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240 vs 260 vs 280


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#21 d3c0y

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 10:47 AM

I dont think that you can brush asside the hairdressers jokes that easily either.
People will think you are driving your girlfriend's car.  ;D

And lets not forget 6 cyl > 4 cyl - you cant constantly turn a corner...

#22 be-zed

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 12:44 PM

I don't think anyone here will be able to give you a definitive answer, on which is the best. We all have our reasons why one is better than the other. However at Z nationals in the standard classes the 280ZX does well for itself. As a practical car the 2+2`s do stand out .But ask any Z owner to get into the back one. Well that's when the biting, scratching , clawing  and screaming will start. From a practical point of view they have the best performance dollar value of any sports car. A good example was in 2010 at a QLD club day at Lakeside .There was a Ferrari 360 in a group of Hyundai ‘s. They could catch him on the corners but not get pass him . He was not happy about being monstered by them and asked to be moved into the group of Z’s. The track owner's said" No". They are here as a club group and cannot be broken up . Besides they will eat you alive and use your bones to pick their teeth. After that he packed his bags and went home and that is what owning a Z all is about.     

#23 260DET

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Posted 11 January 2012 - 10:46 AM

If Nissan AU had sold the two seater 280Zx then we could do a proper comparison with the two seater S30's. As it is, from my own and others observations and experience a stock 280ZX will handle better than a stock 240Z. The 240Z feels fast because it is light and noisy but on a racetrack my money would be on the ZX, particularly in corners and drive out of same. A stock 240Z is skittish at the back end compared with the ZX.  Comparitively a ZX is not much heavier at all even with more equipment, the extra weight is mainly in the chassis which is a good thing.

As someone said, the S30 is a hero car, I would say it's a fashionable hero car while the more capable 280ZX is a victim of the unfashionable 80's. But this can be adressed.

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#24 positivetennis

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Posted 11 January 2012 - 09:13 PM

A very interesting topic. It is very healthy to have debates on topics like this. It would be good to be able to summarise the key points and then placed in "Commonly asked questions", as many enthusiasts would be interested in such topics. Looking at the debate I felt that there are 4 factors that can influence opinion and maybe clarify some points. They are:

1. What we know about the various zed models based on motoring journalist reviews, road tests, profiles and books written over the years.

2. How we view cars based on time. Do we look zed cars based on a 2012 perspective or do we place value on cars based on what they were like when they were released. Also how varied is each example of the same model. What condition is your car and has the car been improved or modified.

3. The age, ethnicity and culture of an individual- An 18year old may relate more positively to a supra or z 32 whereas a 50 year old may like 240z's, E-types, MGB's etc (Just and example).

4. Certain parameters such as purchasing costs, value for money, fitness for purpose, comfort and safety, maintenance cost, size and height of the driver, personal driving preferences, and what one might be familiar with. For example at what price would you stop buying a Datsun 240z. The other day I saw a Ford Excort on Ebay asking 85k and there were many hits. For that price you could get a second hand Ferrari.

What needs to be done is to make conclusions based on these factors. For example in 1989 the zed 32 was considered as one of the best coupes released on the Australian market whereas if we move forward to 2012, many people may see the z32 as a difficult car to repair and/or find in excellent condition, with average performance in AU spec for a car in todays values. A blandToyota Aurion has 200kw, even a Mitsubishi 380 had 175 KW. I can remember in 1979 some journalists were saying that the 280zx was overweight (maybe true) yet today its not that heavy compared to a 350z. Also not everything that the motoring press says turns out to be true after all I think I remember Wheels giving the JB Holden Camira, Magna TM, Leyland P76 Car of the Year Awards which didn't quite work out that way later on. Then on a personal view, I'm not too keen on a 350z or 370z,  because I am 2m tall and cannot fit comfortably, whereas a any car z32 and older fits beautifully and that makes me happy to have one from that perspective. I love the shape and feel of the 1st generation zed cars, and the mystic and history of this car, but will passengers appreciate the fumes and how will I fare in an accident compared to a 370z. Can I find one without rust in the dog leg of the car. I will try to collate and come up with some succint points.



#25 positivetennis

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Posted 11 January 2012 - 10:07 PM

In reference to the previous post this is what many Australian Journalists wrote about z's over the years:

Datsun 240z: Sensational car priced at $4567, Cut price E-Type without the maintenance costs. Some reported that the suspension was a little soft because we got US setting and that the car wandered around at high speed but could be improved with a front spoiler. Came out in front of the TR6 in comparison tests. Put the Japanese car industry on the map as a series contender. Influential in the development of the Japanese automobile industry

Datsun 260z coupe: Better handling due to improved euro-spec suspension settings. Improved build quality and materials. Down on performance compared to early 240z's due to emission legislation and strength and safety improvements. Some felt that the early 260z coupe performed better than a late 73 240z.

