Two-Tone: 1979 Datsun 280ZX Grand Luxury 5-Speed – Sold?

Nov 2020 | Classifinds, Malaise Monday

November 29th Update: We just confirmed the Craigslist ad for this car expired and with no replacement listing found, we’re assuming this car sold.  This one may have got away, but if you have your heart set on something similar, email us the details of what you’re looking for or call Rudy directly at (908)295-7330

Datsun’s 240Z opened the 1970s with an affordable and reliable 240Z sports car that morphed into the luxurious GT 280ZX by the end of the decade.  That was especially the case for the 2+2 versions such as this 1979 5-speed example listed simply as “Clean” originally listed in October 2020 on Craigslist in Altoona, Pennsylvania with only 35K original miles and two owners for the asking price of $17,000.

Researching the Collector Car Market Review Online Tool reveals the private seller has their 280ZX priced between this guide’s #1 “Excellent” estimate of $18,500 and its #2 “Very Good” appraisal of $12,200.  Similarly, the Hagerty Insurance Online Valuation Tool as a second data point confirms this private seller has his Datsun priced between the #1 “Concours” appraisal of $23,800 and the #2 “Excellent” estimate of $13,800. 

First launched in 1970 as the 240Z and then later replaced by updated 260Z and 280Z variants, by 1978 Nissan elected to perform a complete redesign of its iconic sports car.  Nissan elected to call the new version the 280ZX and with it retained only the L28 inline-six engine and other driveline components from the 280Z. Nissan offered both two-seat and four-seat (2+2) designs. Compared to the more overtly sporting earlier models, the 280ZX was a much softer, heavier car, with less focus on driving and more on driver comfort and refinement.  Softer suspension, better sound insulation, more comfortable seats, and ample equipment including high-end audio systems defined the new ZX. In the spirit of the times, emissions controls and aerodynamics were markedly improved over the first generation Z-cars, while weight was down somewhat as long as the buyer did not pick much from the very long options list.  The exterior design was evolutionary, less rounded, and with better-integrated safety bumpers. Many parts, including the rear axle and the power steering, came from the Datsun 810 luxury sedan.  Most of the design effort went into an entirely different and much more modern interior.  The 280ZX became a grand tourer rather than a sports car, particularly in the plush Grand Luxury versions.

If the paperboy in this commercial is reading this, your “someday” is today:

Dirt cheap for a very long time, extremely clean, low-mileage, disco-era examples of Datsun’s Z-car are coming into their own.  This example appears to be a nice low-mileage survivor quality car you can bring your small children on cruises with.  Good luck with the purchase!

Here’s the seller’s very brief description:

“2 owner,5 speed, 2+2, power windows, cruise control, new tires & brakes, air conditioning.

Do you have a 280ZX story you’d like to share?  Comment below and let us know!


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