65k Miles! Non-Restored! Detailed Ad: 30 min Video, 350 Pics. 5-Speed, A/C
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Sussex, Wisconsin, United States
Features and Specifications
|Trim:||5 Speed Manual, 2 Seater|
|Engine:||2.8L Original 6cyl Fuel Injected|
|Drive side:||Left-hand drive|
1978 Datsun Z-Series 5 Speed Manual, 2 SeaterVideo:A 30 minute video is provided showing the exterior condition, underside, engine bay, interior, and other details with some commentary.
Click Here for the 30 Minute Video Showing This 280Z's Condition
Current Photos:340+ photos are provided showing this 280Z's condition inside and out. Please note: I was a dummy and did not clean off my lenses thus there are a couple nice large black dust particles in some of the pictures which are NOT marks on the car.
Click Here for 340 Current Photos
For your consideration is this excellent condition 1978 Datsun 280Z that has traveled only 65,500 miles. I am the second owner of this 280Z, having purchased it from the original owner’s estate multiple years ago. This un-modified non-restored 280Z is very solid and original still retaining its original sheet metal, 2.8L unmodified non-rebuilt engine, drivetrain, paint color, and interior components and materials. This is a five speed manual transmission optioned car and has factory air conditioning as well. This Z has been well maintained and is ready to be enjoyed as it is. Please make sure to have viewed the 30 minute video showing its condition and the 350+ photos. I personally have been a Datsun enthusiast for 20+ years and intended to keep this 280Z forever but circumstances have changed.
This 280Z was originally purchased in Wisconsin. The original owner did not use it during winter. He kept it in complete original condition with no modifications at all. This Z was completely accident free. There were absolutely no repairs to the body and it still retained its original paint when we purchased it. Absent are the ugly door trim pieces or other ugly dealer added bits. The original owner did opt for having the 280Z undercoated when new which has kept this Z amazingly solid and this is one of the most amazingly solid Z cars I have seen. The underbody is spotless. The floors are completely original and without oxidation. The battery tray is spotless. The door bottoms, rocker panels, hood lip, hatch lip, hatch jamb, rocker area in front of the rear wheels, etc. all are SUPER NICE, original, and solid.
The original owner passed away thus the 280Z was stored indoors and not used regularly for about eight years. We purchased the Z from the original owner’s estate, thus making us the 2nd owners. The original paint on the 280Z was aged so my father, a retired automotive painter with 40+ years of experience, and I bought this 280Z to take on as a father son type of project with the ultimate intention of giving the Z to my wife as a surprise present, which we did. We refurbished the exterior, giving it a near Concours quality paint job over about a 6 month period. We went through the car mechanically and my wife and I enjoyed driving it for multiple years. We personally have put on around 3,000 miles on this Z. Please see the below description for further details about the condition, mechanical work performed, and exterior refurbishment.
Exterior Refurbishment & Condition:
Make sure to look through the photo album linked below of the exterior refurbishment. You will be able to see the car stripped to bare steel and just how solid this Z is.
The exterior of this 280Z is original from the factory other than the paint and emblems. As mentioned, when we bought the 280Z it still retained its original factory applied paint which had aged. There also were a few door dings, a minor crease in the upper front part of the passenger fender, and a minor dent on the driver rear fender well. The body was beautifully solid throughout and one of the most solid I have seen. We did not have to do rust repair to any area except a small area on both of the front fenders. Behind the front wheels moisture can collect and oxidize the fenders, and these are the ONLY spots that needed some rust repair on this Z. Both driver and passenger fender sheet metal had some pin holes in the lower section in an area no greater than 1” x 1”. It was limited to the fenders only and not the sub-frame underneath. We had the fenders properly repaired with the small oxidized areas cut out and new sheet metal butt welded in. The rockers, wheel well lips, and etc. were all beautifully clean.
We removed exterior parts from the car like the bumpers, emblems, and etc. We stripped the body to bare steel and you can see in the “before paint” photos that the rockers and underside of the car is beautifully solid and clean. We properly pulled out any sort of dings and dents and massaged them to be as flat and true as possible. Minimal top coat was used in those areas and was hand sanded to make sure any of those areas remained flat. The metal was treated then received multiple coats of high build primer. The primer was guide coated then hand wet sanded. We used long blocks to make sure the surface would not be wavy at all. Extreme care was taking in this prep work and is truly what makes the difference in quality. After primer was sealer, then multiple coats of base, then multiple coats of clear. The clear was wet sanded with 2000 grit and then buffed out. High quality German made Spies Hecker paint products were used.
