vviseZ - 1978 Datsun 280Z Build Log [HLS30457973]

Len's Email


It was repaired on the passenger side. I suspect the car was off the road for several years but don't know that for sure. Based on experience of about 20 Z cars over the years I have never found one yet that does not have some form of rust somewhere. The car was stripped completely to paint, I have a shot somewhere of it getting painted in the engine bay and there is nothing else there. It is a California/Texas car so blasting was not needed.

The car was sanded as far as it needed to go on the tub, the fenders and hood were replaced with 260 pieces because I had them and they were almost perfect. There are no frame rails, the common misconception is there are but the rails under the car do very little for support. No the car rails were not tied, you need well in excess of 35oHp to even think about that. The same with the rear diff,, a R200 will easily take 400 hp.

Frame stiffeners? Never used or needed them and my last Z had 410 HP. You do get a difference tieing the shock towers together but I did not do it on this car, the engine is probably 200 HP, it came out of a great running late 80's Impala...straight out, I used everything. The engine had about 105K miles on it, I built most of the car in California while I was there. Most do the engines without a fan surround and having owned many early Vettes I learned the value of a fan surround on a V8 car. No the car does not run hot, I used it about 80% of my commute last summer in traffic.

transmission is fine, does not leak but I think it will need the universals replaced, they are getting noisy and cannot be greased.

No it does not need an e test, that is only 89 and on. Certified, it was but I am not selling it certified. That process is too mechanic dependent and most of them have no clue what they are doing anyway. The car as a roller with the paint and body quality is worth my asking price alone. Interior condition is excellent, very few electronics in this era, dash lights not working but they were before the engine swap, probably ground issues but I don`t know for sure. The suspension is heavy duty, rides like a mid year Vette so if that would put you off this is not the car for you. It handles much better than a stock Z and the ride quality is compromised somewhat with 16 x 8 wheels, originals were 14 x 6. The car is registered with Hagarty and insures for under $100 a year. They have a stock plan and a custom plan.

In terms of history I cannot offer you anything other than look at the car, have someone else offer an opinion etc. I buy cars on condition not history. I have owned over 150 collector cars over the years and fortunately know how to assess a good car, you probably don`t have that kind of advantage.

The car ideally should go to someone who not only appreciates the beauty of a Z but wants a modified mild performance car. Dropping a 350Hp engine in this would turn it into one hell of a performer. This one has more bite than stock but is more bark than bite in terms of what it can be.

I tend to be more direct with people and because of that am not that interested in having `the so called experts paraded through my garage`when they really don`t know that much about what they are looking at. I don`t mean that to be elitist or arrogant but in most cases the experts have never put together anything themselves. All I can fall back on is I don`t buy junk, don`t fix junk nor do I sell junk...my morals are just too high for that. I am painfully honest with people when they take the time to come and see the car.

In any event I have several interested in the car, a few trade offers and hope to do something with them by the end of the weekend. I am away on saturday and am happy to show the car on sunday, after that if it is not gone it goes on Ebay then into storage if it does not sell. I hope all of this not sound too harsh but I don`t want to waste your time or mine on something that may not be appropriate. IF I have not answered your questions you are welcome to call.