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Thread: For those who have spent serious money in rebuilding their Z

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    Default For those who have spent serious money in rebuilding their Z

    Heres the short question;

    For those that have spent alot of money on their z restoration / customizations, are you happy with the end result, and was the money worth it? if given a chance would you take a check for all you've invested and move elsewhere?

    Heres why i ask;

    im reaching the point in my life where its time to buy a car, a nice car, even maybe a final car, but what car do i get? ive had a s2000, and its nice but im too tall and its uncomfortable. my wife has an 08 sti wagon, nice, but not jazzed about it either.. the list goes on 350z, 370z, 135i, TTS, nsx, even a GTR, but im not really crazy about any of them. dont get me wrong, i like them, but im not in love with em.

    Then the idea of getting another z came, and this time doing it right. this includes getting rid of that L24, doing a fully custom interior, custom paint and body work, and a rotissory resto. I can imaging being in it for excess of 40k before im done, and thats alot of money to be into a 35+ year old car. By the time its done it will probably be equal to what the GTR's are going for used, and thats kind of a steep compairsion, even though to me the GTR's are ugly.

    what do you guys feel about you cars, now they are complete?

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    Registered User 260zCaliCar's Avatar
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    You ought to take a read through this thread:

    http://www.classiczcars.com/forums/s...ad.php?t=36322

    $100k plus in his restoration.

    I have about 30k in mine but not all at once, I've had the Z since 1976 and it got a 10k restoration in 1996 and probably a 20k restoration over the last 2 years.

    I enjoy every minute of having and driving the car. I don't see the money as an investment, I see it as a hobby. People spend fortunes on Golf and Skiing. I go out to the garage and take my car apart and put it back together again. This isn't my daily driver, so I have a different perspective.

    40K? Unless the customization takes on a hobby status for you, in my opinion it's too much to spend. You could get a Z in amazing condition for 20-25k.

    Interestingly, I'm not totally sure the people on this board would consider your modification "doing it right".

    But I'll look forward to other peoples posts on the subject.

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    thanks for the reply, yes i think that i am most interested in this because of the journey not just the destination, but i want to like where ill end up as well because that will be part of the journey for me too. i plan on doing most of the work myself, and farming out a few items only. 40 - 60k is the overall buget, and the higher i go the more years it will take to complete, and im glad you brought up the hobby aspect, its a good perspective to have about it. yes i did forget im on classicz where people are crazy about making cars authentic, which is nice. But its not for me, i just cant stand the intake and exhaust on the same side, and there is much better engine technology today. I plan on running full s2000 hardware, which i already have (engine, trans, rearend, ecu etc) with a mild turbo kit. I would post here because i intend on keeping the very spirit of the z alive, light, fast, nimble, conservative, i guess i would call it a tasteful resto mod. thanks for the link reading it now..

    i wondered how people who finished there expensive cars, and how they felt about them when they were completed? when its under construction its fun and new and challenging, but when its done im scared ill become bored and prefered something else.
    Last edited by Tidoubleger24; 03-18-2010 at 09:40 PM.

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    240Z Elec. Upgrade guy Zs-ondabrain's Avatar
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    When I'm done with this one, I'll be in it for about $13K to $15K And that includes New wheels, tires, complete tear down and rebuild of every part, replacement of what needs replacing, Paint, custom interior, seats, motor refurb, struts and springs, urethane everything, etc, etc.

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    I could only dream of having a Z car as beautiful as some I have seen on this forum. The 74 260 I have is the first Z I have ever had I traded my 1990 325i convert for this 260 and so far I have put over 1k which is alot for me as Iam disabled and unable to work to bring it the kind of money you guys have invested in your cars. But even if I only have that much into mine I feel it is worth every penny because I have done the work myself and I love the look and lines of the Z car.

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    Registered User palosfv3's Avatar
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    For those who have spent serious money in rebuilding their Z

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Heres the short question;

    For those that have spent alot of money on their z restoration / customizations, are you happy with the end result, and was the money worth it? if given a chance would you take a check for all you've invested and move elsewhere?
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Only you can decide if its worth it and if you are happy with the end result. So much of what you will expierience is based on how well you plan things out and how committed you are to the completion of the project. We built the Z in my avatar for a client . It took just about two years from start to finish and ate up a lot of money.( broke the $100K barrier) I know it would take a very talented , expierienced or wealthy person to put together something like this in the same time frame or less. Was the car worth it ? Yes It was a blast to build and drive . ( I actually didnt want to turn it over to the customer it was so much fun to drive. ) How does the customer feel . I'm unsure but will ask him. We are up north so driving is somewhat limited to warm weather conditions and the car was colpleted late last fall. I can tell you this much I just bought a nice rust free Z and am contemplating what direction to go with it . I would have probably not have bought a Z if I had not built the LS conversion. New hard parts for a LS1/T56 conversion with racing brakes and suspension conversions will be difficult to keep under $30k. You may be able to scrounge and deal to find components at a lesser cost but you may only save 25% or so. The thought of buying someone elses incompleted project is relevant but it really depends on what they bought and how well they have done things, as well as if its built to your standards and likeing. I have looked for this very same opportunity and have not found one to my likeing, hence the reason for my recent purchase.

