1977 Datsun 280Z
One shining moment!
Transmission bearings had to be replaced at 70k because the dealer never changed the initial oil during break-in servicing as they should have. With only a one year warranty, I took it to an independent where an excellent repair was done. The heater core had to be replaced too.
Other than that, and a small repair (16$) to the alternator and replacing an oil pressure sensor, it was a tank.
I test drove a 77 Supra just to see if my preference to choose the 280 was justified, and it was - by far. I went straight to the Datsun dealer and ordered one with a 5 speed transmission, black interior and silver paint - all this without even trying one. It arrived a couple of weeks later and the love affair began, full tilt.
It was a magical machine. Imagine, all independent suspension and a big straight 6 engine with Bosch fuel injection and overhead cam in 1977. And, like everyone knows, the body style was - quite simply - fabulous.
After my 75 Honda Civic disaster, this was heaven. She rolled down the highway at 145kmh so discretely that my skittish mother never said a word. I took it across Canada 4 times and she never lost a drop of oil. She ate Audis and several BMWs. Not as fast in a straight line as the monstrous Corvettes (like the ones my friends had), but anywhere else, all they saw was me fading away in the distance. And she was useful too, infinitely more useful then other fast cars. I used it for work as the hatch allowed me to carry extraordinarily large cargo - certainly for a small car with only 2 seats. And, winter performance was amazing. The weight of the car, plus its width, length and tire type, delivered the best traction I have ever experienced from a rear drive vehicle.
My affair with this car lasted an ever so brief 3 1/2 years, when a marriage and a baby girl forced me to let her go.
In the past I had a Pontiac GTO, and since the Z, a 71 Buick Riviera followed by a series of Renault and Citroen cars while we were living in Europe - maybe 20 or so cars in all. Out of these, besides my 1988 Citroen GTI, the Z affected me to such an extent that I shed a tear when we parted.
BTW - back to Canada, I brought over a 1990 Citroen BX 16s, which truth be told, could run the pants off the Z. But then again, they're a car only a mother could love.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 18th February, 2013