1978 Datsun 280Z 280 Z (240Z 240 Z)

1978 Datsun Z-Series

Datsun Z-Series 1978 technical specifications

Condition: Used
Item location: Commerce City, Colorado, United States
Make: Datsun
Model: Z-Series
Type: Coupe
Trim: 280 Z
Year: 1978
VIN: HLS3024492
Color: White
Engine size: 3.0L
Number of cylinders: 6
Transmission: Manual
Drive type: RWD
Interior color: Black
Vehicle Title: Clear
You are interested? Contact the seller!


After 20+ years of ownership, I have finally decided to sell my beloved, ever mutating Street/Track Datsun 280Z. I purchased this used with roughly 100K miles on it and then progressively added, subtracted, and changed it and along the way AutoX’ed it, Tracked it, and drove it like a Pit Squirrel. Unfortunately, since moving to Colorado and discovering dirt bikes, it has mostly languished in the garage while intermittently getting money thrown at it. Here in Colorado it is street legal despite no windshield wipers, heater, ignition, half an interior, slicks, cats, etc… (I love Colorado). I purchased this car from a friend of a friend in Southern California. It has never been in an accident, but has suffered the dings and dents that come with a 40 year old car. Along the way I purchased a 1971 240Z rolling chassis from which I took the hood, windshield panel, headlight buckets, a fender and the VIN plates. This car is legally registered and identified as a 1971 240Z in Colorado, currently running a 5 year collectors plate ($300 for 5 years of registration, did I mention that I love Colorado?). How this flies in your state is on you, each state is different! Here it passed VIN inspection with ease. It helps that the car looks like a 240 due to the lack of hood louvers and the big ugly bumpers. I do have the original VIN plates, so could be converted back) All that being said, if you’re looking for a restoration project, this probably isn’t the car for you.

This thing is a track beast. 2,380 lbs, the naturally aspirated motor is putting 230 Hp at the rear wheels, and 210 Ft/lbs of torque…at almost 6,000’ altitude. The motor is massively over built, and could easily be turbo’ed, though I love the instant throttle response and rev-ability (cut-off currently set at 7,500 rpm) of the current configuration. At the track this thing turns, stick, and stops RIGHT NOW! While I admire the straight line ability of the V8 conversions, this car is built in the spirit of the original Z with modern tech thrown at it in the form of Programmable EFI, and a 3.0L based on the original motor, not to mention a Quaife LSD.

This is an odd car, trapped between track and street. I drove it both ways but there are faster dedicated track cars, and nicer dedicated street cars. This is either the best of both worlds, or the worst depending on what you’re looking for. As a street car, It’s hot when it’s hot out, and cold when it’s cold out. No wipers, use rain-X and drive fast, stinks inside like exhaust, open the windows. It has enough sound deadening material and carpet to eliminate the worst of the NVH, but isn’t exactly a Lexus… no stereo, gas gauge, E-brake, keyed ignition, stalk mounted turn signals (rocker switch on dash), the carpeting is glued in with black cloth tape along the edges. It was utterly stripped, but that got obnoxious…livable now, but I wouldn’t drive it cross country…though you could cause this thing is mechanically stout and whole.

Most of the work was performed by Top End Performance in North Hollywood, CA. who specializes in older niche cars. They did the motor top to bottom and most of the suspension/braces. Check out their website @ Racetep.com to see typical motor build, and what’s available.

About 12 years ago I had a shop in Cali fix dents, stretch/widen the rear fenders, shave the rear end and shoot the paint in Freightliner White (was originally white). Decent paint job, not Maaco, but not a 10K job, much better than the beat paint it had (also white)

So why sell? Too many toys, and the longer this one isn’t getting used, the more crap happens to it. The dents the car currently has, have all happened in the garage. It’s not getting driven enough. I have less than 1,000 miles on the motor in 2 years. I keep thinking I’m going to track it, and then I don’t, it needs to go to someone who will appreciate it. I shall ride my KTM instead.

The following is a list of what’s on/in the car currently, I’m sure I’ve missed stuff so please feel free to ask questions. Also, this car is tuned for altitude, plan on doing some tuning. It starts and runs great, a little rich but 90% there. When it’s cold, It has a dead spot at throttle tip in, when warm it runs smooth. That last 5-10% of tuning is the time suck.

Overall condition is good, there is one nasty rust spot in the nose behind the driver’s side headlight bucket…no idea why and not structural. Otherwise all good including floor pan, and spare wheel well.


Datsun Z Car Normally Aspirated High Altitude / High Compression Engine Build by Top End Performance in California (Engine Build Above on Customers Core Engine $6900)

· L28 Block and N42 head

· Stock L28 Stoke with 140mm Long Forged Rods

· 89.5mm Bore x 11.6:1 Compression Ratio

· Bored with Torque Plate

· JE Forged 2618 Pistons with Total-Seal Gapless Top Rings

· ARP Head studs

· Turbo Oil Pump

· Cometic .045 MLS Head Gasket

· All New Timing components.

