First appearing in 1969, the original Datsun 240Z revolutionized the sports car much in the way its inspiration, the Jaguar E-Type, had in 1961. In a way, the Datsun did to Jaguar what Jaguar did to Ferrari and Aston Martin; offering a great looking sports car with performance that punched well above its price point. The six-cylinder 240Z was a great success and it went on to inspire several generations of Z-cars as well as other great Japanese sports cars such as the Celica, Supra, and RX-7. Much like the E-type, the 240Z offered tremendous value thanks to its brawny six-cylinder engine and four-wheel independent suspension. The Z-car earned a cult following thanks to its affordable nature and reputation for performance, reliability and sophistication that set it apart from its British competitors at Triumph and MG. Through the 1970s the original 240Z evolved into the 260Z, then the 280Z in 1975 which added a 2.8 liter engine with smooth and reliable Bosch fuel injection to help keep performance up in the face of ever-stricter US emissions standards. For 1978, an all-new Z-Car debuted with revised styling and improved performance and handling. Rechristened the 280ZX and known internally as the S130, the new car was larger and slightly heavier, giving the ZX more of a grand touring car nature but still packing plenty of sports car fun into the equation. The strut front and semi-trailing arm rear suspension returned good handling and ride comfort. De Rigueur was a set of removable T-tops and a color matched interior with loads of velour. The 280ZX proved very popular and sold well, spawning a turbo model and eventually evolving into the V6 powered 300ZX of the late 80s. Even through today’s 370Z, the Z-car has always maintained a cult following, and as Japanese cars begin to take ever greater favor with collectors, exceptional examples will be in high demand. Few S130 Z-cars are as exceptional as this 1981 280ZX. It is an original “Blue Plate” California car that has been amazingly well preserved in time-warp condition, having covered a mere 5,370 miles from new. Its appearance is quite simply remarkable and it presents as a virtually showroom fresh example. The original window sticker shows it was equipped with the desirable 5-speed manual gearbox, a t-top roof, air conditioning, six-way seats and alloy wheels. Nearly every bit of paperwork that came with the car from day one is still present. Original key, original books, warranty pamphlet, and original registration documents are present. The factory blue paint and exterior trim are absolutely fresh and virtually unmarked. The alloy wheels show no flaws and have a fresh set of tires installed, with the original tires included as spares. Though not suitable for road use, the original rubber would be very suitable for show purposes. The cabin is awash in classic 1980s blue velour upholstery and in outstanding condition with no wear or sun damage to be found, as this car has been carefully stored in a climate controlled garage since the day it was delivered. Of course it drives as one would expect of such a low-mile example, tight and free of squeaks and rattles and with smooth performance from the 2.8 liter inline six up front. One fact about affordable sports cars is that many of them were used and used hard so the attrition rate can be very high. That holds true for many a 280ZX as it was an affordable and fun driver’s car with a great deal of them racking up high mileage and taking loads of abuse. To find an S130 Z-car in such extraordinary, factory fresh condition is an extremely rare opportunity, surely one that will not be repeated.