Showdown: 3-Way 70s Forced Induction Import Battle

The grate keeps the squirrels out...or in?
In our last Showdown, the Country Sedan stomped all over the Chevy Panel Wagon. Some accused me of stacking the deck in favor of a Ford like my own, but I don’t set the prices. I just picked two examples in the same price range. Anyway, onward… We’re mixing things up today with a trio of 70s imports equipped with hairdryers and a price point of about $6000…

turbo datsun 280z
Jaw-droppingly awesome
The 280z gets a bad rap as the poster child of smog regs killing an otherwise great car. Displacement went up, but power went down. The best way to fix that? Forced induction, babyThis one‘s got a turbo motor from a 280zx hooked up to a 5-speed stick and a pile of suspension upgrades. It’s had some body work done, but seems like it needs some more, based on the seller pointing out it’s got “typical Z rust” around the hatch. Not perfect, but a pretty good start at $6500. Datsun 510s are well-loved as a paragon of no-frills nimble little demons. A little short on power, though. Luckily, our seller has decided to rectify that with a big block Chevy turbo Mazda 12a rotary engine. Sure, it’s a torqueless wonder, but in an 1800lb car that’s not much of an issue. There’s a truckload of other well thought-out modifications, to the point where we’re kinda left wondering “what’s the catch?”. $6500 ain’t bad. Also: bitchin’ splitter. While the RX-7 and -8 get all the wankel attention these days, too many forget the earlier RX-s like this 1971 Mazda RX2 with a turbo 13b swapped in. Seems like a great little car, ready for some kind of track action, with one minor hangup:

Straight boby no rust recently painted, clean interior, new seats, turbo II transmission, 4 wheel disc brakes, roll cage, micro tech fuel management, 1990 turbo 13b bridge port motor, engine is pinned, lightened assembly, needs turbo

Oh noes! Still, this one’s the cheapest of the group at $5900, and has the added bonus of almost no one knowing what the hell it is. So, what’ll it be? Blank slate 280z, wankeled 510 or caged RX2 in need of a new hairdryer? [poll id=”5″]

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