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Datsun Fever


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I never owned a Datsun, but I’m an old guy that has had dozens of classic cars, foreign and domestic.  My brother has a ‘77 Z back in the early 80’s.  It was a total rust bucket, fenders flapped in the wind and exhaust poured into the car unless you kept the windows up and the fan on high.  I’ve got a Porsche 914 that’s a project but saw an ad for a 280z that I had to check out.  Has a crappy picture but says one owner, 60k miles.

I go to see the car and I can’t believe my eyes. The car has no rust. The interior is super clean except the drivers seat vinyl. The guy who owned it was the service manager for Nissan Salt Lake. He traded in his troublesome 260z for the first 280z that came in to inventory. The only parts he ever changed were the clutch slave cylinder and the radiator. Still had the window sticker, owners manual, sales contract with the 260z trade, radio instructions and warranty book with the plastic card. All the tools, Jack and chocks were in the car. It had Libre wheels on it. Power antenna worked as did all the electrical, except the clock. Rubber moldings for the front and rear glass were perfect. Original headlights. Original wiper arms. Still had the metal shield under the engine. Did I say, no rust. The battery tray was original and unrusted. The only issue was failed clearcoat on the hood, roof and hatch. He had painted them years ago and they were looking shabby. But with original paint on all the body openings and the rest of the car, it was obvious that there had been no other bodywork or rust. We made a deal and I got the car. When I went to pick up the car, the old owner had the original wheels, tires and hubcaps. He said he forgot they were in his basement.

I spoke to Eric at JDM Legends in SLC and they agreed to do the mechanical refresh. They were super excited when they saw how original the car is. First issue was the seals throughout the car were leaking. All seals in the engine, trans and diff were replaced. I wanted a stock radiator re-installed in place of the aluminum one. All the bushings in the suspension were replaced. While the suspension bushings were being replaced, all suspension components were cleaned and painted. The gas tank was drained. It was full of really old gas, but otherwise clean. They repainted the tank and straps. We are waiting for the seats to get recovered and the rear carpet reproduced. I’m looking at a NOS dash to replace the cracked original. I had the original bumpers removed and will be saving them and installing early style bumpers. I registered the Z using the original 1975 license plates. 




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JDM Legends replaces all the suspension bushings, re-sealed the engine, drained the fuel tank and replaced the brake master cylinder, rebuilt the brakes.  Car has the original exhaust, wiper arms, wheels and hubcaps.  Runs great but does suffer heat soak here in sunny Florida.  I’ll post up some progress pictures.








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Love this 280z.  One issue is the blower motor.  The original popped the fuse when I set it to “5”  I ordered a replacement but it’s a universal fit and is crap.  After messing with it, I’ve decided to put the original motor back in and check the amp draw.  It may work with better with some use.

I liked it so mush, I just picked up this ‘73 240z.  A “rust free” running and driving project.  I’m shipping it to JDM Legends for their assessment and refresh.  I would love a BRE themed 240 with a minimalist interior.  We shall see...




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Nice Cars you got there, like the orange one! If you need some unrusty bumpers i got a few sets left haha.. maybe someone is willing to make me a good offer for a bulk buy of 3 sets of good old chrome bumpers.. they are 240 and 260z euro bumpers and a set usa with coat/towel hangers on .. 😉 

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