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240 vs 260 vs 280

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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.

 

 

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

 

 

 

 

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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.

 

 

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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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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.

 

 

 

 

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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.

 

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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

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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.

 

 

 

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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.

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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.

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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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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!

.

 

Be interesting to compare the power to weight ratios between the two, do you know what they are?  Also, from the little I know, the 2000 is a built race car from way back, a bit different to your 280Z. Whatever, my land barge will cream them both :)

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It would be good to compile a book based on the Australian perspective of Zed cars. I know this would be difficult but not impossible, but what would be good is if  we could get a collection of standard cars that were of concourse condition of the following models in both manual and automatic form:

 

240z- 1971 and a 1973                    260z - 1975  and a late 1976 in both 2 seater and 2+2

 

280zx - 1979 and 1982                    z31 - 1985, 1986 and 1988                    z32 - 1990    350z/370z

 

If you could get all these models together for a weekend, and do some testing, both against the stop watch and driving impressions log descriptions, we could get some interesting data. The biggest challenge, apart from getting the cars, is finding cars that are a true representation of the model. This could provide some type of standardised comparison. It would be a 2012 perspective which would be interesting. The other thing is that I've collected many motoring articles over the years and each magazine posted different 0-100 times which can make things confusing. Just as an example, when the 1979 280zx came out the manual 0-100 time was recordered by one magazine to be 11.3 which is not great. Then in 1982 I think SCW magazine did the same test and got 10.6secs, which is quite an improvement. Then manufacturers figures can conflict with road tests. For example when the Subaru SVX came out, Subaru qouted 7.6secs but Motor magazine could only manage 9.2 at best. So you can see that some type of standardised testing would be useful.

By the way there was one book produced about 20 years ago called "Super Profiles", an English book that covered 240 and 260z and had performance figures for each year which was quite detailed at the time.Does anyone remember this book. It profiles Lynne Godber's car which was a good read.

The other thing to consider is to also try to relate data to other cars of the era. For example in the 1970's any car that went to 0-100 under 10 secs was considered quite sporty. If 11.3 sounds slow for a 280zx consider that the VB Commodore with a 3.3 red motor did it in 16.4secs, which improved to 14secs for the VH and only got a bit quicker when the VL came out. You had to get a 4.2l V8 to get a VH to get under 9secs.

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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.

 

yup. aint that the truth. I have a real soft spot for series 2 & 3 RX7s. 

Mr Tennis, I like your figures on a VH 4.2/253......you should have been on here 5-6 weeks ago when a chap wanted to drop in a 253 he had lying about into his zed !! I stuck up for him as a I owned a VH-SLE back in 1989 & I got sentimental !! :P

have you found a zed yet ?

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Have not found a zed yet Chris. Would love to find a 77 coupe but there were only 99 sold Australia wide so its not going to be easy. The other option was an 83 280. The 240z in Eltham, Victoria looks interesting but I don't know whether anyone here on the forum has seen the car and can comment.

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Quote:By the way there was one book produced about 20 years ago called "Super Profiles", an English book that covered 240 and 260z and had performance figures for each year which was quite detailed at the time.Does anyone remember this book.

 

I have this book Super Profile by James Morris.

 

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There is another book that may be of some help and this has history about Australian clubs and some of their  members .

A Legend in its Own Time “ Zcar”

By Ben Millspaugh

He was a guest speaker at the 1993 Z Nationals in Sydney. Lynne also features in this book

 

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Bring you to my first line on the second post. Quote;

This sought of discussion may not always come out well, as it starts "mine is better than yours"

and notice the poster has made 2 posts and not seen again.

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