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Thread: How often do you drive your vintage Z?

  1. #1
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    Default How often do you drive your vintage Z?

    I'm torn if I should keep racking up the miles on my Z. I have a late '70 with just 108K miles, everything original (clutch and engine). A clean non-rusted car with zero accident history.

    I recently installed BRIDE bucket seats and boy does the car come alive. I had a hard time cornering cause I would slide around in the seat. Now with the proper seating position, spirited driving is so much more rewarding.

    Regardless, wanted forum members view on this subject. Do you drive it or is it a garage queen? What's everyone est annual avg miles? I plan to drive it to the MSA meet in April, I better lay off the miles until then.
    Last edited by bavarian06; 03-21-2011 at 02:34 PM.

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    ZCCIV Webmaster motorman7's Avatar
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    I run the motors on my '70 and '73 at least every other week, occasionally taking them out for a 2-10 mile spin. I also drive them to car shows in the San Diego and LA area. That's about it. Easily staying within my Hagerty's 2500 mile limit.

    I am planning on taking both to the MSA show and the 2012 ZCON in Pheonix.

    HLS30-02614 in the Cocoon
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    Registered User EverRude's Avatar
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    Guess that's one advantage of a beater Z with zero history (or rather an unknown history). Once I have the bugs worked out she will be a daily driver. Clearly she has and has had rust issues. Unknown mileage. Unkown accident history and is valued about what I have in her. I have every intention of being rough on her but I will pamper her as needed. Kinda like my wife

    My previous old car daily driver was my 70 Mustang fastback. I had no problem driving her even though she was a rust free survivor with 140k miles. She isn't rare or sought after. Just a good driveable mustang. Had she been a Boss 302 or something I'm sure she woulda spent more time in garage.

    If you love driving Z's but want to preserve your baby. Buy a beater Z for a couple grand and beat that one
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    Semi-retired admin Arne's Avatar
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    I drive my late '71 about 3000 miles per year. It's a rare week when it doesn't get out of the garage at least once, if not two or three times. It had 60k when I bought it, just over 72k now. And no, I don't worry a bit about adding more miles to it. It's my car, and I bought it to drive it.
    Arne - Former owner, HLS30-37705, 7/71, 905 Red
    Car blogs - 240Z - Porsche 911

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    petrolhead spitz17's Avatar
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    +1 to Arne

    I agree. A car is meant to be driven. IMHO, Datsun/Nissan Z's aren't exactly Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance material, and I doubt they will ever be.

    I use to be very strict on putting miles on my restored Z, and even more paranoid that it would get chipped, dinged, or damaged. That is why I sold the show car to someone to someone who would properly uphold it. I kept the "tired," but much alive, Z car and I never regret going back. It is simply too much fun to drive

    How will we keep the spirit of these cars alive, if we do not drive them and show the world they are still around? Will it matter to me the condition of the car 100 years later when I am long gone? NOPE.
    Last edited by spitz17; 03-21-2011 at 03:44 PM.
    '72 Fairlady 240Z-L - HS30-10052, Imported in 1973 from Yokota Airbase
    '70 240Z - HLS30-19927, History in SCCA CP & Trans-Am, ICSCC CIP, IMSA GTU
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    '13 Subaru BRZ Limited - Daily Driver

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    My old Z has 420,000 miles on her and now that i have it running some what ok, if there is no rain in the forecast we are driving
    4/77 280Z
    HLS30-387956
    KJP

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    Registered User Gary in NJ's Avatar
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    Once or twice a week for a 10-15 mile drive. Once a month for something a bit more involved. But even with that amount of driving it only amounts to about 1,000 miles per year because I only have 8 months of driving weather. The odometer in my car reads 1,001 right now. I couldn't tell you if it's 101,001, 201,001 or 401,001.
    Gary
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    Previous Owner of a 10/70 240Z ('83-'85)

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    Registered User steve91tt's Avatar
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    I put about 6000 miles on mine last year. I like a pure sports car like the 240z for around town and back and forth to work. On Long trips I prefer more of a GT car like the G37.
    Steve

    1973 240Z (daily driver)
    1971 240Z (track car)

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    I think I put 2500 annual miles as well.

