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Johnny Danger

New and looking for my first Z

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I've been around cars and motorcycles since I was 16-ish (Geez, making that about 20 years now). Had an old mustang in HS. Learned a lot on that. Discovered Japanese motorcycles and ditched the mustang. Did motorcycles only for about a decade. Later on I picked up a BMW X3 as a family man. Loved the car, didn't love the day I found out it would need the head replaced. Got a nice Mazda CX-5 which is dead reliable, but pretty meek overall.

So now here I am looking for a fun car for not too much money that can keep me from piling on the miles on the Mazda. I bounced around a couple of ideas and thought I was headed in one direction. But then I remembered Z cars. I know the 280ZX is the "dog" of the early series, but I love it anyway and they seem to be a great deal because they aren't as sought after.

I was kind of on the fence and then I went and looked at one. Man, it was trashed. Missing lots of interior bits, what was there was scuffed or cracked, rust through the rear floorboard (this was a 2+2), couple of rust holes in the hood, power steering wasn't up to par, didn't even bother to test the a/c, but MAN was it fun the whole 2 minutes I drove it at slow speed around the neighborhood. Kind of have to have one now.

I was born in '82 (b-day is in a couple of days actually) so it would be cool to find a nice 82. But otherwise, just putting aside some cash and trying to find something clean 5 speed in the DFW area. Not quite daily driver, but driver status with the occasional downtime to fix issues.

How prone are these to rust damage? They seem almost as bad or worse as the 60's and 70's American cars I looked at. Are the turbos problematic? Any other known issues to watch out for?

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He, yes, I did just look at that ad! It is 1) a bit of a ways away and 2) a bit more than I want to spend. I guess I should specify what I mean by clean. Really just looking for a complete, good runner with fair interior and a straight body with no rust damage. Paint doesn't have to be perfect. I've got a little bit set aside, but will probably have about 5K to spend in a month or two.

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You need to become more comfortable with rust on a Z.... unless those pockets are REALLY deep!

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I do agree, it's hard to find a rust free Z for 5k. Probably difficult even at 10k

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