1974 Datsun 260Z / Photos, Specs, Styling Details, Engine

Here is a very good looking 1974 Datsun 260Z. The Z cars were very successful for Datsun and greatly helped increase dealer showroom traffic.

The 260Z was produced for about 15 months, from the fall of 1973 to the very end of 1974. There were two distinct styles therein: the 1974 cars, and a three-month run of what are alternately known as either 1974½ or 1975 cars.

datsun 260Z
1974 Datsun 260Z

The original Z car was the Datsun 240Z. When the Datsun 240Z was introduced it was one of the most popular two seat sport cars on the market. Buyers liked the styling, it’s power and performance.

The 240Z was the first Z car to hit the American market and was derived from the Nissan Fairlady Z which was produced for the Japanese market only. The cars were first internationally marketed with the Datsun brand and with the third generation the Datsun name was dropped with all future Z’s carrying the Nissan badge.

The original body shell of the 240 Z continued on with the 260Z and 280Z models however the engine sizes increased along the way.

The Nissan Z cars were produced by Nissan through seven generations since 1969.

The Datsun 260 Z 

The 1970’s transformed the automobile industry in many ways. New federal safety regulations affected engine horsepower along with several safety features all of which was mandatory.  The 240Z came out in 1969 prior to these new regulations and as a result many felt that the handling of the 240Z’s was much better than with the later two 260 and 280 models which had heavy and clumsy bumpers and added weight. This is why the 240Z’s appear generally more popular.


Changes from the 240Z to the 260Z included a totally changed interior, a stronger chassis and a rear anti-roll bar. The Datsun 260Z exterior had larger bumpers and new taillights.

The Datsu 260Z’s were produced for about 15 months from the fall of 1973 to the end of 1974.

The 1974 Datsun 260Z Specifications

Engine is a 156 cubic inch Inline Six with 139 HP. This is opposed to the 240 Z models which had 146 cubic inch Inline Six with 151 HP. Although the 260Z had a larger displacement engine the horsepower was less due new emission rules including unleaded fuel and detuning.

The Datsun 260Z’s that were built for the European market, which were not subjected to the new federal emission regulations, were able to deliver 148 HP. These higher horsepower models however were allowed into the U.S. market the latter half of 1974.

Available transmissions are a four speed manual and a three speed automatic.

Brakes are four wheel hydraulic drums.

Dimensions include a 90.74 inch wheelbase, 173.2 inch overall outside length, 51.0 inch height, 64.2 inch width. Curb weight 2,715 lbs.

Total production of the Datsun 260Z is estimated at about 310,000.

Related Auto Museum Online articles are on the links below…

The 1971 Datsun 240Z

The 1966 Datsun 1600 Sports Car

Reference material for this article includes…Datsun Z Cars by the Consumer Guide Editors…..Essential Datsun Z 240 Z to 280 Z by author Colin Shipway…..How to Restore Your Datsun Z Car by author Wick Humble….Complete Book of Collectible Cars by the Editors of Consumer Guide.

(Photos and articles copyright Auto Museum Online)

1974 datsun 260z

The Datsun 260Z Collector Car

The Z Cars are all highly collectible. In regards to auction sale prices, the Datsun 260Z is generally more affordable than the 240Z. The Datsun 240Z’s enjoy top collector interest even though the 260Z was produced over a very short period of time. The 260Z was available for several years in other markets but the U.S. only had one year of production. After that the U.S. was introduced to the 280Z with higher horsepower.

The 260Z’s, even with added horsepower were heavier and had to have the larger bumpers. All of this was the result of emission and safety regulations.

Recent asking prices for the 1974 Datsun 260Z examples in good to excellent condition are found in a range from about $22,000 to $38,000.