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Nissan Datsun 280ZX (1978 - 1983)

Last updated 1 October 2013

 
3
Roomy and reliable, muscular, effortless performance
Unsporting and corrupted styling

Introduction

The Datsun 280ZX arrived on the British market just in time for the second energy crisis and escallating petrol costs. with the £1 gallon becoming a new reality, the market for big, uneconomical cars pretty much dried up overnight. So the 280ZX wasn't a stellar performer on the British market - but then it's debatable it would have been anyway, given its lack of appeal compared with the original 240Z and (to a lesser extent) the 260Z. In the UK, it was offered in 2+2 form only, even though the two-seater body was also offered on some markets. Shame, as this was more in keeping with the original car.

Longer, wider, heavier and uglier, thanks to substantial impact bumpers, the new 2.8-litre car was very much a grand tourer, rather than the full-blooded sports car the 240Z was. It boasted new strut/semi-trailing arm suspension, tuned for comfort rather than positive handling. Equipment levels were lavish, and power steering, all-round disc brakes and - later - optional T-bar targa-top, were further refinements that cast the Z-car very much in the luxury car sector. Despite being panned when new, the 280ZX (known as the 280Z there) sold well in the USA and is still very much in demand as a modern, useable classic car.

 

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