messer12

Need Help Valuing 1975 280z

    Recommended Posts

    Hey everyone! I'm brand new to the forums and have been looking around for the past year or so to get into the Z car community by finding a good project car. I found this one on consignment at a dealer about an hour and a half away from me and took a trip over to take some pictures and document it as well as possible. Unfortunately, the dealer didn't have time to get it on the lift to get good pictures of the underbody. The car has around 56k miles on what should be the original engine and transmission, but the dealer is also including a free 5-speed with the car. The owner is asking $14k for it, which I believe to be clearly over what it's worth. Before I go back more seriously I'd like to try to get you guy's help to determine how much the car is actually worth.

    The car looks to be mostly straight and mechanically good, panel gaps look uniform and the doors close well, so I don't have any reason to believe it's been wrecked in the past or anything. Apparently the car runs well, but I haven't had the opportunity to hear it for myself. My greatest concern lies in the rubber undercoating that might be masking the car rotting away. The car comes as is, it doesn't have the front bumper/anything else that's missing. The only thing included that's on the car is the 5-speed I mentioned earlier. My other concern is that water is still getting into the vehicle and it's currently outside, so every time it rains water gets in. There's about an inch of water sitting in the bottom of the spare tire compartment as well.

    If there are any questions you guys have that I could answer or ask the dealer to answer to help value the car, let me know. Thanks for the help everybody.

    IMG_20191213_133734.jpg

    IMG_20191213_133739.jpg

    IMG_20191213_133745.jpg

    IMG_20191213_133809.jpg

    IMG_20191213_133903.jpg

    IMG_20191213_133910.jpg

    IMG_20191213_133916.jpg

    IMG_20191213_133921.jpg

    IMG_20191213_133953.jpg

    IMG_20191213_133956.jpg

    IMG_20191213_134012.jpg

    IMG_20191213_134050.jpg

    IMG_20191213_134053.jpg

    IMG_20191213_134202.jpg

    IMG_20191213_134208.jpg

    IMG_20191213_134211.jpg

    IMG_20191213_134219.jpg

    IMG_20191213_134240.jpg

    IMG_20191213_134304.jpg

    IMG_20191213_134339.jpg

    IMG_20191213_134442.jpg

    IMG_20191213_134506.jpg

    IMG_20191213_134529.jpg

    IMG_20191213_134536.jpg

    IMG_20191213_134638.jpg

    IMG_20191213_134643.jpg

    IMG_20191213_134646.jpg

    IMG_20191213_134703.jpg

    IMG_20191213_134715.jpg

    IMG_20191213_134717.jpg

    IMG_20191213_134720.jpg

    IMG_20191213_134744.jpg

    IMG_20191213_134751.jpg

    IMG_20191213_134756.jpg

    IMG_20191213_134808.jpg

    IMG_20191213_134826.jpg

    IMG_20191213_134828.jpg

    IMG_20191213_134924.jpg

    IMG-4210.jpg

    IMG-4211.jpg

    IMG-4212.jpg

    IMG-4213.jpg

    IMG-4214.jpg

    IMG-4215.jpg

    IMG-4216.jpg

    IMG-4217.jpg

    IMG-4218.jpg

    IMG-4219.jpg

    IMG-4220.jpg

    IMG-4221.jpg

    IMG-4222.jpg

    IMG-4225.jpg

    IMG-4227.jpg

    IMG-4228.jpg

    IMG-4229.jpg

    IMG-4230.jpg

    IMG-4231.jpg

    IMG-4232.JPG

    IMG-4233.jpg

    IMG-4234.jpg

    IMG-4235.jpg

    IMG-4236.jpg

    IMG-4237.jpg

    IMG-4238.jpg

    IMG-4239.jpg

    IMG-4240.jpg

    IMG-4241.jpg

    IMG-4242.JPG

    IMG-4243.jpg

    IMG-4244.jpg

    IMG-4245.jpg

    IMG-4246.jpg

    IMG-4247.jpg

    IMG-4248.jpg

    • Like 1

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites

    The visible rust is about 10% of what's really there. 90% is hidden. There may be a reason behind the dealer not having enough time to put it on a lift. I wouldn't consider it until I could look it from all angles.

    • Like 3

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites

    I’m out at that price. It’s about a $10,000 car max and then another $20,000 to restore properly.

     

    edit: pics finally loaded on my phone. I agree that $6000 is a max value seeing the rust and problem areas. 

    Edited by wheee!

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites

    That is a ticking rust bomb, it has been sitting outside for a loooong time. Is that standing water next to the spare tire? Even if it isn't you can see the water mark where it has been, also the pooling marks behind the seats.

    However, it is fairly complete which is a big plus, if you are prepared to do a bare metal shell on a rotisserie restoration then the car is fixable ... but not at $14k.  In USD money maybe $6,000 tops.  Unfortunately, cars like this that use to go to the dump are now the affordable way to get into the game.  If you do all the work and you're through you can have a safe, dependable and presentable Z for another $20,000, once you start paying others to do the work,  well you can imagine what it will cost. But if you take that $26,000 dollars you can buy a very nice 280z that has never seen rust.

