Hey! Looking for my first Z... | The Z Club of Great Britain
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Hey! Looking for my first Z...

Discussion in 'New to the website!' started by WazzaJB, May 8, 2018.

  1. WazzaJB

    Z Club Member

    Hey all,

    I won't bore you with who I am or what I do but it is a pleasure to be here and I look forward to getting to know you all and seeing some of your awesome cars in person.

    I've been poking around the internet for a while reading into all things Z and had my eyes on a 280Z which I sadly missed the boat on. That being said, I'd really appreciate any advice for finding something at the right price if possible?

    I'm currently looking at the following from S.J Classics and having spoke to Simon he seems like an honest guy? Has anyone purchased a car from S.J Classics or even been to see this?


    There's plenty of photos with the listing and as such any advice would be massively appreciated, I'll buy you a beer when I see you! I'm out of my depth a little but I'm just going to take the project step by step and hopefully do things the right way.

    Thanks :)
  2. toopy

    Z Club Member

    240z are considerably more expensive than a 280z, so you will get more for your money, with a later car.
    You can get a useable/reasonable 280z for the same money give or take, as for a restoration job 240z!

    This assumes you are happy with LHD of course!

    There are several guys on the forum who buy/import cars that come well recommended
  3. WazzaJB

    Z Club Member

    Thanks for the advice.

    I'd be happy with a 280Z to be honest. RHD is preferred but I think this would price me out of the Z market (which I refuse to accept). I know a RHD conversion isn't exactly straight forward but I'd more likely look to do that down the line (and thus buy a LHD).

    You've mentioned some members handle imports, do you think I'd be more likely to get a better deal than the above? Ideally I'm looking to spend around £7k.

    Probably a given but I'm keeping my daily so there's no intention to rush the project and get it on the road, I'd rather get it right.

    Z Club Member

    Hi and welcome to the club
    Do not rush in and buy anything straight away wait until a few more knowledgeable guys come on line and offer you a bit of advise on what to look out for before buying
  5. WazzaJB

    Z Club Member

    Much appreciated :) To be honest I wasn't expecting feedback at all given it's 10pm so 2 responses is a positive sign I made the right choice in coming here!

    Thanks guys
  6. Rob Gaskin

    Rob Gaskin Treasurer in training Staff Member Moderator

    Hi and welcome. Franky on here has bought a car from SJ and is complimentary about them.
  7. Woody928

    Z Club Member
    Staff Member Moderator

    Hi and welcome, that looks like a serious project to be getting your teeth into!

    As several other members will vouch for you'll spend a fortune trying to buy all of the missing bits and pieces as you go along. I'd highly recommend that you buy the best and most complete car that your budget with stretch to. In the long run it will be worth its weight in gold so to speak. With that kind of budget I think you'll need to add some more and then I'd be looking for a solid 280Z. 240Z's at that price point aren't going to be pretty and will require major restoration.
  8. WazzaJB

    Z Club Member

    Thanks Rob, would be great to get an insight into Franky's experience.

    My concern is stretching my budget so thinly that I'll have nothing left to actually enjoy the project. Technically speaking there's nothing stopping me from selling my daily and taking out a 15k loan and buying a nice restored Z however I genuinely want to enjoy the journey of seeing the project through myself.

    This is a big project for me, I've got enough experience to get cracking just nothing of this scale yet. Plan to take it slow and easy, practice anything I'm unsure of and get help (a guiding hand) where needed.

    I appreciate the solid advice, I'm here to listen and if I have to hold fire six months and wait it out then so be it but I genuinely fear the price of Z's will go up quicker than my capital. I went to look at a MK2 Capri 2 years ago (ran, generally good condition) and regrettably didn't purchase for 2k (as didn't have money or time to work on it) and now I'd struggle to find any similar ones for 4 - 5k. Obviously I saw sense and fell in love with the Z's but hopefully there's some logic to my thought process as opposed to just FOMO.

    One thing you have pointed out is the amount of missing pieces on that Z, hadn't noticed door cards etc weren't there... This isn't a deal breaker for me as I would have to buy things like new carpets, door cards etc anyway (Skillard manufactures these?) to get a really good finish. All this being said, I do need to be careful anything critical isn't missing.