    Get a pad of paper and divide it into + and - columns and list the positives and negatives of the project. Determine a monetary limit your willing to spend and dont forget to use a completion deadline.

    It will come down to how bad you really want this car and whether you have more time or money.
    Larry

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    Your first question will be:

    Do I like driving around in a $85K car that feels like a car from the 1970s?

    That was one of the pitfalls of the Nissan Z Heritage program. Great idea on paper but it was very difficult sell to consumers who were used to a 1990's vehicle feel and performance. Once the Z enthusiast base that had the money was satisfied there were few if any buyers for the totally restored 240Zs.

    You comparisons with the GTR and S2000 leads me to believe that you won't be satisfied with a 240Z to justify spending the money.

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    If you are looking at a Datsun Z from an investment/financial perspective it is all about market timing. This is a great time to buy low and hold till the market recovers... keep the car in operating condition, do not stress the components, and keep it garaged. Buy from someone who has to sell. Don't fall in love with the car, it is just a commodity.

    If you are looking at a Datsun Z from a passion perspective, buy the best one you can find. You are buying the previously owners' history and attention to detail. Enjoy the car, customize it if it allows you to increase your enjoyment. The money does not (or should not) matter. Donít be tempted by other cars. Donít sell it because you are bored or frustrated. Finally bequeath it a family or friend when you pass.

    Keith

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    WESTCOASTZRACER ron carter's Avatar
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    Understand that you will never recover your investment, know that you are doing this for yourself and know that this is always going to be a 30+ year old car.

    None of us can tell you if you are going to be happy with this, and it sounds like you are not easily impressed.

    I enjoyed the journey of building my car, and I gain a lot of satisfaction when I drive it, and when I take it to car shows. It was worth it.

    I think it depends on what you want, and nobody here can tell you what that is. If you are not sure, buy a driver and drive it for a while, if the car makes you smile in a relatively stock configuration, I am sure you can the modify it to the point where you are very happy with the car.

    Ron

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    Semi-retired admin Arne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Coffey View Post
    Do I like driving around in a $85K car that feels like a car from the 1970s?
    And...

    Quote Originally Posted by ron carter View Post
    If you are not sure, buy a driver and drive it for a while, if the car makes you smile in a relatively stock configuration, I am sure you can the modify it to the point where you are very happy with the car.
    These thoughts are probably the best answer you will get. I don't car how much money and modern technology you inject, the basics are still those of a 30+ year old car. You can make it fast, you can make it handle, you can make it stop, but you can't make the entire driving experience similar to a modern car. If that's going to bother you, it may not be the proper project for you.
    Last edited by Arne; 03-19-2010 at 09:24 AM.
    Arne - Former owner, HLS30-37705, 7/71, 905 Red
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    i dont have much time, but i just wanted to say thanks for those who replied, the alternate views put things in a new light, refreshing one at that. Oregon z wish you the best with life and your car! Buying a nice driver first sounds like a perfect trial period to see if i will be impressed with it or not.

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    The zeds without power steering and with the fatter tyres we fit ,can be tiring to drive for extended periods especially on twisty roads , or in city driving,if you are used to cars with PS..Slow speed manouvering can be a dog.

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    Quote Originally Posted by olzed View Post
    The zeds without power steering and with the fatter tyres we fit ,can be tiring to drive for extended periods especially on twisty roads , or in city driving,if you are used to cars with PS..Slow speed manouvering can be a dog.
    That's one thing I've never had a problem with. My 280Z has 225/50R16 max performance summer tires and the steering is light, even at low speeds. On the highway, it feels better than most new vehicles I've driven. The only time it gets heavy is on long corners near the limit.

    My 260Z LeMons car has 195/60R14 tires and the steering is very light even on a track. I'm guessing this is because the tires are narrower and that I moved the LCA inner pivots up and out to fix bumpsteer and gain negative camber.
    Jeff
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    Super late thread revival, I just keep coming back to the Z, there's no denying its strong influence over me. I have some time, and would like to reply to everyone's thoughtful input.. it was nice to read them again since its been a while since ive been here

    The zeds without power steering and with the fatter tyres we fit ,can be tiring to drive for extended periods especially on twisty roads , or in city driving,if you are used to cars with PS..Slow speed manouvering can be a dog.
    This doesnt bother me and i miss no power steering and the effortless wheel movement of modern cars is uninspiring.. good point though

    Understand that you will never recover your investment, know that you are doing this for yourself and know that this is always going to be a 30+ year old car.
    This would never be an investment for profit. It would be an ultimate hot rod that would put a smile face everytime i started it, and driving it would take my breath away.

