Family Owned Since ’83: 1982 Datsun 280ZX

Disclosure: This site may receive compensation from some link clicks and purchases.

Do you ever put the asking price aside and just try to evaluate the car first? That’s what I’m doing here for this long-time family owned 1982 Datsun 280ZX. It looks like a nicely preserved car that remains factory correct, right down to the old-school driving lights, with great colors and original wheels. It’s rare to find one that’s been with the same family for 23 years, so I have to give the sellers credit for keeping this survivor in good shape. The asking price is $11,500 and it’s listed here on craigslist, where the seller mentions being open to trades for Chevy C10s or Acadians.

There’s no two ways about it that over $10K is a lot to ask for this car. However, there are literally tons of these later Z cars for sale at any given time, and most are downright terrible examples. They become cheap projects for young drivers and enthusiasts who have champagne dreams on light budgets. The difficulty with evaluating them is the market hasn’t exactly caught fire for the later cars with the exceptions of standouts like preserved turbo models and the rare Shiro Special.

The basic formula for Z cars remained the same for many years, with inline-six power paired to a (hopefully) manual transmission. This car does feature the preferred row-it-yourself option, along with what appears to be an unmodified engine bay and attractive silver paint. The heavy coating on dust validates the seller’s claim that the 280ZX has been sitting in the garage for over 20 years, and impressively, it still fires up and runs.

The original details are what set this car apart and may help to justify the asking price. The carpets look decent, with just some light soiling noted in the cargo hold. The seller says the original spare tire and inflating canister are still with the Z, and that the engine has never been torn down. Like many sellers (myself included), I suspect the asking price is in place to ward off tire-kickers and wait for the serious conversations (and potential offers) to start with buyers who simply want to find a clean 280ZX with a known ownership history.

Auctions Ending Soon


  1. Frank Adams

    The fan shroud is MIA. and I didn’t see one picture of the cockpit area. But I did notice they have an old Chevy pickup off to the right of the garage. So the goes to fund the other.

    Like 0
  2. Oregon_Guy78

    Owned by same family since 1983, then the author states “It’s rare to find one that’s been with the same family for 23 years, so I have to give the sellers credit”. By my calculations 1983 – 2019 is 36 years.
    It is a nice car

    Like 3

Leave A Comment

RULES: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks.

Become a member to add images to your comments.


Get new comment updates via email. Or subscribe without commenting.

Barn Finds