For $4,000, Could This Custom 1975 280Z Be A Tasty Leftover?

The seller of today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe 280Z says he’s moving out of town and can’t take the car with him, leading to his description in the ad of it being a fire sale. Let’s see if his price on this weird custom is a deal, or if he just wants to see the world burn.

They used to say there’s no replacement for displacement, the implication being that cubic inches was the muscle king. Well, then came the ‘70s with its phony fuel crisis and hippie-driven aversion to air you can see and then cars like yesterday’s 1975 Chevy Corvette L48 couldn’t offer more than a kitten’s fart owing to the need to be clean and lean.

We’re so much better at addressing issues like emissions and fuel efficiency today that turning back the clock to the dark days of the ‘70s, even when it comes to a car as sexy as a Stingray, seems untenable, and few want to spend much to do so. That resulted in yesterday’s ‘Vette earning a 56% Crack Pipe loss for its seventy-five hundred dollar price tag.


Today we have a car—another ‘75 in fact—offered up in Phoenix Arizona. That’s a city named for a bird that mythically raised from the ashes, and this 1975 Datsun 280Z is itself in the midst of a rebirth.

You’ll probably recall the 280Z, it being the last iteration of the S30 line of sports cars from the Japanese company these days netter known as Nissan. These sported bigger bumpers, a fuel injected 2.8-litre straight six, and came with the option of a longer-wheelbase 2+2 edition if you liked to double date.


This car is a 2+2, however its +2 is presently missing. Also gone are the bumpers and that fuel injected six. In the latter’s place there now sits a Chevy small block V8 in 283-ci displacement. That’s fed through a 650-cfm four-barrel and comes with what’s said to be a new top end. Keeping the weirdness factor alive here, that engine is backed up by a Saginaw 3-speed manual. Um, oh… kay.

It all makes you wonder if, somewhere out there there’s, like a ’60 Impala, running around with a SOHC Datsun mill and five speed. If there is then it’s only sporting 150-bhp from that Japanese six while Chevy’s 283 started at 185-horses and went all the way up to 315 ponies when equipped with fuel injection. Progress!

Why the builder chose this particular drivetrain combo for this dachshund Datsun is unknown, and it’s unlikely to be revealed as the ad notes he has to get out of Dodge er, Phoenix in a week’s time. Of course, the ad was posted a month ago so perhaps he’s a little more flexible on the schedule than the ad lets on.

The rest of the car is rougher than third world toilet paper, and needs paint, rear windows, and perhaps windshield wipers (does it ever rain in Phoenix?) to make it roadable for the long term. The interior is said to be in a box in a garage, but does come with the car. At present it has seats and a dash and some gauges, so it’s not like there’s all that much assembly required. I mean, it’s not like you’d be buying it from IKEA or anything.


It’s apparently drivable too, as there are pictures of it in different locales where it’s often surrounded by “Brahs.” Still, it’s a project, and yes I know we don’t like to buy someone else’s project. Look, if you think about it, every used car is potentially someone else’s project, just in differing stages of complexity and completeness.

This one is weird and wild enough to perhaps take on. To do so, there is the matter of the $4,000 the soon to be ex-Phoenician is asking for the honor.

What’s your take on this SBC-powered 280Z and that $4,000 price? Does that seem like a deal to help this phoenix rise? Or, is this such an odd amalgamation of undesirable parts that you just say burn, baby burn?

You decide

Phoenix AZ Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.

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