Sub-7,000 Miles: 1980 Datsun 280ZX

This 1980 Datsun 280ZX wears excellent colors and is a desirable 5-speed manual car. With just 6,758 miles from new, it remains in incredibly clean condition with sharp details throughout. The seller mentions it was just recently serviced and has four new tires. You’ll find it here on craigslist for $8,900 in South Florida. 

Thanks to Barn Finds reader Jack M. for the find. This era of the Z-Car has usually been cast aside in favor of the earlier models, but it’s enjoying a mild resurgence of interest as enthusiasts look for showroom examples like this to snatch up. The S130 cars were stricken with ugly safety bumpers in the U.S. and performance-sucking emissions equipment, which partially explains the reduced desirability. If you’re looking for an early-model project, check out this Z-car Barn Finds Exclusive here.

Still, it’s hard to ignore the appeal of an example like with the preferred manual transmission. This example is a desirable two-seater version, as a 2+2 was also offered. This generation of the Z focused on comfort over performance, as evidenced by luxurious features like the HiFi audio system and thick carpets. Performance would take a backseat until the turbocharged variants were introduced.

Even the T-top covers appear to be in excellent cosmetic shape. While color combinations like this were at one time undesirable, they’ve come back into vogue on period-correct grand tourers like this 280ZX. The bumpers, to me, are its greatest offense, but at the least, the later cars come with body-color assemblies that would improve the looks of this 280ZX immensely.

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  1. DLM

    posting deleted.

  2. Big Len

    Why are they always brown?

    • bobk

      Interesting question. My ’79 ZX was the exact same exterior/interior color combination.

  3. bobk

    Interesting question. My ’79 ZX was the exact same exterior/interior color combination.

  4. Nessy

    I love all the 280ZX models, coupe, 2+2 and Turbos. I do question the miles. Why? First off, super low mile original 280ZXs are bringing well over 15k now and low mile Turbos now top over 20k easy. At only 9k, that was the first red light. Also, did anyone else notice the worn looking steering wheel, the sun faded area behind the wheel, the cracks in the dash, the worn out center armrest and the replaced headliner as a brown headliner was never offered with that tan interior. That is not a Datsun factory pinstripe either. Underbody photos may tell the truth. If it was the real deal, 9k would be the deal of the day. I like the brown color, it was very popular. I know the cars inside out. I have 4 of them, 2 in the family since new..

  5. Steve S

    I had a 1982 280ZX it was two tone black and titanium gray with a titanium gray and black interior with the 2.8 liter inline 6 cylinder engine and a 5 speed manual transmission and I bought it with a little over 41k miles and the rod bearings went out at a little over 61k miles and it was a two seater and it had the t-tops and it had the t-top covers and the storage covers and the window sticker and all the paperwork in the car when I bought it for 10k

  6. nmexmatt

    not to mention the can of air freshener in the passenger foot well…wonder what this car smells like!

  7. Gay Car Nut

    Awesome looking car! I remember the Datsun (Fairlady) 280ZX. At the time, I found it more attractive to look at than its predecessor, the 240Z-280Z. I was too young to drive a car at the time.

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