Datsun's sports car went by the name Fairlady in its homeland, possibly explaining why a convertible version was not offered; fair ladies typically needing to stay out of the sun. That didn't stop the creator of today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe 280ZX from dropping its top, but will you find its price to be fair, ladies?
It turns out that twelve-large is just too damn much money for a Toyota No-Runner, no matter how fresh the gold paint, rare the body style, or potentially hoontastic its having a Ford mill crammed under its hood may be. At least that was the opinion of the whopping 88% of you who felt the only thing golden about yesterday's frankentruck was the shower the seller deserved for asking so much.
That truck is not so unique in that there's a long history of Americans doing questionable things to Japanese rides, and today's 1982 Nissan 280ZX custom convertible is yet another example.
Have you ever seen Apple's 1984 TV commercial, the Ridley Scott directed one in which a woman in track gear lobs a sledgehammer at a movie screen and thereby upsets the autocratic norm? Well, when it was introduced Datsun's 240Z had a similar effect on the budget sports car world. It was the fly in the ointment, the monkey in the wrench, and its arrival spelled doom for the traditional, and sorely long in the tooth, competitors like MG and Triumph.
Nine years later, the S30's successor proved to be less epoch-defining than its progenitor. Its heavier weight and less capable trailing arm IRS may have pegged it as more of a tourer than sport, but it did one-up the earlier cars by offering that sunroof that's a fun roof, the T-top. Of course for some too much is never enough and in the case of the Henry the VIII who customized this ZX, that meant going the full monte.
Described by its seller as a work in progress, the completion of which was cut short by the untimely death of its maker, this isn't exactly what you'd call a turn-key opportunity. That being said, a whole bunch of you are right now staring at the screen in horror, while mumbling incoherently about never buying somebody else's project, and stabbing ineffectively at the browser's back button. That's right, risk-avoiders, never do that. Also, never buy a lottery ticket, don't strike up a conversation with the cute checker at the supermarket, don't use that hypodermic needle you found in the alley, and for heaven's sake NEVER bet on the underdog. Geez people, man-up. At least once in your life take a risk, leap without looking, accept that homeless guy's offer to share his 40. The creator of this ZX took a risk chopping off its top and look where he is. Well, okay, he's dead, but that's not important. What is important is that just because you didn't start his sammich, doesn't mean you can't finish it.
And this ZX does need to be finished. The bodywork is mostly there, but the seller says it needs a fresh respray, and even in the crappy eBay pictures the black paint looks like it has more orange peel than the Sunkist factory. Additionally requiring attention, the fit of the custom boot lid results in gaps wide enough to make Anna Paquin's teeth green with envy rather than just lack of brushing. The hood looks to be off of a Turbo, however a glance underneath reveals nothing more potent than the 145-bhp naturally aspirated L28.
Inside, things look a little more complete, and the wood-rimmed steering wheel is a semi-nice touch. A lot of the plastic and the carpet has - at least in the pictures - taken on the hue of dog pee, but at least it's not torn or massively stained. There's also, oddly, a Becker stereo which appears to be out of a Benz. Sadly it's a two-pedal car, meaning that those of you who didn't leave at the sight of an incomplete project have now jumped ship. Hello-lo-lo-lo? Damn.
Well, if there is anyone left, the last item on our tour is the convertible top which is displayed with the car but not on it. Instead the seller lays it out on the pavement like it's the Montauk monster, and likewise he offers up its articulating bows. Part of the completion process would be the melding of car and top, and that fabric roof would join a rack & pinion and gas tank on the list of parts recently appended to this ZX.
To do so, the seller is requesting $3,999, and baring the car being haunted by the soul of its previous owner, that doesn't sound too egregious, does it? By comparison, for more money and less skin cancer, there's this weird full targa one that's also on eBay. But what about this full convertible one? Is it worth one Washington shy of four grand to let the sun shine in? Or, for that price, would this project need to have more of its punch list punched?
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