Garage Find: 1975 Datsun 280Z


This super-clean 280Z has been hiding in a garage since the owner purchased it from a charity auction after the original owner’s death in 2010. It’s located in Traveler’s Rest, South Carolina and is listed here on eBay. Bidding is currently at $6,100 and there is no reserve. As an original 4-speed, non-2+2, air conditioned car, with absolutely no rust – this is a real rarity. I know the fuel-injected 2.8 inline-6 is a sweetheart of an engine, and this last version of the original Z always seemed to be a long-legged car. The Konig Rewind wheels look like period Minilites or the later Panasports and fit the car well. I also notice the AMCO accessory bumper bar guards. The current owner had the car repainted recently at a cost of $5,000, and it really looks the part to me in the pictures. Yes, its a shame it’s not still wearing it’s original paint, but at least the job was done well.

280z int

Apart from the steering wheel cover and the aftermarket stereo and speakers, the interior looks great too. It’s obvious that this car has been loved its whole life. Are you interested in continuing this car love story in your own garage?


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  1. Blindmarc

    Now that’s a Z car…………

  2. jim s

    all those photos but no motor shot. someone is going to get a nice z car. great find

  3. Dolphin Member

    Having owned a few first-year 240Zs and driven a few 280Zs there is almost no difference in the body and interior, but there’s a world of difference in the snap of the engine and the ride. The early Z cars, especially the 1970s from Canada without much smog equipment, were very responsive. They got less so over the years, and the 280Zs, which were very smooth and comfortable, are often considered too soft by fans of the early cars.

    For someone who wants a nice comfortable 1st generation Z car this one looks pretty good, altho it’s not the 1-owner car the seller says it is. Original owner + the seller make 2 owners. The underside looks good in the one photo there is of it, but as jim s said, there’s no engine bay shot, so any clues from there are absent in the listing.

    A great 1970 Z car can easily break $30K these days but the later cars have lagged quite a lot behind, so I’ll be surprised if this one gets over $10K. If it does it will be because the body & interior look so good and it comes with a nice story. You could spend more and get a much less interesting car.

    • Carl B.

      Pretty much agree – if the paint job was done properly – and it looks like it was – this one might go over $10K.. $12K / $13K wouldn’t be too much given the mileage. It is worth paying a bit more for a Z – – that you don’t have to go through the hassle of having repainted yourself.

      As the price of very nice 240Z’s gets pushed up out of reach for many enthusiasts – a nice 280Z becomes more appealing. Swap the bumpers out – and add a 5spd – you’d have a great GT to tour one lap of America in. It is also a car that could be put to use as a daily driver – they are rock solid reliable if given any attention at all.

  4. Patrick McC.

    My grandma had an identical 280z back in the day. She liked it but my dad (so I’m told; I wasn’t born yet) made a fuss about the exhaust leaking into the cabin. Too bad I never got to see it.

  5. Tim H

    Having owned and daily driven a 70 Z and a 77 Z they are very different cars. Every year forward progressively took away what I loved about them but broadened the market.

    Although I have heard it said of Miatas I think it is true of Z’s, the early ones were the best Z’s but the later ones were the better cars.

    If you want light, nimble, noisy, basic sports cars get an early Z. If you want a great looking touring car that is less noisy, more refined, a later model would be your choice.

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