BF Auction: 1976 Datsun 280Z

Asking: $7,500Make Offer

  • Seller: Mark N estell
  • Location: Cheboygan, Michigan
  • Mileage: 95,000 Shown
  • Chassis #: HLS30-277526
  • Title Status: Clean

UPDATE -Additional photos of the driver’s side floor have been added to the gallery below.

When the Datsun 240Z hit the market, it was an instant success. Seemingly overnight, the Z-car became a household name, well at least amongst automotive enthusiasts. To keep sales numbers up while battling new emission and crash standards, Datsun had to update the car several times. Each update came with a slightly larger version of the inline-6 and tweaks to the body and interior. While early examples are the most valuable, the final version, the 280Z, is the one to buy! It retained the improvements made to the 260Z, while its 2.8-liter engine produced more power. The example offered here as a Barn Finds Auction is a project but runs as is and comes with many new parts. The seller would love to keep it, but health issues have made finishing it impossible, so they want to see it go to a good home.

Much of the Z-car’s success came from its lovely styling and relatively low price tag. It was priced close to the MGB GT, but with the Z, you got a flowing body that looked exotic compared to the aging MG, and the inline-6 was more powerful and smoother. To combat declining power numbers due to emission regulations, the 280Z received a Bosche fuel injection system that upped horsepower and eliminated the need to fiddle with carburetors.

The seller has known this car for many years. It was owned by an acquaintance who parked it in a pole barn in Lachine, Michigan, in 2003. The seller has owned it for the past four years and managed to get it running again, but it still needs work to be a nice driver. So far, they’ve replaced the radiator, installed dual cooling fans, a new clutch slave cylinder, ECU, ignition switch, oil pressure sensor, catalytic converter, muffler, fuel-sending unit, and mirrors. The seller states that the fuel tank still needs to be replaced/restored, the turn signal switch is worn out, and the driver’s floor pan has some rust that needs to be repaired. They have a replacement floor pan and new fuel lines that are included with the car.

The 280Z’s L28E engine offered more power than the smaller L-series engines found in the 240Z and 260Z. It was rated at 170 horsepower at the crank with 149 of those ponies and 163 ft-lbs of torque making it to the wheels. The Bosche L-Jetronic fuel injection system was widely used during the late ’70s and early ’80s, so parts and information are readily available to keep the system functioning it’s best.

As you can see, the interior will also need restoration, but the dash is in usable condition, and the major components are present. The carpet is out, as the seller was planning on replacing the floor pan, but recent back surgery has prevented that. As values have climbed, parts supply has improved, so restoring this interior shouldn’t be too difficult.

Someone eventually decided to eliminate the ugly 5-mph impact bumpers with a body kit. It does improve the car’s appearance and looks nicely done. Overall, this is a decent project that would be a blast to drive. So, if this is a project you’d like to finish up and enjoy, be sure to cast your bids below. And please leave any questions you have for the seller in the comments section.

Bid On This Auction

High Bid: $1,500 (Reserve Not Met)
Make An Offer
Ended: Jun 13, 2024 11:00am MDT
High Bidder: Suave79
  • Suave79 bid $1,500.00  2024-06-13 03:43:39
  • Cole bid $1,000.00  2024-06-07 13:17:22
  • Chris
    bid $750.00  2024-06-07 12:54:03
  • Cole bid $500.00  2024-06-07 08:49:54

Auctions Ending Soon


  1. james sartor

    Does the tape on trunk lid cover holes from spoiler removal?

    Like 0
    • Mark440Seller

      Yes I have spoiler n louvers in storage

      Like 0
  2. Edwin

    They mention rust on the floor pan but there’s no photos of the bottom of the car.

    Like 0
    • Mark440Seller

      I sent them video n pics of floor

      Like 1
  3. Mark440Seller

    Driverside floor pan I have needs replace n seat rails I have them too. I’ll try to get car out of storage to get.i was going to do the fabrication but health issues.but for sitting almost 20 yrs most of car good condition. Main issues floor pan,turn signal switch bad,gas tank needs repaired. If it wasn’t worth saving I would have parted it out. Have old parts took off an new parts in boxes

    Like 1
  4. Bill ToelMember

    Not a fan of the body-kit. The wheels look like they’ve been pushed out a little with spacers. However, despite that, it is an absolutely beautiful car. If I had the cash, she’d be in my driveway. GLWTS!

    Like 2
    • Mark440Seller

      No wheel spacers at all

      Like 0
  5. Jim R

    How does it run and shift? I used to own a 1982 280Z .

    Like 0
  6. Fox owner

    What I like about these, compared to the later versions, even the new Z, is that the roof doesn’t angle down so steep from the windshield. That just bugs me, go figure.

    Like 0
  7. Uncapau


    Like 1
  8. Billy

    I’ve owned two of these cars. A 260 and a 280ZX. They are well made and fun to drive. However, you don’t drive them on slick roads. They are very nose heavy and have a bad habit of swapping ends.
    Other than that I had fun with them.

    Like 1
  9. Sam Y

    Do you know how the body kit was molded in? Was is glassed/bondo/panel bonded?
    That’s the only thing that stands out and somewhat worries me. Having an essentially 1 piece body from front to back bumper made of a mix of steel and fiberglass could be asking for paint cracking depending on how it was done. That and it could be a pain to repair if something happens.

    Like 0
    • Mark440Seller

      The fiberglass has some blisters small cracks on drivers door jam.hey all I know ex gfs ex did body over 20 yrs ago. Surprisingly no rats ever in car

      Like 0
  10. Aussie Dave Aussie DaveMember

    Ahhh, a Zed (that’s how it’s pronounced) not zee.
    Beautiful car, not a fan of the bumpers tho, needs Aussie or Jap bumpers . Bonus points for it being a manual.

    Like 0
    • Not_a_Brit

      Only pronounced Zed in the Commonwealth. Zee everywhere else! I had a 240 back in the day and absolutely loved it. Easy to work on, parts were and are still available, and was a joy to drive. This looks to be a good one. If only I had room for another project.

      Like 0
      • Aussie Dave Aussie DaveMember

        I’m pretty sure, Japan isn’t part of the Commonwealth, and they call it Zed. And they made the car, END OF ARGUMENT!!!!

        Only yanks pronounce Z as zee, and maybe Canadians.

        Like 1

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