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Beer Run Racer: 1982 Datsun 280ZX

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This 1982 Datsun 280ZX is a former race car with lots of history and famous driver ties. In addition to starting life as a showroom stock race car, the Datsun spent 20 years in hiding at a technical school as part of their shop program. It has recently been unearthed following its school stagnation, and looks like a great platform for the next owner. You can check out the ex-race car here on eBay where there are five days left and one bid to $3,000.


This Datsun pictured here in full race livery is the one driven by Bob Leitzinger, who is a well known IMSA driver and father to Butch Leitzinger, who races today for the Dyson Racing Team in the ALMS. The Datsun for sale on eBay shares a remote connection to the Leitzinger clan, as Bob did two endurance races in the Z, along with a family friend. The seller had plans to make the eBay car a tribute to Leitzinger’s CP Championship Datsun 280 ZX, but those plans never materialized due to too many projects.

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As you can see, the Datsun is set up for racing, from the roll cage down the race tires. The SCCA IT-spec motor was rebuilt and has very few track miles on it since re-installation. In fact, the gentleman the seller bought the car from only used it for a few track days and for making beer runs into town! I love the idea of driving a race car for errand-running, complete with numbers on the doors and fat slicks in the wheel wells. According to the seller, this 280ZX has been a race car since new, starting out in SCCA showroom stock racing.

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Interestingly, the Datsun retains its power windows and mirrors, two excesses I thought would surely be deleted in a track car. Now the beer run scenario is starting to make more sense, as having to detach race car window netting in the drive-through seemed like a pain in the neck! I don’t know if the Leitzinger ties will help move this car to a new home, but it is an interesting connection. I more dig the idea that this is a nearly turnkey race car that appears to have money spent in the right places, with the added bonus of being able to tell people you own Bob’s old race car.


  1. Dolphin Member

    I remember seeing Leitzinger race, altho not in this car. That would have been in IMSA.

    This is the second race car I know of that was donated to a high school/tech school for the students to look at and maybe take apart. The first one was a Ferrari GTO that was donated to a high school automotive shop in Texas. After that it ended up out in a field near the school. From there it got restored and is now worth about $38,000,000, the going price for a restored GTO. I don’t think this ZX will sell for that much.

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  2. Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

    Dolphin, I’ll add one more race car to that list–“Le Taxi”, the Paul Newman Triumph 2500/2.5 PI sedan that was prepared for SCCA racing but never raced. Donated to a community college and only recently “rescued”.


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