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Sunday, November 15, 2015

The Datsun 280ZX: A Sports Car of Many Names


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1979 Datsun 280ZX

The Datsun 280ZX was produced by Nissan under several names, all depending on where in the world you lived. It was known as the Datsun 280ZX, Nissan Fairlady Z, and Nissan Fairlady 280Z, but no matter what they called it, this was a fantastic car.

It was a second generation Z-car replacing the S30 in 1978 and was in production until 1983. The 280ZX marked the first time that the Nissan subscript was badged along with the Datsun logo. In 1984, the car would be replaced by the Nissan 300ZX.

1979 Datsun 280ZX Rear

A complete redesign from the 280Z, it kept only the L28 inline 6-cylinder engine and driveline components. The car was offered in both two seat and four seat designs to suit a wider range of customers.

The 280ZX appeared during the oil crisis of the 1970s, so Nissan focused on fuel economy, emissions, and aerodynamics. They closed the open front grille and did extensive wind-tunnel testing, lowered its center of gravity, and achieved a near 50/50 weight distribution.

 It was so beloved that it got a special 10th Anniversary edition of which only 3000 units were built in only two color schemes. There were 2500 in black and gold and 500 in red and black. Today, 280ZXs are highly sought collectible vehicles.

1979 Datsun 280ZX Closeup