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Why would you want a 280?


onuthin

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I know I am making a lot of enemies now with this thread but I really can't imagine life without a 240Z. I know I am a little older than some of you but a 280Z is just a cushiony derivitive of a sports car.I bought my first 240 back in 73. It was a 70 model.I fell in love with it at first sight and after driving it I was hooked.Since then I have had many 240's. I have had several 280's,but I never kept one more than a month or two.They just don't have that same feel like you are part of it like a 240 does.They are smoother and cushy yes, but you can,t feel every part working together and listen to every sound as she tells you just when everything is in sync or when something just aint right.I went parts hunting this week and found more 280s and 280ZXs than I could count.I looked thru them and it didn,t bring any emotions at all to see them sitting rusting out except why wasn't someone that loves 280S trying to rescue them.I found only 2 series 1 that were nothing but rusted hulls and I got real sad to see them in such bad shape.At least the owner was trying to make race cars out of what was left.I have never heard any that owned a 280 talk about their Z with real compassion just the usual I like my Z but a 240 owner talks about his Z like it was part of him and how he loves it.Maybe that it is why a 240 is called a classic.I wished I could understand the difference.I guess that is they make so many flavors of ice cream.

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I think the reason you aren't hearing anyone talk about their 280's is because of the company you're keeping. It seems most of the guys on this forum have 240z's. The 280 and 280zx guys seem to have a stronger presence over at Hybridz, which has more of a "make what you can out of what you got" build philosophy. I don't see much difference in anything that counts between a 240z and a 280z. Bumpers you can do something about. Corner lights you can do something about (if they bother you). You've got the displacement and beefy diff if you want to upgrade your existing powerplant, and you've got the stronger chassis if you want to upgrade your drivetrain (v-8/RB/whatever swap). I'm a two time 280z owner, and the only thing that bothers me about them are the bumpers. That was a day worth of work to fix. I guess it comes down to your mindset. I'm not particularly attatched to any given part on my car, just so long as it still retains that "Z-ness" from the outside.

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I have mixed emotions. The purest would say that the 240 was the only real Z car. I might agree however the 240,260, and 280 have similar heritage in that the look of the car although tweaked remained very similar. It's when Nissan decided to introduce the 4 seat 2 Plus 2 version is when I think the heritage of the car changed and it was all down hill from there. This is a Company that took an absolutely beautiful sports, car a very functional sports car and eventually turned it into a luxury car with no real heritage. I do believe they have done a nice job with the 350z although it is a different car dramatically and the fact that it wasn't suppose to look like it does. This car as you all probably know was derived from the Infiniti Q45 coupe.

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The 280 is a great car for the chassis, rear diff and optional 5-speed. If I wasn't purist about my 240, I'd like a 280 that I could put a more modern EFI setup and maybe even a turbo. Take the bumpers off and you've got a real screamer!

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I have mixed emotions. The purest would say that the 240 was the only real Z car. I might agree however the 240,260, and 280 have similar heritage in that the look of the car although tweaked remained very similar. It's when Nissan decided to introduce the 4 seat 2 Plus 2 version is when I think the heritage of the car changed and it was all down hill from there. This is a Company that took an absolutely beautiful sports, car a very functional sports car and eventually turned it into a luxury car with no real heritage. I do believe they have done a nice job with the 350z although it is a different car dramatically and the fact that it wasn't suppose to look like it does. This car as you all probably know was derived from the Infiniti Q45 coupe.

Funny, the E-Type (obvious styling inspiration for the Z) walked down the same path with the 2+2 and really the heavy V12, too. Unfortunately, it seems common for automakers to get tempted with sales volume and "enhance" a lineup in a direction that's at odds with what made the car a success in the first place.

All that being said, I'm a happy 280Z (2 seater) owner and I do think Nissan did a better job with its 2+2 than Jaguar did back in the day. By the way, FI is a potentially compelling reason to get a 280, as well, particularly for daily driving (easy starts every morning, etc). Of course, I do understand and somewhat relate to carb nostalgia/purism. Ultimately, for those of us new to the hobby, 280Zs are more plentiful and cheaper while maintaining some large percentage of the original formula; so they make a lot of sense. Of course, I also have the bumper swap itch. :cross-eye

What Q45 Coupe? Do you mean it was a design offshoot of a Q45 Coupe study that never saw production?

