1980 Datsun 280ZX Reviews from North America

1980 Datsun 280ZX 2.8

Model year1980
Year of manufacture1980
First year of ownership2011
Most recent year of ownership2012
Engine and transmission 2.8 Manual
Performance marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 6 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.3 / 10
Distance when acquired150000 miles
Most recent distance155000 miles
Previous carFord F150

Summary:

We are driven!

Faults:

Rattles, rear hatch shocks out, clutch, and alternator.

General Comments:

A pretty powerful and well engineered car. I did some motor work like a cam and then a header, and that made a big difference.

Not very many of them around, and faster than you would expect. It is kind of like a Corvette; handles pretty well, and is pretty comfortable.

I am kind of surprised with the power of this car, and after purchasing it and fixing it up, I have something that can keep up with one of those new V8 Jags acceleration wise.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 18th January, 2012

18th Jan 2012, 14:14

Had one of these back in '87 when I was 25. My friend had a 260Z, and my other friend had a 300ZX. A bit different from your usual hot hatch of the 1980s. Here in Scotland, these cars were pretty cool in those days. My 280ZX was standard, as it left the factory, and had only 33000 miles on the clock. I loved the car, but in UK form, was around 140-150 BHP - quickish FOR THE TIME, but I always thought the car was more of a cruiser rather than a racer, but it looked fantastic; a long hood like our E Type Jag.

Your car must be quick to match a V8, had a pal with a Jenson Interceptor MKIII V8. The Jenson would have been in the next county before I engaged 2nd gear, but it was nowhere near as reliable as the Nissan.

6th Feb 2012, 23:56

I definitely was not beating the Jag that day - it still had way more power than my car. I did rebuild the entire motor on my car and a different cam. Before the rebuild, it was pretty much the cruiser. Did your car have right hand drive?

13th Feb 2012, 09:37

Yes, my car was right hand drive UK spec. It was a late 1981 car, gold with tan interior, made just about the time Datsun were changing their name to Nissan here in the UK.

Lots of happy summer days, fantastic car, Steely Dan on the stereo.

It's great "Reelin' In The Years".

1980 Datsun 280ZX 3 door hatchback 2.8L inline 6

Model year1980
Year of manufacture1980
First year of ownership2006
Most recent year of ownership2007
Engine and transmission 2.8L inline 6 Manual
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.5 / 10
Distance when acquired210000 miles
Most recent distance214000 miles
Previous carDodge Ram Pickup

Summary:

This car was ahead of its time in every sense - fast, fun, and comfy

Faults:

Interior is cracking due to being in AZ and age of interior.

Blew a heater hose on freeway, car overheated, but ran just fine after cooling down and getting filled with just water.

Wiper washer fluid motor needs cleaning or replacement.

Suspension is shot.

Valve ticking in engine.

Clutch lines needed to be flushed and bled.

General Comments:

Overall, the car has driven exceptionally well for its age. No rust, and everything is original.

Still drives fast, though doesn't like to idle when the engine is cold.

Aside from new suspension, it drives well. Still less bumpy than my 98 Dodge pickup.

Overall, I wish I had this car since day one. It has been cared for well, which is rare, and it will restore nicely.

Aftermarket air intake system was installed, and now needs more exhaust due to that fact. When you rev it up, you can literally hear the air getting sucked in, and it just seems to want more.

Minor leakage of fluids due to most of the stuff being factory parts. Was rebuilt at 160,000. Could do without all the emissions vaccuum lines, but still a well-built ride.

Evedn the power windows and seats still work.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 22nd April, 2007

1980 Datsun 280ZX

Model year1980
Year of manufacture1980
First year of ownership2005
Most recent year of ownership2006
Engine and transmission Manual
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 7 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Dealer Service marks 4 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.5 / 10
Most recent distance8000 miles
Previous carDatsun Honda Accord

Summary:

One of a kind!

Faults:

I've had my 280zx for almost a year now with very few problems. The heater fan switch and the AC hasn't worked since I bought it.

A few squeaks & rattles here and there.

My only complaint with this 280 is probably the wind noise. I'm not sure sure if maybe my seals need to be replaced or if its just the way these sports cars were made (little insulation) compared to newer car which are virtually silent inside.

General Comments:

This car can corner. It handles great on back country roads. It still has the original shocks and all that need to replace so BE PREPARED FOR A BUMPY RIDE!!!

Today I saw the 2nd 280zx on the road in about a year. The first one was broken down ;( the second one was running, but not in the greatest condition. These cars are definitely becoming extinct.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 21st March, 2006

7th Sep 2006, 09:34

Update. My Z is still running strong thinking about making it my everyday commuter car. Charged the AC now seems to be working OK. Last trip made was about 70 miles all highway. This car runs as well as anything on the road. Would like to do some upgrades eventually as I haven't really changed any of its original parts.

Average review marks: 7.8 / 10, based on 7 reviews