1977 Datsun 280Z from North America


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.

General Comments:

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

1977 Datsun 280Z 2.8L inline 6 fuel injected from North America




Hydraulic clutch needed to be replaced at about 35000 miles.

Radiator was replaced around 45000 miles.

There was a broken exhaust manifold bolt at about 49500 miles.

General Comments:

I've been driving for 29 years (in South Dakota I received my first driver's license at 14 years of age) and I have owned 36 cars, trucks and vans.

The Datsun 280Z was absolutely one of the best vehicles I have ever owned!

The dependability of this car was unbelievable, fuel economy was outstanding, the performance was exhilarating, and the styling was classic.

This car was 16 years old when I purchased it and I was 26 years old. Shortly after I bought the car, an elderly lady told me that she didn't know how young people like me could afford such fancy new cars. I informed her that it was 16 years old and she was astounded. She thought it was brand new.

My 280Z was a 5 speed manual, fuel injected model with A/C. Not many options, a real sports car. It was made to go fast and look sexy.

The best fuel economy I ever recorded with this car was 37 mpg at 85 mph with the air on. I would not say that this was a normal expectation for this car, but I will say that for a sporty little go fast car, I am certain that it would do better than 30 mph on the highway.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 18th January, 2009