Exclusive: 1983 Datsun 280ZX

It’s weird to think that this Datsun is 35 years old and classified as a Classic in most states. It seems far too modern to be that old! These cars were quite impressive when they were new and there’s still a dedicated following. This one is going to need a lot of work to even be a driver, but it might be worth fixing up. Reader Daryl C is helping the owner sell it and thought the Barn Finds Community might be interested in it! He has known this car for a long time and can answer any questions you might have.

What Makes It Special? It appears to be 95-100% complete and original, no modifications or missing parts. It has a rear seat, so it is not the two-seater model. It would make a good candidate for restoration or a donor car. I photographed the car just the way it sits to avoid any hidden surprises for the buyer. The title has been signed by the current owner but I will transfer it to my name if requested by the buyer, no extra charge.

Body Condition: Body is straight and rust-free except for a small area that appears to rusted through at the front of the driver’s side footwell. There is slight damage to the driver’s side door and rear of the right fender, but it is all solid metal underneath so it should be an easy fix. All glass is good, no cracks, all trim is present. Interior needs complete refurbishing. Driver’s door panel is in the back seat. Also comes with two new struts, also inside the car. It still has all four factory six spoke wheels. I did not find any evidence of body repair or “bondo.” I have included photos bottom fender edges to show they are all metal, and I also took photos as best as I could of the underside.

Mechanical Condition: Six-cylinder 2.8L fuel injected, non-turbo, automatic transmission. The current owner cannot find the keys, but I used a new battery and remote switch (not included in the sale) and the engine turns over freely. Someone removed the fuel pump and sender, which is also inside the car. Engine appears to have compression although I did not do an actual compression test. This car has been sitting for about ten to fifteen years. Tires are like new, probably put on shortly before it was parked, all four still hold air. The previous owner, now deceased, had this car for many years before it was parked. It has spent most, if not all, of its life in New Mexico. The previous owner and I took several trips in this car so I can attest to the fact that it was roadworthy. It still has most of the undercoating on the chassis. There is some damage to the subframes, either from someone using a floor jack or perhaps struck by objects on the road.

It’s definitely going to be a big project, but these cars were known for being durable. Getting it running might be as simple as flushing the fuel system, reinstalling the fuel pump/sender and installing a fresh battery. It’s hard to say for sure without a closer look, but as long as the electronics aren’t damaged and the engine has compression it should fire right up. The interior is going to need a lot of work, but a good cleaning and some seat covers would make it usable. Our thanks to Daryl for listing this Z with us! If you’d like to give it a new home, be sure to contact him via the form below.

  • Asking Price: $1,500
  • Location: Truth or Consequences, New Mexico
  • Mileage: unknown
  • Title Status: Clean

Contact The Seller

Do you have a barn find, a project car or a parts donor that needs a new home? Consider listing it here on Barn Finds!

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  1. Rx7turboII

    Ugh! I’ve had several hundred of these cars in the past 30 years since I’ve started driving and without being extremely negative sounding, no way! 2+2, auto, trashed interior, rusty floors, body damage, no keys, missing parts, and it’s white with red interior. All adds up to about a $400 parts car in my world….

  2. Rich

    Unfortunately I don’t see 1500 here either. Hope it gets back on the road though.

  3. Daryl Conley

    Update from the seller – The asking price is not set in stone, willing to accept offers, although I feel it is worth more than a few hundred bucks. It is complete with no missing parts that I can see. If someone had another car with a good interior this would make a good donor body and drivetrain. I did go back and check the odometer which shows 145,990 miles. Someone else asked about the engine number – I found a tag on the firewall which shows L28 (E) 2753 and two numbers cast into the bottom of the block on the drivers side which read F54 and 2X05A.

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