Click Here for Photos Before, During, and After Exterior Work
The resulting finish and body work is top notch and near Concours quality. The panels are beautifully straight. Absent are flaws like orange peel, drips, issues with metallic consistency, sanding marks underneath the paint, etc. Notice the quality of the reflections and glossiness of the paint. It looks as good in person as it does in the photos. The paint has been done now for approximately three driving seasons and in that time we have put on only around 3,000 careful miles. Thus, the paint still is excellent and nearly flawless. There are only a few very minor, few in quantity, and hard to see chips and other marks like on the lower front end and fronts of the rockers which are not even significant enough to show in the photos.
New emblems were installed thus to match the quality of the finish. The “5-speed” emblem is not able to be sourced new and the original was faded thus we did not put it back on but still have it. We re-painted the rims, grills, and back tail light panel as well. The rest of the exterior bits were thoroughly cleaned and polished. All the lenses front and back are in great shape, lacking cracks or significant flaws. All the glass is “Nissan” glass and original, including the windshield, and all are in very nice shape absent of significant impacts or scratches. The stainless trim is in great shape and absent of significant markings. The hubcaps are in nice shape lacking road rash but the silver paint on a couple of them is thin thus one might opt to repaint the silver. The front and rear bumpers are quite straight. The front’s chrome is very good and rear is aged a bit closer to the tail pipe but still is presentable enough. All rubber bumper corners are in very nice shape. The rubber weatherstripping is in great shape as well.
The doors have never been off the car and open and close so easily and smoothly. The hatch opens and closes easily as well and stays up on its own. The hood also opens and closes easily. The underside of the hood retains its original paint and stickers. The engine bay is in very original shape including original braided hoses, stickers, and etc. The engine bay looks good but could use a little detailing. The black undercoating is present throughout and did a great job protecting the Z. There is absolutely no oxidation on the battery tray, subframe rails, etc. One really could remove the undercoating if they wanted with some degreaser.
The rest of the underbody is in excellent condition. The floors are straight, absent of jack damage, and absolutely no rust and no rust repair. Suspension arms and other bits retain their original finishes. It might not be clean enough to eat off of but it is exceptionally solid and will stay that way for a very long time.
The interior on this Z is in impressive condition as well. Only one thing in the interior is not original to the car and that is the rear hatch carpet replacement due to the original having been faded. The seats are in very nice shape, have good cushions, and are not worn at the bolsters. The door panels are in great shape with the “chrome” strips still present on the “wood”. The window mechanisms were cleaned and lubed thus the windows go up and down nicely. The center console is in very nice shape and is absent of cracking. The shift boot is nice. The original shift knob is still present even. The original factory supplied radio is still present and works! Heater controls and vents are in good shape. The dash itself was essentially perfect and WAS crack free until this past summer. For whatever reason, a crack appeared over the summer when the Z was in the garage. Besides that, the dash is beautiful and absent of any sort of significant markings. The glovebox is in nice shape. The gauges look great. The steering wheel and horn pad are in great shape. The carpet besides the rear hatch area is original and is in nice shape. The headliner is very good. The plastic and vinyl in the rear hatch area is very nice with one crack in the passenger side area. Jack, tool kit, spare tire, and bottle are present in the clean spare tire well. Even the starting instructions card that goes in the driver visor is still present! This really is an impressive non-restored condition interior. It looks appropriate for a 65k mile well preserved Datsun Z, if not better.
This 280Z has been regularly serviced and is ready to be enjoyed and dependably driven as it is. We have done a significant amount of maintenance to it in the past few years. It drives very nicely, just as it should.
The engine is very healthy. It starts up on the first time, maintains a smooth idle, sounds good, no odd noises, and goes through the RPM range properly. It has never been rebuilt or opened up. It has good oil pressure and maintains a proper running temperature. No smoking at all ever and no oil consumption. It has received regular oil changes, spark plugs, air filter, distributor cap and rotor, and etc. It drips about the size of a quarter which may have been coming from the drain plug. The radiator was flushed. The fuel tank was dropped, pressure tested, and cleaned professionally. New fuel pump, fuel filters, and a couple new injectors have been installed. The battery is newer. The exhaust is in great shape with no leaks or issues. Stock systems can no longer be acquired thus a Pacesetter unit was installed from the resonator back. It actually is a nice quality unit that is quite quiet and not much different than stock. The emission systems are present. The A/C system is present but in order to blow cold would need to be converted to R134a refrigerant.
