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1975 Datsun 280Z: Daily Driven


It’s not uncommon to see the words “daily driven” on eBay listings for classic cars. It boosts the car’s credentials, in some ways, that it’s in good working order and hasn’t been relegated to garage storage with a trickle charger. This 1975 Datsun 280Z is listed here on eBay with a Buy-it-Now of $13,888 and the option to submit a best offer. The seller claims it’s been used as a daily driver, and with much of the original components still attached, from the hubcaps to the factory A/C, that’s an impressive accomplishment. Of course, with only 115K miles accumulated since 1975, it’s clearly been used sparingly or as a summer car, so a pampered life is not out of the question. Personally, I like cars you can use without having a mountain of deferred maintenance to tackle, so this 280Z speaks to me. The lack of the factory badging, however, screams repaint so some additional homework will have to be done to determine just how honest this car is.


  1. jim s

    seller needs to post some photos of motor, interior and underside. could be a great deal but it is in the rust belt so a PI would be needed. nice find.

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  2. Oldstuff 1941

    Having had a couple of my pals who owned one of these 240’s 260’s and a 280 in the early and mid to late 70’s, and knowing that they were very dependable, so sporty and great on gas,…was mostly what prompted me to take on a restoration of an 87 300ZX.

    Another friend who had bought the 300ZX from a a Dr. who bought it new, was talking one day about getting rid of it since he had got a company vehicle to drive. I knew it ran pretty well and had been maintained regularly at the Nissan dealers since new, so with a ridiculously great (selling to a pal) low purchase price of $1000… I decided to buy it and restore it mechanically and cosmetically back to ‘as New’ condition…

    It was the first Japanese car I had ever owned. I have owned a Porsche, and a Triumph, the extent of my foray into foreign cars…until then. To begin with, it was a great little car with all the options you could get on one that year…(more to go wrong)…Basically no rust at all and super straight body, just terribly faded and peeling original paint job….which I repainted the original ‘Lake Blue’. The interior was pretty well used, but actually only needed cleaning good and new leather seat covers and a headliner to compliment the perfect original dash,door panels and carpet..

    After several mechanical upgrades and small items, (Most found while just refurbishing the undercarriage,…although there were some things that just popped up during daily driving like electrical glitches)… It was finished with a total of close to $10,000 in a finished perfect car….

    The last thing I did before I ended up selling it was to change the wheels and tires to a more updated style while keeping the originals in storage… I ended up driving it daily for a year or so until i was approached by the guy wanted it worse than I did.. … they are great little cars if you get a nice one to start with, and are not too expensive to keep running with parts availability being good…this is a photo of my finished daily driver…with my other bud’s Nissan truck sitting behind it….

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  3. Dolphin Member

    Gosh I hate to be so picky, but……Oh what the heck.

    The body looks pretty good, but I agree with jim. When advertising a more-than-fully-priced car like this with 115K miles on the clock you have to show the goods—the interior, engine bay, and especially with a NY car, the underside.

    A small group of dark artsy shots on a leaf covered country road at dusk might be great for selling some cars, but not a 280Z, which has very little market. The price wanted for this car will get you a pretty decent 1st or 2nd year 240Z with some effort spent searching, which will outperform this car and also continue to appreciate.

    There’s no history on the car, but I doubt the seller knows much about it other than what he has listed, and some of that is wrong. There was no N42 block type. There is a N42 head with larger valves than previously, but these cars are still very soft performers even with slightly larger valves. They are more boulevard cruisers, and there are lots of other cars in that category to choose from.

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  4. Wayne

    I must be missing something. How are cars like this listed in “Barn finds”. It’s probably never even been driven past a barn. the ad clearly states, ” used as a daily driver”. Lets keep the title accurate or what’s the point of this section. There are too many cars listed frequently here that don’t qualify as “barn finds”.

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    • Josh Staff

      Hi Wayne,
      We try to stay on topic, but we are car guys with a wide range of interests, so sometimes cars pops up that aren’t “barn finds” and we just can’t help but feature them.

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      • Oldstuff 1941

        Thanks for that Josh…
        We probably would only be getting bi weekly updates if the site were to stick to ONLY barn find cars… I mean how many people actually have the time to be out searching 24-7 for cars hidden away from normal views…and taking photos of them…
        I’m lucky if I get to do it once a month, what with all life’s other little things popping up and that have to be taken care of…

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  5. John

    There is not a Datsun 200 series of “Z” cars that did not have rust. They equipped them with hidden rust at the factory. Accordingly, I would be willing to bet the entire sum of next yrar’s social security increase that there’s a lot of that body that is non-magnetic. The more perfect they look, the more suspicious I get. I’d take a 300 series “Z” anytime but not this one.

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    • Oldstuff 1941

      I agree John,… I’ve seen many beginning restorations of 240-260 Z cars that make me go ‘Oh Man’ … That inherent rust it seems was always there… The only way I ever saw to stop it and prevent it on any older car resto, was a vat dip of the entire body shell and components in a deruster/rust remover of some type. These are somewhat costly and labor intensive to say the least. That was the deciding factor in my decision to take on the resto I did on the 300 I did pictured above.

      -sidenote- I have never seen a rear Hatch on a 200 series Z car that wasn’t rusting it seemed from the inside out… not sure if it was from condensation or what, but it always seemed to be from the inside out.

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  6. Doug M. (West) Member

    Hmm?…. I never thought of waiting until almost dark to take pics of my car when I want to sell it? And to help it out even more, park with some snow in the background to cause the camera to squeeze even further the exposure time on the darker car color!

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  7. PRA4SNW

    A buddy of mine bought one of these that looked just like this – nice and shiny. It was maybe 5 – 6 years old at the time. A year later, the lazy rust repairs and cheap paint job became evident, and it turned out to be the biggest rust bucket ever.

    The woes of living in the rust belt…..beware!!!!!!

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