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PostPosted: Sat Apr 12, 2008 10:59 am 
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Joined: Wed Apr 09, 2008 5:53 pm
Posts: 14244
Location: CT
I'd like to share with you the amazing circumstances surrounding my 1970 240Z. As a new member (Mar 2008) I feel this will interest any Z owner.
I first bought HLS30-02807 in Hawaii in 1974, for a staggering $2200. It had fewer than 3,000 miles on it; the owner lived within sight of the firehouse where he worked 3dys on, 2dys off, so the car got polished more than it got driven. I fell in love with the car ~ there's no other term to describe it ~ and shipped it home with me when I rotated Stateside. Over the next 12+ yrs I used it as my Daily Driver/ sole transportation. I put 120,000+ happy miles on it, including two trips across the USA and one trip across Canada. I guess I repaired every trivial part on the car during that period (usually with a 10mm-12mm open end wrench!)
While living in NC in 1986 the car died beyond my mechanical or financial ability to fix it. I was moving to CT and couldn't bring it with me. I cried like a baby as I watched my Z flat-bedded out of my yard after all the memories we had built together. I've kicked myself ever since. Over the next 23 years I could have bought other Zs, but I only ever wanted THAT one ~ no matter who held the keys and the title, it was always "mine".

God is great, and I must have done something right in my life, because He allowed me to find my Z again ~ tucked under a barn shed in MD! The previous owner (a young Mercedes mechanic) had three other Zs behind his barn when he bought mine for parts for $100 in 1990. All his Zs were equally deteriorated ~ one night after a few beers he played Eeney-Meenie-Miney-Moe and chose mine to restore. My Z had gone thru at least 4 owners before he got it. Most abused and cannibalized it (my American Mags, racing mirrors, Ansa 6-2 exhaust system etc), but happily none of them held onto it for long.

He poured a ton of money and love into "my" car. He fixed and painted the body, rebuilt the original engine/head/SUs/ignition, upgraded the driveline to a 280zx 5spd and Diff, replaced the cracked dash and restored the original seats. He was replacing the interior when health made him stop work. My Z sat in his barn for the next 9 yrs, getting started twice a month, until I found it. I think it was waiting for me.

Last month (Mar 2008) I drove to MD and trailered "MY" Z back to its new home in CT. All my original old shop manuals, owner's manuals, garage notes (written in my own hand!) and sales receipts from 34yrs ago came back to me with the car (!!!) ALSO ~ when I let the car go in 1985 I kept some of the toolkit, so today I'm working on my old Z with some of the same tools I used on it 30+yrs ago! PLUS~ the PO was such a wonderful packrat, he kept almost every part he ever took off the car, so today I'm pawing thru boxes and boxes of old (and new!) parts, some of which I personally bought and installed on the car during the 1970s and 80s! Each box is full of magic for me ~ it's like falling down the Rabbit Hole! What memories! I've spent the past month cleaning 9yrs of barn grit off every surface and it still needs a ton of work before it meets my standards for safety and presentability, but it's all there, it's all sound, and IT'S MINE. (Again!) It's "Weird Blue" (WHAT was he thinking!?) and I dislike the radical CenterLine wheels, but all that can change. I'm recently retired, and now have time to do this slowly. What a great retirement gift!

After a pretty tough life, I feel God has rewarded me for doing something right by allowing me to have my old friend back. If you consider the tiny numbers of 240Zs made in 1970 (10,000 +/-) and shipped WORLDWIDE, subtract the numbers which were beaten and left for dead, subtract the numbers which were carved up for racers or street rods, minus the numbers which died at the hands of "Bob-Sharp-Wannabes" who over-drove their limits (drunk or sober) and stuffed their '70s into immovable objects, those cars which surrendered to the insidious Tinworm, those destroyed by fires, floods, tornados, landslides, hurricanes, and other natural disasters, the thousands destroyed in common traffic accidents or stolen and stripped, and the previous owner's By-Chance selection to restore my Z, the odds AGAINST me finding MY ACTUAL CAR and getting it back IN USABLE CONDITION are simply STAGGERING! (And that's not even considering the multitude of catastrophes which could have happened to ME during 2-1/2 decades, any of which might have changed my life and prevented this reunion!)
Yet, here it sits, parked in my garage, after 23 years!
NON-BELIEVERS, TAKE HEED!

HLS30-02807 was built in Apr70. When I attended my first CTZCC meeting last month, I took the driver's door build plate with me and had Bob Sharp autograph the back of it. Re-attached to the door pillar, his signature doesn't show, but I know it's in there. Happy 38th birthday, baby!

I fall in love with this car each time I open the garage door. Sometimes at night I just walk to the garage, turn on the light and stand there staring, shaking my head in amazement and disbelief. It's home again.
It's like having your High School sweetheart come back to you after she's been married to someone else for 23yrs ~ she has some new habits, but it's still GREAT to have her back! (And she still sings in the same, sweet tone!).

