Lockheed's SR-71 was conceived at the company's Burbank California Skunkworks. Today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe 1983 280ZX is similarly turbine-powered, but does its price simply stink?
Speaking of stink, a field of slowly decaying Yugos must offer a pungent nose, and for an overwhelming 88% of you, spending nearly thirteen grand on seven rotters and one static Cabrio was something akin to inadvertently walking into someone else's fetid fart cloud.
Have you ever looked at the styling details of 1950's American cars? It's all jet plane fins and rocket exhaust tail lights. Some - notably Chrysler's Turbine Car - even went so far as to use the same sort of engine that powered the then new fangled airplanes. And so does today's 1983 280ZX. Freakily, this isn't our first dance with turbine-powered ZXs.
Looking like a 12-year old boy's wet dream, this particular T-topped Datsun apparently draws its inspiration from both SR-71 and Saturday morning cartoons. And, there's also a whole lot of WTF thrown in for shits & giggles. Take for example the fact that the headlights have been exchanged for traffic cones. Those are intended to emulate the intakes of a fifties fighter, but come across looking more like the car's trying to out bombshell Jane Russell (um, ask your grandpa).
There's apparently a reason for the car not having headlights as there's no alternator or generator attached to the Garrett gtp to power them. This probable former APU or helicopter motor is supposed to be good for 210-horsepower at the shaft . . . and an ear-bleeding 40,000-plus RPM. Of course there's a gear reduction behind the turbine so rowing through the stock Datsun 5-speed box won't require slipping the clutch like a maniac, but apparently it doesn't provide room for a genie.
Other stuff lost in the conversion to turbine power include the A/C - but as the seller does point out, there are T-tops - and a traditional heater - although that Garrett's exhaust will likely roast your chestnuts just fine. What it won't do is provide any vacuum so the car carries a vacuum pump to keep the brakes from giving your (non-middle) leg a workout. Fueling the beast won't be too mentally taxing either as it should run on anything from Jet-A to old broken up chifforobes.
On the visual front, the ZX - which once was a Turbo - is now painted matte black and festooned with enough military aircraft decals to out-geek Tron Guy. Skunkworks nose art oddly adorns its ass, while black Moons bring a semblance of stealth to the wheel wells.
Who would do something like this? Probably someone with a lot of time and money and who REALLY REALLY likes to watch the Military Channel. He's also someone who uses terms like stroke the check, and likes to quote John Bender from The Breakfast Club in his ad. Yeah, that guy.
Who would buy this jet-fueled Rat Rod? Um, well. . . see that previous paragraph. Whatever the market for a turbine-powered ZX might be - especially one that‘s claimed to sport only about 30-more ponies than its piston-having predecessor - it's up to us to determine if this one might be worth the $18,000 that the current owner wants for it to be cleared for take off.
What do you think, is eighteen-large a price that should make this turbine car worth spinning the bottle on? Or, does the thought of that make you feel like Upchuck Yeager?
H/T to KeroseneKowboy for the hookup!
Help me out with NPOCP. Click here to send a me a fixed-price tip, and remember to include your commenter handle.