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IMO, the 280Z had all the "mistakes" of the 240Z fixed; the fusebox, cold-weather starting, the radio system, and other stuff I have been in a 280Z for a run through an AutoX course, and I don't think that a comparable stock 240Z would have been more "exiting."

thx

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I've owned many of each and I agree with TomoHawk. While the 240 is fantastically light, there is something to be said for several extra years of development time Nissan had to work with. The body is stiffer and safer, the electronics are better, the interior is nicer with retractable seatbelts, carpet, etc. It is easy enough to make a 280 track-worthy via the removal of non-essential creature comforts and the F.I. makes it a great daily driver. For me, it all boils down to buying the best S30 available at the time. If I narrow my search down to a few cars in the condition and price range I want, I pick the best S30, not specifically a 240 or a 280. I love them both for different reasons. I don't like the extra weight of the 280, but with a bumper swap, some of that is easy to ditch.

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In my opinion as a life-long car enthusiast, current 240Z owner, and someone who has driven many 280Zs over the years, I don't think the two models are directly comparable. The lightness and more visceral feel of the 240Z make it a different car than the admittedly much more sorted 280Z. Both have similar performance and capabilities, both are great vintage cars, but the appeal of the different models is - well - different.

I test drove a brand new 280Z 5 speed in 1978. The last of the line, and obviously the most well developed. I recall it vividly. It was a very nice car, but as a freshly married 21 year old who was trying to buy my first house, I couldn't swing it financially.

Now that I can buy what I want, my choice was to look for a 240Z. If you extrapolate my age back, you'll see that the cars I grew up with were all much simpler than the later cars, and that's what I gravitate to now. Nothing wrong with the later cars, they are definitely improved in many ways. But I prefer the simpler cars with a less refined feel. It's just the way I am.

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I own one of each; 73 and 78. I love both cars for different reasons. The 78 feels SO much better under me, a much more solid car, while the 73 feels lighter and and not as solid. Love the FI on the 78 but not the smog crap, here in Cali, the 73 with SUs does not require smog checks so there is so much more freedom to upgrade. Both are great cars...if smog testing was not an issue the 78 would be my favorite.

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I have a 78 and in the past I have owned a 70 and a 72. Like Arne said and others alluded to, you can't really compare them. The smog check thing isn't really and issue. Both of my cars (the Z and the 810) pass every two years witn no problem. I have developed a pretty good understanding of the EFI system over the years and have a lot of replacement components should I ever need them. My 78 is very solid and does everything it was designed to do and perhaps a little more due to some of the improvements I've made in the A/C system, suspension, electrical, etc. I wouldn't exactly call this EFI system 'modern' however. For the point that I am at in my life, I prefer the 280Z. Less tinkering, and parts are somewhat easier to find. As far as being the most refined version of the S30? I don't know. It was just the last S30. And also the point where my interest in these cars ends. Nothing wrong with people being interested with the later Zs, S31, Z31-2-3, but I don't compare those to other Datsuns. An S31, maybe, but the rest don't have much, if anything, in common with an S30. But, I digress. It's all a matter of personal preference. I love the 240Z. It was the first new car and the first Datsun I ever owned.

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......What Q45 Coupe? Do you mean it was a design offshoot of a Q45 Coupe study that never saw production?

what was meant was the G35 coupe.

i HATE 280Zs! long live the 240z!!!!!!!!!!!!!

just kiddin! i've never owned one, only 240Zs, and I DO feel that they are a truer sports car, but that doesn't mean that i don't think the 280Z was a good car. but i think i will always own 240s...

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Why would I (do I) want a 280z?

Cause i got mine for FREE!

I don't think the 280z is all bad. The EFI is reliable, but when it fails it's a pain in the arse. The bumpers are nasty big, but are protective (as I have recently found out). And if you are worried about the 280Z being heavier, take off the bumpers, the spare tire and the car will be comparable to the 240z in weight.

