Barn Stored For 32 Years! 1977 Datsun 280Z

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While we wish every post could have photos like this, we just have to be appreciative of when they do appear. This 1977 Datsun 280Z was parked eons ago for rust repair that never happened, and it just recently emerged from the barn it shared with a brass era vehicle (10 points to the first one to successfully ID it!) The 280Z is complete but still in need of extensive bodywork, and bidding is surprisingly already at $2,600 despite the obvious need for time with a cutting torch and welder. The 280Z is located in Walden, New York, and you’ll find it listed here on eBay with no reserve.

I’ve had a few 280ZXs for sale for months now, all of which seem to have less rust than this car, and not one of them has found a buyer yet. – but that “X” makes a difference on the desirability scale. The 280Z seen here has been in the barn for 32 years and wears average miles, just over 96,000, and has the full assortment of issues you’d expect for a car discovered in this sort of condition. The interior smells like a mice motel, and years of being driven on sale-covered northeastern roads has left the bodywork in rough shape. The seller hasn’t confirmed much beyond basic electronic functions still working, and aside from the crack-free dashboard, there’s not much that won’t require some level of attention.

Still, it’s always fun to see any vintage car pulled from the barn after years of being forgotten and out of sight, but I’m sure the seller is wishing his deceased uncle had a Series 1 240Z in the barn rather than a later 280Z. Still, I continue to see a fair number of later Z cars starting to appreciate price-wise as the earlier models drift out of reach for most collectors. As you can see, the seats look decent but I can’t imagine there’s much to get excited about if they reek of rodent urine. The seller notes the sheepskin seat covers kept the buckets in nice shape, but they still smell like mice and have mold. At least the 280Z is the preferred 5-speed, and the crack-free dash is definitely nice to have.

The engine bay is complete, right down to what looks like the remains of nesting material from rodents resting atop the radiator. Some original details still remain, like the factory tool kit and air pump for inflating the tires. The manual is there, too, albeit half-eaten by mice. The seller notes that he planned to restore this car, but has since decided to sell it and wait for a different one to come along. Overall, I suspect there are better cars out there, but to my earlier point, the 280Z is popular for a few reasons, including far more reliable Bosch fuel injection and healthy performance, at least compared to other sports cars of the era. But is this one past the point of reasonable restoration?

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    The other car is a Ford Model T Doctors coupe circa 1923.

    Like 6
  2. beaudog

    I had a ’77 just like this one, but in almost mint condition. One of the favorite cars I’ve ever owned and so much fun to drive. Went to work one night and parked it in my spot outside the back door of the bar I was working in. I came out at 11:45 and it was there and by midnight it was gone. Never seen again. Cops said it was likely broken out for parts, so sad. I still miss it to this day.

    Like 8
    • Mr.BZ

      Selling my ’77 280 was painful enough, beaudog, but at least I knew where it went. Bummer.

      Like 3
    • Wayne Hartley

      I had a similar experience,I bought a new 280z in 1976 had it for 4 years,put 1800 miles on it ,went to work one night shift,the car was there at 11 pm gone by 6 am,never heard another word,still breaks my heart

      Like 2
  3. JoeNYWF64

    I wonder if that vintage gas pump still works. Unusual for a barn to have one?

    Like 3
  4. The Grunt Doc

    To heck with the car! I want that old gas pump!

    Like 2
  5. Brian Weyeneth

    I’ll bid on the Gilbraco pump first.

    Like 1
  6. Bill McCoskey Bill McCoskeyMember

    Gilbarco pump, as in GILbert & BARker COmpany.

    Like 1

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