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Thread: Introduction, Story and Request for Help

  1. #1
    40thAnniZ x10370zx's Avatar
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    Default Introduction, Story and Request for Help

    Hi Everyone,

    I'm Mike from Dallas, TX. I'm an avid Z fan, although admittedly most of my knowledge is biased toward the newer Z33 and Z34 models. I'm here learn about the classics, tell a brief story and hopefully get some much needed help in locating a long lost Z. Here's my story:

    How It Started

    My first interest in Z cars began with the 350 back in 2003, and after a few test drives of different colors and trims I fell in love. Unfortunately living in Ohio at the time the possibility of snow and harsh winters prevented me from ever purchasing a Z; I couldn't afford to have a separate dedicated winter car. Fast forward to 2011, I finally had the opportunity to get serious about a Z purchase when I left Ohio winters behind and moved to Dallas, TX. In March of 2011 I purchased my first Z, a 2010 40th Anniversary 370 - an absolute beauty that I plan to keep forever and pass down to future generations of the family.

    The 240Z

    My Dad and I were very close, but he was definitely more on the quiet side. He was never one to openly tell stories unless explicitly asked, so it wasn't shocking to me that after seeing my 370 for the first time he said "You know, I used to have one of those." I was dumbfounded... How did I not know he had owned a Z!? After that came a few details: 1970 240Z, dark green with a tan interior. "I drove down to the port in Louisiana and watched them take it off the boat... I jumped in and drove it straight back to Cincinnati" he said. This was incredible to me... not only did he own a Z but a 1970 240, the very first year of the car that mine (the 40th anniversary model) was meant to celebrate.

    Over the next few years I asked my Dad a couple times if he ever thought about what happened to his 240Z... "Yeah I wonder..." he'd say but it never materialized into an actual search to try to locate the car. In late July of 2013 my life changed forever; my Dad had a massive stroke. He survived the event but wasn't able to speak, walk or do anything on his own. He was tough and fought incredibly hard, but eventually passed in November of 2013 a few days before Thanksgiving. As any son would be I was (and still am) absolutely crushed. Ever since that day in November one thing has dominated my mind: finding that car and bringing it home. Restored, original, in 1,000 pieces or however it sits... I want to bring it home.

    The Search

    So far I've been unsuccessful in finding any documentation about the car. Locating the Z registry on this site was a huge help, but I know that's just a starting point to what could possibly yield no results. I would willingly reach out to all Green/Tan 1970 owners on the registry (and still may do so), but as of now I figured I'd start with a thread and see what happens. If any Green/Tan 1970 owners have registration history or information sitting around, my father's name is William E. Maxfield. Thank you in advance for any help or tips you can provide. I'll leave you with the only picture I have of my Dad and his car, taken in 1973.

    Edit: Based on a few clues that others have pointed out it appears this isn't a 70 model but rather a later iteration, possibly a 72.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Best,

    Mike
    Last edited by x10370zx; 04-23-2014 at 11:40 AM.

  2. #2
    Jim Arnett jfa.series1's Avatar
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    Default

    Hi Mike,
    That's a great story and certainly a challenging quest. Its good that you have a picture of your dad and the car. A quick look at the hubcaps and the sail area behind the quarter window show that the car is not a '70 model but at least a post-January '71 Series 2 car. The earlier cars had a 240Z emblem on the sail panel and a different style "D" hubcap. Others can probably help with narrowing the date range for the hubcap.

    Good luck with your search.
    Jim

    Jim Arnett
    HLS30-15320 12/1970, original owner
    L24-020208 (original)
    IZCC Original Owner Registry #53

  3. #3
    Rust Free'ish zKars's Avatar
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    Really a touching story, thanks for sharing it. If any group of people can help you find it, its this bunch.

    Jim is right, it's not a 70, but not a 73 either. Front bumper is not the slightly sticking out version that the 73 got.

    The 113 Avocado Green Metallic color that it appears to be (old picture and compute variations factored in) is a 72-73 only color, so that seems to narrow it to being a 72.

    You will need to find the VIN to help with the search from there.

    Anyone else see any more clues?
    Last edited by zKars; 04-23-2014 at 11:28 AM.
    -----------------------------------------
    Jim
    73 240Z HLS30 149331
    69 510 PL510 77603

    www.zKars.com
    www.calgaryzclub.ca
    Reference materials
    www.xenonS30.com

  4. #4
    40thAnniZ x10370zx's Avatar
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    Thanks Jim A. that's great info. I know I've met you a few times at some of the ZCOT meetings in Addison. I'll be sure to sync up with you again the next meeting I attend. Your car is beautiful by the way.

