1981 Datsun Z-Series: 1981 Datsun 280ZX Stainless Steel Package Classic
I bought a used 1981 280ZX many years ago. Ever since, it's been my project to restore. Realizing Datsun only made 1,100 with the complete stainless steel package (up both sides behind the passenger front & in front of the rear side windows, rims around each wheel well, full stainless steel on the roof between the T-tops & the back hatch door top & stainless steel front, door & rear panel side bumpers with rubber in the metal) I knew it was rare.
The 5 speed fits a medium sized man or average size woman between 5'4" to 5'10" with room to really stretch out leg wise. The 1981 280ZX comes with electric center console controlled side view mirrors, a major plus for having full vision. Because it's a two-seater, with a large hatchback that's almost all window & it has thick smoked glass T-tops, a driver's visibility is outstanding. The T-tops come with matching interior leather covers for storage while driving top-free.
The body is rare with a sleek sexy pointed aero-dynamic front nose & it's all metal. The fenders are chrome with rubber vertical bumpers. There are front & back side marker lights. Much of the rear end is lights!
The engine was built to last a human lifetime! 260,000 plus miles & purrs. A head gasket can be changed in no more than 30 minutes at home. Mine is 28 years old & runs better than many new cars, goes easy on highway gas use (32mpg). There is barely a repair, save removing the engine block, that an individual can't do since there is so much hand space under the hood & under the car. Changing a thermostat takes around 10 minutes & costs $6 for the best quality part. Halogen headlights $16 a pair!
The wheels are aluminum mags; 14.235.70 tires look quite butch & provide great traction. The 1981 280ZX is a race car that hugs S-curves with finger tip control on the steering wheel in 3rd gear, never having to shift or brake throughout a mountain ascending or descending ride. It's a powerful car with exquisite suspension for being the original "low rider."
AC, heat & electric defogging & defrosting in front & built into the hatchback's rear window, with a single back window wiper & washer. The front windshield is tinted at top, has 2 18" windshield wipers with 2 spray window washers.
There are 4 speakers: 2 on either side of the front dashboard top; 2 in the back behind the seats. The original seats slide to & fro, recline & fold forward leaving space to reach behind into the flat carpeted back area. There are 4 storage compartments in the back: 1 behind each seat that are deep enough wells to hold two bottles of oil a piece; another on the driver's side for storing gloves, flashlight, tools, etc.; the largest is on the passenger rear side that is a deep well holding the spare tire, jack, & original 280ZX tire changing tools in a leather snapping bag. Also included are 4 original orange metal anti-roll tire stops that flip-lock open.
In front there 2 bucket seats, a glove box & deep console storage box covered in leather. The driver's panel includes a tachometer & speedometer, a square check light for oil, fluids, lights & brakes that cycles once when the ignition engages. There are 3 small round instrument gauges for oil, battery & clock. It has blinker stick cruise control & a whole center steering wheel horn. The steering wheel is grip grain. At night, the dash lights are red & it feels like a cockpit. Japanese designed way ahead of its time. A dream drive classic~
83 of 84 people found this review helpful.