Thursday, June 12, 2014

10k: Seller Submission: 1978 Datsun 280Z

The first generation (S30) Z-car was built by Nissan from 1969 through 1978 and sold in the US market as the 240Z, 260Z and finally 280Z -- the name was a reference to the engine displacement in centiliters (280 cL = 2.8L).  As the US emissions standards tightened, Nissan was forced to enlarge the displacement in an attempt to maintain performance, which they did remarkably well compared to many other OEs.  Find this 1978 Datsun 280Z offered for $8,500 in Waynesboro, PA via craigslist.  Seller Submission from Jeff S.

This Datsun looks like a really nicely preserved example of the 280Z, paint looks good, giant bumpers intact -- if you like the factory look of the later S30s, this is about as nice as they come.

The mess of hoses, tubes and wires you see was Nissan's fuel injection system that helped the Z make 170 horsepower and 163 ft-lbs of torque while meeting emissions targets for the era.  The system will be more complex to diagnose than the twin Hitachi SU-style carbs of earlier cars, but it should offer better cold starting, throttle response and fuel economy.

The seller includes a large gallery of pictures in a google plus album and it looks really nice in the photos.  There are a few defects that the seller has highlighted, including a chipped windshield and a few rust bubbles, but the close up photos are much appreciated over the typical under-emphasis of problems in most craigslist ads. 

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  1. For a New England car, it doesn't have nearly the amount of rust I'd expected to see. Very well presented. All of the rust areas highlighted are common / known for the S30 chassis. This looks like a decently sorted driver that shows OK and will bring many more miles of enjoyment to the new owner. I'd attend to that rust in 3 - 5 years, but for now, keep it clean and dry and you'll barely notice it.

    Re: the EFI system. I was brought up in an EFI world, there are certainly worse systems to operate/maintain out there. [Flame suit on]: I actually prefer diagnosing EFI problems vs. having to dissect the eleventy billion moving parts found in those evil pieces of sorcery you people call carburetors. -Sincerely, someone who just spent his weekend bathing in fuel trying to diagnose a float bowl issue, then sync a pair of SU's.

    1. Gah, I meant northeast car, not New England.

  2. The car got bigger, heavier and with the 5 mph bumpers needed more motor to keep up.


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