· Fully Ported Slover Cylinder Head

· 44mm / 35mm Swirl Polished SS Valves

· TEP Camshaft .510” x 306 Duration 106 L/C

· Dual Springs and Moly Retainers 110# Seat pressure

· Adjustable Cam Gear

· Pauter Forged 140mm Con Rods with ARP2000 Bolts

· Nitride Hardened Crankshaft with Clevite 77 bearings

· Full Balanced

· Lightened Flywheel and Puck Clutch Disk with Performance Clutch Cover

Converted to Triple Side Draft Throttle Bodies and fully Programmable Fuel Injection and Ignition- Those are not Carburetors! Installed by Top End Performance ($5,750 Package Price) Including a

· TWM Induction Triple 45mm ITB Package

· Electromotive TEC-GT with Crank Trigger
RC Matched injectors

· pump, regulator, inline pressure gauge, sensors, etc.

Misc. Motor:

· New Champion Aluminum Radiator

· Electric fan conversion

· Ceramic coated 6-4-1 Header to 2.5” pipe to 3” Ultraflow muffler. Recently added resonator mid stream to calm down the noise. Sounds spectacular

· Misc. shiny bits including Valve Cover, Pulley

Suspension and Drive Train

· Rebuilt R-180 Diff w/ 3.90 Gears. Installed new Quaiffe LSD all work done as a unit By Whitehead Performance (@ $2800) This is an awesome addition to the car

· 280 Z Original 5-Speed Manual with no issues.

· Bilstiens Shocks w/Threaded collars and custom springs. Adjustable ride Height ( @ 4”+ Range)

· Suspension Techniques front and Rear HD Sway Bars

· Toy Tech Mustache Bar

· Top End Performance Front and Rear Triangulated strut tower braces

· Many Suspension Bushings replaced with Polyurethane bushing

· Optima battery moved to rear of car for better weight distribution, in Marine box and secured to a welded in metal plate

· Rebuilt R-180 Diff w/ 3.90 Gears. Installed new Quaiffe LSD all work done as a unit By Whitehead Performance (@ $2800) This is an awesome addition to the car

· Extended wheel studs to accommodate different offsets and spacers (one broke and is back to stock)

Wheels and Tires

· (4) Panasports, like new no curb rash16x7 w/ HK Ventus C71 Soft Compound/Heat Cycled race tires Tire Rack <50 miles

· (4) Konig 15x7 Wheels, like new, no curb rash w/Toyo Proxes 205/50/15’s front 85% Tread, and 225/50 Kuhmo Ecstas Rear <200 miles rear. As well as a pair of 215/50 Kuhmos 75% tread

Brakes (all track ready, extra pads included)

  • · Fronts are converted Toyota 4x4 Calipers w/300ZX Slotted/drilled rotors Hawk Pads
  • · Rears are Wilwood Racing disc conversion
  • · Braided SS Lines all the way around
  • · Brake Biasing valve mounted off master brake cylinder


· 4 Point Roll Bar (Bolt-In)

· Corbeau LG1 Black Cloth Race Seat Drivers Side Like New

· 5 Point 3” Cam lock Red race harness.

· Passenger seat is stock in fair shape

· Stock working speedo (reads accurately w/ Panasports, optimistic w/ Konigs)

· Pro Comp Auto Meter Tach

· Auto Meter Oil/Volt/Water Temp Gauges

· AEM A/F ratio gauge

· Newer dash cap, center console and misc. bits.

· NO Heater, A/C, Parking Brake, Gas Gauge, Ignition Key, headliner, and assorted other interior bits. Please look at pictures and ask questions.


· Shaved rear end, no bumper

· Racing air dam, no front bumper

· Wheel arch lips are rolled

· Rear wheel arches are subtly widened had done when I had the car painted.

· No accidents, but crap falling on it in my garage, kids being around it etc…has resulted in dings and scratches. I’ve touched up but it’s obvious where they are. Not a show car

· Paint job was decent, not show quality and is now 11 years old. Car looks great just like in pictures. Up close you see the flaws. Very good looking race car, Fair to good as street car.

· Windshield is OK, has a rock shot toward passenger side, typical Colorado. If I were keeping, I’d replace.

· Some body gaps from using panels off the 240 roller I purchased (source of the VINs), all should be easily fixed, wasn’t important to me.


· Drive shaft and pair of half-shafts

· Carpet and sound deadening material

· 2 Boxes of parts including headlights, side markers, rubber plugs, wheel nuts, misc stuff

· Windshield Gasket, NOS

· Major Piece, Nissan Comp Oil Pan, see pics. Windage tray, Lower profile, so won’t scrape the ground yet holds 7+ Qt’s oil, prevents oil starvation in high G turns, and scrapes the suspended oil off crank lobes for decreased weight/increased rev-ability;- complete w/ new gasket and even oil and filter.

· Second set of wheels as detailed above

· Extra pair of tires as above

· Dedicated Dell laptop with TEC Software loaded as well as all BIN Files. Works great though battery life is about 30 minutes.

Current mileage is unknown. Likely around 120K. Listed VIN is how it is titled. I have original VIN as well.

Please ask any and all questions, I’m sure there is stuff I’ve left out as I’ve had the car forever. Good 25K into it, not counting stuff I’ve done more than once due to changing directions, or breaking stuff.

Car is sold as is, no warranty offered or implied.

Buyer is responsible for all shipping costs and arrangements, though I will gladly help on this end.

I require a $500 deposit within 48 hours. Would prefer Bank Wire or Cash for remaining amount due to PayPal fee’s. If something smells fishy I will ask for a phone number so we can discuss by phone.

Thanks for Looking

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