    Absolutely everything I've posted so far is just the result of trawling the internet and I could actually be really wrong about some of these remanufactured part supplies etc, feel free to shoot me down!

    Truth be told, these are absolutely beautiful cars and I just want to get in before it's too late. Sat watching ebay for 6 months and missed out on the one I thought would have been perfect for me, reality has kicked in a little.
  9. moggy240

    moggy240 INSURANCE VALUATIONS OFFICER Staff Member Moderator

    I always tell people to get, as complete as possible car as missing parts can be expensive and to have a look at as many cars in the flesh as they can before buying and it helps if you have an idea what sort of car you would like at the end of journey so that you have a plan which can be budgeted for.
  10. WazzaJB

    Z Club Member

    This is sounding like a recurring theme so I'll take the advice. I'll probably have a chat with Simon later in the week as he has another Z and piles of parts.

    In terms of end goal, I don't want to pigeon hole myself or make too many decisions early on as I know things can change. This being said goal #1 for me is a car I can enjoy on warm weekends and maybe get out on a few track days (even if that means trailering it). So priority for me on the project would be to get it running and get it safe, not fussed about things like door cards, bits of trim or even heating.

    Cheers for the advice @moggy240, and everyone for that matter.
  11. franky

    Z Club Member

    Simon is very very honest, he even pictures his cars warts and all.

    There's a few sellers here in the UK who do not do the same, plenty in europe who aren't fully honest about stuff either.

    With SJ, you know what you're getting. I was very fortunate with timing as my car was in quite amazing condition(body wise), however that was a few years ago, the same thing would be 4x the cost now.
  12. Rob Gaskin

    Rob Gaskin Treasurer in training Staff Member Moderator

    Just looked at that SJ car. I often get surprised by prices even now. That would be a major task for someone on his first Z. If you had a few in a 'unit' somewhere and you wanted an early car that might work i.e. rob other cars of bits but for someone starting out on Zs that's just a massive task.

    Even a good looking, complete and 'on the road' car can need significant work, as many of us have found out.

    Don't rush into anything.
  13. WazzaJB

    Z Club Member

    Really appreciate the feedback. Did your car have much missing? If it did, how helpful was Simon in getting you what you needed etc?

    I understand. They don't seem to come up often though, especially at a sub-10k price-point. Would I be better working with someone who knows Z's on importing one directly? Do you know anyone who can help with this?
  14. Woody928

    Z Club Member
    Staff Member Moderator

    It’s a difficult balance to strike I can appreciate, you’d be surprised how little 15k would get you the way the market has gone these days. You’ve been watching the same trend we all have with almost anything classic.

    I respect the fact that you want to do it yourself and wish you good luck. The point I’m really trying to get across is regardless of condition (albeit a chassis with limited rust should be a top priority) try and purchase as a complete a car as possible as you’ll be horrified how much all of the little nuts and bolts add up to before you consider the likes of replacement door cards, certain pieces of interior trim and the like. On the early cars like the one linked, if you want the correct ash tray then be prepared to spend several hundred pounds, on a little piece of plastic! I’ve been told working radios are even more crazy.

    I’ve personally had no dealing with Skillard however I see a lot of their work posted around, the door cards are obviously an aftermarket interpretation rather than being original. It all depends what you’re aiming for at the end of the day, there plenty of good sources for parts around. Body panels are however an issue so that you are pre warned.

    Take your time and post up what you find, people will be happy to help.
  15. Mr Tenno

    Mr Tenno
    ZClub Administrator
    Staff Member Moderator

    Unfortunately for a budget of £7k you’re probably looking at a project no matter what model you choose. The project will be more manageable if you choose a 280z though. Worth noting that 280z’s were not available outside the US so a conversion to RHD may be more difficult (someone may have already done it though I’m not sure).

