Today my dad sent me some pictures of the Zs on display at the Amelia Island Cars and Coffee. This is an event they put on the day before the main Concours to allow even more enthusiasts to showcase their cars. After all, the event is filled with car people, so what better way to start a Saturday morning?
He sent me a lineup of the Zs at the show with the caption “I’m so mad I don’t have [ZCarGuide] stickers.” He wanted to hand them out to the Z owners at the show to support the site, and it looked like there were quite a few in Amelia Island this morning!
The next photo was of a Series 2 240Z in silver with red interior and black side stripes. “My favorite, love silver w red”:
In the corner of that photo he sent me, you can see a sign with information about the car and I zoomed in to read it. Typically at car shows, my dad is the one to read all the signs and I’m content to just admire the cars. He must’ve been really starstruck by the silver-red combo because I had to tell him to go back and read the sign! It was a heartfelt story about the late owner of the car, Larry Cabot, and the trip he took with his son Austin to buy this car and bring it back to life:
“This 1972 240Z, with 47,000 miles, is being shown today in loving memory of my husband who unexpectedly passed away in May of 2020. Tomorrow would have been his 60th birthday. For these reasons, I can’t think of a better way to celebrate his life than by sharing something that he loved with all of you today.
In 2005, when my son was a junior in high school, my husband and son drove to Pennsylvania, from Georgia, to pick up this beautiful car. It was a great road trip and turned out to be a wonderful bonding project for both of them, because they, together, rebuilt the engine [Austin told me that while he and his father did rebuild a L26 engine together, this one did not get rebuilt] and repainted the car to its original color and stripes. The interior remained with all original parts.
This car has had less than 500 miles put on it since its purchase in 2005. My husband has always wanted to show the car, but life, work and health issues always seemed to have gotten in the way. Guess I will have to take over where he left off and now take this nice little vehicle, whom I have named Joanie, to see the world.”
My dad made sure to go back and speak with the family to learn more about the car. We have a theory, that is really just his theory hammered into my brain from an impressionable age, that as a rule, the classic car hobby just tends to attract wonderful people. Every car tells an often profound story. Car shows are a special place because you start by discussing cars with people and soon realize you are talking more about life than anything. My dad spent some time talking with Austin Cabot who told him more about the car and passed along his phone number so I could speak more with him for this post.
I called Austin a few hours later in hopes I wouldn’t catch him in the middle of the show as it sounded like, understandably, many people were admiring the beautiful 240Z on display and wanted to talk with Austin and his family. When I called he had just gotten back from the show and I’m sure he wanted to relax but graciously spent some time with me to tell me more about his experience retrieving this car from Pennsylvania (saving it from the treacherously salty roads) and bringing it home to Georgia.
It was a nearly 14 hour drive to PA — they arrived around 6am so they actually met the owner for breakfast. The deal went smoothly, the owner was very easy to work with and was happy it was going to new ownership who would clearly care for it, so they were back on the road going home to Georgia before long.
The car has 47,000 original miles. It has front and rear bumper overriders which are a highly coveted option for collectors. With factory (dealer installed) AC that still works, it is comfortable to drive in Florida even with the summer getting into full swing. With the “new” 240Z back home, Austin and his father went through all of the standard maintenance tasks such as replacing fluids and wear items. The master clutch cylinder, a common failure point, needed replacing. They rechromed parts and expertly repainted the car in its original silver.
Austin has worked around cars from an early age and has spent his career so far in a variety of automotive companies and has now moved into the aviation industry with his current job at Cirrus Aircraft. In high school, his father encouraged his participation in high school auto shop. His father even helped the high school shop get a hold of an old 260Z which served as an educational tool for Austin and his classmates. While this 240Z being featured did not actually have the engine rebuilt, Austin and his father did rebuild the engine from that 260Z and attributes a lot of his experience working on cars in his high school auto shop as a basis that he has built his career on. We discussed how the L-series engine is actually quite simple and is a fantastic starting point for anyone looking to understand how an engine works. His experience working with cars even allows him to discuss aircraft engines with the engineers and technicians at Cirrus.
Austin’s father Larry originally had a 1971 or 1972 240Z when he was younger and was driving the car when he met his wife — which certainly explains his love for Z cars and his desire to rebuild one with Austin. Larry Cabot was an enthusiastic fan of cars and also left a 1984 Porsche 911 to Austin which he drives regularly in Tennessee where he lives now to work at Cirrus. Austin’s mom now lives in Amelia Island where the 240Z resides and as a result, many people enjoyed seeing the this very special car at Cars and Coffee.
Thank you to Austin and the Cabot family for sharing this car with us and for generously taking the time to tell me more about the car so I could share it here on ZCarGuide.