Saturday, September 12, 2015

Another V8 Swap: 1978 Datsun 280Z

The Datsun 280Z was the final incarnation of the S30 generation Z-car, but it was a far cry from the original lightweight 240Z.  The problem was that ever tightening emissions and safety regulations had sapped some of the original spirit from the 2-seat sports car, but today's example has been given an injection of fun via an engine swap....maybe.  Find this  1978 Datsun 280Z V8 here on eBay for $11,950 buy-it-now or make offer, located in Beverly Hills, CA.

I am very reluctant to post yet another Chevy V8 mated to a slushbox powered 240Z -- it is just so 1990s.  It isn't that the 350 is a bad engine, it's just that there are hundreds of other engines that would make a cooler swap -- something from Nissan like a VQ35 or RB24DETT, or even outside the stable with a Mazda 13b, Ford 2.3 turbo -- just anything but another pushrod V8.  Anybody?

Expect something around 300 horsepower from the low tech hunk of iron under the hood, plus lots of torques and great reliability.  Okay, the cheap power, torque, and reliability is probably a reason everybody uses the 350 for a swap...but still.

See another Gulf livery themed car for cheap?


  1. I don't see any emission controls for California...

    1. I asked the seller, can it be registered in Cali...his answer, "if you can get it smogged", I say doubtful

  2. California is hot. You try and daily drive to your office job in this sled without A/C in gridlock 100 degree temps and you will need a shower and a change of clothes when you arrive at work. "Hey man, you are covered in sweat did you run to work?" "No I drove that blue thing over there" So maybe as a weekend ripper this would be fun .... if it weren't for the automatic transmission.

    1. I agree most of California is scorching most of the year, but if you live in Ventura or Eureka, you aren't going to need the A/C.


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