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The backstory behind my 1973 240Z

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  • The backstory behind my 1973 240Z

    It all started around 6 years ago when I was finishing my final year of high of high school and I was at my neighbor's who is family to us. After years of this car being in the corner of my eye I finally asked her and her brother about it (who since has passed away 2 years ago). She told me that the car belonged to her husband. Being in highschool I started looking up the car online and learning about it's history and of course its potential. As the typical male teenager I was, I decided I would swap the engine with a RB26DETT and make it a racecar/drift car. After some time of thinking about it and learning about 240z's I told her I was interested in buying it not knowing anything about the personal history of the car and the significance to her. She is currently in her late sixties and unfortunately has been declining in health over the past few years but what she told me when I told her I was interested in buying the 240z I will never forget. She told me all about how they (her and her late husband, Gerry) used to go for drives during the summer in the car and how he would always be working on the 240z and how much he loved that car. She then went on to tell me about her husband, even with his decline from progressive supranuclear palsy he insisted she hold onto the car and not sell it to anyone else because he knew one day I would be interested in it. She then told me that even as he reached the final and most severe stages of the disease where he was unable to speak with complete sentences, that he still was able to say to her "Make sure, Matthew, Car" and "Matthew Car". Upon hearing that from her as both of us were in tears of course, I realized what I really wanted to do with this car. After that moment I decided to keep my z mostly stock with some minor upgrades from the exhaust all the way to the front and rear spoiler as well as most recently, halo headlights. I decided that I would keep the original L24 engine in and not just build the 240z the way I liked, but also build it in memory of him. It took a few months to even get the 240z started which her late brother Walter was an essential part of. We also had to get the z's safety inspection done at Silver creek gas station to actually transfer the title over. A couple years later, I was finally able to pay for the completely rebuilt '70 carbs that my dad found on eBay, the exhaust, the headlights and a minor engine tune-up which was installed at Four Star Motorsports. After all the ricer jokes I made with Walter that I would put an exhaust on the 240z that sounds awful, he got to hear the 240z with Fujitsubo exhaust and brand new carburetors. He smiled as much as I did, which I'm very thankful he got to hear before he passed away. I brought the car over that summer to her house to show her all the work that was done to the car and told her about my plan to put a sticker that says "In memory of Gerald" on the rear spoiler. It brought tears to her eyes seeing what was once just an old car full of memories collecting dust and fading away in a garage for over a decade to a car that is now full of life, full of character and ready for new memories. The 240z brings happiness to the both of us and keeps the memory of family alive. Even though we're not related, family isn't just blood relatives. She was so happy to see the car and looked up to the heavens and smiled saying "you see that Gerry" and told me how happy he would have been to see the 240z in my hands and for it to be taken care of this well. As I continue slowly building and trying to restore the 240Z I keep in mind where this car came from. A car that was passed on from his brother who tragically passed away in a car accident at a young age and now, is passed on to me.

    One day I would like to have the 240Z completely finished and painted so that I could show her and take her for a drive in the completed z but I fear that might be a long time from now because I can't afford to get all the work done that needs to be done and that I want to have done. As long as I am able to take her for a drive (which I haven't been able to yet as I have classic car insurance and can't drive her until I'm 26, this upcoming year) I would be happy. It would bring me so much happiness to bring another happy memory into her life to always remember. I know one day I will complete the restoration, but until then I will work away at it piece by piece.

    To finish the backstory on this, I'm sure a lot of you see cars the way I do not as a means to get from destination A to B but as the journey between the two points. I will hold onto my z for my life and I hope to one day pass it down to my children. Seeing the z for the first time I would have never guessed the sentimental value that would come along with it but I'm glad I asked her about it. Some memories are made, passed down or experienced... This memory of family is kept alive through my 240z.
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    Last edited by Matt Fritz; Yesterday, 04:45 PM.

  • #2
    Thanks for sharing a very personal history and attachment of lives.


    • #3
      That's a wonderful story. Would you be ok with us publishing it in Z Line?
      Eric Zondervan
      72 240Z
      11 Sierra 4X4
      14 Kia Rondo EX
      19 Audi Q5
      08 Ski Doo MXZ
      18 Polaris Switchback XCR 800
      16 Triumph Street Triple R.
      2010 Husqvarna 450 Supermoto.
      65 Honda Moped


      • #4
        Originally posted by zedfoot View Post
        That's a wonderful story. Would you be ok with us publishing it in Z Line?
        I would like that very much as long as I can get an extra copy with the one I am sent so that I can give it to her. It would mean a lot to me but not as much as it would to her!

        I just did some editing for wording and to make sure I didn't leave out any details.