1977 Datsun 280Z: The beautiful athlete

1977 Datsun 280Z: The beautiful athlete

Engine Inline 6 Horsepower 149.00 SAE @ 5600 RPMTorque 163 Ft-Lbs (221 NM) @ 4400 RPM Engine Location Front Drive Type RWD Weight 2630 lbs | 1192.948 kg Transmission 4-speed manual

During the era of muscle cars, the term “Japanese sports car” was often met with ridicule. However, the Japanese company was able to overcome this stereotype and achieve legendary status in the American market. The 280Z, part of its Z series, came to represent its creators’ determination and resilience.

Source: AutoEvolution

Most classic automobile enthusiasts associate the Japanese sports vehicle with something relatively modern, with a moderately sized turbocharged engine. The “old school” sports car concept refers to the American auto industry with its legendary Ford or Chevy muscle cars. Meanwhile, Japan’s automotive industry produced remarkable sports vehicles that almost every classic collection today is chasing worldwide. Datsun brand’s Z series was such an example. The famous 280Z appeared only in the North American market and made a splash with its lightness, excellent handling, and remarkable speed.

The origins

Source: Daniel Schmitt & Co.

The Japanese auto industry is the personification of the Eastern philosophy of “rising from the ashes like a phoenix.” It was able to rise after a devastating war and defeat and conquer Western markets with its innovation, flexibility, and phenomenal performance. In the early seventies, Nissan Motor Corporation found great success selling its Fairlady Z in the United States. Nissan in North America went on sale under the Datsun brand. Nissan’s first successful vehicle appeared in the market as Datsun 240Z. With this model, the Japanese company paved the way for Japanese automakers to enter the American market and compete with British, German, and even Italian automobiles of the sports class. Thus, the Z series became a symbol of the persistence of the Japanese automobile industry. The brand started its journey to auto Olympus from the very bottom. At the very beginning, no one, not even the Japanese, believed in the success of the sports vehicle brand. But the Japanese company fulfilled and even exceeded the plan. The name Fairlady was taken from the Broadway play My Fair Lady, which  Nissan director Katsuji Kawamata attended. So, the first super-fast Fairlady appeared in the 1960s, which was not officially classified as part of the Nissan Z line. Later, in 1969, the Nissan Fairlady Z (S30) became the debutant of the legendary Z dynasty. It had two configurations – a 2-liter engine with 130 or 160 hp power versions for the Japanese market. A more powerful  2.4 liters and 150 hp version went to the USA. Against the backdrop of locally produced sports vehicles, this super-fast vehicle stood out for its more affordable price, stylish appearance, and excellent technical characteristics. It was a real sensation! In 1975, the 280Z and 280ZX entered the market with a 2.8-liter engine and 180 hp. The models looked more luxurious and modern than their predecessors and had more elegant interiors and aerodynamic bodies. Accordingly, new generations came out with updates, which always found their customers overseas. Undoubtedly, the history of the Nissan Fairlady Z is legendary. Today, the Z series is far from being affordable. However, it won its place under the sun long ago and continues to strive for excellence.

The 1977 model year

Source: Bavariasportscars

The Datsun 280Z entered the U.S. market in 1975 and was available until 1978.

The first thing that drew the attention of the 1977 release was its design. The long bonnet, thin tail, and sloping roofline were proportions significantly different from the big muscle cars of the time. The 1977 release also increased in size and received U.S. federally mandated bumpers. In 1977 Datsun 280Z received a 2.8-liter 6-cylinder engine and 149 hp with Bosch fuel injection. From 0 to 60mph, it reached in just 7.8 seconds. The top speed of this “muscle car killer” was 130 mph (210 km/h). In 1977, the automobile received magnetic wheel covers, a five-speed manual transmission, and a folding spare wheel. At the front, hood vents were simulated to replace the previous fender access openings. 

Did you know?

Source: Auto

In 1977, two limited edition Datsun 280Zs appeared. The first was “Zap Z,” with a “Special Decor Package,” painted in Sunshine Yellow and black stripes. The second one was the “Black Pearl” version with a “Special Appearance Package,” including unique sports mirrors, rear window spoilers, and two multi-colored stripes (red and silver). In total, about two thousand Zap Z and Black Pearl were produced.

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1977 Datsun 280Z: The beautiful athlete

Engine Inline 6 Horsepower 149.00 SAE @ 5600 RPMTorque 163 Ft-Lbs (221 NM) @ 4400 RPM Engine Location Front Drive Type RWD Weight 2630 lbs | 1192.948 kg Transmission 4-speed manual

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