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1978 Datsun 280Z Coupe


  • Imported from the US in 2020
  • 2.8-litre straight-six
  • Manual transmission
  • VAT and import duties paid
  • Ideal project for restoration or track use

The Appeal

When Nissan decided to sell the Fairlady Z in America, they couldn’t possibly have known how popular it would be. After renaming it as a 240Z, fitting it with a more powerful 2.4-litre straight-six and marketing it under their Datsun brand, the smooth, cab-back styling, great handling and fine build quality meant the Japanese coupe flew out of the showrooms.

Later models increased the power with 2.6-litre (260Z) and 2.8-litre (280Z) powertrains. That latter iteration is what we have here, the desirable 280Z. Built as both a two-seater coupe and a 2+2 GT, this handsome machine is now a much sought-after and highly prized sports car.

Having been imported from Ohio in 2020, this example is now ready for someone to finish the project – whether that’s a full restoration or completing the conversion into a track car. Whatever the new owner chooses to do, we’re sure they’re going to have an awful lot of fun…

The History and Paperwork

  • 1978MY car, according to the US Title and VIN
  • US Title from Ohio
  • Exported to the EU in February 2020
  • 77,230 miles indicated (five-figure odometer)
  • VAT and import duties paid

The Interior

  • The interior has largely been stripped, in preparation for using the vehicle as a track car
  • Black vinyl and fabric seats showing some wear and a number of tears and splits
  • The upper dashboard and door cards remain and appear to be in largely decent condition, although we note the dashboard has cracked
  • Black vinyl headlining, mostly secure but starting to sag in a few places
  • The original instruments and steering wheel are present and correct
  • An aftermarket white gear knob has been fitted

The Exterior

  • Repainted in matt grey paint
  • The paintwork is in poor condition, with numerous cracks, chips and blemishes
  • The bodywork appears to be solid, although we note a number of small dents and some light corrosion in places
  • The glass elements all look nice and clear and seem to be free from cracks or chips
  • Some of the badging and brightwork still remains and looks to be in pretty decent shape
  • We note that the front grille, windscreen wipers and door mirrors are missing and there are some holes in the tailgate, presumably from where a rear spoiler was previously fitted
  • Deep front and rear bumpers have been fitted in place of the originals, while black wheel arch extensions have also been installed
  • Underneath, the car appears to be generally solid, with some patches of corrosion apparent
  • The six-spoke alloy wheels, styled after Rays TE37s and finished in bronze, all look to be in good order, with no damage we could discern

The Mechanics

  • 2.8-litre L28E, naturally aspirated straight-six
  • Manual transmission
  • Rear-wheel drive
  • A new radiator, HT leads, battery and oil filter appear to have been fitted
  • A performance fuel cell has been fitted in the rear of the car
  • The car runs very smoothly, with the engine sounding good on tickover
  • We’re told by the vendor that the car is in good running order, and they report no mechanical issues or faults


For anyone who’s been after a project for this year, whether for restoration or as a potential track car, we think this 280Z would be perfect.

They’re superb machines on track or road, and this example appears to be nice and solid as well as featuring that hearty 2.8-litre inline-six. Whichever path the new owner chooses, there’s plenty of potential here…

Notice to bidders

This item is sold on an ‘As is Where is’ basis. The condition of this item is the opinion of the seller and may differ from your own opinion. Photos and listing descriptions are for guidance purposes only*.** Car & Classic do not warrant listing accuracy. Full inspection is recommended. Viewings are at the seller’s discretion. Buyer is responsible for delivery and collection of any item purchased.*

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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1973
  • Make Datsun
  • Model 280Z
  • Colour Matte Grey
  • Odometer 77,230 Miles
  • Engine size 2800
Listing Details
  • Seller Type Trade
  • Town Navarrete
  • Location International
  • Country Spain

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