Live Auctions

4,700 Original Miles: 1975 Datsun 280Z

Many longtime car dealerships have a stash of collector cars hidden away, typically collected as part of normal trade-in operations or simply due to connections through the company dealership owners tend to keep. This 1975 Datsun 280Z has just 4,700 original miles on the clock and is said to be fresh out of a Toyota dealer’s private collection. It sports many original details, from the hubcaps to the bumpers to a crack-free dash, and is equipped with the preferred manual transmission. The trickle-down effect from the Series 1 240Zs to the less desirable models is happening, as this time-warp specimen is listed here on craigslist for $48,500.

The later Zs were typically not sought after by collectors due to the large U.S.-spec safety bumpers and engines that were increasingly less sporting as emissions requirements grew more stringent. That said, genuine Series 1 cars are becoming more and more out of reach for the everyday collector, while later Series 2, 3, and 4 cars are generally found in far greater supply for a substantial savings. I feel like the Series 1 was once considered so much better than the later models that there was no way those newer cars would ever be desirable, such was the aura that surrounded the Series 1s. That’s all changing now, especially with time warp specimens like this one.

The engine bay is spotless, as you’d hope for in a specimen this new. The seller reports that aside from some hoses, not much has been altered under the hood – and I can’t help but wonder if that includes the original cooling system components as well. I imagine that’s one of the more challenging aspects of owning a car like this, the constant debate of whether you should repair what isn’t fixed or when to stop making last-minute improvements given most potential buyers will expect a car that runs perfectly because of the low mileage and high price tag. In some ways, selling a car with average miles and cosmetic flaws is easier, as expectations are lower.

A crack-free dashboard in a Z car of any era is a significant find, and enthusiasts go to the ends of the Earth looking for dashes that have been hiding on dusty storeroom shelves or just happen to be installed in a parts car otherwise destined for the scrapyard. The seller has owned the 280Z since 2014 when it was purchased from the museum, and just 500 miles have been added to the low mileage total since that time. As the Datsun has been in storage since nearly new, there is no rust and the original Datsun 110 (Orange) paint looks to be in excellent shape with just minor blemishes noted. I doubt these are going to get any cheaper, and time-warp examples like this are only going to grow scarcer.


  1. Bigcat Member

    Wonder if ROW bumpers are available, fit the car and look better. Color is awesome. Will probably wind up in another collection, sad to say but at least it can serve as a standard on how they were built. Like a Bloomington Gold Benchmark car.

    Like 4
    • EoinDS Eoin Member

      JDM in California sell conversion kits. You can also get new chromed copies of the front and rear ROW bumpers from Vietnam!

  2. angliagt angliagt Member

    What are “ROW” bumbers?

    Like 3
    • Evan

      RoW = Rest of (the) world. In this case, slimmer bumpers used on cars in countries with lower crash specs.

      Like 8
  3. angliagt angliagt Member

    I meant bumpers.

    Like 1
  4. JoeNYWF64

    ’73 & up Corvette front bumper dislikers take note of the ones here.
    Imagine ’74 type camaro metal bumpers on the Vette – instead!

    Like 1
  5. Dave

    The two windshield stickers look like the two Pennsylvania has for safety and emissions if you live in certain areas.

  6. ace10

    That car goes on BaT. Not CL.

    Like 6
  7. Tracy

    48k ha ha ha! This guy is a comedian. Why didn’t they preserve a 1972 240z then they would have something.

    Like 5
    • grbbenny

      Well, a 1976 280Z with 355 miles just sold on BaT for $140,000 so who knows!

      Like 2
  8. Steve R

    Someone would be hard pressed to find a better one, but it’s probably a few years too new to bring that much money. I don’t think you can blame them for trying, they have something special, but, not likely special enough.

    Steve R

    Like 5
  9. Matt G

    So Z people can chime in here, but isn’t 110 the paint code for red? That doesn’t look like a repaint, but could it just be that it is a red that tends towards orange in the right light?

  10. Ross Messina

    That is the original color it’s called persimmon. I have a 1976 Datsun 280 Z purchased new and I am the original owner.
    It’s not red it’s orange.

    Like 1
  11. Bob McK Member

    I love everything about this car. Unfortunately the price is very aggressive. I can’t afford it, but someone else can. I hope they keep it in this condition.

    Like 1
  12. Bruce Evans

    I have a 1978 280Z with the same paint code, described as “red” but it is an orange – same as this example.

  13. Casey Andersen Member

    Has a new radiator, Should be brass and copper. If it was leaking should recore or repair. Makes a big change in the appearance under the hood.


    Back in the day, I owned a 1978 280z with the 110 paint code. It is exactly this color. In the US, we’d say, “It isn’t red, it’s orange.” Strangely enough, Datsun didn’t ever sell the 280, 260 or 240 in red. This is as close as it got (until subsequent models).

    The seller will likely get the money he’s asking. This is a rare bird. And it’s dry. Unfortunately, most early Z’s are a victim of the tin worm. Sadly, this example probably won’t be driven much. It’s provenance, condition and low miles, make it a museum piece.

    As one who owned an earlier Z, the 280 really was a step-up. It is more solid and reliable vehicle. Most think it is bigger, but it isn’t. Each body panel from a 240, 260 or 280 will mount from one to the other. The differences were found where the bumper indents and mount points were altered (and vents in the hood). Other than that… they swap right over. Yes, there are kits to bring a big-bumper Z back to something approaching the earlier look. But on this one, any deviation from stock will diminish value.

    The fuel injection system on the 280 (which solved the vapor-lock problem on the 260z and very late 240z) is bulletproof. Simple. Easy to work on (though they rarely needed work). Some of the parts are very difficult, if not impossible to obtain these days.

    Prices on excellent examples, like this one, are likely to continue to rise.

    Like 1
  15. 370zpp 370zpp Member

    Would love to own it and drive it, not store it.

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