30 Months Gone: 1980 Nissan 280ZX S130 Tenth Anniversary Edition – NOW $20,000

by | Jun 2024 | Craigslist ClassiFINDS, Malaise Monday

June 16, 2024 Update – The Internet and Guys With Rides never forget a cool classic car for sale.  Our latest example is this ’80 Datsun 280ZX we’ve been tracking the sale of since January 2022.  Originally listed for $27,500 over two years ago, after several no-sale attempts at $22,500, the seller is now asking $20,000 using the same pictures from their original listing.

January 5, 2024, Update – While this “ClassiFIND” expired recently, given the seller’s history, we suspect it may not actually be sold yet.  For now, we’re labeling this ride “Sold?” until we come across a replacement listing.

November 16, 2023 – This 1980 Datsun 280ZX we’ve been tracking the on-again, off-again sale of since 2022 replaced their soon-to-expire Craigslist ad with a fresh listing. The pictures, description, and already-lowered asking price all carry over from the previous ad.

October 21, 2023 Update – The disco-era 1980 Datsun 280ZX seller we’ve been tracking the sale of since early 2022 replaced their expiring Craigslist ad with a fresh listing.  After several months of no sale at $22,500, the seller lowered their asking price to $21,900. That represents a substantial drop from their original ask of $27,500 nearly two years ago.

September 15, 2023 Update – The seller replaced their expiring listing with a fresh Craigslist ad.  Their already-reduced $22,500 asking price remains in place, as well as the pictures and description.

August 3, 2023 Update – Just over one year since the expiration of their last Craigslist ad in June 2022, the seller of this 1980 Datsun 280ZX Tenth Anniversary edition posted a new listing.  In their latest ad, the seller further reduced their asking price from $25,000 to $22,500.

July 17, 2022, Update – We just confirmed the listing for this “Classifind” expired, so with no replacement found, we’re assuming this ride is “Sold?” until we come across a replacement listing.

June 12, 2022 Update – After assuming this 1980 Datsun Z sold following an expired ad in February, we just came across a brand new listing that relies on the same limited pictures. This time, the seller lowered their asking price from $27,500 to $25,000.

February 20, 2022 Update – We just confirmed the listing for this “Classifind” expired, so with no replacement found, we’re assuming this ride “Sold?” unless we come across a new listing for it.

Throughout the 1970s, many once fun performance cars became luxury touring cars as increasing emissions regulations and the desire for better fuel economy drove consumers’ change in tastes.  A primary example is a metamorphosis of Datsun’s Z-car from the original 1970 240Z to this Black and Gold, Tenth Anniversary 1980 Datsun 280ZX for sale, originally listed in January 2022 in Riverside, California.

This extremely clean example belies its 161,000 accumulated miles.  Currently offered at $22,500 (the original ask was $27,500), comparing that price against the Hagerty Insurance Online Valuation Tool confirms the private seller has their 280ZX priced between this guide’s #3 “Good” estimate of $17,000 and its #2 “Excellent” appraisal of $32,600.  Interestingly, the  Collector Car Market Review Online Tool provides a much different assessment as, in this case, the asking price is $5,500 above this guide’s #1 “Excellent” appraisal of $22,000 after factoring in a fifteen percent premium for T-Tops and factory A/C.

Nissan produced its second-generation S130 Z car from 1978 through 1983. Depending on the market, Nissan sold the car as either the Datsun 280ZX, Nissan Fairlady Z, or Nissan Fairlady 280Z, depending on the market.  The 280ZX was the first time the “by Nissan” subscript was badged alongside the Datsun logo, along with Nissan trucks. The 280ZX was Motor Trend’s Import Car of the Year for 1979.

The 280ZX was completely redesigned, retaining 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 car became a grand tourer rather than a sports car, particularly in the plush Grand Luxury versions.

The 280ZX adopted suspension similar to that of the concurrent Bluebird 910, with MacPherson struts in front and semi-trailing arm independent suspension in the rear.  The 280ZX’s body was redesigned with aerodynamics in mind. By closing in the open grille of the first generation Z-car and through other improvements taken from wind-tunnel testing, the drag coefficient was reduced from 0.467 to 0.385, and the lift coefficient from 0.41 to 0.14. The new design had a lower center of gravity and nearly 50/50 weight distribution in both the two-seater and 2+2 designs. The rear of the car was stretched to accommodate a larger twenty-one-gallon fuel tank. Overall, the new body design gave better fuel economy and high-speed stability (one of the known issues from the first generation Z-car).

Interestingly, the 280ZX initially offered either unassisted rack-and-pinion steering or a Datsun 810-derived recirculating ball system with power assistance. Neither came in for much appreciation in period road tests.  A new power-assisted rack-and-pinion replaced the recirculating-ball steering system for the 1981 turbo, becoming available on the naturally aspirated models the following year.

It is a common misconception that the 280ZX’s L28 engine is less powerful than the L24 engine of the 1970 240Z or the L26 engine of the 260Z; the difference is due to Nissan adopting the SAE net standard of power measurement, which resulted in lower power ratings than the earlier gross figures and added emissions. However, Nissan designers deliberately sacrificed raw acceleration for improved fuel economy in the 280ZX, so the early 1979 models rated at 135 horsepower actually had slower acceleration than the 240Z, largely due to increases in weight and taller gearing, as well as power losses to emissions controls. This overall performance deficit was not addressed until the release of the 280ZX Turbo in 1981.

From 1980 onwards, the 280ZX was available with a T-bar roof (on both the two-seater and 2+2 body styles). The T-bar roof panels could be removed and stored in bags in the rear of the car.

In 1980, a limited edition “10th-anniversary” car was released. Available in either black and gold or black and red two-tone paint, these cars came with leather seating and other special trim features. A total of 3000 of these cars were built – – 2500 in black and gold, and 500 in red and black.

The MotoManTV YouTube channel provides a modern-day perspective of the 1980 Datsun 280ZX anniversary edition:

What’s most impressive about this 1980 Datsun 280ZX is how the paint and interior condition belies the 161,000 miles driven. You’ll need to confirm with the seller how much of the cosmetics have been restored versus what remains original.

This is the seller’s original 2022 Description:

“1980 Datsun 280ZX 10th Anniversary Edition (#2098 of 3000), 5-speed manual, Beautiful two-tone gold & black paint, Tan leather interior, Alloy wheels with gold accents, 161k miles, EXTREMELY CLEAN inside and out, clean title. $27500

Show or go: what would you do with this 1980 Datsun 280ZX Tenth Anniversary Edition?  Comment below and let us know!


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