    Thank you also to the other Jim "zKars"... that would be great if it's narrowed down to a 72. I guess it doesn't help my case that I've been looking at cars of the wrong year for the past 5 or 6 months!

    Any chance that there were different wheels or add-ons put on his car in the picture that would mis-represent the year? If there is one thing about my Dad he loved to tinker with stuff and change things, so it wouldn't surprise me if it was modified in some way shape or form.

    Lastly, is it possible to glean any kind of information doing a look up somewhere of the VINs of the 72 Avocado Green Metallic cars from the registry?

  5. #5
    Rust Free'ish zKars's Avatar
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    Tires and wheels and hub caps are easy to swap around, but that sail panel emblem is NOT simple to change. The 70/71 panels that have a "240Z" emblem there,that Jim A. mention do not have a hole behind them like the later ones that have a vent hole into the cabin and a round "Z" emblem like we see on your dad's car. The locating pins on the two kinds don't even line up, so it would not be a swap you would do on a whim. At my age (and your dad's) back in 2011, it wouldn't surprize me that I forgot exactly what year it was when I got my first Z if he hadn't thought about that in a long time.

    My 113 green color guess is based on that picture may very well be off. The two greens were never offered at the same time, so it would be an important clue. Any other pictures?

    We all love a good detective story. Every little clue, no matter how small is important.

    Now if only we had that fancy photo enhancement stuff they have on TV, we could make out a date code on those tires...
    Last edited by zKars; 04-23-2014 at 11:47 AM.
    -----------------------------------------
    Jim
    73 240Z HLS30 149331
    69 510 PL510 77603

    www.zKars.com
    www.calgaryzclub.ca
    Reference materials
    www.xenonS30.com

  6. #6
    40thAnniZ x10370zx's Avatar
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    My goal is to learn all of these little differences between the models as subtle as they may be, so keep them coming Definitely agree that the wheels would be an easy swap but it sounds like the emblem would not... I doubt there was a change there based on the information you provided. Wouldn't surprise me if he was a little forgetful about the year either - would've been cool if it was a 70 having the 40th anniversary car myself however, clearly it doesn't change my mission regardless of the year.

    Unfortunately that's the only picture I have. Based on my research thus far, I'm lucky to even have this picture because it was during a 4-5 year "gap" when my Dad had moved out on his own but hadn't met my Mom yet. My Grandma only had this one picture (this was actually taken at her house). My Mom told me that she doesn't remember him having the car when they started dating. Ironically my Dad was a photographer and I thought I'd surely find something digging through his stuff, but this was the only evidence. My Grandma is 94, still kicking and very "with it" however she doesn't remember many details about it - I'm sure it wasn't high on her interest list at the time

    The photo enhancement would be a miracle! The picture I have is actually a polaroid so I consider it a blessing that it hasn't washed out or faded much after all of these years.
    Last edited by x10370zx; 04-23-2014 at 12:23 PM.

  7. #7
    Registered User Mike W's Avatar
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    Mike,

    Very cool story and I wish you the best in trying to locate your dad's car. Your story makes me appreciate even more the opportunity I had to rebuild / restore my Z (which I have owned from the very beginning) with my 27 year old son. It was a great experience and in the end brought us even closer together.

    Although this will not likely have a lot of impact on the location of your dad's car, there is a very big Nismo event happening this weekend down in the San Marcos area of Texas. Given that you are in Dallas I thought that I would at least make you aware of it so you could perhaps take part in some of the planned activities. And who knows, you might even discover a few new leads to your dad's car. You can find more details about it at the following site:

    Nismo Fiesta » Home

    The event is sponsored by the San Antonio Z club (called Z Sport) but will also be attended by a number of folks from the local Austin club as well (Capital Z of Texas or CZOT for short). Our local club is geared a little more to the first gen S30's although we have our share of ZX's, 350's as well as 370"s. The San Antonio club is pretty much opposite ours in Austin where the vast majority of members are sporting 350's, 370's, GTR's etc. Even if this did not pan out in the context of locating your dad's car, I think you would enjoy meeting some of the folks here and taking in the great scenery with all of the cars that show up. You can check out pictures from some of the past events on their web site as well.

    I have attended the last 2 years and will also be at the car show on Sunday as well, but I can tell you that it is one of the best attended Z events in the south. We have people coming from all over (not just Texas) and so it is a great opportunity to meet some die hard Z folks and see some great cars. On top of that, Texas has some fabulous driving roads and one of the events on Saturday is a cruise through some of the best roads in Texas.

    Hope to see you there and definitely keep up posted on your quest.

    Mike.

