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Thread: Thinking of buying this 280z...opinions?

  1. #1
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    Default Thinking of buying this 280z...opinions?

    I want some opinions here if that would be cool,
    I'm 20 (gonna be 21 soon) and I am considering this 1976 Datsun 280z .

    I have a small job and a lot of time, going to community college with like 2 or 3 classes depending on semester.
    Currently on the prowl for a new job, something for more money...

    I know a lot about cars and love them (especially Z's), and my dad loves and knows how to work on cars (owns a 71' charger he built up) and would love to learn more about mechanics work on something with him.
    Seriously considering auto technician school also if that helps.

    I have $2,000+ or so saved up and I am earning more as we speak. I plan of using most of that money for a car or two. I'm thinking of getting a 280 Z and something else that's cheap transportation. I always have my parent's cars to use until I move out, and yes I put gas in them...

    I am drawn to the 280 Z because I had the chance to buy one about two years ago and I didn't because it was in poor condition (but drivable) and salvaged title, also I had only about a $1000... and limited knowledge of the car.
    I fell in love with the car and told myself I would buy one. (eventually...)
    I plan to put love into it and money...

    Maybe its sort of the same thing when women want babies men want cars...haha
    Would love to hear some feedback before I make a solid decision.
    Thanks everyone

    Something Happened today, I found a new 280z down the street and its beautiful. It screams "buy me". Take a look.. 1976 Datsun 280Z/Trade????

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    Registered User Hardway's Avatar
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    Hey Nick. You are on the right track as the 260z and 280z's are cheaper than the 240z's. The one you listed looks to be okay but its hard to tell any real details about it. Right off the top, where are the bumpers? At $4500 I would not even consider it as good ones can be hard to find if they are not included. I will agree, they are big and not the prettiest pieces for the car but they do "complete" it. Beyond that, if you like the color combo, I would say go drive it and look it over end to end for rust and any damage. Since you have time my best suggestion is take your time to find a car you really like and don't settle. Plus, if you are in California you have the best chance of finding a solid Z at a good price.

    In regards to buying a classic Z as a toy/hobby car and something else to drive everyday, I would agree that is a good plan if you can afford it. If you are searching specifically for a 280z I would look for one in a popular color combo that you like and if possible, one with a 5spd and working AC since so many of them had it. 280z's are heavier so they tend to ride a little better. I know a few guys that drive 280z's as their daily cars and often comment how comfortable they are, not to mention fun to drive!

    Keep us posted on your search.
    08/1970 240z Series-1 #8011 - Silver, black int., 2.4L I-6, 5spd, 90% restored.
    06/1973 VW Karmann Ghia - Black convertible, 4spd, 1600cc air-cooled engine.
    11/2013 Scion FR-S - Silver, 6spd, a car with the soul of a Z for the modern times.
    Restoration thread of my old '72 240z -> http://www.classiczcars.com/forums/o...1972-240z.html

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    I appreciate your reply, as far as bumpers I would have taken them off anyways, I like the look without them. My dad is sort-of friends with the seller, he says hi to him whenever they see each other and my parents both like the car. I do like the color, although later down the road I will probably paint it something else, but like I said its a pretty good color for me. Over in San Diego I don't need A/C so its not a deal breaker since I enjoy windows down anyways. This Z has a Manual which is awesome I'm in love with this car but if it has major rust (which it doesn't appear to) it might just be a deal breaker :/. One thing about the 280z I love is that I can keep it going for a very long time and work on it myself as opposed to more impossibly complex cars they make nowadays, where instead of working on it yourself you take it in and its intentionally designed to last 10 years... not to mention the more I work on it the more its value goes up, reliability increases, it starts to get a personality that matches mine etc.. I'm the kind of guy that would hate life in a Minivan or Corolla...lol

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    Registered User tlorber's Avatar
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    Nick, just keep in mind that anything post 1975 will require you to pass a smog test every 2 years.
    Tlorber
    '73 240 +/- done
    '73 240 survivor
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    Registered User rcb280z's Avatar
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    That is true about the smog. 1975 and earlier are smog exempt, not 1976.

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    Registered User LeonV's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcb280z View Post
    That is true about the smog. 1975 and earlier are smog TEST exempt, not 1976.
    Fixed.

    I believe that you still must smog 1975s but only upon sale, unless that's been changed recently.
    2/74 260Z

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    Registered User Hunter260Z's Avatar
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    I think you need to take a really hard look at a early model 260Z for all of the reasons stated in post #2,4,5,6. These are great cars for the money, you will not be disappointed.
    Ray
    1974 Datson 260Z
    RLS30-27748 Matching #'s
    L26 Stock w/72 Round Tops
    Interpart Front Spoiler
    Addco Front & Rear Sway Bars
    My Very First Car
    Purchased 5/23/1974

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    I'm aware of the smog regulations over here in california, lets say it doesn't pass smog would it just need some engine work?
    I appreciate all the replies

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    Z geek at large FastWoman's Avatar
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    Nick, those early analog EFI systems do very well to pass smog, but yes, with a lot of fiddling, they can be made to pass. That said, as familiar as I am with the L-Jet EFI, and as well as I've gotten my engine running in my non-emissions state, I surely wouldn't enjoy keeping my 280 emissions compliant in California!

    If you prefer EFI and hate carburetors as much as I do, then you can certainly find a '75 280. I would probably replace the 1975 airflow meter (AFM) with a 1976 model, which has a backfire valve in the metering vane. I would also consider stashing away the 1975 hood (if it's original) and using a 1977 or 1978 vented hood, which would help you with hot restart issues resulting from modern ethanol-gasoline. Another option is keeping the '75 un-vented hood and installing a 280ZX injector fan, which will bolt right up. (You'll have to cobble together some control circuitry, though.)

    There's a fond spot in my heart for the '75, which I bought back in '82 after selling my RX-7. The RX-7 was a cool little car, but the EFI inline 6 of the Z was truly a thing of beauty to this hopeless gearhead. It's been surpassed by generations of advancement, but the flat-tappet head, "bugle" fuel rail, and flappy AFM still make my heart quicken a bit.
    My last three sports cars while I still owned all three:

    2001 BMW Z3 Roadster 3.0i soft/hard top (sold)
    1966 Ford Mustang Coupe (sold)
    1978 Datsun 280Z (enjoying very much )

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