1979 Datsun 280ZX 2.8 liter inline 6 from North America


Watch out, it's a lot slower than it looks!


The fuel injectors were dripping.

The dashboard exhibits large cracks.

The fuel pump and fuel pressure.

Regulator were leaking.

The fan clutch did not work.

The car overheats in traffic.

The valve springs are weak.

The differential mount snapped.

The air conditioning is very weak.

General Comments:

I have found that owning a 280ZX is a very disappointing automotive experience.

Many owners claim that their Z cars are wonderful driving machines, however I have not found this to be the case.

Repairs are very costly, and the car continues to break down on a regular basis.

The straight six offers mild performance and should be able to keep up with a Chevrolet Caviler.

Because of the poor fuel mapping and lack of an oxygen sensor, the car is prone to run rich. At night, fumes can be seen rising from the tailpipe.

Gas mileage is poor when taking into consideration the displacement of the engine.

I have found the 280ZX to be a very costly car to keep on the road.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 3rd October, 2002

3rd Oct 2002, 16:15

Sounds like the previous owner drove, or ran it into the ground, or didn't keep it maintained. You'll most likely have to completely overhaul the engine and drivetrain if you want to give the car a fair judgement.

7th Oct 2002, 00:22

I disagree with what he had to say about the 280ZX's being bad cars. I own a 1979 Datsun 280ZX and it has its little problems, but you say it can't keep up with a Chevy Cavalier. I have been known to smoke the heck out of a souped up mustang 5.0, and also a Pontiac Grand Am. My personal opinion is that you got a car that is near the end of its life and you need to get the engine and stuff repaired or replaced. Mine has almost 300k on it and it isn't showing a lack of power. If you were to put some money into that car, you will be pleased with it. From the sounds of it, the car has bad compression and problems with the cooling system. Just rebuild or replace the engine and call it good. Just don't knock the Z cars, they have been around since the 60's or 70's.

1979 Datsun 280ZX 2.8 normally aspirated from North America


This is a good, reliable car in any of it's forms


This car has only had the type of problems you would expect from a car 17 to 22 years old. Standard wear items were the only items that need to be replaced. Items such as struts, mufflers, brakes and tires. The engine and transmission have performed at a nearly flawless level. With regular maintanance I have driven this car all, but 1 week since I have owned it. The problem was old wiring going to fuel injectors.

General Comments:

How many other cars models have so many that are still on the road? Where can you find another car with four wheel disc brakes at these prices? You can't!

The Z series of sports cars have an excellent reputation throughout the automotive community. This reputation is well deserved. If you spend $2,500 on any model of 280zx or 280zx Turbo you are sure to get a reliable car. But before you buy one have it checked out by a reliable source. There are no Z lemons, but they are getting old and some have been abused.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 13th July, 2002

14th Sep 2002, 18:00

I agree. These cars can go forever. I just bought a 79 280ZX for $1000 and it only has 41,000 miles on it. It's not even broken in yet! The only problems I've encountered so far are the usual stuff expected to go wrong on an old car. My biggest problem would be the wiring in the engine compartment. Since the car sat around for so long, the wiring is starting to fall apart and I'm having a hard time finding replacement wiring. But overall I'm very happy with the car and look forward to the many years ahead.

1979 Datsun 280ZX 1979 Straight 6 fuel injected from North America


The 280s are fun to look at, drive, and work on and have a distinct, attractive appearance


Well, We bought the car, the guy was the original owner. He thought that the clutch was shot. It was just a clutch cylinder.

With 83k miles, this beast is still a baby. It runs very rough, but that is due to the fact that it's been sitting in a barn since 1990.

Moisture got under the cover and ruined the paint on the hood. There is very little rust with the exception of the hood.

During the time it was sitting, mice got in it and tore up the back seats a little because the car was stored with the back seats folded down. The mice totally infested this car and it has a VERY strong and nasty smell.

General Comments:

The Datsun 280ZX is (in my opinion) one of the most unique Asian production sports cars ever built.

I say this for several reasons.

The fuel injected straight six is an extremely rare motor. The body design has no equal. Highly collectable in my opinion.

I can't complain about the price tag. I gave a whooping $500 for this treasure.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 19th April, 2002