    As the others have said, try to buy one as complete as possible - to give you an idea, a missing horn push for a 240z could cost you £120 so it’s not small change for anything that’s gone awol. You’re probably better off trying to import one yourself otherwise you will be losing some of your money paying the 3rd party for their effort. Importing one would probably cost you about £1500 so you’d be looking at a car in the states that’s around $7,500.

    There are some members on the site who may be able to help you gauge how good a car is but it’s always a gamble buying a car without seeing it in person first, also the members most able to help you are also the ones looking to scoop the good cars up for themselves :D
  16. WazzaJB

    Z Club Member

    Thanks so much man. Yeah I can't believe how much feedback I've had on this in a day, it's phenomenal and a testament to the Z scene (& Z Club).

    Several hundreds on an ash tray sounds crazy!.. I'll whip the 3D printer out for that haha.

    Simon has let me know that he may have another up for sale which he's already done the body repairs on but may no longer pursuing the project. My fear with this, not being familiar with Z's, is getting a car with everything already stripped (rolling shell but has all parts) and trying to put the jigsaw back together blind...

    Can I get a list of these members so I know who to avoid for the next few weeks then please EXTRA:D

    Sadly I'm not well connected or experienced enough to import one myself as I'm pretty sure I'd get better value for my money. I like Simon, and I wouldn't mind parting with a little extra money to use him as it means I have a contact who semi-regularly imports and can help me source parts from the US. Does this sound sensible or is it just my blind faith in humanity?
  17. Mr Tenno

    Mr Tenno
    ZClub Administrator
    Staff Member Moderator

    I think the issue you'll find is that nobody imports these just to make 'a little extra'. Most of them are doing it as a business so you may find that a car that in the states is $3000, magically becomes a £8000 car once it hits the UK.

    Sent from my SM-G950F using Tapatalk
  18. WazzaJB

    Z Club Member

    Gotcha, okay.

    If I were to look at importing myself. Where do I start?

    Look at private sellers in the states? Bank transfer and then pay a company to ship it? I'm going to do a little more research now but if there was a trustworthy Z club member who wanted to handle it for me (I'll pick up from docks though) then I'd happily pay someone experienced to sort it out as it means I don't risk messing it up.

    The only thing I would say is that I'm really buying a car without seeing it then, is that a good idea given that I have no Z experience?
  19. Woody928

    Z Club Member
    Staff Member Moderator

    If you buy from the US then its always going to be a gamble as you're buying based on photos, descriptions and conversations without physically viewing. I had a conversation with another member over the weekend and we agreed that we'd always pick up the phone to allow both buyer and seller to get a gauge of each other.

    That being said I purchased my car from the US through ebay when I was still 21 and arranged to have it shipped to the UK through a US shipping company. I'd never done anything like it before and hadn't even sat in a Z at the time, its all quite manageable once you look into it and research the options. The shipping companies are very helpful you just need to put some graft in to research. As Matt says you'll get far more for your money that way by cutting out the middle man, on top of the shipping fee and the purchase price of the vehicle you'll also have to pay a 5% customs charge on top when it enters the country.

    I got lucky and got a very solid car which still has required lots of work to make it more reliable. Personally if it was me with that budget I'd be looking around craigslist and ebay in the US for the best 280Z you can afford and go from there. While Simon sounds very honest (I've personally had no dealings with him), I don't think you'll get what you want from him with the budget described.

    I used CFR Rinkens to ship my car which other members have however there's lots of others as well.
  20. Jay.

    Z Club Member

    I did the same as Woody. Found a car online (from Facebook) and proceeded to read up and get it shipped. A year ago I had no idea how to do it, and now I've done it twice and helping a friend do his. It's quite a simple process and there's companies out there that do most of the hard work for you (even escrow the purchase if you want). The main issue is not being able to pop over and look at it. You can pay for an inspection, but when I got a quote for that I was looking at a minimum of £1k for that. Luckily I have a brother who lives out there who was able to do it for me.

    Just one caveat. I've used CFR Rinkens 3x times now.. The first time it went really well, but I've had huge issues with the two subsequent purchases. Whilst I would still consider them, I'd heavily recommend taking quotes from other companies too.. Kingstown Shipping has a good reputation, and Shiply is really useful for finding agents.

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