Datsun 260z 2+2: More of a sporty car than a sports car. Reported as sufferring from E-typetypis. However many agreed the 2+2 to be a more practical car, with improved handling and roadholding. Won comparison test against the 351 XB falcon.

Datsun 280zx: Australia received 2+2 NA only as hardtop in 1979 then a targa available in 1980 then an improved series 2 in 1982. Changes in body details, trim, wheels, steering changed to rack and pinion. Performance 0-100 went from 11.3 for series 1 to 10.6 for series 2. Styling opinion divided, some criticised styling, while others thought it reached pinnacle for this shape. Criticised for losing sporty feel and moving too much towards a GT luxury cruiser car. Some felt the car was just evolving to present society expectations. Fuel injection solved 260z carb problems, steering much more easy to use, more comfortable seats, a/c standard in Australia, 4 wheel discs inspiring more confidence than disc/drum of earlier models. A car suffering mid-life crisis. Some journalist felt the car had lost the plot going from lean and mean to obese and serene.

Z31 1984-1985 NA 2+2 released in AU. Some journalist thought the car was vastly better styled than the 280zx but looked faster at the traffic lights than in reality. One caption was that the car was a sheep in wolves clothing. Some thought it was the bottom of an evil smelling barrel (See how journalists behave).

Z31 1986-1987 Turbo 2+2. Finally performance was better than the 240z by 2/10ths of a second over 400m. Suspension was vastly improved but was felt to be dated compared to the new NA supra.

Z31 1987- 1989 Turbo 2+3 Californian. Changes made to exterior styling, more rounded, interior toned done, turbo improved, but still no sports car.

Z32 NA 300zx 2+2 1989 - 1996: Journalists claim that the sports car concept of the 240z had been regained, compared to previous 300 its like they came from different planets. Very highly acclaimed exterior and interior design.

Now this is an example of how many jounalists saw each generation. I won't go into the 350z 370z as it is very current still, but in the next post I can give a different account based on another perspective. Personally I feel that many journalists paraphrased what was coming out of the US, and some of their views did not coincide with the actual sales that transpired with the 280zx and z31 even though the cars were heavily criticised.




#26 positivetennis

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Posted 11 January 2012 - 10:55 PM

240z v 260z v 280zx in terms of Practicality as subjectively seen in 2012.

1. 280zx 2+2 is most practical. Fuel injection should mean easy starting at hot and cold situations, 4 wheel disc brakes inspire greater confidence than disc-drum set up, faster steering makes the car easier to manage. The car is much tamer than a 260z. Seats are more comfortable, velour is better than fake leather in the summer, doors more insulated from the outside than earlier models, you feel more cossetted from the trucks that go past you . Safer construction, better seat belts, but still a fair way away from z31 onwards. Still quite easy to maintain. items can be stored in the back and covered without people seeing whats in there.

2. 240z-260z. In terms of practicality, age related factors will be an issue. Needs fuel additive and premium, carbs need to be tuned regularly. Younger people may find using a choke unfamiliar, miss maybe not having a a/c, worry about fumes and would need to update stereo however.

Just reading this doesn't match up with what the motoring journalist said at the time. Now for which car would be more fun

1. Datsun 240z/260z. 240z rated as most carismatic model, great on the track, lightest, has raw feel. 260z is more civilised, probably better as a road car.The first generation shape embodies excitement  and intimacy. 280zx feels more like a everyday sedan with better than average sedan handling of its day. Just compare it to a VB/VC Commodore or XD/XE Falcon or even a Sigma or Blubird. RX7 of the day concidered more fun than a 280zx.

Value for money

At present the median price of the z32, z31 and s130's are very affordable with mint low km z32's still leading the way. Z31 NA hardest to sell with mint 280zx's topping 10k. These cars represent very good value for money. Generation 1 cars represent good value until you start going over 16-18k, then you might start questioning yourself. I know this is subjective but once people start asking over 20k's you want to make sure the car is totally rust free or you really want it. Other alternatives come into play.

Age of Buyer

This is very subjective but I feel that the 18-28yr age group is going to probably prefer z32 onwards, Jap imports of the 90's VE Commodores and new stuff. The older age group (speaking for myself) might not find buying a z32 advertised with P plates as something to aspire to but would last after a 240z/260z then 280zx being advertised by the original owner in excellent origninal condition (authentic) in an exquisite colour scheme representative of the period.



