Images from the brochure collection of Hemmings Motor News
Arguably influenced by the Jaguar E-type and a runaway sales success from the moment it hit U.S. shores, Datsun’s Z car inspired a generation of sports car lovers and famously contributed to the demise of the traditional British roadster. The 280-Z represented the final evolution of the original 240Z, following the short-lived, larger-engine’d 260Z and available in both two-seater and 2+2 body styles.
This eight-page brochure illustrates how the 280-Z has grown into the role of Grand Tourer: “More comfort, more luxury, more overall performance with all the traditions of the 240-Z and 260-Z updated, embellished, refined.” The new 2,753-cc SOHC straight-six engine sported Bosch L-Jetronic fuel injection and made 149 hp (170 hp by the old gross rating) and 163-lbs.ft. of torque (177 gross), while the standard four-speed manual could be swapped for a three-speed automatic.
It’s interesting to remember that the 2+2 model was a true family-sized car, measuring a generous 185.4 inches in length over an 102.6-inch wheelbase, compared to the 280-Z’s 173.2- and 90.7-inch measurements. Neither represented a great bargain anymore, with prices ranging from $6,594 to $7,394, before adding options like air conditioning ($485); those MSRPs were the rough equivalent of today’s $27,500 and $30,840.
Still, the 280-Z would have a few years before being replaced with the tech-laden 280-ZX… but that’s a story for another brochure. What are your favorite Z-car stories?
Click on the thumbnails below to enlarge.