Fastback Friday: 1983 Datsun 280ZX By Nissan

Spotting and hunting down interesting cars is hard but fulfilling work.  I was driving to lunch yesterday and noticed a glimpse of bright red one block and three cars behind me.  The unique headlamp was enough for me to realize that I’ve spotted a 280ZX.  As it pulled into the large strip mall behind me, I doubled back, quickly surveyed the parking lot, and saw its owners alight from the Datsun Nissan grand tourer.

The baby boomer couple were as sweet as could be.  Though we were in fast-paced California, they were definitely on Hawaii time.  All was mellow and they were willing to talk story.  Here is their tale.

The lady used to work for Nissan.  In 1983, she and her co-worker each ordered a 280ZX.  This was the last year of its production.  She emphasized that at the time, the car was still a “Datsun”.  Anyway, she actually saw the longshoreman drive this red beaut off the ship from Japan onto terra firma in Benecia, California. 

The car has been with its original owners for 29 years.  The car is not a daily driver.  It barely has 100,000 miles.  It is definitely their baby and pride and joy.  It has been repainted.  The gentleman does most of the work on the car himself, although a new fuel injector had to be recently installed professionally.

The lady is really proud of the amount of storage space behind the front seats.  Asked if they would be willing to sell it, they resoundingly said NO.

Check out the fuel gauge, which has a separate reading when there is less than a quarter tank of gas:

I may be in the minority, but I loathe aftermarket radios in older cars.  Look how beautiful the dash is without a Blaupunkt head unit:


The NA version got 14″ rims; the turbo had 15s:



Are those pinstripes on the rear lamp?



This world needs more NACA ducts!


Images source: Copyright 2012 Hooniverse/Jim Yu

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