Datsun 280Z for Sale

  • Mileage: 31,547 miles
  • Color: Silver
  • Transmission: Manual
  • Located in: Lithia Springs, GA
  • ZCarGuide Condition Assessment: Excellent

This handsome gunmetal gray 1976 Datsun 280Z represents the best of the Z-cars that totally transformed the automotive landscape in the 1970s. As the latest models prove, the Z will always have a place in our garages and in our hearts, and this early 280Z is a fantastic way to enjoy the ride.

Looking at the shape, it’s clear that there’s a little bit of E-Type Jag in there, maybe a hint of Corvette, and plenty of MG, too. Fast, light, agile, and affordable, even today, this Z is a great car if you like to drive. It comes from a long-term owner and seems to have been well-maintained all its life, with a well-done repaint and decent trim that gives the 40-year-old sports car a familiar look. Cars like this were often put away as sunny-day drivers, and as a result, this one shows none of the bumps and bruises of the daily grind and it certainly appears that it lived most of its life someplace warm and dry. Chrome was going out of fashion in 1976, but there are still a few bright pieces, including both bumpers and the stainless around the windows, all of which remains in very good shape, although the rubber bumper fillers are showing their age. There are no stripes or spoilers, letting the clean, sleek Z-car shape speak for itself, and that’s what enthusiasts seem to appreciate.

One of the Z-car’s biggest successes is the interior, which is both sporting and functional. The black bucket seats were designed by guys who knew the car would be used to its potential, and this one obviously has been. Fortunately, reproduction seat covers are easy to find and inexpensive and would really add value to this cool Z. The dash is full of easy-to-read instruments, each housed in its own pod, including a row of auxiliary gauges in the center, a look that is still evident today in the latest Nissan GT-R. These cars were top-of-the-line machines by 1976, and this one comes with working factory A/C, a 4-speed manual transmission, and an updated AM/FM/cassette stereo. There’s a good-sized trunk area under the rear hatch, complete with hold-downs for the sunroof, which has been recently re-sealed.

The L28E 2.8 liter inline-six is a fantastic motor. Torquey, yet eager to rev, it was enlarged to better suit American driving tastes and keep the Z competitive with the likes of the Chevy Corvette. Rebuilt 15,000 mils ago with an upgraded cam and exhaust header, it still has that same baritone wail that epitomizes big horsepower inline-sixes, and because it’s a Nissan, it’s also reliable and smooth. The engine bay is tidy and original-looking, and that tangle of hoses is how the factory did it, but don’t worry, it’s all ready to go and maintenance is surprisingly easy. It’s fairly clean underneath, showing proper care and maintenance and the rear half of the exhaust system is fairly recent. The 4-speed manual transmission shifts as it should, the suspension is supple yet athletic, and the brakes are surprisingly powerful thanks to its light weight. The only non-stock parts are those handsome aluminum wheels, which carry 215/70/14 white-letter radials.

Today, as when it was new, this 280Z is a whole lot of performance for the money. A nice combination of restored and solid original components, it’s the Z you always wanted when you were a kid. Call today!

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