#27 Mr Camouflage

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 04:23 AM

I was an apprentice mechanic at Nissan during the late 80's and drove the California spec mid life 300ZX's, and they were truly forgettable.


Z31 1987- 1989 Turbo 2+3 Californian. Changes made to exterior styling, more rounded, interior toned done, turbo improved, but still no sports car.


What's californian about it?

#28 gav240z

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 04:38 AM

Aside from the hairdresser jokes, an MX5 makes  a great daily sportscar. They are a great hndling car, reliable and cheap. If you  can't find a good 1.6 na for less than 6k then you aren't trying

Having  owned a couple of 2 seater Zeds and an Mx, if you want worry free motoring without anymore than changing oil and plugs, the MX is the way to go.

I dont think that you can brush asside the hairdressers jokes that easily either.
People will think you are driving your girlfriend's car.  ;D

And lets not forget 6 cyl > 4 cyl - you cant constantly turn a corner...


LOL - You know I have been thinking of trading my FD RX-7 in for an MX5 - The FD always has something that needs fixin' right now it's spent more time off the road than on. Why do I buy these project cars? That was rhetorical btw. But an MX-5 is cheap to run, own and drive. Really would be a fantastic car, so if you have a tight budget get an MX-5.

#29 gav240z

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 07:32 AM

Very good posts Mr Tennis.

I tend to agree with much of what your wrote. You mentioned the 280zx (S130) was said to be not as fun as the Mazda RX-7 of the time and to be honest I would agree.

Although I've never driven the earlier RX-7 I would say it's much more inline with the concept of the early 240z. In that it was relatively cheap (probably still is) and light, handled well and was a good capable sports car.

I'd say where the early Z revolution ended, the Mazda RX-7 picked up and continued the concept selling very well. Not to mention that although many 'wonder' about the reliability of the wankel rotary powerplant, in fact the early N/A RX-7's are known to be very reliable and dependable provided they are given the appropriate care.

If someone really wanted a 240z/260z 2 seater, but wasn't willing to deal with the rust, restoration process etc.. Or spend vast sums of money on something already restored I'd probably recommend the early SA22(FB) RX-7 or a MK1 MX-5. I would say they are the best alternatives at a low price range and still represent great value.

#30 Agno

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 08:45 AM

You are 100% right about early rx7s gav. If you look at the sales records in the states the 240z and rx7 almost mirror eachother. to me that suggests the yanks were begging for another basic & lightweight sports car like the 240z was and the 280zx was not

#31 260DET

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 08:47 AM

For anyone really interested in the Z Nissan put out a book titled Datsun 280ZX which goes into the detail and considerations of designing a new car for the 1980's, it is a brilliant book and should be compulsory reading for any early Z enthusiast. Some quotes follow.

"We (Nissan) were determined to build a car which would have top performance characteristics utilising our most advanced technology, but one which would also conform to the social needs of the 1980's".

"So our engineers set themselves the demanding task of of producing a full fledged GT sports car, with all the performance that term implies, which would also embody all the other qualities and comforts people now look for in any car they consider buying".

There are also a couple of mentions of lighter body weight which I assume was compared with the US 280Z model. So any extra weight would have come from additional equipment and perhaps the rear suspension. In addition there is quite a lot of detail concening aero and handling improvements over the S30 in the book.

Basically when the S130 was designed life had got a lot more complicated including US anti pollution and crash requirements.





#32 260DET

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 08:57 AM

You are 100% right about early rx7s gav. If you look at the sales records in the states the 240z and rx7 almost mirror eachother. to me that suggests the yanks were begging for another basic & lightweight sports car like the 240z was and the 280zx was not


Maybe, but the S130 outsold the S30 in the US so Nissan must have been doing something right. As for "lightweight" by the time the S30 was phased out in the US it was a fatty due mainly to crash requirements.



#33 Mr Camouflage

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 11:06 AM

Weights according to wikipedia (US models I imagine):

240Z
1,068 kg (2,355 lb) 2-seater

260Z
1,207 kg (2,660 lb) 2-seater

280Z
1,304 kg (2,875 lb) 2-seater

280ZX
1,281 kg (2,824 lb) 2-seater
1,356 kg (2,989 lb) 2+2



#34 260DET

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 05:23 PM

280ZX two seater curb weights according to Nissan, with the heaviest transmission the five speed manual.

AU -1216kg, Europe - 1205kg,  USA Calif. 1264kg.

