carpet (rubber mats were laid on top of the carpet mats in the footwells leaving outlines; the hatch carpet is badly faded except for lines where the straps were). The engine runs great according to him and has never had work besides the usual carb tuning, oil changes, hose replacements, etc. so I'd rather not take it out. There are lots of original parts I don't think will survive a remove and reinstallation such as hoses, clamps, etc. The dash has never been out and I'm not able to do so, so the tach and clock and heater (probably, unless it can be fixed in the engine bay) will remain non working.


Exterior work: flatten out the door dents. Remove all surface rust. Repaint leaving glass in - all the original rubber looks in good shape but I don't think will survive a glass out repaint; even the windshield has never been out. Try to remove oxidation on the chrome, if not possible, get the bumpers rechromed - other chrome parts aren't really oxidized just not bright and shiny.


Do you think this is a good plan or a bad idea and should go for a full restore, which I've gotten quoted at $60k? That restorer was kind enough to say it probably isn't worth it; the car currently is worth under $40k in his opinion and after restore I'd have to be very lucky to get near $100k.


driver seat.jpg



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