Reader Roadkill Copper T-Top: 1982 “Datsun by Nissan” 280ZX 2+2
One of our readers recently stumbled across this very nice appearing 2nd-generation Z car and sent it on to us, so we thought we would share it despite the limited info available. He says it was “spotted in Thousand Oaks, California. Clean and well cared for. A family sized 280Z with an automatic.” While no asking price is listed on the for sale sign, this may be worth a closer look for anyone in the market for a Malaise Era sporty GT. See the close-up image of sign below for the seller’s contact info. Thanks to reader Victor V.T. for the tip and pics.
We’ve only got two pictures to base our write-up on but from what we can see this car looks very nice and unmolested. The brown and copper color scheme is pure Malaise, not to mention the NACA duct on the hood, sweet tinted T-tops and black plastic louvers in the rear window. Japanese KITT, anyone? If your Night Rider fantasies get crossed up with your nostalgia for imports, this might be just the ticket. This one has room in the back seat for some junior Hasselhoffs too.
These 2nd-gen S130 Zeds were completely redesigned vs. the 1st generation car that was released in 1969. Upgrades to the car included power rack & pinion steering, an independent trailing arm style rear suspension, and a 2.8L L28E straight six engine. Being a 1982 model year this “Series II” car also has some revisions that will make it more livable and better than a 1979-81 version. Now – no need to sugar coat it – this thing will be slow with 145hp, a power-sucking torque converter automatic, and an almost 3000 lb curb weight. Expect 0-60 mph to happen in about 10 seconds on a good day. But a more engaging T5 manual was available as a factory option, so a swap couldn’t be too difficult. Survivor cars like this almost always turn up with slushboxes so doing the conversion may be the only way to have your Mailaisey cake and eat it too.
Find a faster ’80s Japanese survivor? Email us here: firstname.lastname@example.org