Purchase Question


Asked by Jul 26, 2011 at 09:03 AM about the 1978 Datsun 280Z

Question type: Shopping & Pricing

Greetings Z car drivers; I'm new to this club but love cars, in particular the Z car.  I found a 1978 Datsun 280z limited edition, "what ever that means"  that's been setting up for some years out in the elements.  The owner told me that some cut the catalytic converter out but other than that it was parked years ago and never moved from the spot it's sitting in, see pictures.  It seems to have all its parts minus the converter.  Doors seem solid and it buttons up pretty tight meaning there doesn’t seem to be any evidence of water leaking in over the years.  I haven’t tried to start it for fear of bad gas or some other unforeseen issue but even here I need guidance for I’ve never purchased a car that’s sat around un attended to like this one.  Should I drop a battery in it and give it a go or what?  The owner wants me to make an offer but I honestly don’t know what to offer her.  She knows her stuff and has done her own research and recommended that I do the same then come back and make her an offer.  I know it’s difficult for you all to assist me without having a firsthand look at the car.  I also know I’m not revealing all the pros and cons as they pertain to this car but I simply do not know a good price to hurl at this lady.  Most cars I looked at out in cyber space were drivable and I say prices ranging from 500 up to 13,000.  I will most surely have to trailer this car home or to a shop so to begin ripping into it, so if anyone is able to help me out I would greatly appreciate it!    I will try and add more photos in my pictures however if you don't see them I could not make it happen.

1 Answer


Say hey saw your topic posted and i want to try and help. Currently i own a 1978 280z. The best advice i could give you is do as much research on the car as you can. Currently im a member of a web forum called hybridz.org. Secondly check this car for rust... by the battery box, hatch, the front and rear wheel wells, also check everywhere else. Thing about these older cars is that the time they were made rust proofing wasnt a priority. Also the "limited edition" had nothing to do with and serious special option. Nothing mechanical or anything dealing with the interior was limited about it. The only serious difference of this option what a pin striped paint job called the black pearl, and the door handles engraved with limited edition... also im told the vin numbers between 850-1500? Within the Z world this is hardly a deciding factor on any price difference. Honsetly i wouldnt pay more than $700 and thats if it doesnt have any rust issues. The thing is Z owners are a bunch of tight wads. We love cheap fast cars. You can pick up a used engine for about $50 if your lucky. I sold my old engine for about $150. The other thing i like about these cars are that most parts from the 240-280z are interchangeable, excluding the 2+2. If you want it to be fast start to set aside the money now. I have put about 14K into my car so far. But im trying to go all out. I still have another $10k planned to spend in building her. So they make great daily drivers, and if you want to build her to go 9sec flat in the quarter shell do that too. You can also put in many different varations of engines. Ive seen people put in straight 4's to a 6L V8, and you dont even have to cut and reshape the fire wall. If anything go to hybridz.org read the rules and post your question in the appropreiate place and learn as much as you can. Well i hope your become a new owner soon, as well to follow to become one of many Zed Heads across the country. Oh also check out the videos posted on Youtube, you might get some ideas from there as well. Happy Tunning David (attached is a pic of my Kali)

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