Nissan sold the 280ZX version of the famed Z-Car here for the 1979 through 1983 model years, right up to the end of the Datsun era and the start of the “Name Is Nissan” period we’re in today. These cars don’t have the maniacal following of their 240Z/260Z/280Z predecessors but sold well when new, so I find the 280ZX to be reasonably easy to find in the big California car graveyards I frequent. Here’s a well-equipped ’80 in Alpine White paint, showing off its T-tops in a San Francisco Bay Area yard a few years back.
Some used-car lot tried to sell this car for $1,499. Classic. T-top. Fun!!!
This little patch of body rust on the hood is the only corroded spot I could find on this car’s body.
Just barely over 150,000 miles on the odometer. California junkyards have a lot of 40-year-old cars like this.
The double fuel gauge was one of the nicest features Nissan put on high-end cars around this time.
The 2.8-liter straight-six engine in this car made 132 horsepower. List price for the 1980 280ZX coupe was $9,899; the 1980 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 (essentially the same car as the ’79 Z28 Jeff Spicoli crashes in Fast Times at Ridgemont High) cost $7,121 and had 190 horsepower… but that Camaro didn’t have the tiny-phonograph-based Nissan Voice Annunciator box.
The Jatco three-speed automatic added 295 bucks (about $1,055 today) more to the ZX’s price tag.
My reference books are silent on the cost of this T-top roof, but it couldn’t have been cheap.
This car could have been put back on the road easily enough, but there’s a glut of nicer 280ZXs in California.
You can’t talk about the 1980 Datsun 280ZX without showing the legendary Black Gold TV commercial.
It’s ready to conquer a new decade, with an open cockpit to the sky. The ultimate definition of Awesome!
In Japan, this car (known as the Fairlady Z) had much better TV commercials. Zed Zone!.
For links to nearly 2,300 additional Junkyard Finds, visit the Junkyard Home of the Murilee Martin Lifestyle Brand™.
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