Clean and Original: 1976 Datsun 280Z 2+2

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The owner of this 1976 Datsun has referred to it a number of times in the advertisement as a 280ZX, but it is a 280Z, as the ZX wasn’t introduced until 1978. Regardless, this is a fairly clean car, and this is reflected by the bidding, with the 280Z being sold in a No Reserve auction. The 260Z is located in Northridge, California, and is listed for sale here on eBay.

Finished in Racing Green, the car is claimed to have no rust. It certainly looks to be clean and well presented. The car does look like it has had a hit in the front because the front bumper ends and filler panel look to be damaged on both sides. The rest of the body looks nice and straight, and the only other obvious defect is the fact that the rear hubcap is missing on the passenger side.

The Datsun is fitted with the virtually bullet-proof fuel injected L28 6-cylinder engine. For me, the unfortunate thing is that it is backed by an automatic transmission, as this would take some of the fun out of a sporty driving experience. The engine capacity and subsequent power increase between the 260Z and the 280Z was definitely welcome, but over the life-span of this 1st Generation “Z” car, this was blunted somewhat by ongoing increases in vehicle weight. Between the introduction of the original 240Z and the 280Z, vehicle weight had actually increased by a whopping 25%. Still, I guess that you can’t have everything. The Datsun seems to be quite solid mechanically, and the owner provides this YouTube video, which provides both a vehicle walk around and a drive.

The interior of the 280Z presents very nicely, with no major issues to address. The trim and dash look like they’ve survived quite well, with no obvious cracking. The seats and carpet look good, and the car is also fitted with air conditioning. The only obvious fault that I can pick is some cracking around the bottom of the handle on the gear shifter. Overall, the interior does appear to be in really nice condition.

There’s no doubt that the more popular cars will command their fair share of attention when they come onto the market, and this 280Z is no exception. There have been 7 bidders who like this car enough to bid on it, and that has pushed the price to $7,309 at the time of writing. With the ongoing popularity of the “Z” car, I suspect that it may go a bit higher than that.

Auctions Ending Soon


  1. On and On On and OnMember

    Seems like a lot of car for maybe less than 10k.

    Like 2
  2. Tirefriar

    This car is less than10 miles from my house and I was already eating out of bed to go see it until I read it was an auto. Maybe its ok for someone else but for me any vintage or classic sports car, even a GT has to be stick shift. Back to bed because life’s too short to compromise.

    Like 6
  3. Rx7turboII

    The zx wasn’t introduced until 1979 to be 100% correct. I like this body style but not in the two plus two, it’s just way too long and elongated looking. Take the back seats out and I’ll take it! LOL

    Like 3
    • Diana

      280zx’s actually did come out in 78 but not many. I didn’t believe it till I saw one myself, wish I still had a picture of the Vin plate from the door but it was a slick top and the poop brown color. Almost bought it but the guy was asking too much and was an automatic.

      Like 1
      • Miguel

        Diana, do you mean it had a 1978 date or a 1978 VIN?

        Most new models come out in September of the previous year.

        Like 0
      • Diana

        The Vin.. Date was June or July if my memory serves me correctly. It’s like how the 260Z’s are, those I believe where made a year and a half in the states. Also I am aware about new models being released early, had a few in November come in to have body repair done. Sad when a brand new vehicle gets wrecked when it’s only been out for a couple of months if even that.

        Like 0
  4. Gay Car Nut

    I remember the Datsun 280Z. I’ve always liked the 2+2 models over the more popular version of the 280Z. If you have children up to about 6 or 7 yrs old, they might be able to fit comfortably whilst the adults sit up front.

    Like 1
  5. Diana

    Actually there are a few rare 78 280zx’s…. I didn’t believe it when I was told till I saw one with my own eyes.

    Like 0
  6. Roy L Fuchs

    Nice car but, strike one automatic, strike two 2 + 2.

    Like 2
  7. Frank

    The 260 (and 280) 2+2 coupes are technically the rarest S30 Z cars ever made. They are not as sporty as the original 240 was, but they filled a niche for the young husband with a growing family who didn’t want to break ties with his great college Datsun sportscars. The addition of A/C and A/T made the 2+2 a welcome family GT car, able to be driven by mom with the kids in the back and groceries in the cargo deck. Because the 2+2 was a “family car”, it didn’t suffer as much customization as the 2-seaters did. It’s easier to find a nice, original 2+2 today than it is to find an original 240, that’s for sure.

    Six-Time C-Production racing champion Bob Sharp (who sold Datsuns in CT) raced a 2+2 and drove one on the street as his personal car for a year. His young son Scott Sharp (today a champion racer in his own right) grew up riding in the back of the family 2+2 Datsuns. Sharp managed to break his own lap record at Lime Rock in a 2+2, which was better balanced and slightly more aerodynamic than the 2-seat 240Z.

    Watch for the old 2+2 Datsuns with auto trans and airconditioned comfort to find increasing demand as the old 2-seat S30 cars skyrocket in price. The highs prize goes to the early-month 260 2+2s with carbs, lightweight bumpers, A/C and A/T.

    Like 2
  8. z28th1s

    I always preferred the smooth and reliable fuel injected 280Z over the carbs on the 240 and 260Z’s.

    I had a bronze colored ’75 280Z right after I graduated high school. It was a fun car that ran and handled well. I bought my wife a ’74 260Z for her first car. It didn’t have near the power that the ’75 280 had and it wasn’t near as easy to keep tuned. Both of our cars were 4 speed manuals.

    The feature car looks to be a pretty nice example but as others have said I prefer the stick over the automatic and the 2+2 roof line never did look right to me.

    Like 2
  9. Jay S.

    If you look closely, you can see that there is a cap on the dash. But overall, a very nice Z for its age.

    Like 0
  10. RENCE

    Agree! I had a blue ’75 280Z 2+2. Loved that it was slightly longer. Back seat was great as long as people didn’t mind having their knees directly under their chin.

    Like 0
  11. Bret Wills

    I inherited my sister’s 76 280Z 2+2 with an auto. After my MG Midget died one too many times. (drove it home from college in Santa Barbara to San Diego in the middle of the night with no clutch) It was still a pretty awesome car – used to drive the freeways well over 100, could never do that in the MG. Still miss it sometimes, and sickly, the MG too.

    Like 0

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