  8. #8
    Jim Arnett jfa.series1's Avatar
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    Mike,
    Since your dad picked up the car at the POE and drove it to Cincy, that's where he probably registered it. Have you contacted the OH DMV regarding a search of early to mid-70's registrations in your dad's name? Also possibly his county of residence? These records might not be computerized but might be available on microfilm. You might try to find a local researcher who would scan the films for a fee. Genealogy groups often have researchers who do this work, I might be able to help you develop a contact if you want to pursue this approach. As stated by others, it all comes down to getting a VIN to really be able to get a start.

    As to ZCoT events, I'm looking forward to getting a re-introduction. Consider joining us at Cars & Coffee in Plano on 05/03 and/or the next monthly meeting on 05/15.

    Jim

    Jim Arnett
    HLS30-15320 12/1970, original owner
    L24-020208 (original)
    IZCC Original Owner Registry #53

  9. #9
    40thAnniZ x10370zx's Avatar
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    Mike W - Thank you for the well wishes and sharing your own experience with your son. I really wish I could've experienced the same with my Dad. I know for a fact that it's a memory your son will cherish forever and hopefully he'll hang on to the car for years to come. Unfortunately I won't be able to make it to Nismo Fiesta but I really appreciate all of the great info you passed along. Hopefully next year I'll have more time and can make some of the larger events/meets. Thanks again!

    Jim - I thought about contacting the OH DMV but put it off because I assumed they wouldn't release any records that weren't specifically mine. It's definitely worth a shot though, so I'll reach out to them tomorrow to see if there's anything they can do. I emailed a few different guys I found on the registry at zhome.com who had 72 240Zs that were the Green/Tan combo. I heard back from an owner who is in Spokane, Washington and he didn't have a ton of history on his car - so I'd definitely need the VIN to determine if his is a match. The other owner I emailed is in Georgia and so far no response from him. I also found this 72 in 113 green metallic on Bring a Trailer (posted in 2008) and it looks pretty much identical to my Dad's car. It says this one was in CA for 25 years so I don't think it's a potential match however, it further convinces me that my Dad's car was not a 70 and was most likely a 72 as suggested.

    I hadn't previously considered a local researcher or genealogy expert but that's a great idea. I'd be willing to shell out a little money to see if I could get some helpful information if need be. I appreciate the offer in helping to locate a contact in that arena... any and all help is welcome however I wouldn't want you to spend too much of your time on it. I'll definitely re-introduce myself at the next ZCoT event I can attend. I doubt I'll be able to make it to Cars and Coffee on 5/3, but hopefully I'll see you at the 5/15 meet in Addison.

  10. #10
    40thAnniZ x10370zx's Avatar
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    Quick update: I spoke to the Ohio BMV today and they have a form I can fill out and mail in that gives me the best shot to locate an old registration and a VIN. Supposedly they have some records that are hard copies and stored, but they typically don't go all the way back to the mid 70s like I'd need. They admitted it's a long shot, but the form is only $5 and worth a try to see if anything is out there. They also attempted to look up information for me using my father's SSN over the phone, but no luck there (not surprised with that one).

    I've also been in contact with a couple Z enthusiasts, one of which is Carl Beck, who have given me some helpful tips but also a dose of reality... Carl mentioned that these cars didn't do very well in cold climates with snow and road salt, so if the car stayed in Ohio longer than 5-10 years chances are it was completely rusted and scrapped.

    Based on the research I've done it sounds like the Ohio BMV is my last shot unless I'm able to unearth some documents at home that I hadn't previously come across. With that said, without a VIN it sounds as though I'm pretty much hosed. Not to be defeated however, if this turns up empty or if somehow I find it was rusted/destroyed the next best thing would be to try to replicate it. I'm definitely not opposed to finding a good '72 and building it to replicate my father's car, but I'll need to do a TON of reading to say the least.

    Pending any other updates, I might "disappear" for a while until I hear back from the Ohio BMV... but rest assured I'll do my best to provide an update once I get additional information. Thanks to everyone again.

  11. #11
    Registered User EhlersRS's Avatar
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    Mike,

    Thank you for sharing your story with us. Judging from the photo you attached of your father and the car, I would also say this is a 1972 model. This style of hubcap was used from 1972 until 1976. As pointed out, the style of the B pillar "Z" emblem started in 1971 and the front bumper is the style used in 1971 and 1972. If the photo had been taken a little to the left and included the gas lid, we could determine conclusively if this is a 1971 or 1972. The 1971 models have a chrome knob on the gas lid (like the 1970's) and this was changed for the 1972 model which only has an indent in the gas lid for pulling it open. Unless your father owned a 1971 model and changed to the new hubcaps, I'm still confident this is a 1972 model. Also, the production of the 1972 models started in Sept/Oct of 1971 and ran until August 1972. This would place the VIN number between HLS30-046000 and HLS30-120000 (roughly). If you haven't been there already, I would also recommend Carl Beck's site which contains more history on early Z's: the Z Car Home Page. This is where I got the production dates from.

