Two-Owner Garage Find: 1976 Datsun 280Z

There is a great deal of satisfaction to be had in bringing a car that was destined for the scrap yard back to life, but there is certainly something to be said for a beautifully preserved classic that needs little before returning to the road. This 1976 Datsun 280Z certainly falls into the latter category. Located in Puyallup, Washington, on the outskirts of Tacoma and listed here on craigslist, the asking price for this Racing Green beauty is $25,000. Many thanks to Matt H. for the tip!

Introduced in 1975, the 280 Z was another iteration in the progressive evolution of the original 240Z. In an effort to maintain performance in the face of rapidly changing American emissions restrictions, displacement was increased from the 2.6 liters of the 1974-only 260Z to 2.8. This larger motor provided the car with 162 horsepower and 157 lb.ft. of torque, allowing it to go from 0 to 60 in a very respectable 8 seconds flat. These are, of course, numbers from the stock configuration: being a robust Japanese inline-six, there were any number of ways that owners with a little money and ingenuity could squeeze more power out of the 280.

It seems as though it was only a few years ago that Z cars were teenagers’ first cars, bought cheap, used, abused, and ultimately discarded. Then again, maybe it’s been longer than I think. Regardless, the Z cars of the seventies are now bona fide classics cherished for their dependability, modern driving characteristics, and performance. Aside from its condition, this example comes with the sort of provenance that is rarely seen in the world of affordable sports cars. This machine is only on its second owner, having never left the region. Better yet, the current owner has documentation all the way back to when the car was sold new in Tacoma. Taking all this into account, there’s little reason to doubt the reported odometer reading of 32,626 miles.

According to the window sticker, this 280Z was highly optioned, with both AC and the three-speed automatic. There’s not much to find fault with here: the owner states that the car’s interior needs a little attention, and while the Pioneer tape deck isn’t original, it also doesn’t look out of place in the dash. The car has apparently been sitting for several years, and will need everything gone through before it’s ready for the street. Still, as the seller points out, there aren’t that many unmolested examples left out there – certainly not in this condition.


WANTED 1959/1960 Pontiac ANY parts car Contact

WANTED 1988-1989 Chrysler Conquest TSI Wanted. Prefer Red. Will travel nationwide for vehicle. Contact

WANTED 86-93 Ford Mustang Coupe I am looking for a low mile bone stock 1996-1993 STOCKmustang coupe to add to my private collection. Contact

WANTED 1967-1969 Pontiac Firebird Looking for an original 400 convertible, 3 or 4 speed preferred. No restomods. Contact

WANTED 1972 Ford Ranchero GT Ready to go 4 speed, no restoration project, preferably white in Midwest Contact

Submit Your Want Ad


  1. Matthew Brooks

    First off, Not as collectable as the earlier 240 Zs, secondly not going to get anywhere near that asking price. A quick glance at Bring a Trailer will confirm this.

    this is a $4-6K car

    Like 2
    • Eric B

      I don’t think you’ve glanced at them on BAT in quite a while.

      Like 6
  2. JMB#7

    I was getting rather excited, then I paged down the screen and saw the automatic shifter. Major let-down for me. Still a very nice car for someone else.

    Like 9
    • Eric B

      Exactly : (

      Like 3

Leave A Comment

RULES: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks.

Become a member to add images to your comments.


Keep me in the conversation via email. Or subscribe without commenting.