Price: Exclusively Available on Hagerty Marketplace
Mileage: 38,400 Miles
Engine: Inline 6-Cylinder 2.8-Liter Engine L28E
Transmission: 5-Speed Manual Transmission
Exterior color: Light Brown Metallic Exterior
Interior: Tan Leather Interior
GL “Grand Luxury Model” Package:
Power Door Locks
Dual-Needle Fuel Gauge
T-Top Storage Bags and Locks
AM/FM Tape Deck Stereo
Datsun Z Wheels
Vredestein Sprint Classic Tires
1-Family-Owned Colorado Car
Lots of Recent Maintenance
In 1978 Nissan expanded the Z car line with the Datsun 280ZX, a refined grand tourer. The 280ZX had more aerodynamic styling, a longer wheelbase to accommodate 2+2 seating and a larger fuel tank, and a luxury interior with leather seats and power options. Initially released with a 135-horsepower 2.8-liter fuel-injected L28E engine, for the 1981 model year, the compression ratio was raised to 8.8:1 bringing power up to 145 horsepower. A turbo was introduced for the 1982 model year. The GL Grand Luxury option was available with power windows and door locks, power steering, power brakes, and a dual-needle fuel gauge that had a smaller gauge for the last quarter of the tank for those procrastinating drivers. The 280ZX was an important model in the Nissan/Datsun Z line, helping cement the legacy of the original 240Z and setting the stage for the 300Z that would follow.
This Light Brown Metallic 1981 Datsun 280ZX is a low-mileage single-family-owned time capsule with only 38,400 documented miles. The Light Brown Metallic paint over tan interior is a quintessential Datsun 280ZX color. Options include the GL package, including power windows, door, locks, steering, and the dual-needle fuel gauge. It also has T-tops, including the storage bags and locking cable. It was purchased by the original owner at Bobo Motors Datsun Dallas, Texas, on May 26, 1981. The purchase price was $15,837.70; that’s $50,990 in today’s money! In 1986 he moved to Aspen, Colorado, where it remained until 2020 when he sold it to his grandson. We purchased it from him and are proud to have it at the hangar. It has received regular maintenance throughout its history, with most of the work done by a small independent shop in Snowmass, Colorado. Once it came to the Front Range, it got a once-over from Rallye Sport, in Westminster. In preparation for sale, we removed and re-sealed the power steering rack, and replaced the oil pan gasket, painted the oil pan, replaced the exhaust manifold gaskets, and rear sway bar links. It got a fresh oil change with the oil pan gasket, and we replaced the coolant temp and level sensor. Lastly, we replaced the catalytic converter with a 50-state-legal cat to make it emissions-compliant, and it passes State of Colorado emissions. Cosmetically, it is in exceptional condition, with only the typical patina of a forty-year-old car. In 1994 the entire car was repainted in the original Light Brown Metallic color, which is documented in the records. There is no notable rust. As it sits, this is a wonderful example of an original, unmolested, time-capsule Datsun 280ZX. We’d like to find a new owner who will tell the next chapter of its story.
The Light Brown Metallic exterior has been well taken care of and presents very nicely. There are no notable flaws, just light patina, and several small rock chips. It was repainted in 1994, which is documented in the records. The paint measures between 5 and 10 mils, with one deeper area above the driver door handle. There is evidence of overspray on some of the rubber, but nothing offensive. All trim is present and in excellent condition. The body is straight, with no notable dents or dings. There is no notable rust. All VIN tags are in place and legible. The Carfax is clean. The bumpers are in excellent condition though the painted front valance is deformed in the middle due to contact with raised curbs. The windshield is clear and crack-free, with no notable pitting. The headlights are clean with minor pitting. The taillights, marker lights, and turn signal covers are all clear and crack-free. The Datsun Z wheels are in fantastic shape. They are wrapped in Vredestein Sprint Classic tires with 2020 DOT dates and 85% tread remaining.
The interior of this 280ZX is in excellent shape. The carpet is clean, but there is some staining on the factory floor mats. It has never been smoked in and there are no foul odors. The headliner is sagging in between the T-tops and in the rear cargo area. The dashboard is in good shape but does have a thin crack above the steering wheel. All instrument cluster functions work. The stereo system sounds good, but the power antenna does not work. The two-spoke Z steering wheel is in great shape, with the only blemishes being some faded areas behind the two spokes. The power window, mirror, and interior lights are all fully functional. The heat blows warm, and the air conditioning is functional. The armrest has some wear, typical S130 Zs. The leather seats are in fantastic condition, with only minor creases on the outer bolsters of the driver seat. The trunk carpet is clean, and the rest of the cargo area is in great shape. The owner’s manual and two keys are included.
The maintenance records show regular services throughout its history and we did the work outlined in the summary paragraph to bring it up to par. The L28E engine starts on command and settles into a nice idle as it warms up. It pulls strongly and runs smoothly. There are a few oil seeps, but nothing that leaves a spot, and we addressed the worst with the oil pan and power steering rack. The clutch take-up is correct, and it does not slip. The gearbox shifts smoothly. The suspension is tight, and the brakes have plenty of life left. There are no excessive driveline or wheel bearing vibrations. We replaced the catalytic converters with 50-state-legal cats to ensure emissions compliance, it passes the State of Colorado emissions. This is an excellent example of a low-mileage and properly cared-for Datsun 280ZX.