You can view my car under Members' Rides ~ it's the blue thing! I think my license number should read, "REUNITED" or "2dCHANCE".

I'm looking forward to meeting each of you, and introducing you to my old friend! In the meantime, you can picture me giggling like a kid!
FRANK T


Last edited by Frank T on Sat Jul 13, 2013 12:33 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 12, 2008 12:57 pm 
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Location: Darien, CT
Great story Frank! Thanks for sharing it with us and we look forward to seeing that Z in person some day. Ross


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2008 11:24 am 
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Location: GSP Exit 165, NJ
WOW...

That is both an amazing and wonderful story, congratulations!

I'm excited for the debut of your Z once you feel it's ready for a meet.

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PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2008 8:33 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 19, 2008 8:17 pm
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Location: Colchester, Ct
I'm speechless Frank, what a story. You should consider sending your post to SportZ magazine. I'm sure they would love to broadcast your story to the Nissan community!!


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PostPosted: Fri May 23, 2008 6:10 am 
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Joined: Wed Apr 09, 2008 5:53 pm
Posts: 14244
Location: CT
Thanks for the kind words, guys. Still filling my days working on the car, hoping to have it roadworthy & pretty by summer '09.
Phil, thnx for the suggestion ~ I actually attempted to contact SportsZ and was told they recently shut their doors. In my teenage years my very favorite magazine, SPORTS CAR GRAPHIC went out of business. I thought it was the end of the world and wondered who's gonna fill their shoes? Nobody has, even after all these years. So there's nobody left out there who cares, guys ~ we'll just keep this amongst ourselves!

Z Ya later!
Frank


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PostPosted: Fri May 23, 2008 7:19 am 
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Location: Colchester, Ct
Frank, my bad. SportZ has gone out of print, but was bought out by Nissan Sport. It's not 100% dedicated to the Z car like SportZ was, but they do carry a number of Z articles and stories in every issue. Here's the link to their website. They even picked up my 6 year SportZ subscription when SportZ shut down their printing presses!!

http://www.nissansportmag.com/

Phil


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2008 7:10 am 
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Location: Darien, CT
Frank,
I conducted an emergency conference call with all 150 members of the club last evening and we unanimously approved an official resolution requesting you to update us on the progress of your car. For those that are new to the club and haven't read Frank's original post it is an amazing story.

So how about an update:

What have you fixed since getting this baby back home?
What still needs to be done?
What is the EDOU (expected date of unveiling)?
Any parts that you need that we should be on the look-out for?

Remember, as you always say, it doesn't need to be perfect. We would love to see it on October 18th. Any chance?

Ross


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2008 9:41 am 
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Location: CT
Ross ~

NO CHANCE, unless I trailer it down to you (which I wouldn't mind doing, actually!).

Thank you for the interest! Each time I feel I have all the barn grit and acorns cleaned out of the car, I open some new little corner and find another abandoned mouse nest ~ at least there were no beehives in there! The list of repairs and improvements is too long and too mundane for this forum ~ bulbs, batteries, mirrors, RustOleum, hoses, belts, carpets, etc.

I still have the interior pulled out. I am tracing wires and making sure everything works BEFORE I put the plastic interior panels back onto the bulkheads. The little plastic rivet-doolies are one-time use and you have to break them if you remove the panels again, so I want to make sure I don't spend another $30/box for rivets needlessly ($3 each rivet, in a box of 10).

Also, I need to R&R the vacuum booster. Finding replacement partZ for the 1970 Z cars is not simple. They had some partZ unique to their year. I have brakes at all 4 corners, but have to stand on the pedal with both feet to make them stop the car at the end of the driveway. Bryan recommends an upgrade to the larger booster units of later years ~ maybe I will.
But the bottom line is the brakes still aren't roadworthy yet.

And I still have a vacuum leak which causes hard starting. I suspect the diaphragm in the brake booster is ruptured, which is allowing enough of a vac leak to make it start hard. When I pull the vac hose off the manifold and plug the mainfold hole, the car starts better.

I have a set of Webers and a manifold to mount on the car this winter. They are an old pair of Bob Sharp's which made their way into my hands thru generosity and good fortune. I will focus on making the car roadworthy with the SUs first, then worry about upgrading the induction system. They're DCOE40s with 30mm venturies, so I shouldn't be over-carburating the L24's present camshaft. They came with pressure gauge and regulator, all the linkage and choke attachments.

