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
WHAT’S IT LIKE TO DRIVE?
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.
HOW’S THE INTERIOR?
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.
UNDER THE BONNET
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.
THE CCW VIEW
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.