Jump to content


need help w/ a judgement call


Recommended Posts

The short story: I've got a 77 280 in the body Shop including the price of the car I've got aprox $3000 in to it, and it will need approx another $6000 to get it on the road again (mostly body work) if I'm lucky I might get $4000 to $5000 at that point. There's a 73 240z asking price $2000, I only need one Z do I cut my loses or continue through the 77 280 project.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you were restoring the car for an investment.....well, I have a line on some waterfront property in Arizona.....

What you are asking is, would you get more out of the 240 or the 280. Sadly, unless you find a very willing and RICH buyer, neither.

Unless you are willing to wait another 5-15 years for your investment to "mature" and the market to improve.

Here's the bottom line:

Yes, you have a lot going into the 280. But you also opted to have all that work done at a body shop...excellent idea, but EXPENSIVE. Let me rephrase that......EEEEEEEEEKKKKK! spensive.

But then again, you should get good quality work out of it.

Then you have to get other parts, fixes, etc etc. Sad to say, but the best you could hope for....is to enjoy it for a long time.

The other car:

You don't mention the condition nor requirements of the other car. Rust? Paint? Interior? All those will mean that you will basically be starting OVER, but this time $5k in the hole. ($2k for the 240, plus the $3k you've already sunk into the 280.) You're hoping that the return on the 240 will be better than the 280. It probably will, but it will also require as deep of an investment.

So which one to go with? Sorry, I'll leave that to others. But I hope I helped clear the air a bit.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Long Story: As some may know I was homeless for period of 8 mos. last year (hence the derelict tag). While I was living on the street or w/ friends in different areas of the state I met a guy w/ a family in desperate need of some money, he told me he had this 77 280z (I had often wanted a later 1st gen. Z) in a storage unit that was going to be taken from him if he didn't get rent paid. So we went to see it. Missing most of the interior and a earl shieb paint job He said he would let it go for the price of the storage fee and $150. Total cost was $510, so I paid it and another months rent on the storage. And I was off, yes it ran, but needed brakes and a transmission. So I drove it for a couple months and spent my time educating myself on Z cars ('bout the time I found this forum) and started looking for body shops. Found a shop that told me everything I wanted to hear and w/ some of my own sweat the body could be restored for about $3000, and paid them $600 for materials. as I worked in this shop I came to realize everything leaving it was of poor quality. Time to go, the only other shop I felt comfortable w/ did nothing but Show quality cars. So I pack up the car and had it moved. though I wouldn't call the car a rust bucket it had its share. I've got $1200 out to the new shop.

About this time I start passing the 240z parked on a side street on a weekly basis and think to myself don't stop I have my own Z. Well today I stopped. It's a 73 240z that a guy left w/ his parent to sell, and it looks pretty good.

The Interior has corbeau seats, yes, the dash is cracked and the light switch malfunctions, speakers in the doors and some knobs are missing I'd rate it at an 8.

The exterior Silver, w/ black rocker cover high all the way around and some bubbled paint RR Quarter, the inside of the quarter, rocker and fender feel smooth, floor panels no rust and frame rail are straight suspension components and support some orange, exhaust very orange, inspection covers have louvers.

Engine started easy considering it was 35 degrees outside, round type carbs engine bay looked very clean, no smoke but, from the odor I think it's running rich. The man showing me the car said the was a small leak but he didn't know what or where. Speedo shows 56k. It was getting near dusk so the old man suggested that I return on Saturday to take it for a drive and look at it again.

Should I admit to my self that my original Z is just a money trap and purchase the 240 and take my loss or should I continue with the original project car? I prefer the later model car for the A/C, Fuel injection, 5 speed and (believe it or not, for more practical reasons) the larger bumpers. I currently live in an apartment and the dining and living rooms are filled w/ car parts. At least w/ the 240 I can start enjoying it today not 6 mos from now.:stupid: :stupid: :stupid:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'd say keep going with the 280.

You say you've already spent 3K on it and it isn't done, which means you'd be lucky to sell it for half that in it's unfinished state. If you buy the 240 for 2K that means you are out 3500 and have to start at the very beginning again. You'd end up spending 6K fixing the 240 if you go the same route you are going now, which means you have then spent 9500 and you'll have just as hard a time selling the 240 for your investment as the 280.

Changing cars in the middle of a resto doesn't make much sense when you think of it in terms of time lost as well as the money you could end up losing.

A good 280 done right will bring as good a price as a shoddy job on a 240. So do it right and either enjoy the car, or sell it and then start another project... A nice 280 recently went for almost as much a one of the Z store resto's on Ebay, so it is not so much the car as the quality of the car.

Unless perhaps it's a 280Zx....LOL

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You won the lottery or got a super paying job that would allow you to BOTH restore the 280 and buy the 240 for driving pleasure.

I understand the NEED to drive the car. But I also understand that your finances may be stretched to the limit.

I'll be blunt, it sounds as though you've decided to buy the car on an impulse and are hoping some of us here talk some sense into you. The bottom line is this, if YOU feel that there is reason to doubt, then go with your instincts.

Asking us to help isn't a solution as later you will blame us either because it turned out to be the ONLY Z Mr. K personally helped build and you didn't buy it, OR it becomes not only a money pit, but you swear it has a shop vac attached to it.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

I just got bit by the Z bug! the first Z (77) I did buy impulsively (actually I was trying to do a good turn for someone). Knowing what i know now about Zs I probably wound't have bought it or bought it and just drive into the ground. A little regret there.

The second car (73) if it is as clean as it appeared the other night I'll purchase and drive till the project car finished or I need the money (may be very soon) from what I've learned it's worth 'round the $3500 dollar mark. Personally I don't care for chaos or clutter (the price we pay) I posted because I'm sure that others have crossed the same path, where You just can't pass up a good deal even when you have enough irons in the fire. Thanks for your response EScanlon.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

And if it weren't for the fact that my owner would promptly have me neutered AND do a flush Bobbit Trim causing me to have to change the gender of my clothes I would buy at least half a dozen more Z's. You know, Save the Z, collect the entire set!

So I empathize, and although it may have sounded harsh, it wasn't meant to be offensive.

Good Luck


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Guidelines. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.