Time Capsule: 44k Mile 1982 Datsun 280ZX

It’s hardly a coincidence that I’ve started seeing more preserved Datsun S130s cruising around on nice summer days. As the generational shift continues, Gen Xers will begin buying up the cars of their youth, with vehicles like this clean 280ZX replacing the ubiquitous Chevelles and Mustangs on summertime roadways. This 280ZX has a mere 44,738 original miles and is listed here on eBay with bidding over $5K and no reserve.

Though this generation is far from my favorite, I really have begun to see more collector-grade examples appearing during the summer months in New England. This is a transition from when the only time I’d spot one is if it was a total beater that happened to be the random pick of the litter for a teen driver. This one is very nicely preserved, complete with OEM mudflaps.

The interior is even better, with cloth bucket seats showing virtually no flaws. All plastic surfaces look good as well, and this car sports the preferred manual transmission. On the outside, in addition to the OEM mudflaps, the Datsun also has factory fog lamps with the rare-as-hen’s-teeth rock shields still in place. Someone loved this car, and it shows.

This Datsun also comes with T-tops and a straight-six engine that I’d assume runs fairly well given the low mileage. Underhood certainly is clean enough to assuage any fears you might have. The seller says it’s been part of a collection and now offered for sale, seemingly without any glaring issues. I’d predict a sale below $10K but about $7,500 for sure.


  1. Rick

    Gorgeous car. Why do sellers insist on having these tiny photos that you can’t see any detail on?

    Like 4
  2. art

    Aside from the ghastly fuzz-wuzz interior, there is no A/C. That’s why the price is so low.

    Like 3
  3. Boatman Member

    I don’t know my Datsuns, but I thought the “X” designated a turbo. No mention of a turbo on this one. A little help?

    • MrBZ

      The X came with the 79 280, as the Z was taken upscale in luxury items. The first turbo was the 81, IIRC Boatman.

      Like 7
  4. NissanMan

    No the X does not mean it’s a turbo. Nissan produced both N/A and turbo versions of the 280zx

    Like 5
  5. nessy

    What the heck? As a longtime ZX car fan and owner, this car is confusing me. Why? First off, it has the base 79 hubcaps which were not available in 82, alloys were standard, the highback bucket seats which were only offered from 79 to 81, it does not have power windows or mirrors which were standard across the board after 81. It does have T Tops, offered starting in 80, the interior door lights were new for 82 which this car has and it has the new for 82 style bumpers and tail lights. Also very weird, although it has the 79 to 81 only style highback buckets, the pinstriped cloth on them was new for 82. The car also has the black out exterior trim which was not available on any 82 ZX. This is in no way a US spec 82 ZX.

    Like 10
    • sam

      BRAVO nessy!!!! You nailed every one of my observations and then a few more! I immediately was thrown by the ’79 hubcaps with the buckets ALSO from an earlier model year. My 2nd hiccup was thinking “how in the world did he get the newer “plush” fabric on an older style seat?” I’ve seen many ZX seats that have had to be recovered and the fabric (or leather) shows that it’s not original but this is a first for me! The blackout trim looks way off base, too! So, I am thankful for you so that I am not the only dude out here thrown off by all the contradictions. I have an ’81 turbo with the low back seats and in need of some updating…. but thankful it’s all original. Have a great weekend, buddy!

      Like 7
      • nessy

        Most welcome Sam. If your 81 Turbo has the lowback bucket seats, it has the optional leather/auto climate control package with the bronze tinted windows. Are your leather seats tan or red? Only came in two colors with leather for 81. My 81 Turbo has the highback bucket seats as they are cloth. The cloth highbacks came in red, tan, or two tone blue cloth with silver vinyl side trim. All black highback buckets were offered only in the base model. I think this car in question must have been delivered new to another country. Maybe Canada since it is a left hand drive like a US car. Also, Sam, did you know that the new 81 Turbo Z was the fastest car on the road for 81? It started the HP wars all over again. I believe that.

        Like 7
  6. William Brower

    The eBay has a ton of picts. Shows two different sets of wheels. Looks like the wire baskets were pulled and hub caps were installed. Odometer shows 72k (kilometers I will assume).

  7. Bob McK Member

    The ad says the car is located in Alberta Canada. I would guess this is not a US spec car.

    Like 1

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