The transmission is the original 5 speed manual unit and that fifth gear makes a big difference when cruising on the highway! There are absolutely no issues with it at all. The gear lube of course has been changed. The shifter bushing has been changed as well and it feels nice and tight. The slave cylinder and clutch master cylinders were replaced as was the fluid. There is absolutely no grinding or issues with the trans. The differential is the stock R200 unit and is in nice shape with no leaks. The gear lube was changed in that as well.
The brakes work as they should and without vibrations. Front calipers, rotors, and pads are new. I think the rear wheel cylinders we change out as well but shoes were fine. Brake master cylinder and of course the fluid was changed. Front wheel bearings and seals are new.
The suspension has been completely overhauled. Present are new Tokico Blue strut cartridges along with Eibach springs. Stock springs were no longer available thus the Eibachs were the closest to stock and offer a basically stock riding experience (I still have the stock springs and they will be included). Strut bearings and rear mounts are new. Basically all suspension bushings have been replaced (control arms front and rear inner and outer, sway bar mounts and endlinks, steering rack and coupler, and etc. The steering system is great as well with new ball joints and tie-rod ends. Tires are properly sized and basically new with only a couple hundred miles on them. An alignment was performed.
We personally performed much of the recent maintenance work but also had our mechanic do the servicing as well. Again, my wife and I intended this Z to be a forever car for us thus we took great care in maintaining it and choosing proper parts to keep it as stock as possible but yet able to be driven. This Z really has been well sorted and is ready to be driven and enjoyed as is.
This is an extremely well preserved 280Z. It escaped getting the ugly and damaging dealer installed options like side moldings (they actually drill holes in the sides of the car to mount these!), bumper overriders, and passenger mirror but got the life preserving option of rust proofing! The body on this Z is impressive and very original! The interior is impressive for original condition as well! A silver exterior with black interior is a timeless color combination and looks great on these Z’s. The additional options of the 5-speed manual trans and A/C are a big plus. This 280Z is an impressive example that is of investment quality but can actually be driven too.
These Datsun Z cars are finally starting to get the respect in the collector car community that they deserve and low mileage super original examples like this are the ones most demanded. The Z car community is very strong with numerous support websites, Z specific part suppliers, and clubs in just about every main city. These Zs are such well built cars that offer low maintenance and low cost fun compared to other collector cars.
Please make sure you have viewed the 30 minute video with commentary and looked through the photos. The details are what matter and this Z is in beautiful shape down to the details. Serious buyers with further questions please feel free to message me or give me a call for the quickest response:
262-391-1069 (Usually available on week days after 3 pm central and anytime on weekends)
This 280Z is located in zip 53089. This Z was our forever car but due to my wife’s health issues she can no longer drive it and I recently started a small business that the funds will be going towards. So now this beautiful Z is available for you!
Thanks for making it through this whole description!
This is a serious and actual auction so please treat it as such. Putting in an offer is committing to a contract to purchase this vehicle and the following terms. I have attempted to describe this vehicle very fairly but it is the buyer’s responsibility to determine their opinion of the vehicle’s condition prior to submitting a bid. It is recommended possible buyers inspect the vehicle in person prior to putting in an offer but extensive details and pictures have been provided as I understand in person inspection is not always possible. If a professional pre-purchase inspection is wanted, it must be completed prior to committing to buying through putting in a bid or accepting an offer. The auction winner must deposit a non-refundable $500 down payment within 48 hours of auction close via Paypal. Remaining funds must be received no later than two weeks from auction end. Negative feedback will be given to non-paying buyers and a case via Ebay will be opened. Vehicle must be picked up from Sussex, WI no later than two weeks from auction end unless other agreements are made. $15 per day fee for extended storage. Vehicle will not leave nor title mailed until all funds have been received/verified. Wire transfer is the preferred method of payment for the remaining funds. Once auction is over, the vehicle will be kept in appropriate general care by the owner. Buyer is responsible for insurance once auction has ended. No warranty is expressed or implied. Vehicle is sold as is. Transportation of the vehicle is the buyer's responsibility. If special circumstances are needed for anything, including time, please contact me. Thank you for reading through this whole vehicle description and honoring the procedures that make this a great buying and selling experience!