This Time-Capsule 1980 Datsun 280ZX Hidden for Decades Is Going to Sell for a Whole Lot of Money

Only 500 were made in this color, and it’s got 11 miles on the clock.

byStef Schrader| PUBLISHED Jun 5, 2020 11:31 AM
This Time-Capsule 1980 Datsun 280ZX Hidden for Decades Is Going to Sell for a Whole Lot of Money
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Normally, a car this well preserved would be pretty incredible regardless of what it is. You could have a Chrysler LeBaron in showroom-perfect condition and we'd still ooh and aah. But no! This 11-mile, black-on-red 1980 Datsun 280ZX 10th Anniversary Edition is one of the rarest Z-cars out there, and it's been tucked away by its owner since new.

Only 3,000 280ZX 10th Anniversary Editions were ever made, but the one most people think of is the "black gold" car, whose disco-ready commercial was so period-correct that it borderlined on parody. But did you know there was a second, rarer color? 

We wouldn't recommend going anywhere on those original Goodyear Wingfoot tires, but the original dealership badging is a joy. , Carlos Andres Llanos

Only 500 of the 3,000 10th Anniversary Edition Z-cars were made in the black-over-red paint scheme, according to the Internet Z Car Club

These Z-cars were so packed with factory extras that the commercial claims they were "so lavishly appointed that there are virtually no options." The window sticker for this car backs that up with its long list of no-charge options. 

The grandfather of this rare Z-car's owner had a Datsun dealership, and the owner's been keeping it since new ever since then. In that time, it's only put 11 miles on the odometer and has been kept inside a warehouse under a cover, and it doesn't look like a park-and-forget-it job, either. 

The leather seats look remarkably supple and intact, and there isn't a single crack in any of the vinyl trim pieces that I can see. Aside from some yellowing on the plastics under the hood and the sticker still clinging for dear life to the window with the help of some scotch tape, nothing really gives away this car's age. You can even still see the marks for the Pre-Delivery Inspection under the hood. This is more of a carefully maintained time capsule than a barn find. 

All of this T-topped Japanese sporting luxury could have been yours for $13,990 in 1980, per that window sticker. That works out to just under $47,000 in 2020 dollars—roughly $10,000 more than what a 50th Anniversary 370Z sells for new—and I'm sure this black-red beauty will fetch far more than that when it ultimately heads to auction. 

Carlos Andres Llanos, who posted the photos of this incredible car on Facebook, does not know when and where this car will go to auction, but hopes that it could catch the eye of Nissan's own collection. Given that Nissan's North American Heritage Collection sits in a quiet corner of Nashville's weird and wonderful Lane Motor Museum, I have to agree. The Lane is more infamous for its collection of true automotive oddities, but of the Nissans that went out to the public, an immaculately preserved version of the 10th Anniversary Z-car everyone forgot about would fit in just fine. 

Llanos, who owns four Z-cars of his own, is certain more photos and information will be coming on the car, so pay attention to his Facebook gallery here for updates.

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