Scrap Z: Free Datsun 280ZX

032216 Barn Finds - 1980s Datsun 280Z 1

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Are you a glutton for punishment? Or, maybe you’re just looking for a parts car for your Nissan (or, Datsun) S130 restoration project. In either case, here is a car for you. Loyal Barn Finds reader, Mr. Dan Grove, was kind enough to track down this car for us here on craigslist. It’s located in a gentleman’s yard on the south side of Camano Island in Washington state, about fifty miles as The Great Blue Heron flies north of Seattle. It’s wet there so it may actually be sitting on another Z-car that’s already been absorbed into the soil; hey, you never know. This is a 1980s Datsun 280ZX with an asking price of.. ah heck, there is no asking price, just get it out of Darin’s yard, the sooner the better, he’s tired of looking at it! And, you may as well make a vacation out of picking this car up since it’s in one of the most beautiful parts of the US.

032216 Barn Finds - 1980s Datsun 280Z 2

I think that with a little elbow grease.. er.. well, yeah, maybe this one is just a parts car at this point, especially since there is no title. But, a free car is a free car and that’s always a good deal, especially if you can pick it up yourself and you don’t have to pay $1,000 to ship it home to your backyard. Or, to your front yard, if you have an understanding spouse. No, scratch that; your backyard. Nissan made the 280Z from 1975 through 1983 and this would be, as you can tell, a dreaded rubber-bumper, later-generation model made from 1978 through 1983. These later S130 cars were almost a foot longer than the S30 280Zs were. Vehicles were being supersized with each new generation even back in these days.

This is a second generation Datsun 280Z and they added an X to the name so you know that it has to be cool! I mean, for a few examples of cool X-cars, I give you the AMC Pacer X, the AMC Gremlin X, the AMC Matador X, etc. Sorry, once I got going I couldn’t stop. To tell you the truth, I would much rather have an AMC X-car over a 280ZX, but that’s just me. This is what this car would have looked like a couple of short decades ago.

032216 Barn Finds - 1980s Datsun 280Z 3

The seller mentions that these plastic hood louvers go for a couple of hundred dollars and there’s the rest of the hood to use or sell, not to mention the glass, the straight trim. All sorts of other things on this car could be sold to recoup your travel costs when you drive out there to pick it up and drag it back home again. Are you a fan of these later, bigger Z-cars or do you prefer the cleaner-looking, earlier 240Z?

Auctions Ending Soon


  1. Charles

    Looks like a nice parts car find for the right person!

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  2. Mike

    I would wonder what else is hidden in the jungle!!!!!!

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  3. HoA Howard AMember

    “On top of another Z car”, LMAO, this is pretty cashed out. I had a friend with a 280ZX, 4 passenger, (the black and gold one) and that thing was pretty fast. Shifted into 5th gear at 100, he did. Just parts here. When these came out, we had a contest, correctly determine the amount of hose clamps used.

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    • Scotty GAuthor

      Ha, wow! That’s one non-neat-looking engine bay, Howard.

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  4. Mike H. Mike H.

    In your AMC X-cars list you forgot the AMX? Really?

    And the Hornet X, as featured in “The Man With The Golden Gun”.

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  5. Steve


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  6. MikeG

    These ZX’s had horrible rust problems. The one I had, had cancer rust inside of the roof, the gutters inside of the hatch had also rusted away so I bondoed in chicken wire and made some new ones. What a powerful car though, that straight 6 was an incredible engine, very durable.

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  7. angliagt

    While staying with Friends in Snohomish,I decided to take a self-guided
    tour of Camino Island.After passing the same store multiple times,I got a map of
    the island.Turns out that I had been going in circles,as the road at the South end
    of it makes such a gradual bend,you don’t really notice it.
    We need more “sellers” like this!

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  8. DolphinMember

    Wonderful basic straight-6 engine, but too many tubes on this version.

    No collector value; collectors want the earliest, rarest, purest version.

    A parts car, but after getting it hauled out of the muck you would have to work hard to get your costs back.

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  9. grant

    Given the neighborhood, more likely his local code enforcement officer is giving him grief.

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  10. wuzjeepnowsaab

    How is this still available? :/

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  11. ronniecarlo

    I have a friend down the road that had two 70s Z cars..Both have been sitting for years but are all there.One has 3x2s and the other 2x4s!!!!Pics coming soon.

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    • ronniecarlo

      Here is the Webers on one of two Zcars a mile from my house..The other one had deuces

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  12. bob

    had a 79 ZX, one of the best cars i ever had. had to go when i had a family.
    loved the way it “flatened out ” at high speeds.

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  13. Doug Towsley

    This one too far gone to be revived, but there are SERIOUS Z car people who are after the 280ZXs, I had one i paired as a donor i got cheap to go with a kit car body (Z had a title) and I turned down a ton of people who wanted just the Z and not the kit car body. LOTS of people take parts off these and install on earlier Zs so parting it out could be lucrative. IF SOME DOES GET IT,,,I would be very interested in the rear diff assy. The 280Z rear differentials are desirable for earlier cars. Ill be up thru there at end of April,

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    • ronniecarlo

      This is the Webers on one of to Z cars a mile from me here in Texas

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  14. ronniecarlo

    Here is the deuces on the other

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    • LARRY

      Get it running and hoon the scrap out of it..just not on the highway

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  15. ronniecarlo

    You guys know more about these than me.Had a buddy in college that put an ’88 ‘stang GT motor and tranny in one..That thing was 100% “steer with the rear”… Whaaa-screeechh-Whaaaa….LOL..both the red one and white appear complete..

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  16. ronniecarlo

    Here’s the white one

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  17. Doug Towsley

    Theres a company called J.T.R and stands for “Jags that run!” And they have an excellent series of books on doing engine conversions. I have the Jags book and the Z car book, they have others for anyone interested. Well done books.
    The point here is, the Datsun motors are great. I am a big fan of their 4 cylinders and built a number of them and owned a lot of Datsuns. But the thing that really can make thse Z cars move is swap in a Small block chevy. If you swap the cast iron intake and water pump for alloy, a SBC weighs only 40 pounds more than the stock 6 cyl Datsun motors. AND when done the engine bays look cleaner and much better. (For the OCD among us). But the SBC can develop way more power and torque. There are lots of BAD conversions done by unskilled knuckledragger mouth breathers, But once you experience a well done conversion it TRANSFORMS these cars.

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