    • Like 4

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites

    You can do far, far better than that.  I bought a complete, rust-free (ish), almost running '77 for $8500 a couple of years ago.  I've attached an "as picked up" photo, and one of the spare tire well.  Bone dry, non-rusted and complete.

     

    IMG_20160206_130956865_HDR.jpg

    IMG_20160207_145117389.jpg

    I swapped in a working AFM, new fuel injectors and fixed a couple of vacuum leaks, and it was running.  The car you're looking at probably needs a lot of work to arrest the rust, based on what's visible.

    Edited by the_tool_man
    • Like 1

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites

    Thanks everyone for the input. I have a feeling the hard part will be convincing the owner that it's worth about half of what he's selling it for. I did some more looking around today and didn't find much suitable in my area, so at the moment I'm still interested in the one posted. At which point should I just cut my losses and move on? Would it be a good deal at $7000, and if I can't get it to that much should I just move on and look at different options (such as shipping one as someone mentioned)?

    Thanks again

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites

    21 minutes ago, messer12 said:

    Thanks everyone for the input. I have a feeling the hard part will be convincing the owner that it's worth about half of what he's selling it for. I did some more looking around today and didn't find much suitable in my area, so at the moment I'm still interested in the one posted. At which point should I just cut my losses and move on? Would it be a good deal at $7000, and if I can't get it to that much should I just move on and look at different options (such as shipping one as someone mentioned)?

    Thanks again

    I would absolutely consider shipping one. Look for Southern cars, especially SouthWest cars. It's really not that expensive to ship a car, even cross country. I wouldn't buy it, even at $7,000

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites

    If you are considering shipping, I have a 78 I am selling. It has a few standard Z issues but not as bad as that one you are looking at in GA.

    Runs and drives, clean title. Not as nice as The Tool Mans, but not as much either. In WA State 98579 

     

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites

    We didn't ask the fundamental question of "what are your plans for the car?"  And "what are you good at?"  And "what do you like doing?"  The car you're looking at will take a lot of work, so might be a while before you enjoy driving it. 

    Aside from the leaks, the engine has headers, and a fuel gauge on the fuel rail so it's been messed with and might have problems. 

    The extra 5 speed is a sign that the transmission is bad.  Who knows if the extra trans is any good itself.  You'll need a garage big enough to put the car up high enough to drop a transmission. 

    Does Atlanta have emissions testing?  That could take some work to pass.

    Overall it looks like a lot of work for a lot of money.  Your car is barely "Fair" - https://www.hagerty.com/apps/valuationtools/1977-datsun-280z

     

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites

    I agree with all the comments above. That car is way way over-priced. You don’t need to feel rushed he’s not selling that car anytime soon at that price. The market is different across the country but nowhere is it that high. I paid $3800 for a rust free car that didn’t run and needed a full interior rehab. That car your looking at is a 5-7k car at the most. The rust on the door jam is concerning. If he’s at 14k it probably is not negotiable and he clearly isn’t away of
    The value of these cars right now. Go find another on. I see good deals all the time you’ll just have to be patient.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

    • Like 1

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites

    $2000 is fair market price for that considering all the red flags on that vehicle. Why waste your time and money? 

     

    I tend to agree. It’s probably worth more than $2000 because you said it “runs well”? I went back through the pics and the rust is worse than I thought. The frame rails in the engine compartment looks like they could be pretty bad. I’m concerned about what you can’t see. Walk away...find a better car. They are out there just be patient. Rust repair will drain your wallet fast. I’d rather have a non-runner with little or no rust than a running car. Getting the engine running or a replacement isn’t that expensive compared to rust and metal work.

     

     

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

     

     

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites
    4 hours ago, Av8ferg said:

    I tend to agree. It’s probably worth more than $2000 because you said it “runs well”? I went back through the pics and the rust is worse than I thought. The frame rails in the engine compartment looks like they could be pretty bad. I’m concerned about what you can’t see. Walk away...find a better car. They are out there just be patient. Rust repair will drain your wallet fast. I’d rather have a non-runner with little or no rust than a running car. Getting the engine running or a replacement isn’t that expensive compared to rust and metal work.

     

    This is exactly right!!!

    I would rather fix a motor, tranny and the complete brake system than deal with a rusty car. A rusty car takes an enormous amount of time (if you do it yourself) or an enormous amount of money (if you pay someone)

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites

    That's the same one I posted.  Just saying.

    Already at $12,000.  2 days left.  That car is done though.  So...buy a driver, ready to go, or buy a project, to work on.  

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites

    Sometimes I wonder if sellers look at early Z cars and think that somehow that price also applies to their car.  In other words, maybe they saw a low vin 240z and think the 280 will bring the same money.  This is especially true of the ZX folks.   I'm not really a low vin chaser but if that were a low vin car, it would be worth much more than it is. Although no where near their asking price but certainly closer.  That is sheer fantasy.

    You can find dry 280z all day long.  That one was pulled out of a lake.

    • Like 1

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites

    5 minutes ago, siteunseen said:

    What are those yellow dots for? I've never seen that before.

    Screenshot_20191227-125911_Samsung Internet.jpg

     

    The car was rustproofed back in the '70's.  A company called Ziebart used those yellow plugs to plug the holes they drilled into the car to squirt their rust proofing in.

    • Thanks 1

    Share this post


    Link to post
    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