Dat­sun 280Z

EN­GINE 2753cc/6-cyl/OHC POWER 170bhp@5600rpm TORQUE 163lb ft@4400rpm MAX­I­MUM SPEED 126mph 0-60MPH 7.8 sec FUEL CON­SUMP­TION 15-22 mpg TRANS­MIS­SION RWD, five-speed man­ual MoT Jan­uary 2018 ODOMETER 211,820 miles

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - This Week - Andy Tal­bot


There’s no smoke from the ex­haust and the en­gine runs strongly and idles steadily. The unas­sisted steer­ing feels heav­ier than pre­vi­ous Dat­sun ‘Z’ cars, thanks to the ex­tra weight of the 2753cc en­gine. The steer­ing frees it­self up once un­der­way and feels pre­cise at cruis­ing speeds. All the gauges give sat­is­fac­tory read­ings. The brakes are strong and stop the car with no div­ing to either side. It feels well screwed to­gether, with no un­to­ward sounds or vi­bra­tions, save for a slight squeak from the clutch pedal – eas­ily reme­died in sec­onds. Stock sus­pen­sion per­forms well.


This Cal­i­for­nian im­port’s body­work ap­pears to be rust-free, with the seams dis­play­ing al­most fac­tory-fresh crisp­ness. The body panel gaps are sat­is­fac­tory for a car of this age. To be picky, there are some very small blem­ishes on the paint­work around the door edges and a small dent in one of the C-pil­lars. A glass-out re­paint and colour change from red was car­ried out in mid-1990s and the US market im­pact bumpers were re­placed with smaller 240Z-style black bumpers. The car wears new black 15in Rota RKR al­loy wheels shod with new Falken 205/60 R15 tyres. The pe­riod rear win­dow lou­vre looks orig­i­nal. All chrome and bright­work is ex­cel­lent, like­wise the Euro­pean-spec rear light lenses.


The all-black in­te­rior is in ex­cel­lent con­di­tion, aside from a small crack in the dash­board from sun dam­age and is dry and odour-free. The fac­to­ry­fit­ted air con­di­tion­ing works as it should and all gauges and con­trols work apart from the clock. The switchgear is in good con­di­tion and works prop­erly, though the bud­get generic CD/ ra­dio is a bit of a let­down. The del­i­cate chrome and wood­ef­fect door trim is in fine con­di­tion as is the vinyl on the pan­els and seats. The seats are firm, com­fort­able and in very good or­der and the head­lin­ing and car­pets are in ex­cel­lent nick. The car­peted lug­gage area is clean and tidy.


The pre­sentable en­gine bay is still fin­ished in the orig­i­nal red but the com­po­nents look orig­i­nal and leak-free. His­tory com­prises work done by a Dat­sun spe­cial­ist, the three­inch thick file gives a good pa­per­work ac­count of this one­owner car and two note­books de­tail ev­ery fuel stop from new. Mileage is strong but it has been ser­viced an­nu­ally (in­clud­ing very re­cently) and cov­ered just over 2000 miles in the last ten years.


This rare man­ual US market 280Z’s metic­u­lous ser­vice records and rust-free con­di­tion through­out work very much in its favour. High mileage, but tempt­ingly priced for a ‘Z’.

PROS Metic­u­lous his­tory, great value, drives well CONS High mileage, red en­gine bay, blem­ishes

BUY IT FROM Vega Clas­sics, Wood­bury, Devon EX5 1AY 01395 239802, www.ve­g­a­clas­sics.co.uk

LHD, but with work­ing fac­tory air con­di­tion­ing.

Pity the 1990s re­spray didn’t ex­tend to the en­gine bay.

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