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Hemmings Find of the Day – 1979 Datsun 280ZX

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Delahaye-inspired wood-bodied 1979 Datsun 280ZX nicknamed “The Dolphin” for sale on From the seller’s description:

I’m an artist who loves cars. The 1930’s French automobiles designed by Figoni and Falaschi were the inspiration for this car. The wood is from a 250 year old Redwood tree that shaded my shop until it fell down in a windstorm in 1981. The car has the look of a 30’s classic with the feel and sound of a 50’s British sports car but without the mechanical problems. It took over 5 years working full time to build and was completed in 1994. This car has a Datsun 280ZX engine, transmission, and rear end with MGB front suspension and is 800 pounds lighter than a ZX. It’s very fast, and has always been great fun to drive. I believe the best part of owning a car is driving it. The Dolphin has never been a trailer queen and it has minor scars to prove it. I could easily freshen up the paint and take them out but then I’d be afraid to drive it. The stunning look of the car overshadows any imperfections. It continues to win best of show awards. In October 2017 I drove it from Eureka Ca. to the San Jose area, drove around the Santa Cruz mountains, won the Mayor’s award for best of show at the Los Altos Classic car show and took the long way home, over 800 miles total. For me, that is what owning a car is all about. Los Altos is in the heart of the Silicon Valley and there were a lot of nice cars there.The Dolphin has won awards in almost every car, woodworking and art show it was entered . It was an award winner at the last Oakland Roadster Show and has been featured in publications all over the world including an award of excellence from American Woodworker Magazine and the cover car on the Woodie Times. It was on the Learning Channel’s show “Understanding Cars’ that has been shown in English and Spanish speaking countries.Since building the Dolphin I have built cars that have been at Pebble Beach, Meadow Brook, and in Museums in the US and England and the Dolphin remains my favorite.

Location Marker
Eureka, California
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