I've never owned a 240z, but if I had the chance to I would ... but for me, my 280z is no less grand ...

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In my opinion, it's the ZX that changed the car into a cushy underpowered sedan.

Thanks, Mike, now I feel really inferior:stupid: . No, just kidding-you are right. My beloved, while equiped with the same L28 as the 280z, puts out a sorry excuse for power, at least when compared to its older brothers.

I think the important thing to remember here is that all the older Z cars are incredible, even if they are flawed in one way or another. My ZX is underpowered, and a little overweight, but I love it just the same:love: . Does that mean that I would never consider buying an older Z car? Hell no:finger: , I'd love to add to the collection and discover that little something that defines each model.

Be safe out there.

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I hate to get into a pissing match here and hate to even give such a thread the time or day but I get so sick of such bullshit remarks like this. Like someone else already said "I love both for different reasons" and I agree. 240, 260, and 280Z's are ALL Awesome. There is no such thing as bad first gen Z car in my honest opinion. 240s, 260s, and 280Z's each have there own cool features.

"I have never heard any that owned a 280 talk about their Z with real compassion just the usual I like my Z but a 240 owner talks about his Z like it was part of him and how he loves it.Maybe that it is why a 240 is called a classic."

Never heard a 280Z owner talk about there Z with real compassion huh? Well I can't speak for all my fellow 280Z friends but here is MY response to a thread made not long ago. I can post the link to the entire thread if you want.

This has turned into a pretty interesting thread :)

My Z is an absolute Gem with only 45,500 orig. miles

143911820.jpg

This Z Car is my absolute pride and joy and has such a special spot in my heart. No way and repeat NO WAY will I ever sell her. She's like my little precious child :D

I knew that B.P.E. wouldn't last on Ebay long. It's amazing. That buyer got a hell of deal in my opinion.

Carl, was it you that said this guy has another B.P.E. with even less miles??? Thats got to be something to see. How many miles are on that one? 15,000? :D Do you have any photos of it?

Sorry dial up guys for the big photo :nervous:

Like I said before, I love them all (240Z, 260Z, and 280Z's and I would love to have a 240Z and 260Z to go with my 280Z but no way in hell would I trade my beautiful 280Z above for a 240, or 260. Like I said, "is my absolute pride and joy and has such a special spot in my heart. No way and repeat NO WAY will I ever sell her. She's like my little precious child :D"

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The 280z is the same as a 240z, just with more stuff and a different drivetrain. You can make a 280z look and perform like a 240z.

In my opinion, it's the ZX that changed the car into a cushy underpowered sedan.

I think you nailed it Mike. Years ago in 70-71 when the 240Z came out, the curves and lines turned my head. Being married to the 1st wife, there was no way for me to own one. I was in the Air Force as the years passed and I watched her go to the 260Z and then the 280Z. All this time I longed to own one. The S30 body with those curves, the lines. After a divorce and a year later, 1978 to be exact, my new wife and I bought a new '78 280Z. That's her picture to the left. We really loved that car. The way it handled, the ride, the zip. I'm currently restoring a '78 280Z, but like a father with more than one child, '71 240Z, '76 280Z 2+2 and the '78 parts car, I love them all the same. The '78 280Z is special to me. A lot of memories with that one. The '79 and up are just some other car to me. No offense to you ZX and up guys. I know you must feel the same about your rides.

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snip .... No way and repeat NO WAY will I ever sell her. She's like my little precious child :D"

Same here! Mine is going with me to Europe in a couple of months. To bad I will be without my 280z for since I have to be there in a week and a half.

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Let’s get back to the question even though it was ask in an underhanded way. What are the advantages of owning a 280 over a 240? Look at the facts not opinions. Nissan learned a lot about rust control over the years believe me I know that one. There are several mandated safety improvements.

Like has been said you can not really compare the two but, both have there places, advantages and disadvantages.

Why do I own a 240? 280’s were not made when I bought mine. Will I ever sell it? Sure, but I haven’t in over thirty years. I drove a 280 back in the day they were new and did not buy one. Why money. I did find the receipt for mine. I have more money in parts this past year then mother paid for the car to begin with. The car is quickly returning to the same condition as when I bought it.

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