I still need a pair (NAY! A BOX!) of those stupid plastic hold-down clips which the 1970 cars used to keep the hood inspection doors secured! :(
I also botched up my stainless steel window trim trying to install it (at least it bent into a "Z") so I need a new set of that. I got 14" 5-slot retro wheels for the car (just what I wanted) and found the lugs have been shortened since I owned the car before, so they no longer extend thru the Mags (who the heck replaces WHEEL LUGS on a car???? WHY???). And I need new rubber all around ~ the car's mounted on 'shop tires' now, which wouldn't get me a mile down the road.

The list goes on, but I'm 'Singing to the Choir' since anybody who has restored one of these great cars is familiar with all the problems I could name. Every time I encounter some delay or something doesn't fit I just laugh and shrug my shoulders. It's gonna work someday, and it's gonna be RIGHT, and SAFE, and I'm retired and there's NO RUSH to get it finished. I drive other cars while this is in-work, and as long as I limit my budget to spending only $100/month on the Z, my family and I can continue living indoors and eating every day, and we like that. I waited TWENTY THREE YEARS to get my car back, so if it takes me a few months longer to make it roadworthy, who cares?

Yeah, I'm sure anxious to get it working right and attend my first CTZCC cruise or fun run or car show or membership meeting in it, but ya' know what? If I hurry and start cutting corners and making compromises I will not be happy with the results, and some of you guys are gonna spend too much of your fun time towing me off the hiway.

So in the meantime let me see about getting some more of my progress pix in here for y'all to "enjoy" and in direct answer to your question, I have set a non-mandatory launch date of Summer 2009 for the debut.

But if it takes longer than that, all I want to hear is sympathetic laughter from everyone. :lol: THANKS AGAIN for the interest! Y'all can't imagine how happy it makes me to be able to "escape" to my garage and work on my old friend again after all those years! :D

I still pause each night before turning out the garage light, just to gaze at the car a moment in wonder and amazement at how BLESSED I am to have my same old car back. It still boggles my mind to think about it!

Frank T


Last edited by Frank T on Tue Sep 02, 2008 9:55 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2008 9:53 am 
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Location: Darien, CT
Thanks for the update Frank. Definitely a labor of love. If I had a trailer to loan you for the October event I would! Amazing about the short lugs - I think we've all had something very frustrating happen to us like that. Defintely post some pics for us to look at when you get a chance. Ross


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2008 10:52 am 
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Joined: Sun Nov 04, 2007 12:57 pm
Posts: 495
Location: Meriden, CT, USA
The lugs sound normal.. you just don't have the right lug nuts anymore.

the dome top mag or standard mag will work.

http://abc.eznettools.net/D304617/X3549 ... gNuts2.jpg

just measure the thickness of the mag hub, and match the shank accordingly. Also, a washer is normally on the lugs.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2008 11:41 am 
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Joined: Wed Apr 09, 2008 5:53 pm
Posts: 14244
Location: CT
Thanks, AJ ~ that sounds familiar, since the lugs I had in the 70s had long skinny shanks on them and yes, they each had a washer.
But the lugs on the car now seem to fill the holes in the wheel so full, I'm not sure there is room for a "deep socket" lugnut to fit around them. The link you sent me shows the same lugnutZ I had Back in the Day, and I'll save it and start working to determine which ones to try ~ thanks again.

(By the way, of all the people I know, I consider you to be the Wheel Guru)

Frank


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 23, 2008 3:07 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 23, 2008 5:07 am
Posts: 7
Location: Beacon, New York
Wow Frank... this is a terrific story. This would be an absolutely terrific
Walt Disney movie - your Zcar's life history and the bond between the
car and you, it's 1st owner and now current owner. I can't wait to see
this - bring some photos on the 18th!

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Mark M.......
1973 240z HLS30-124668 (9/72) - GREEN


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 23, 2008 5:00 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 09, 2008 5:53 pm
Posts: 14244
Location: CT
Thanks Mark! I'm actually thinking about trailering it down to Darien, just so it can be among all the other members' great Z cars for the first time!

Can hardly wait until I get it the way I want it, and drive it to our meetings and events. I bought Webers for it, which might go on this winter. I still have a ton of stuff which needs to be done to it and if I can exercize some self-discipline, the car will be SAFE and beautiful when it makes its debut.

Z Ya later!
Frank


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 25, 2008 7:05 am 
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Location: rhode island
"self discipline" that's a tuff one for me. I would probably have more Z cars on the road if I had it, but at least there safe and sound in the garage and nice to look at.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2009 10:14 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 09, 2008 5:53 pm
Posts: 14244
Location: CT
A few new photos to compare the BEFORE and AFTER stuff. I have changed out the old wheels and tires for new ones, and dressed the engine up a bit. I took a tip from Bryan Little and had my cam cover and SU bells polished ~ they shine like chrome but are not effected by engine heat the way chrome sometimes is. I've painted the grille silver and flat-blacked the center section of the front bumper, and decided I like that contrast.

There's a lot more to be done before I consider #02807 roadworthy, but it's getting there.

Frank T


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