For $6,000, Make This 1975 280Z Scarab Your Fast as Lightning Bug

Illustration for article titled For $6,000, Make This 1975 280Z Scarab Your Fast as Lightning Bug

In the insect world, some scarabs are known as dung beetles. Today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe 280Z claims a Scarab V8 conversion, but with a price of six grand, is its seller full of. . . well, you know?


The comments on yesterday's 1971 Cougar XR-7 fell into two camps- those who felt the old gal still had it going on, but might have been too expensive, and those who can still taste the bile in their mouths today from having been so egregiously offended by it. In the end, that Cougar went down in a lopsided 73% Crack Pipe loss, a result that does not bode well for battles fought in favor of a continued existence for its parent, Mercury.

That V8-powered, ‘70s throwback didn't light your fires, and maybe the metallic poop-shot paint job had something to do with it. With that in mind, today we've got another V8 from the seventies, but its wrapped in a car that I think we all can agree is at least good looking, if not drop dead gorgeous. And to top it off, it's arrest-me red. This 1975 Datsun 280Z rocks a claimed Scarab V8 conversion, although there's no proof of Brian Morrow's company having anything to do with this transplant. That's not to say it isn't a Scarab car, and that company had lots of visual extras that were optional, so it wouldn't be surprising if the car didn't carry the uber-rare ribbed alloy valve covers with Scarab script, or the sail panel vent emblems.

What this car does have is a 350 out of a '68 Camaro and a T10 from a 20-year more recent car. Scarab cast their own bell housings so a glance down the firewall could give you a clue to this car's provenance, but either way it's big ponies in a little car. The seller claims that V8 to only have turned 6,000 miles since being rebuilt, and that the 4-speed was also refreshed 21K ago. Other than that, there's no detail as to what carb is sitting under the K&N filter, or if it has the upgraded radiator or 4-piston brakes with which Scarab fitted a number of their cars.

Outside, the nose benefits from the replacement of the battering ram bumper with a fiberglass cap and valance. Out back there's still a big chrome boner tarnishing the view, but it looks like it has been tucked in against the body, eliminating the rubber bits. Panasports dress up the wheel wells, and the trim has been all blacked out, which is something people used to do when they got bored.

Inside, there's one of those weld-less cages that always have a bolt in a place where it tears a hole in an elbow or shin. On the plus side, the seller claims the dash is un-cracked. In the demerit column is the fact that the vinyl high-backs have been replaced with some blue Recaros, and the driver's side of the pair looks like it might be prime fodder for those aforementioned feces-favoring Scarabaeidae.


Speaking of insects, one thing you won't have to be bugged with is ensuring this car doesn't make Al Gore cry. The Z being a '75, it's no longer required to get biannual smog inspections in the Golden State so you can go all BP on the air there with it.

All that and a bag of diffs could be yours for $6,000, or a trade. Or OBO, who I think used to be married to one of the Beatles, bringing the insect theme full circle. He's also willing to barter the wiring of his dime for the car so you could probably swing a deal if you know your amps from your volts.


For those dung-rolling beetles, knowing the difference between shit and Shinola is a matter of life and death. For you, determining whether this 280Z is worth six grand is a matter of a simple vote. So, for that price what'll it be, Scarab Beetle, or Stink Bug?

You decide!


Bay Area Craigslist or go here if the ad disappears.

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Nothing about this car looks well thought out. That probably includes any "maintenance" efforts. Crack pipe.