So, where is the ZX fatness? Seems like Nissan planned to sell the two seater in AU but that never happened.





#35 Roberto

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 05:37 PM

Weights according to wikipedia (US models I imagine):
240Z
1,068 kg (2,355 lb) 2-seater
260Z
1,207 kg (2,660 lb) 2-seater
280Z
1,304 kg (2,875 lb) 2-seater
280ZX
1,281 kg (2,824 lb) 2-seater
1,356 kg (2,989 lb) 2+2


Yes, these are the US weights with the beefier bumpers and emmision control systems.
The specs for the Australian 260Z's are 1100kg for 2 seater and 1193kg for 2+2.


#36 luvemfast

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 07:50 PM

280ZX two seater curb weights according to Nissan
AU -1216kg, Europe - 1205kg,  USA Calif. 1264kg. .

Would be interesting to get ours weighed.
I know I've shed heaps of kg's out of mine.
-Front and rear bumpers.
-Air conditioning.
-Cruise control.
-EFI  ;D
-Driver seat replacement.
-Wheels

At least 60kg

#37 road rider

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 08:46 PM

I haven't posted too often on these forums but had to weigh in on these discussions(I do however like having a read of topics posted throughout this site)

I have had the pleasure of owning a few zeds over the years, including a 240k
coupe back in 1980. If it wasn't for the K, I may have never gone down the zed pathway.

There have been three 240Z's, a 1977 260Z coupe and a 1982 280ZX 2+2. I still  own a 240Z and the 280ZX. I have liked them all and they all have their good and bad points. At the end of the day you have to ask yourself what you really want out of the car and what will suit you and your life style the best.

Good luck with your decision.




#38 260DET

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 08:56 AM

Would be interesting to get ours weighed.
I know I've shed heaps of kg's out of mine.
-Front and rear bumpers.
-Air conditioning.
-Cruise control.
-EFI  ;D
-Driver seat replacement.
-Wheels

At least 60kg


Mine is hardly representative because with the VG30DET engine it was built to handle 500whp, so eg basically Z32 transmission right through to the wheels, strengthened body, half cage and so on. With ~30L of fuel and no driver it was 1244KG, maybe 10KG lighter now. It drives at least as light around a circuit as the 260Z I had, weight is not a noticeable problem. PS improves driver steering reaction too.

The other thing in the weight discussion is that kerb weight includses all fluids including a full fuel tank, Which on the S130 is bigger than a S30's.

#39 GTI-Z

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 10:54 AM

I remember when I bought my first Zed back in 1982.  I was looking for a daily driver, and found that the 260 had just that little bit more creature comforts over the 240 (260's with air were a lot more common than 240's).  The car did me for a few years as just an around town car until I got a job that involved regular travel out into country NSW.  All that was required for this was a decent set of halogen headlights and a pair of Cibie Super Oscars (a lot of the driving was at night).  As a long distance tourer, the 260 was fantastic. 

My father at the time had a 240K hardtop that I got to drive every now and then.  Another good long distance car - pity his was only a 4 speed (from previous threads on the K's it would now appear that his could have been a converted auto).  A friend at the time had a 260 2+2 manual, and an uncle had a 260 2+2 auto.  The back seat always left a lot to be desired if you were more than 5 foot tall (assuming the driver was also 5 foot tall).

I remember looking at the 280's at the time and thinking that they had lost the plot compared to the earlier cars.  It has only been over the last few years that I have begun to appreciate the 280, and the audience that they were targeting.

Time will tell in a few more years, as I think that the 280's will start to get the recognition they deserve.  It's just a pity that Nissan Oz never imported the two seater version of the 280.  In my eye, they just seem to lose that slightly "flabby mid section" look.

#40 dat2kman

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 11:14 AM

On the last of the US s30 model, the 280z, the federal impact bumpers, front and back, weighed some 90 kilograms alone!
Plus the extra wiring and ancilliaries for the injection setup. No wonder it was the "fattest" of all two seters, a true genuine landbarge!
My group Sc 280z is weight stripped to 1125 kg, fueled ready to run, no driver.
It still rocks and rolls on track, compared to the 810 kg Datsun Sports 2000, and that runs a full chassis with separate bodyshell!
.

Weights according to wikipedia (US models I imagine):

240Z
1,068 kg (2,355 lb) 2-seater

260Z
1,207 kg (2,660 lb) 2-seater

280Z
1,304 kg (2,875 lb) 2-seater

280ZX
1,281 kg (2,824 lb) 2-seater
1,356 kg (2,989 lb) 2+2






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