    I'm thinking of picking up a '87 widebody 911 as my other DD. I have more fun driving old cars than my newer cars ('06 530i and '08 M3).

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    Quote Originally Posted by EverRude View Post
    Guess that's one advantage of a beater Z with zero history (or rather an unknown history). Once I have the bugs worked out she will be a daily driver. Clearly she has and has had rust issues. Unknown mileage. Unkown accident history and is valued about what I have in her. I have every intention of being rough on her but I will pamper her as needed. Kinda like my wife

    My previous old car daily driver was my 70 Mustang fastback. I had no problem driving her even though she was a rust free survivor with 140k miles. She isn't rare or sought after. Just a good driveable mustang. Had she been a Boss 302 or something I'm sure she woulda spent more time in garage.

    If you love driving Z's but want to preserve your baby. Buy a beater Z for a couple grand and beat that one
    that's what i shouldve done, bought a beater and modify and drive it to my hearts content. speaking of the Boss, the new ones are out. Drool.... tempted to trade in my M3 for one. get some proper torques

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    Torch Wielding Villager gogriz91's Avatar
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    1000-1500, try to make sure it gets started and run every 10-14 days. When it's cool out (all three months around here), it'll get driven to work 2-3 times a week.
    '73 HLS30 129806 ; L-28, street cam, SUs, 5-speed, Koni's, Suspension techniques springs, swaybars, 3.90 R200 LSD

    Heavily medicated for your protection

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    Registered User SportBikeMike's Avatar
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    I only drive my 240Z about 500 miles a year. I got the 280ZX-T for more of a play toy and part-time daily driver. The 240Z basically gets driven out in the country on weekends in the Spring/ Summer. I seldom drive it in town because of all the idiot, unattentive drivers.
    '82 Datsun 280ZX Turbo
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    Well
    Project 6/70 hasn't been driven since October 2005, that's when it had a main harness fire. Project 3/72, (see photo album) although it may not be a daily driver it will get plenty of miles. I strongly agree that these cars, or any car for that matter need to be driven. I never beat on any car I've owed so no need to start now. I can't wait for the long SoCal trip. After the expense and time involved I just can't see letting it sit.
    "HAPPINESS"....isn't just around the corner......"HAPPINESS"....is the CORNER"

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    P-nix sounds like a lovely 2.5K mile outing for my Z, if my right leg can handle the job (so used to cruise control). My old Z is driven as often as I can get to it, typically about 500 miles per year (way less than I'd like to drive it). Two years ago, I had more track miles than road miles on it. Just turned 73K miles.

    Here's a challenge for all y'all.... my step-son narrates.
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    Frank in Houston, Texas

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    Z geek at large FastWoman's Avatar
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    My Z is my daily driver. It gets a lot of short and medium trips many times per week.
    My last three sports cars while I still owned all three:

    2001 BMW Z3 Roadster 3.0i soft/hard top (sold)
    1966 Ford Mustang Coupe (sold)
    1978 Datsun 280Z (enjoying very much )

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    Sadly I am the day care driver in the mornings, so I have to take my son in my WRX. Very hard to bring him to school, then go home and switch cars, and then go to work. So I am struggling to get 700 miles a year on her. I wish it were much more.
    1971 240Z HLS30-38691
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    Registered User tlorber's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zedyone_kenobi View Post
    Sadly I am the day care driver in the mornings, so I have to take my son in my WRX.
    So, am I a bad guy for putting a booster seat in my Z and driving my kids?(one at a time of course). I know they love being in the Z.

    These cars need to be driven, and driven hard. They will take it happily and want more. I'm doing around 2,000/year on the Z, and hope to do more when I have finished the car.

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    Not enough.
    Keith
    1970 240z - Stock - HLS30-04642

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    Mike B
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    Quote Originally Posted by motorman7 View Post
    Easily staying within my Hagerty's 2500 mile limit.
    Actually Hagerty doesn't have a mileage limit. From their website:

    Freedom to enjoy your car
    We believe cars are made to be driven. So our policy allows limited pleasure use with no fixed mileage limits. Whether it's a drive on a gorgeous summer day, a trip to the ice cream shop, attending club events or going to shows, you're covered. If you have specific questions about usage, especially if you own a newer vehicle (generally 1990 and newer), we're happy to discuss them with you.



