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I want a Z


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I been thinking of selling my 99 camaro for a first or second gen Z. I don't know enough about either to know what I should look for in a first Z car. How's about some opinions on which is the better choice?

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The definition of sub-compact has nothing to do with how much leg room it has. Yes, you can push the seats way back which is a great thing.


cdub42, check out the interior of both before you decide. The S30 is more of a performance car, a real sports car. The S130 is more of a GT car.

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That's my next step. Find some ppl who have them local and talk my way into a guided tour of their car. Datsun guys love to talk for hours about the minuscule quirks of their car (I'm also guilty of this) and what they do/dont like about it. Most of the Datsun guys I've met are walking encyclopedias about their specific Datsun. Which ever I decide upon I'm gonna have for quite a while, so I wanna be 100% on it. I've had my 79 620 for 16 years.

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Whether you get either a S30 or S130 both are fun to drive easy to modify S30's can easily be swapped for a (L28ET) turbo motor or a nice SU carb or even triple carb set up. Bang for the buck is the turbo swap, you can almost find 280zx turbo cars non running or cheap for almost nothing half the time. Craigslist is a start good for finding a lot of Z cars there a dime a dozen on there.

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Well I've been into S30's for about 15 years or so. I like em. I'm 6'1 and 200Lbs. I fit pretty good. But now that I'm a little older it's not so fun for long trips. And the sky is the limit as far as mods go. In stock form I think they suck. But with a few mods under the car.

IE Springs, Shocks, Bushings LSD in the rear. And a few mods under the hood. You'll have a blast drivin one.


I have more but dinner is callin....

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Hi cdub42,


All depends on what you really want. The first series were built as a barebones sports car, light, fast, powerful and not a lot of frills. They are easy to work on and tweek whereas series two were heavier, softer and a bit more sluggish. The first is a bit more rare thus more money the second more common and cheaper. These are the things to look at that only you can decide upon. I like the first and have rebuilt mine from the ground up, from new floors and rails to custom paint. Built engine with 3 spares (original w/matching numbers on shelf) to two 280's with a couple E31 heads for bolt on high compression performance. Something I have enjoyed for many years building and collecting rare parts to do it again if I ever wanted to. Euro bumpers, Fiberglas racing hoods and fenders, okay, it can be addictive! But hope you enjoy the transition. I had several Camaro's too, 1967, 69, and a new 1977. All great cars but I loved my Z. Now the economy is making me think selling all and downsizing everything. It was fun however. Good luck, choose well, and have fun.

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One more thing, I'm 6'3" and have more than enough room in my Z. Fact is, at times I move the seat up a couple inches and still have more leg room than my full sized GMC PU. No back seat but then how many sports cars do??? Oh ya, the Camaro, Mustang, Challenger, etc... But then, I'll leave those behind me on the track... Way behind me! :) Sell the Camaro and have

some fun!!!

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Go with the 240. The 280 is way heavier and looks like doo doo with those bumpers.

how much a difference are we talking about, i didnt think it was too much? and yeah the 80's bumpers are ugly but you can always swap it out for an earlier one :)
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I've owned both and will say there are pluses and minuses to both chassis. I enjoyed both, just at different levels. Having said that, I'm back in an s30 now...lol. It comes down to personal choice mostly. I suggest sitting in both and hopefully driving each of them to get a feel for what you want. Which ever you choose, just find the most complete, rust free car you can!

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I will chime in here, the 240Z had a weaker rear differential and were not made as stoutly as the 280z, the early 280z (I have a 75) were still pretty light and hadn't added a whole bunch of extras (I am refering to some of the heavy stuff like the rear parcel shelf) The 280zx is a great car, it is a bit heavy, but lets get real here unless you are building a race car is the difference going to be much, plus you can get it in T-Top if you want and those rock. So I will break it out below.



+ Lightest 2,400lb

+ More visceral driving thrills

- or + No frills just car, gauges, and driveline

- or + Carb'd some people like them some don't

- Weaker chassis

- Rear drum brakes

- Hard to have a conversation on the highway with passengers




+ Lighter than a 280zx- at least in the early days, and much easier to shed weight on that the 280zx, 2,800lb

+ More visceral driving thrills

+ Stiffer Chassis and driveline than the 240Z, 5 speed as well

- or + Very Few frills just car, gauges, and driveline, some can be found with AC that is pretty cool

- or + Early EFI with flapper box AFM, the EFI is pretty reliable


- Rear drum brakes

- Hard to have a conversation on the highway with passengers




+ 2800lb still not a pig

+ More comfortable ride


+ You can find a turbo model stock no swap required

+4 Wheel disc brakes

+ Stiffer Chassis and diffs

- or + rear suspension was changed up a bit on the 280zx

- or + 80's styling is a love it or leave it type styling

- or + More frills but still just car, gauges, and driveline, some can be found with AC that is pretty cool

- Not the original car

- Easier to have a conversation on the highway with passengers


The 280zx is actually better honestly. Find a decent T-Top turbo and have a blast. That is my advice I had one pop up local that was even intercooled for 1grand I should have bought it but I don't really need 2 turbo 2 seaters, you might ask why and that is because I want my wife to stick around. The next two seater I build is going to be a cute little miata that my wife can enjoy most likely. I will have my 75 280z until one of us dies. I chose the s30 because I love the body styling.

Also you can read some other discussions





**Edited to say this is my 350th Post I am AWESOME!

Edited by Aaron Datsun
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thanks for all the input guys. from the poking around I've done and the things I've read i think I'm looking for an early 280 that i can start swapping upgrades onto. I'm not looking to build a race car. just a daily driver thats fun and just fast enough to scare the hell out of the wife so she won't ask to drive it :)

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The whole '280z is heavier' thing is total bull unless you retain the stock bumpers, which are around 100 pounds a piece.

The only real difference would be the stock motor and the length. The L28 is a 2.8 litre monster that produces a stock 175, but can be upgrade to in the 300's with motor enternals and some triple carbs.

Now the 280z is around 2 1/2 inches (don't quote, just a measurement from mine to a friends 240z) which really isn't all that much.

In any case, Z cars are great fun, no matter what model!

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i think I've found a Z. we are working out the details right now






it needs a little work, it hasn't ran in a few years. but it looks like a solid car to start from. minor rust, interior needs work, but a solid car from what i saw in person.

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