    We wish you well on your quest to find your father's car!

    Robert S.
    1971 240Z HLS30-21244

  12. #12
    It's awesome bartsscooterservice's Avatar
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    Hi Mike,

    Great story, sorry to hear about your dad !
    I also didn't knew my dad had a 240Z in the past.. like you I am unable to find it back. I'm also still searching for the first owner of my 240Z, I do have his name.

    Did your dad leave any documentation or other information of his 240Z ? That might help..

    Gr Bart
    Last edited by bartsscooterservice; 04-25-2014 at 03:38 AM.
    HLS30 32581, 5/71 Matching numbers

    Jay Leno : You know one week after the Americans have walked on the moon, the Japanese introduced this sports car, and…if you’re a car guy pretty equal. I mean walking on the moon was pretty good, but how many times you’d gonna walk on the moon? But here was an affordable sports car that had real performance and looked like it cost a lot more than it did.

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    It's awesome bartsscooterservice's Avatar
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    I enhanced the picture for you. It does look like the emblem on the rear quarter says " 240z " to me.. but I could be wrong.

    HLS30 32581, 5/71 Matching numbers

    Jay Leno : You know one week after the Americans have walked on the moon, the Japanese introduced this sports car, and…if you’re a car guy pretty equal. I mean walking on the moon was pretty good, but how many times you’d gonna walk on the moon? But here was an affordable sports car that had real performance and looked like it cost a lot more than it did.

  14. #14
    Registered User EhlersRS's Avatar
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    Bart,

    When I first saw the photo I also thought it was a "240Z" emblem because of the extra band of light color coming off the right side. Then I searched for some photos online of Series I cars with the "240Z" emblem. It appears the circle of the "240Z" emblem is smaller than the round "Z" emblem on the newer models. This car appears to have the larger round emblem. Since the "240Z" emblems have 240Z across the center, you wouldn't be able to see the complete circle or circumference of the emblem. In this photo you can see the entire circumference. Since there are other reflections of sunlight on the car and the light color near the emblem is at a strange angle, I think it's just a reflection and not the end of "240Z". Okay, I've got too much time on my hands this morning.

    Also, how far have you gotten in locating the original owner of your car?

    Robert S.
    1971 240Z HLS30-21244

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    Registered User an_unusual_eye's Avatar
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    agreed with 1972... '70-'72 bumper, '71 production forward sail emblem (although the glare IS deceptive), '72-'76 hubcaps... and i also agree with the color as suggested. this is NOT 907 green... so not an earlier car. also, sadly, i agree with the sad prognosis for a daily driven z in the rust belt. best of luck in quest.
    ~ rob.
    harrisburg, pa / raleigh, nc
    triangle z club

    1974 260z (early) ~ 302 green/black (sold)
    1971 240z (late) ~ 901 silver/black (sold)
    1978 280z 2+2 ~ 611 burgundy/black (parted out)
    1971 240z (early) ~ 907 green/black (my long term mistress)

  16. #16
    It's awesome bartsscooterservice's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EhlersRS View Post
    Bart,

    When I first saw the photo I also thought it was a "240Z" emblem because of the extra band of light color coming off the right side. Then I searched for some photos online of Series I cars with the "240Z" emblem. It appears the circle of the "240Z" emblem is smaller than the round "Z" emblem on the newer models. This car appears to have the larger round emblem. Since the "240Z" emblems have 240Z across the center, you wouldn't be able to see the complete circle or circumference of the emblem. In this photo you can see the entire circumference. Since there are other reflections of sunlight on the car and the light color near the emblem is at a strange angle, I think it's just a reflection and not the end of "240Z". Okay, I've got too much time on my hands this morning.

    Also, how far have you gotten in locating the original owner of your car?

    Robert S.
    It looks like the letter Z when I enhance the foto, but yeah it could be a reflection...

    I have no idea how to locate a US citizen ? Can you help ?
    HLS30 32581, 5/71 Matching numbers

    Jay Leno : You know one week after the Americans have walked on the moon, the Japanese introduced this sports car, and…if you’re a car guy pretty equal. I mean walking on the moon was pretty good, but how many times you’d gonna walk on the moon? But here was an affordable sports car that had real performance and looked like it cost a lot more than it did.

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