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Cheap Z Project? 1978 Datsun 280Z

When you hear the words, “Great project car”, there are seemingly infinite possibilities as to what that could mean. In the case of one seller, it’s a 1978 Datsun 280Z with a blown head gasket and roached interior. It does look way better with the horrible late bumpers removed, however. The seller has listed the 280Z here on eBay in Lucerne Valley, California with an asking price of $2,895.

This 280Z has a great stance on period wheels and aggressive rubber, but you can see it has serious cosmetic issues in addition to the blown head gasket. The Datsun is a lifelong California car, but no explanation is given for the ample surface rust on the rear quarter panel – may be a poor quality repaint at some point in its past? Hopefully, the removed bumpers make it easier to convert to early chrome versions.

The interior is a mixed bag, with the dash completely destroyed by the sun but the bucket seats in decent shape. These dashboards are near impossible to find without cracks of some kind, so the next owner will have to either find an expensive replacement or have this one re-covered in leather or high-grade vinyl. The car does turn over and crank, but will not start. It’s sold without a title.

While 280Zs haven’t quite reached the level of desirability of the 260Z, they are starting to receive more interest as prices climb for their older brother. There’s a lot of work to be done on this one, but it could be a worthwhile project or a good parts donor, at the very least.


  1. john willis

    Again,no credit where credit is due,,but what else is new….

    Like 4
  2. Rube Goldberg Member

    How does one break a shift lever off? This one was driven hard, and you’d be nuts to try and fix this up.

    Like 2
  3. TimM

    It must have been sitting in the sun with windows closed for quite a while to make the dash look that bad!!!

    Like 1
  4. Woody

    Non-running but sought after car from the west,it will sell fast to someone willing to gamble.

    Like 3
  5. Morad Rowshan

    Ive been obsessing over this ad as well, so its funny to see this post. I don’t have the space to work on it, or park it

    Like 0

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