- Mileage: 155,876 miles
- Color: Blue
- Transmission: Manual
- Located in: St. Louis, MO
- ZCarGuide Condition Assessment: Concours
A true original Japanese sport coupe has landed at MotoeXotica Classic Cars. We are pleased to offer this 1981 Datsun 280ZX with Grand Luxury trim. This example was made in March 1981 at Nissan’s Shatai Plant in Hiratsuka, Kanagawa, Japan.
Finished in Diamond Mist Metallic over Medium Blue Metallic (code 998), the car’s paint and trim are in overall very good order, with some minor blemishes visible upon close inspection. The tinted windows are intact and the car’s lights are clear and haze-free. This Z-car rolls on new Goodyear Assurance tires, size 195/70R14 at all four corners and surround original factory six-spoke alloy wheels. The wheels are in very good order, considering their age.
This Z has its original body panels, including its front-hinged hood and factory T-top roof panels, all of which are straight and solid. The bumpers are in very good shape, the engine bay is very tidy and the battery looks new. Beside the new tires, this car has a new clutch master cylinder, tie rods and bushings.
Under that hood is Nissan’s 2.8L straight SOHC six-cylinder engine (L28E). The E stood for electronic multiport fuel injection, provided by Bosch using the L-Jetronic system, and is one of the first Japanese-produced vehicles to introduce the technology. For 1981 through 1983, the L28E received flat top pistons and a high quench head, raising the compression ratio to 8.8:1. Backing the engine is Borg-Warner’s T-5 five-speed manual transmission, which included one overdrive gear and a lightweight aluminum housing. In back is a sizable cargo area with some minor trim blemishes but overall is ready for a pair golf bags or enough suitcases and bags for a long getaway weekend. Driver convenience features include factory air-conditioning, power steering, power four-wheel disc brakes, power windows, power sideview mirrors, cruise control, remote hatchback release, rear window defroster and rear windshield wiper.
Inside, the medium blue interior (code K) with gray accents, complements the exterior perfectly. The blue cloth and gray bucket seats are in overall great shape, as is the blue carpet below and the gray headliner above. The medium blue instrument panel, with its full instrumentation and right-hand ancillary gauges slanted to face the driver, is in one piece and looks great overall but shows some wear at the built-in ashtray. The factory two-spoke steering wheel is present and in great condition, as are the inner door panels and center console. The mirror glass and shifter are in good order. Behind the rear seats is a bag in which to store the T-tops. Completing the interior is a Pioneer AM/FM stereo with CD player.
The 280ZX was a complete redesign, retaining only the L28 inline six-cylinder engine and other driveline components from the 280Z. Both two-seat and four-seat (2+2) designs were offered. Compared to the more overtly sporting earlier models, the 280ZX was a much softer, heavier car, with less focus on driving and more on driver comfort and refinement. Softer suspension, better sound insulation, more comfortable seats and ample equipment, including high-end audio systems defined the new ZX.
In the spirit of the times, emissions controls and aerodynamics were markedly improved over the first generation Z-cars, while weight was down somewhat as long as the buyer did not pick much from the very long options list. The exterior design was evolutionary, less rounded and with better-integrated safety bumpers. Many parts, including the rear-axle and the power steering came from the Datsun 810 luxury sedan. Most of the design effort went into the entirely different and much more modern interior. The car became a grand tourer rather than a sports car, particularly in the plush Grand Luxury versions.
Documentation on this car includes the original owner’s manual.
Competition to this Datsun in 1981 included Alfa Romeo’s GTV6 2.5, the Avanti II, Chevrolet’s Corvette, Honda’s Prelude, Mazda’s RX-7 and Toyota’s Celica Supra.
This car is currently located at our facility in St. Louis, Missouri. Current mileage on the odometer shows 155,876 miles. It is sold as is, where is, on a clean and clear, actual mileage title. GET OUT AND DRIVE!!!