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New To Site -- Looking for 411 on '75 280z pricing


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Good Evening:

I am looking for advice, information, pricing on a 1975 Datsun 280z that I am looking at for my niece. The car hasn't been driven in twelve (yep, 12) years!! Current mileage is around 40,000 miles. The car has been left outside, and it shows -- rust on lower doors, seats cracked when I placed my hands on them, carpets are old moldy and disintegrating. When I looked under the hood, I saw the fuel injectors (I never knew 280z's had fuel injection back then, an a/c compressor with R-2 written on it (maybe it was R-12, but I didn't see the "1". The owner states his son drive it back from college when he graduated, and the car has sat there in his driveway ever since. He wants me to throw him an offer for the car, and I'm not sure what the value on the car would be considering the condition that it is in. Not sure if the engine will run, but plan on loading up the cylinders with Marvel Mystery Oil, and letting it sit for a week or two -- then try to turn it over. This car has a stick shift, so I assume that it will need a new clutch, pressure plate and throw out bearing, along with a breakdown of the whole tranny and checking out it's insides. Needs complete interior refinish, as well as new paint, rims and tires. Can someone help me out with a figure of what this car is worth? It is going to be a project to get this car back on the road, and back into the condition that it deserves to be in. Thanks in advance for your help!!

Stuart Gonzales

423 400 0914, cell

[email protected]

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Sounds to me like it might be a parts car for someone or a really nice restore job if the numbers all match. 12 years in the yard is a long time for this type of car or any car. If it has not been driven or started in 12 years I would try for something else. After what you discribed I would offer 250 and see what his reaction to it was. You can find running cars for 700 to 3000 that would be better to fix-up. This is just my 2 cents.

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Stuart, your profile doesn't have your location listed. If you enter that so we all know where you live perhaps we can keep our eyes out for a better car for you.

For I agree with John - that one will take a lot of work to get back on the road. Better to start with an already running car if you can afford it.

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Thanks for the information; I agree that this is a "roll of the dice" so to speak, however, the body is in good condition with the exception of the doors. The location of the vehicle is Chattanooga, TN. Ywelve years is definitely a long time between drives, and to be honest with you, I'm not sure if either of us (my niece and me) are up to the challenge, but we will take all the advice that we can get~!

Take Care,


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If you have the time and space to work on it, it might make a good project car if you can get it for a few hundred bux. Like John says, offer 250. It may be worth it to the seller just to get it out of there.

If you decide to pursue it, be prepared to shell out the bux to get it running again. In addition to the items you mentioned, here are a few other things it will most likely need.

1. Brakes - no question about it, the ENTIRE brake system will need to be rebuilt/repaired/replaced. Not an area to take ANY chances. The rubber lines will most likely be deteriorated, and the metal lines could be rusted, they might even have holes that leak. The master cylinder, calipers & wheel cylinders are most likely gunked up from sitting for so long. At the very least they will need to be taken apart, cleaned and rebuilt with new parts. If not, they will need to be replaced.

2. Suspension - the struts, springs & bushings will need to be inspected and possibly replaced. Even if everything appears to be ok, the ride quality may not be that good. Check the wheel bearings, too. The may need to be replaced.

3. Steering - Check the ball joints, tie rods, steering linkage, etc... These items may need to be replaced for safety's sake.

4. Tires - For a car that has been sitting for 12 years, take no chances on the tires. Replace them.

5. Engine - Replace all belts & hoses. Drain & refill the radiator. Drain & refill the engine with fresh engine oil. Replace the distributor cap, rotor, and plugs (use NGK plugs). Check the plug wires, they may need replacing. Do a search, there have been threads posted on the steps to take before attempting to start an engine that has ben sitting for an extended period of time.

The above items all need to be checked and taken care of in order to insure the car is safe to drive. Once these things have been taken care of (an easy couple of thousand dollars spent!), then you can move on to the body & interior! Hopefully you are mechanically inclined. You will save quite a bit by doing the work yourself.

Be on the lookout for rust, especially in the nooks & crannies. Do a search on this as well, there have been a lot of threads posted about the prime rust areas on a Z car. Repairing rust damage can get expensive, especially if the damage is in the frame rails, floor pans, or other structural areas of the car.

Hopefully none of this has made you have second thoughts...you need to know what you will be getting yourself into and how much its gonna cost! From the sounds of it, this is a car that will take a lot of work, time and money to make roadworthy. As others have stated, you might be better off spending more money on a car that is in good, drivable shape with a minimum of rust.

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