Sports cars don't come much more sporting than the Datsun Z-car, and this 1982 Datsun 280ZX is an incredibly well-preserved example of an incredibly popular Japanese import that rises in value every single year. These were iconic back in the day and remain fun cars to drive with a balance and flavor that seems to elude today's overpowered 2-seaters. With only 90,972 miles on the clock and loads of originality, this Series II 280ZX is one of those cars we'll be kicking ourselves in the future about if we don't buy it today.
This 280ZX gets just about everything right: great colors, a 5-speed, and it's a 2-seat version, not a 2+2 so the proportions are ideal and weight is very manageable. Oh, and we should also mention that it's led a very easy life in a warm Texas climate, so it's not rotted and abused and has never been involved in an accident according to it its Vehicle History Report. Somewhat remarkably, it's still wearing its original French Beige paint, so you know it's not showroom perfect, although it's so nice it really borderline show quality thanks to years of proper maintenance and care. Champagne as a finish is pretty durable and easy to maintain, which probably explains the shine, and the fact that it's never been rusty or wrecked means that the sheetmetal remains in first-class condition throughout. 1982 was the first year of the Series II facelift, which included revised NACA ducting in the hood, special alloy wheels, along with newly designed B-pillar trim, taillights, and rubber bumper over-riders that replaced the earlier model's chrome and rubber items. In fact, the bumpers are now the color of the body and wrap around further, minimizing the Federal DOT look of huge safety bumpers, which results in these cars looking much sportier and sleeker. And most importantly, all that black rubber trim on the body hasn't been oxidized by the sun or cracked from old age, which is actually quite a feat for a vehicle this age. No wings, no spoilers, just one of the cleanest designs of the period. Period.
The red cloth interior is one of the better places to do the serious business of driving from the early '80s. The bucket seats are still firm and supportive, the upholstery is in excellent condition, and even though it's red, the sun hasn't faded it to some awful orange color. It's loaded with options including A/C (needs to be serviced), power windows and locks, cruise control, tilt wheel, and a stock AM/FM/cassette stereo, the latter of which is splayed out on a silver panel just ahead of the shifter. Clear, legible gauges, including the traditional trio of auxiliary dials in the center of the dash, are all in fantastic condition and as with any sports car, a 5-speed manual gearbox is a welcome sight. The cargo bay is in excellent shape with zero fading on the carpets (another huge accomplishment with that big rear window; this car has always been garaged) and it still has the tie-down straps and bags for the removable glass T-tops. This Z is so clean, even the rare Datsun floor mats are in terrific shape.
The 280 part of 280ZX stands for the 2.8 liter inline-six that powers this sports car, and it does a pretty good job of simulating some of the great sports cars of the '60s. Plenty of silky smooth torque means that the Z is a fun car to drive in traffic and it's an effortless cruiser on the highway with very good road manners. The engine bay, while covered in hoses, wires, and pipes, is remarkably clean and well detailed and it runs even better than it looks. The slick-shifting 5-speed is a joy to run through the gears, matching revs with each downshift and listening to the burly exhaust note that could only come from a six. The 4-wheel independent suspension is agile without a punishing ride and the power 4-wheel disc brakes are powerful enough to easily scrub off the speed, while the power steering lets you flick this little sports car into the corners with two fingers on the wheel. It's not detailed for show underneath, but it's still very clean and there's no doubt that this is an amazing original car, even the catalytic convertor looks great! Naturally aspirated Series II ZX's came equipped with 14-inch 6-spoke alloy wheels, and these are almost completely unmarked and carry 205/70/14 Yokohama radials that fit just right.
With the way Japanese sports cars are appreciating, it's only a matter of time before everyone catches on to what fun machines these are, and they got priced into the stratosphere like the A80 Toyota Supra. Buy now and avoid the lines. Call today!