    -Mike

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    Marooned Fish cygnusx1's Avatar
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    Daycare, here we come! My son requests turbo boost about every mile. He loves the way it makes him feel weightless. I bought my 76 in 1989 with 69k miles, all original. Now it has about 170k miles but almost everything has been upgraded in one way or another. I minimize rainy use and ban snow/salt use.



    I think Hagerty frowns up using the car regularly for commuting, and that's about it.
    Last edited by cygnusx1; 03-21-2011 at 09:41 PM.
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    Z geek at large FastWoman's Avatar
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    Dave, your photo reminds me of when I would drive my older son to preschool everyday in my '75 Z that I had owned since well before he was born. He loved that car too and would always say "Z-car" with such an enthusiastic voice and often a little hop. He talked about my legendary car even years after my ex made me sell it. He was 5 years old at the time.

    Skipping ahead to a couple of years ago, I remember talking to a young man in college (my older son) about the purchase of my '78 Z. He said, "You got another Z-car? Cooool!" He had that same lilt in his voice when he said "Z-car." Very cute.
    My last three sports cars while I still owned all three:

    2001 BMW Z3 Roadster 3.0i soft/hard top (sold)
    1966 Ford Mustang Coupe (sold)
    1978 Datsun 280Z (enjoying very much )

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    Registered User steve91tt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zedyone_kenobi View Post
    Sadly I am the day care driver in the mornings, so I have to take my son in my WRX.
    My kids fight over rides in the Z. In fact, when potty training my twin boys the only thing that worked was to bribe them with a ride in Dad's car. If they put a dookie in the potty then they would get a ride. Two weeks later and a couple of tanks of gas, they were trained.
    Last edited by steve91tt; 03-22-2011 at 05:14 AM.
    Steve

    1973 240Z (daily driver)
    1971 240Z (track car)

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    Supporting Member Zedyone_kenobi's Avatar
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    never thought of that. We are potty training now. Almost have it licked. He loves sitting in the passenger seat, but he is only 3, and the only child seat we have is his convertible rear facing to forward facing and it is almost as big as my Z. So perhaps when I get him into a toddler forward facing seat,we can get him in the Z! Great idea!
    1971 240Z HLS30-38691
    93.9% done and getting better every day
    Now with 100% more DATSUN SPIRIT L28 Power
    1968 Datsun 2000 SRL311-03416

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    My '73 is a 50% DD, about 8K miles a year, and I use my GMC Envoy for carrying job equipment and hauling the boat. The Z is 98% original except for a Rotosound radio and a speaker box I got from Oliver up in Snohomish WA. My cars are meant to be driven; I don't want a vehicle I'd be afraid to drive or park in a parking lot.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zedyone_kenobi View Post
    We are potty training now. Almost have it licked...
    I understand, of course, but somehow the choice of words is, uh... unappetizing?


    1973 240Z HLS30-144433 1/73 115 Metallic Blue

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    ZCCIV Webmaster motorman7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike B View Post
    Actually Hagerty doesn't have a mileage limit. From their website:

    Freedom to enjoy your car
    We believe cars are made to be driven. So our policy allows limited pleasure use with no fixed mileage limits. Whether it's a drive on a gorgeous summer day, a trip to the ice cream shop, attending club events or going to shows, you're covered. If you have specific questions about usage, especially if you own a newer vehicle (generally 1990 and newer), we're happy to discuss them with you.



    -Mike
    Maybe the unlimited mileage is for cars 1990 and newer. Tried to get my daily driver insured through them, the 1971 240Z, and they said 'NO'.

    HLS30-02614 in the Cocoon
    HLS30-40147 Very Yellow Daily Driver
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    Registered User Willoughby Z's Avatar
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    Our '77 joined our family in April last year, coming to us with 110k. We have added 11k since as a DD. Siblings are an Accord, an F150 and a motorcycle.
    The garage belongs to the bike and the Z, her keys are the first off the hook unless maintenance, bad weather or gear/passenger space necessitates using something else in the "fleet".
    We agree with driving not storing, as she needs and loves the excersize and attention. Despite her suberb condition, we have no fears in putting her out on the road. We admit to putting some effort into selecting the 'perfect' parking space...

