EXCLUSIVE: 1982 Datsun 280ZX Turbo

Reader James A is in too deep on this turbocharged Datsun 280ZX. After spending quite a bit of money to get the car sorted and going, the car was caught in a flood and submerged up to the floorboards. It’s going to need a serious amount of work to fix back up, but could actually be a great option for an affordable and fun track car. These turbo cars were surprisingly quick in their day, being bested only by the 911 SC and the BMW M1! So, if you’ve been looking for a cool project to build up into a sleeper, be sure to contact James via the form below.

What Makes It Special? These cars are increasing in value and collectability.

Body Condition: It has a good straight body that has never been wrecked and shows minimum rust. Over $8,000 invested. Car flooded up to floorboards and the engine got water in thru the dipstick. After the oil was drained and replaced, it would turn over with good compression. Unfortunately, now the engine seized, but I think it’s actually the auto transmission that is seized.

Mechanical Condition: Running and driving before the flood.

It really is too bad about the flood, this car had to have been quite fun prior to that. The next owner will want to treat the entire bottom half of the car with a rust inhibitor to keep it solid. Whether the transmission is seized or not, we would find a 5-speed for it. And while we have it out, we would go ahead and freshen up the engine and install a few performance upgrades. These cars are loaded with performance potential and given that this car has survived a flood, turning into a track car might be it’s best option for survival. So, what do you think should happen with this Z Car?

If you have a project car that needs a good home, please consider listing it for sale here on Barn Finds!

  • Asking Price: $2,000
  • Location: Spring, Texas
  • Mileage: 128,000
  • Title Status: Clean
  • VIN: Jn1cz06s3cx601767

Contact The Seller

List your car here on Barn Finds for only $50!


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  1. Howard A Member

    Such a shame. Looks like it was a neat car. Hope the insurance paid out, that’s a lot to have to lose. Looks fair topside, but I bet a nightmare underneath. Sorry, I’d sprint away from this one.

    • Miguel

      Not many people have full coverage on a 1982 project car.

  2. 86 Vette Convertible

    Might be fun if you happened to have an engine and tranny sitting off to the side somewhere. Unfortunately water can do a lot more damage to electrical etc. than is visible to the naked eye.

    Hope it works out ok. Good luck

  3. Rx7turboII

    If it was a coupe I would be calling James right now….very nice car though and unlike the majority of bf readers, I’m not scared of flood vehicles! Easy fixes.

  4. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    Looks nice, but being an auto and flood victim its time to look for a 4 by 4 chasis.

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