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Weekend Edition – 1980 Datsun 280-ZX on Craigslist… Tempting 2+2 or Not?

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Welcome to another Craigslist Quick Hit. This time we received this tip from Marcal (Thanks Man!) and it is a Nissan S130 2+2 with some engine problems. So, would you tackle this, or just pass?

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According to the listing:

good
new radiator water pump thermostat 200$ in parts
motor turns over
decent body
its a 2 + 2 and a automatic which is rare
titile in hand
have an extra head and other parts
full tank of gas

bad
motor over heated so it needs head work

water pump and radiator put on after
i believe the head gasket only need replaced and the head shaved which only should cost about 150$

asking 800 obo u haul

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The car is listed in the Seattle section of Craigslist, and would make a great 24-Hours-of-LeMons entry. Look, the engine has already tasted overheating, and with a new Head Gasket, Water Pump, Radiator, and such I don’t see any problems ahead… Asking price $800… So what would you do with this car? See the listing here, or if the ad disappears, click here.

Currently there are "17 comments" on this Article:

  1. VolvoNut says:

    I'd double check the "titile" and worry about that nasty dent in the hood, front end damage?

  2. From_a_Buick_6 says:

    I can't see these without hearing the old Datsun TV ad jingle in my ahead and the "It is AWESOME" tagline.

  3. Jarvitron says:

    At $800, it's a pass, but if they'd go down to 6 or so it'd be worth it just in interior trim parts. But at $8? I see these (and more desirable Z's in worse shape) go under $1500 pretty regular around here. Even when you get that hood perfect and fix it all awesome it's still gonna be a 2+2 (which is +300 pounds from the regular), automatic, low-compression Fairlady – how hard do you wanna scrounge for parts to make that happen?

  4. lilpoindexter says:

    Pass, the hideous 2+2 roofline always sucks…if there were no two seater to compare it to, it might be acceptable.

    • wolfie says:

      2+2 makes it a 4 seater,I had one and it was a good old car,but those back seats were for small people.

      • danleym says:

        I've yet to see a 2+2 with back seats that are comfortable for anyone older than 8. I think the whole concept is pretty pointless- either give me seats that work or ditch the extra weight.

        • wunno sev says:

          used to own a 2+2, now have a 2-seater. i really miss those back seats. when you just need to take a fifteen-minute trip across town and your only ride is a 2+2, your back-seat passengers don't mind that it's uncomfortable when the alternative is spending an hour on a bus.

          2+2 seats are perfect because, like you requested, they work. you don't wanna drive cross-country in a 2+2, but how often do you drive cross-country?

          • wolfie says:

            The idea was that for insurance purposes it was a 4 passenger car.

            • mckellyb says:

              Wolfie nailed it.

              Stupidly, four passenger vehicles are "less risky", according to the insurance industry, than two passenger vehicles.

  5. facelvega says:

    When I bought my S130 I scoured hundreds of ads and inspected about a dozen in person. This one has run away written all over it. Sometimes a $3000 car is cheaper than a $800 car. Actually, much of the time.

  6. Devin says:

    A 2+2 auto is rare because those are the two things you don't want.

  7. Van_Sarockin says:

    These were always like the Cordobas of Datsun. Only surpassed by the successor 300ZX. The price isn't too bad, but it sounds like there's too many problems for too little upside.

  8. wisc47 says:

    It's too square, the original S30 was so much more timeless that it's worth the extra money. If I owned one of those and then someone pulled up in an S30 I would feel nothing but disappointment, regret, and inadequacy.

    <img src="http://www.charlesayoub.com/news/public/uploads/images/96143426233902574.jpg"&gt;

  9. Irishzombieman says:

    Story time.

    Girl in high school had one of these, with a sunroof. She drove it terribly, which for years afterwards gave me the impression that it was a terrible car. It wasn't. Just misunderstood.

    So she's flying down a back highway in northern California one warm summer night, windows down, sunroof open, radio blasting. Rounds a corner and finds a big damned deer standing in her lane. BAM! She hits the deer. The impact broke all its legs, her speed made it roll up onto the hood where SMASH! it shattered the windshield before HOLY CRAP! it ended up on its back, wedged in the sunroof hole.

    She had just enough time to think "SHIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIT!" before she went off the road and unwittingly steered her car between two giant rocks. Had she hit either head-on, she'd probably have died, but alas, she went straight between the two and stuck the car in like a wedge in a chunk of firewood.

    She bashed her head on the steering wheel and when she came around it took her a minute to figure out what the hell she was hearing, and what it was that kept banging her shoulder. The deer was alive, kicking, bleeding, making a weird whistling noise. It was still alive and kicking four hours later when someone found her.

  10. Manic_King says:

    Murilee says these are crap LeMons cars….
    "It doesn’t matter what kind of (allegedly) sub-$500 Z you race, be it a 280ZX, Z31, or Z32, you’ll be a much more experienced Nissan mechanic after running your Nissan in a couple of 24 Hours of LeMons races. That’s because the Nissan L engine used in the 240/260/280Z becomes unhappy after a few hours of LeMons-style abuse……A Z31 and a 280ZX have taken overall wins in LeMons races, but ask those teams how many races were spent spinning wrenches in the pits before and after their wins!" http://blog.caranddriver.com/lemons-wisdom-vs-con

  11. calgoat says:

    Even the $800 price can't balance out the fact that the car is clearly in a state of terrible neglect AND it's a freakin' automatic.

    If it were a manual, I could almost be swayed into that horrible delusion of "Yeah… I could fix that up real nice like for cheap…"

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