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    Marooned Fish cygnusx1's Avatar
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    Daily driving is way too risky for a $200/yr insurance fee.
    Dave C, Putnam, NY
    NYZCC - Membership Director

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    1976 280Z Turbo
    1972 240Z RESTOmod
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    Registered User Willoughby Z's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FastWoman View Post
    Dave, your photo reminds me of when I would drive my older son to preschool everyday in my '75 Z that I had owned since well before he was born...
    We had our first '77 and our son, Jack, was born in '79. I modified the rear deck and added anchors for his car seat. We 'installed' him by opening the hatch and slipping him in like a foot into shoe.
    The personalized plate:
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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    HLS30 371-239 (1/77)
    Every time he touched her, she told him that places where she wanted to be more beautiful!
    Mr.Tamura said it is like an old craftsman of Buddha statue,he did not creat it, Buddha itself...
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    Registered User signal34's Avatar
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    I only put around 1000 to 1500 miles a year on my 81 280ZXT which keeps it easily within my insurance limits of 5K a year. It had 69K on it when I bought it in 08 and it now reads 73K. I've had the same insurance coverage for the three years I've had her and the one thing I've noticed is that they only asked for the mileage when I started the insurance in 08. Full coverage with a replacement value of ten thousand dollars for $128 a year. I hated leaving her unattended for any length of time so I found an 83 280ZXT that was in good shape but far from perfect. I use the 83 to run errands and save the 81 for weekend pleasure drives.
    Indy Z Car Club

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  30. #30
    Mike B
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    Quote Originally Posted by motorman7 View Post
    Maybe the unlimited mileage is for cars 1990 and newer. Tried to get my daily driver insured through them, the 1971 240Z, and they said 'NO'.
    Like the Hagerty info I posted before says, their insurance is for limited use (although there is no mileage restriction). If you want to daily drive a classic car, it is not designed for that purpose.

    Here is more info from their site regarding why some cars don't qualify for their collector car insurance:

    Hagerty specializes in coverage for collector vehicles. Regrettably, there are some vehicles we do not cover due to their limited collectability, the way they are used and/or the extraordinary risk their use may pose, including:

    * Camping, off-road or utility-type vehicles
    * Daily-use vehicles
    * Commercial-use vehicles
    * Motorcycles with performance modifications
    * Any vehicle modified with nitrous components
    * Dune Buggies



    Here is some info on the 1990 and newer cars they insure:

    Some cars are immediate classics, attracting a loyal following. Rare or "limited production" vehicles, model years 1990 or newer, such as Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Dodge Vipers and Plymouth Prowlers, etc. are just a few examples. Depending on their use, these contemporary collectibles could qualify for our program.

    -Mike

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    Registered User esmit208's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by steve91tt View Post
    My kids fight over rides in the Z. In fact, when potty training my twin boys the only thing that worked was to bribe them with a ride in Dad's car. If they put a dookie in the potty then they would get a ride. Two weeks later and a couple of tanks of gas, they were trained.
    Oddly enough STEVE I going through the same thing with my oldest. He got so used to taking his DOOKIE in the bed it seems to be the only comfortable place for him. I will try that with the Malibu though because he does like to ride
    "HAPPINESS"....isn't just around the corner......"HAPPINESS"....is the CORNER"

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    Hagerty wanted a mileage estimate, so I guesstimated about 2500 a year. They took the mileage and haven't asked again in 3 years. In the 3 years I have put on 8K, just 500 above the estimate, not bad.

    I go to shows usually within 100 miles, sometimes further, Branson every year. That trip to Nashville last year was the longest, 1750mi, not a single problem. I was nervous the whole time, worried someone or something would happen, relieved it didn't.

    Did I mention that huge bridge and river scared the CRAP out of me! Both times!

