This handsome 1979 Datsun 280ZX represents the last of the 2-seater Z-cars that changed the automotive landscape in the 1970s. As some newer models prove, cars like this will always have a place in our garages and in our hearts, and this Z is a fantastic way to enjoy the ride.
Looking at the shape, it's clear that there's a little bit of E-Type Jag in there, maybe a hint of Corvette, and plenty of MG, too. Fast, light, agile, and affordable, even today, this Z is a delight. It's also nicer than most, with a recent repaint in the original Maroon Mist metallic, which is a perfect '70s burnt orange kind of color that still looks great. It's also been fitted with a deeper chin spoiler that accentuates the long, lean, low look of the Z without taking away from the clean overall look. Cars like this were often put away as sunny-day drivers, and as a result, this one shows none of the bumps and bruises of the daily grind. Chrome was still in fashion, so there are plenty of bright pieces, including both bumpers, the stainless around the windows, and even the rub strips along the sides, all of which remains in very good shape. Even things like the rubber bumper overriders are supple and haven't been cooked by UV rays, suggesting that this car has led a very sheltered existence.
One of the Z-car's biggest successes is the interior, which is both sporting and functional. The bucket seats were designed by guys who knew the car would be used to its potential, so they have thicker bolsters than most cars of the period, and grippy cloth instead of vinyl helps hold you in place. Of course, all of this remains in great condition, showing only very minor wear aside from some light discoloration of the plastic parts, most notably the steering wheel and console, but it's not particularly noticeable. The dash is full of easy-to-read instruments, including a row of auxiliary gauges in the center, a look that is still evident today in the Nissan GT-R. This particular 280ZX is also luxurious, featuring factory A/C, power windows and locks, and an AM/FM/cassette stereo, all of which are fully functional. There's a positively massive trunk area under the rear hatch, because this is the 2-seater model, and the original carpets show almost no wear or fading, which is a rare thing in a car with that much hatch glass.
The L28E 2.8 liter inline-six is a fantastic motor. Torquey, yet eager to rev, it was enlarged to better suit American driving tastes, as well as to make the automatic transmission a reality. It still has that same baritone wail that epitomizes big-horsepower inline-sixes, and because it's a Nissan, it's reliable and smooth. The engine bay is a bit crusty but retains almost all its original equipment, and that tangle of hoses is how the factory did it, but don't worry, it has all been regularly serviced and is in excellent running condition. An MSD ignition has been added and it fires easily and idles smoothly, so don't be afraid to rev it. It's quite clean underneath thanks to a lifetime in Georgia, and it doesn't look like there's much deviation from stock, as it even wears its original catalytic converter. The 5-speed manual transmission is a pleasure to run through the gears and stylish Koenig alloy wheels wear 215/60/15 Kumho blackwall radials for an updated look.
Today, as when it was new, this 280ZX is a lot of performance for the money. Call today!