Would You rather have a classic car that’s too nice to drive hard, or one that you could still drive the crap out of? Today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe 280Z may be ratty as hell, but will its price have you saying what the hell?

Neil Young once said that rust never sleeps. In the case of last Friday’s 1985 BMW 745i, its rust was likely kept up all night by its nightmare-inducing water buffalo seats, which, despite the seller’s protestations, looked like they were made from the skin of that guy that does the dirtiest jobs TV show.


Of course, a seemingly low price can overcome a plethora of evils, including rust and creepy upholstery. The Bimmer, having all three of those features, took home a narrow but decisive 59% Nice Price win.

Have you noticed that nobody ever asks “if you catch my drift” anymore? It’s an idiom that typically was used in reference to something slightly untoward or potentially sketchy. These days to drift means a form of automotive athleticism most often accompanied by copious quantities of smoke and little bits of tire getting stuck in the spectator’s hair and hoodies.


Today’s 1978 Datsun 280Z 2+2 is shown in its ad adrift with a purpose. It’s also somewhat sketchy in its presentation so it might be a perfect car for you to drift, and in which for others to “catch your drift.”

The 280 was the final iteration of the venerable S30 line of Datsun sports cars. The company re-wrote the book on sports car value with the first-gen Z, and also introduced the term “dealer gouging” to the American lexicon.

By the time that the 2.8-litre 280Z had arrived, it had grown in both stature, owing to its big-ass bumpers, and in composure, having been better sorted than its twitchier 240 and finicky 260 predecessors.

This one ditches the bumpers gaining valuable parallel parking inches. That’s not all it’s ditched however, as you will see this 2+2 is a few dogs short of a sled team.

The bad news starts with the body. No, I don’t mean the fact that it’s the somewhat ungainly 2+2 model, I’m actually glad to see this car’s not a two-seater considering its present life. The issue here is the rust and general scruffiness it presents.


Other issues include wiring woes that cause the headlights to be only part time employees, necessary brake work, an exhaust pipe that both freaky and deaky, a cabin that’s far from first class, and the need for back-paying the registration if you decide to keep the car in Oregon. You also might want to ask the seller just exactly what the hell car is spewing out in that action shot he’s included in the ad.

On the plus is what appears to be a strong motor, a new clutch, battery, and tires, as well as a bad-ass attitude. The car is claimed to come with extra parts, ZX wheels, a clean title, and… well a welded diff. Fortunately, the 280 diff is a pretty common bit of kit so it wouldn’t be too tough to replace that. Of course if you want to drift your life away, then just keep it and go. A five-speed gearbox makes that activity a bit more engaging.


The price for this ratty Z is $1,500 or a trade. Admittedly, I have nothing to trade as I keep all my shit. That means we’re dealing dollars and we’ll now hove to decide if fifteen hundred of those dollars is a deal for this driver, or if it’s just too far gone for you to catch its drift.

You decide!

Eugene OR Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.

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