    Bonzi Lon
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    Ones and Zeros

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  33. #33
    Registered User nahurry's Avatar
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    i drive mine to work everynight unless there's bad weather.
    ______http://www.cardomain.com/id/nahurry1971____________ 3/73- HLS30-151414

  34. #34
    long time owner a7dz's Avatar
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    Not enough.
    Jim
    Bought my 70Z at 21 with 24,000 miles
    Still own it. Thirty plus years later.


  35. #35
    long time owner a7dz's Avatar
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    Suns up I am moving cars to get it right now. I am not worried about putting miles on mine just have to have the time.
    Jim
    Bought my 70Z at 21 with 24,000 miles
    Still own it. Thirty plus years later.


  36. #36
    Z geek at large FastWoman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Willoughby Z View Post
    We had our first '77 and our son, Jack, was born in '79. I modified the rear deck and added anchors for his car seat. We 'installed' him by opening the hatch and slipping him in like a foot into shoe.
    The personalized plate:
    That's great! I wish I had thought of that!
    My last three sports cars while I still owned all three:

    2001 BMW Z3 Roadster 3.0i soft/hard top (sold)
    1966 Ford Mustang Coupe (sold)
    1978 Datsun 280Z (enjoying very much )

  37. #37
    Registered User Zealous's Avatar
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    I drive mine at least once a week when it is not raining and/or being worked on. Mostly for fun drives. I bought it to drive, learn more about cars and mostly have fun. Of course it gets more use if I take to track or go on a long trip with someone.
    Cheers

    JC

    Current Project: 1971 Datsun 240z Series I - HLS30-14842
    Current drivers:
    1972 Datsun 240z - HLS30-69726
    2009 Kawasaki Ninja 250R
    2010 Mazdaspeed3

  38. #38
    Registered User 5thhorsemann's Avatar
    Member ID
    CZCC-22854
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    Nov 2010
    Location
    maryland
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    1,398

    Default

    Mine only has 36K on the clock, so I figure I can take her out and let her eat at will. I'll still be lower than most no matter how much I drive it.

  39. #39
    Registered User
    Member ID
    CZCC-23363
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    Jan 2011
    Location
    Houston, Texas
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    70
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    73

    Default

    The first five years I owned the Z, I put 30,000 miles on her and it now has 108,00 miles. The last twenty four years ZERO. If all goes well, I hope to be back on the street in another two or three months. Then it will go out once a week

  40. #40
    Registered User Weasel73240Z's Avatar
    Member ID
    CZCC-14988
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    Sep 2007
    Location
    Taunton, Massachusetts
    Age
    51
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    483

    Default

    My 73 came from the original owner, sat in a garage for about 12 years before I got it, and the current mileage is 29,355 (titled and documented - hasn't clocked over). I usually drive around 1,200 - 1,500 miles a year. It's gonna kill me this year when I turn over 30K.
    Paul Martin
    1973 240Z HLS30-127623 (10/72)
    4.11 R-180, 79 ZX 5-speed, ZX Distributor, ZTherapy SU's

  41. #41
    Registered User
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    CZCC-23363
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    Location
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    Default How many is a lot ??

    Paul...50 is the new 30 for those of us on the down side of 100

  42. #42
    Registered User 240ZX's Avatar
    Member ID
    CZCC-1420
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Santa Paula, California
    Age
    69
    Posts
    1,884

    Default

    After I put my 240 back on the road (complete rebuild finished in 2002) I drove it about 3 to 4 times a month, for approximately 200 to 300 miles. However, in 2009 I decided to purchase another sportbike as sportbikes have been in my life for many years. Now I drive the 240 about once a month. I still love to drive the 240 in the canyons but, my Yamaha R1 is an amazing ride.....it certainly scratches my itch, if you know what I mean! Also, I just installed some new hoops on the 240. I've put on a set of Yokahama AD08s (215-40x17 front, 235-40x17 rear). I'm very impressed with these tires!!! Every time I do drive the 240, I remember why I love this car. As I've said many times before...."Anything this fun to drive should be illegal."

    Tom

  43. #43
    Registered User JohnnyO's Avatar
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    CZCC-17819
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    Sep 2008
    Location
    Hudson, WI
    Posts
    935

    Default

    Not enough to justify the cost and time put into it. I have maybe 4 months driving season up here and last year I think I put 300 miles on it. So sad.....

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