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New Guy! RHD 79 Fairlady Z!


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Hello guys... good to be here. I'm Brian from Indiana. Hopefully I can learn a little more about Z cars in general and even more about my car specifically.

Long story short, my step dad passed away and handed the car down to me. I believe its a 79 Fairlady Z, imported in 84 then parked in 86.. for 22 years. We got the car in late '08 with 63k kilometers on the odometer. All the fluids were changed, gaskets, etc.. The car fired right up! We put a few miles.. kilometers.. on the car and it was obvious the clutch was shot, so me and my buddy Mark replaced it last winter with an OEM 79 280ZX clutch.

I guess it has a motor that was only available in Japan, a 2.0L (1998cc) inline 6... L20E is the engine code I believe.

The exterior is decent for what it is.. there are a few small door ding type spots on both sides of the car, nothing major. There are 2 VERY small spots of rust on the car, not bad for sitting for so long.

The interior is near mint. No rips, stains, cracks in the dash, nothing... other than a musty arse smell LOL.

It needs a little TLC but it'll be a fun little thing to work on and slowly restore. The only thing it really needs right now is some sort of idle control valve or something... Although we worked on it last weekend and it seems to be better, so we'll see.

Here are some crappy pictures, I'll get some more next weekend or so after we give the car a good buff and wax.

Hopefully you all can shed some light on what I really have, and maybe an idea of whats its worth? I have no clue!!








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A very rare car, Brian.

Post up more pics of engine bay, interior, undercarriage, etc.

Ask advice of Carl Beck, Arne, et al as to it's worth.

Your step-dad had something and knew it. That's why he gave it to you. Take care of it.

From a step-dad with similar plans for my step-son....


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Ask advice of....Arne....as to it's worth.
Hey now! Even US-spec ZXs are outside my knowledge comfort zone, and real JDM Fairladies are far outside. Anything I guessed would be just that - a Wild A** guess.

However - as an old former tire/wheel guy I would be interested in hearing any history you can find out about the rims on it. They appear to be 14x6 Appliance brand "Wire Mags" with the spoke area painted gold. Appliance never offered them painted like that, and they phased out that style well before your car was imported in '84, but many of them were actually cast in Japan for Appliance. It wouldn't surprise me too much if the company who built them for Appliance also marketed them under a different name in other markets. So I'd be curious to know if they were installed on the car here in states (probably as a used set in that case), or if by chance they were installed in Japan before the car left for the US. As part of my curiosity and reference on them, I'd love to see a closeup of the center caps and lug nuts.

Edited by Arne
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Great Car Brian! personally I would not bother rhe car much other than mechanical aspects, I own a '74 260 with the original paint, and although I have far more dings than your car, I still would not consider painting it! congrats sounds like your step dad had good intentions all along.

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As a 20 year owner of a 79 280ZX , I find this car interesting. Definitely like to see some more pics. I see it does not have the warning system to tell if you are low on water, headlight out etc,and no power windows, but does have a rear window wiper. So its a mix of the "GL" and non GL ZX . Can we see under the hood? Does it have power steering? I'd like to see the injection and intake manifold. Does it have an EGR system?

Very cool car!

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Very lovely indeed! It also doesn't have the secondary fuel meter, something I really enjoy on my 79.

If you'd like to convert your gauge cluster to an MPH unit, I have a couple spares you might be able to poach parts from (though I'm not sure how it would work with your speedo cable, or if the speed would be correct)

Then again, keeping it all original (and remembering the kph/mph equivalencies) could be great bit of fun.

My dad's first car was a VW beetle, it didn't have the MPH speeds on it-he used to have loads of fun showing people that his bug could go 100!

Edited by zbane
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Welcome. That's certainly a rare car in the US; I don't know how many were made worldwide. I do know that in the US the 1979 280ZX was the model with the highest production number of any Z car so it's likely that the numbers were high worldwide. I believe that here in the US the fact that it's a 2+2 potentially lowers the appeal. In other markets the 2+2 might have been more popular or even the only option - I don't recall.

The value of anything is what someone's willing to pay for it. Since the car is so unique in the US it's going to be hard to find a comparable sale to help judge what someone would be willing to pay. Of course, something being rare potentially increases the perceived value to some people. The condition and especially the low mileage (kilometerage??) also increases value. Finally the fact that this car has a family history quite likely means that it's worth even more to you.

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Here are a couple shots of the motor from when we received the car..



Let me give you a little more background... My step-dad was self employed, primarily for one individual (a very good friend of his) who owns lots of rental properties. He sort of managed all the properties for him... collected rent, did all work that needed done, etc.

A couple years ago, he (step dads friend) moved about an hour away and sold a few of his properties. This car was actually his brother in laws who moved to California in the late 90s and left the car behind. It was stored in one of the garages at a rental home that he sold.. said his bro-in-law didnt want the car, so if we wanted to get it out and fix it up, we could have it... no charge - so thats what we did.

Back to the car -

I'll try to get a good pic of the wheels/centercaps, though the centercaps are pretty well shot so I'm not sure if I'll be able to read any of them or not.

The guy who originally owned the car wasn't much of a car guy, so I honestly doubt he purchased different wheels for the car. They are 14's I know that much, and probably only 6" wide since the tires are 195s..

It does have power steering and an EGR system, though it was blocked off for what appears to be an aftermarket header. We removed the rest last weekend to help with my idle problem I was having.

I'll try to get some undercarriage pics in the near future, a friend of mine owns an exhaust shop so I can throw it on the lift.

Thanks for all the comments and questions guys... pretty excited to learn as much as I can.

EDIT: Here are a couple pics of the car in storage before we brought it home




And a plate I removed to scan..


Edited by BT802
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