    but you can't make the entire driving experience similar to a modern car
    it would be a shame for a classic z to drive like a modern car

    None of us can tell you if you are going to be happy with this, and it sounds like you are not easily impressed.
    unfortunatly my friend, you have hit the nail on the head. i am extremely fickle.. and it takes much to impress me ( with regard to my own happiness and expectations from things i own ) which btw is a huge curse as it is hard for me to be happy with personal purchases. I see the things that i dont like or i am unhappy with first. I am not a pompass person towards others or their possessions. This is why I came here looking for input from others, and why the budget is starting where it is. This is also why the compairsons to the gtr where there. At the end i am sure the amount spent on the z to make it just so for me would rival the cost of a used gtr or porsche but they do little for me.

    Do I like driving around in a $85K car that feels like a car from the 1970s?
    This would be hard to swallow, especially if the end result is not satisfactory, and it would not be resell-able. BUT if it is satisfactory, and just makes me little kid waking up for christmas giddy everytime i see it and drive it, then itd be worth it.

    The money does not (or should not) matter.
    I make a very modest income, but when it comes to things i want, the money aspect is easily the last on the list. I dont live to pinch penny's, i live to enjoy the penny's ive earned.

    You comparisons with the GTR and S2000 leads me to believe that you won't be satisfied with a 240Z to justify spending the money
    This is what i am struggling with.

    Only you can decide if its worth it and if you are happy with the end result..... I know it would take a very talented , expierienced or wealthy person to put together something like this in the same time frame or less.... Get a pad of paper and divide it into + and - columns and list the positives and negatives of the project. Determine a monetary limit your willing to spend and dont forget to use a completion deadline.
    ..... it will come down to how bad you really want this car and whether you have more time or money.
    I searched as much as i could about the car and it was a beautiful project. I am not looking to set a land speed record to complete the project. your post was insightful and congrats on aquiring a decent shell. They are hard to come by. There would be no monkey business with what someone else started/didnt complete, this would a completely redone car from top to bottom.. albiet even if done in sections. The project and journey aspect is i think what draws me to a z more than any other aspect. Purchasing a car to drive leaves so much more to be desired, even if it is a supercar, imo. I believe the z is the only car that i could ever invest so much of my personal time and money in.. at a loss.

    When I'm done with this one, I'll be in it for about $13K to $15K And that includes New wheels, tires, complete tear down and rebuild of every part, replacement of what needs replacing, Paint, custom interior, seats, motor refurb, struts and springs, urethane everything, etc, etc.
    Your car is very nice, and a good representation of what can be done with a good budget. Congrats!

    You ought to take a read through this thread:
    Thanks for the link.. this is further than i want to go, but gives a great representation of where i would want to go in certain areas.

    I enjoy every minute of having and driving the car. I don't see the money as an investment, I see it as a hobby. People spend fortunes on Golf and Skiing. I go out to the garage and take my car apart and put it back together again. This isn't my daily driver, so I have a different perspective.
    This is a similar view of how i would feel about my project. Having it as a weekend car would relieve alot of pressure about timelines and make tinkering much more enjoyable.(Tinkering is like relaxation therapy for me) I just finished my 08 sti and at the end it became very stressful, as it was a daily driver, and my wife's car. Tinkering on it was not in her plans either although she was respectful.

    Interestingly, I'm not totally sure the people on this board would consider your modification "doing it right".
    True, and to each his own. I would intend on keeping the very spirit of the z alive and well, just modernizing alot of its outdated technology (pretty much just electrical, engine, trans, suspension, diff, brakes, and seats). I wont go further, as i dont want to alienate anyone, but trust me the last thing that will go in my car would be a v8 of anykind.

    40K? Unless the customization takes on a hobby status for you, in my opinion it's too much to spend. You could get a Z in amazing condition for 20-25k.
    I wouldnt purchase a complete car. I want a shell (id buy a complete car for a shell though, but the car would be in rough shape). I want to build the whole car from the ground up, as that is the whole reason to do a z (for me).

    Thank you for all of your replies, and kind input, as it has been extremely insightful. Sorry for the long delay in replying, ive read everyones post and reseached builds and everything is helpful.

    Happy Holidays everyone.

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    '72 240Z(G) 3.2L
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    If driving a car that has a definitive shape, whether that be a Porsche, Mini, or a '66 Mustang, isn't enough then it's time for a 2009 M3.

    I assume you have taken the time to drive other Zs which have been modified in a manner you are considering. If not than you are wasting everyone's time asking them subjective questions.

    Would it less tiring to drive 15 hrs straight in an M3 rather than my lowered, cambered, 300 lb spring, and 320hp NA (no lag throttle response) engine? Most likely. Would it be as much fun to look over the hood as the M3? Not hardly.

    Good luck in your search....
    if a little knowledge can make you dangerous, I'm a little dangerous

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